Often touted as the most energetic and happening tourist destination in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is every traveller’s dream. Also referred to as Saigon, the city has got a lot in its store that could make anyone fall in love with this beautiful place. There are so many amazing and intriguing things to do in Ho Chi Minh City that it is hard to even imagine there’s anyone who can’t find anything to enjoy here. Here I have compiled a list of top activities to do in Saigon for a fun and memorable time in the city. Without wasting any more time, let’s get started!
Probably, one of the most-visited museums in Ho Chi Minh City is the War Remnants Museum. The museum houses a rich assortment of exhibits depicting the effects of the 30-year-long war between Vietnam and America. From helicopters, tanks, bombs and military vehicles to photographs, written documents and war machines, the museum houses some interesting exhibits that are worth seeing.
Notre Dame Basilica is one of the few remaining centres of Catholicism in Vietnam. Being a Buddhist country, this church serves as an important religious centre for all the Catholics in Ho Chi Minh City. It was established by the French colonists in the late 1880s. Besides its appealing architecture, the church is famous for the effigy of the Virgin Mary that was established here in the year 1959. Amidst the spiritual ambience of Saigon Notre Dame Basilica, one can spend hours thinking about and praying to the almighty.
Like the Chinatown of Bangkok and India, the Chinatown of Vietnam is also much-famous amongst tourists. It is one of the most interesting places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City. Sprawling in the areas of District 5, District 6, and District 11, Chinatown in Saigon is a market area. The market has thousands of shops selling different items ranging from fashion to electronics to households to handicrafts. If you are looking to take any souvenirs for friends and family, this is the place to shop for. The famous Binh Tay Market is located in Chinatown, and hence, you can explore this market to get the best souvenirs from your Vietnam vacation. Chinatown is also one of the best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City.
Well, one of the best things about travelling to different countries is that you get to relish the authentic flavours of that particular nation. And while you are in Ho Chi Minh City, the must-eat fares are Banh Beo, Banh Cuon, Banh Khot & Banh Xeo, Bot Chien, Bun Bo Hue, Bun Rieu Cua, and Pho Bo.
Cu Chi Tunnels is undoubtedly one such attraction that must be on your Vietnam itinerary. Visiting this place is a unique experience in itself. The tunnels give you the ultimate experience of Vietnamese soldiers who used these tunnels to move unnoticeable by their enemies. Sprawls over 120 km, the tunnels include living areas, trapdoors, hospitals, storage facilities, command centres kitchens, and storage facilities. One can also watch an informative movie on this popular tourist attraction in Saigon.
Erected by a community of Cantonese in the year 1909, Jade Emperor Pagoda is sacred to ‘God of Heavens’, known as Jade Chu Ngoc Hoang. This Taoist temple is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Ho Chi Minh City. Besides its sacred significance, the temple is known for its exquisite architecture. The interior includes intricate wooden carvings on the walls along with the beautiful artwork on the roof of the temple. Such is the charm of this place that one can spend hours meditating here in Jade Emperor Pagoda.
You would be amazed to know that apart from its religious and cultural significance, Ho Chi Minh City is also quite famous for its contemporary lifestyle, especially the bars and restaurants. There are numerous rooftop bars in the city that are worth spending money and time. From these bars, you can relish the pulchritudinous views of the entire city while sipping a drink and savouring the taste of delectable fares. Chill, Glow, Eon Heli, and The View Rooftop are some top choices amongst tourists for rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh City.
While in Saigon, if you want to experience the vibes of New York then head to Nguyen Hue Boulevard. It is basically a wide, broad and long street where you can see artists performing, aspiring musicians showcasing their talent, and much more. The street also has a cinema where you can watch a movie in its original version. Besides, the street is also dotted a good number of cafes and restaurants, and color fountains. You can walk around and spend some time gazing upon the fountains and relishing the performances of artists, and can even enjoy a lunch in any of the cafe or restaurant.
Situated in the downtown of the city, the Central Post Office is one of the top points of tourists in Saigon. And, you will get to know why this place is so popular once you’ll visit it. It is certainly one of the most beautiful post offices around the world. Boasting an exquisite French architecture, the post office was established in the year 1891. The building still works as an active post office and a popular tourist attraction in Ho Chi Minh City. This historical place is much loved by the history and architecture buffs. For a fact, it was Gustave Eiffel who designed the architecture of Central Post Office. He was the same man who also designed the Eiffel Tower.
So, these were some of our handpicked things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. If you have time don’t stop here. Experience the tain system and explore more of this beautiful country. This list could help you make your vacation a memorable one. You can also check out travel checklist for more such travel-specific tips for other countries of Asia.
We are Jimmy & Tah, American and Thai Millennials who left our careers in the military and finance to become full-time travelers.