Issues to Do in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis: A Information for Vacationers



Ho Chi Minh Metropolis in Vietnam, also called Saigon, is a metropolis that by no means sleeps. It’s a bustling metropolis in southern Vietnam that provides a singular mix of historical past, tradition, and modernity.

It’s a spot the place you will get misplaced within the maze of slim alleyways, discover the colonial structure, and eat your approach by way of the markets. There are lots of issues to do in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis.

On this information, I spotlight a number of the prime points of interest and actions that you just shouldn’t miss throughout your go to to Ho Chi Minh Metropolis. It’s best to be capable to get pleasure from all these actions in case you have 3 full days in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis.

Take a look at our itinerary for 14 days in Vietnam!

Right here is an outline:

Discover the historical past of Vietnam’s largest metropolis

Ho Chi Minh Metropolis has a wealthy historical past, that’s mirrored in its many museums and landmarks. It has been the capital of French Indochina, South Vietnam, and the scene of the Fall of Saigon that ended the Vietnam Battle. It additionally has a colourful tradition.

Listed below are a number of the finest locations to go to to be taught concerning the historical past and tradition of this fascinating metropolis.

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City: Skyline of Ho Chi Minh City in the evening - Vietnam.
Skyline of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis within the night – Vietnam.

Go to the Independence Palace

Independence Palace was the previous residence of South Vietnam’s president throughout the warfare. It’s a image of the nation’s turbulent previous and serves as a reminder of the Vietnam Battle, which lasted from 1954 to 1975. Through the Vietnam Battle, the Independence Palace was the official residence of the South Vietnamese president.

The palace was initially in-built 1868 by the French colonial authorities, however was later destroyed throughout World Battle II and rebuilt within the Sixties.

Right this moment, the Independence Palace is a well-liked vacationer attraction. You’ll be able to have a glimpse into the lavish life-style of Vietnam’s former leaders there. The palace is superbly embellished with vintage furnishings, ornate chandeliers, and paintings that dates again to the seventeenth century.

In case you are not likely into this type of museums—you possibly can simply benefit from the Palace’s lavish backyard, as I did. It offers a beautiful cooling aid on this at all times scorching and humid metropolis.

Associated tour: Battle Remnants Museum & Independence Palace Strolling Tour

Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Museum of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

Museum of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is thought for its stunning structure and gardens.

The palace was in-built 1929 by French architect and was initially used as a customs home after which as a residence for the Governor of Cochinchina.

The palace has witnessed many historic occasions. It noticed the Japanese occupation, the Viet Minh rebellion, the assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem, and the autumn of Saigon.

Museum of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis shows numerous artefacts associated to the historical past and tradition of Vietnam. You’ll be able to see statues, ceramics, maps, automobiles, bikes, and private belongings of Ho Chi Minh there.

The palace was used because the non permanent official residence of the Prime Minister (Ngô Đình Diệm). To organize for the opportunity of a coup, Diệm oversaw the development of three in depth tunnels stretching from the palace to varied components of town.

The tunnels had been constructed for Diệm and different officers to flee if crucial. Throughout a 1963 coup, Diệm used one of many tunnels to flee the palace siege, however was later caught and executed. The palace was later rebuilt in 1966.

You will note some tanks and helicopters in entrance of the Museum of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis. They’re a part of the Battle Remnants Museum, which I describe under.

You’ll be able to see there:

  • UH-1 “Huey” helicopter
  • F-5A fighter
  • a M48 Patton tank
  • an A-1 Skyraider assault bomber

The museum itself just isn’t massive, and there’s not that a lot to see. However the value just isn’t excessive both—40,000 Okay per individual (lower than $2).

Handle: 65 Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Museum of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Go to the Battle Remnants Museum to be taught concerning the Vietnam Battle

The Battle Remnants Museum is an informative museum for anybody occupied with studying extra about historical past. Additionally it is a sobering reminder of the Vietnam Battle and its influence on the nation and its folks.

The Battle Remnants Museum shows pictures, weapons, and private accounts that doc the warfare. These displays showcase the warfare from the Vietnamese folks’s standpoint.

Right here is the museum’s web site – Battle Remnants Museum

This go to may be onerous and sobering. I do know it was for me, a US citizen. It was additionally unusual to see some army helicopters (outdated), which I’m used to cheering for on airshows, however they had been thought-about being ‘the enemy’s’ tools.

However I discovered the show of army tools deserted by the US forces fascinating. They ooze historical past!

But it surely additionally made me very appreciative of the flexibility of Vietnamese folks to place the previous prior to now. They’re all smiles and friendliness towards the foreigners and use any likelihood to apply their English with you. And so they actually recognize their French buildings!

Right here is hyperlink to the see the museum’s location and footage.

Nonetheless, when you resolve to go to the museum, perhaps go to one thing vibrant and cheerful afterwards? You’ll be able to go to Central Publish Workplace—the enduring French constructing of Saigon.

War Planes at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Battle Planes on the Battle Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Admire the French Structure of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

In the event you’re occupied with colonial structure and historical past, take a stroll by way of District 1.

Ho Chi Minh Metropolis was the capital of French Indochina from 1887 to 1954. The French colonists constructed some spectacular buildings throughout that point. These buildings mirrored their model and affect. Two iconic landmarks, the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Central Publish Workplace, had been each constructed throughout French colonization within the late nineteenth century.

Central Publish Workplace

Among the finest locations to admire the French structure of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is the Central Publish Workplace. It was constructed between 1886 and 1891, and it was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the well-known engineer who additionally designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Inside, you possibly can see an unlimited portrait of Ho Chi Minh, the founder of recent Vietnam, in addition to outdated maps and telephones. The Central Publish Workplace continues to be functioning as a publish workplace at this time, and you may ship letters and postcards from right here to wherever on the planet.

The constructing is gorgeous each inside and outdoors, and it’s enjoyable to go to.

Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Central Publish Workplace in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Go to the Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon – one other iconic landmark in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was constructed between 1863 and 1880 by the French colonists. The cathedral was named after Our Girl of the Immaculate Conception, and a statue of her stands in entrance of the primary entrance. It’s a place of worship for Catholics, in addition to a vacationer attraction for guests who need to admire its magnificence and historical past.

The cathedral is at the moment underneath renovation and isn’t open to the general public, however you possibly can nonetheless see its exterior and take photographs from the surface.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Metropolis tour Ho Chi Minh

Taking a metropolis tour in Ho Chi Minh is enjoyable as a result of you possibly can see many historic cities and buildings and map the best way on your self-guided stroll later.

A few of the locations you possibly can go to on a metropolis tour are:

  • Ben Thanh Market, a bustling market the place yow will discover every part from souvenirs to spices to native delicacies. Examine this market later on this publish.
  • Bitexco Monetary Tower and Saigon Skydeck, a contemporary skyscraper that provides panoramic views of town from its statement deck.
  • Saigon River, a scenic waterway that runs by way of town and gives boat cruises and water actions.
  • Nguyen Hue Strolling Road, a pedestrian-only avenue that’s lined with retailers, cafes, eating places.
  • HCMC Opera Home, a lovely colonial-style constructing that hosts cultural performances and occasions.
  • Rex Lodge, a historic resort that was a well-known assembly place for journalists and diplomats throughout the Vietnam Battle.
  • Ho Chi Minh Statue and Metropolis Corridor, a monument to the revered chief of Vietnam and an imposing French-style constructing that serves because the seat of town authorities.

These are simply a number of the highlights of a metropolis tour in Ho Chi Minh. You’ll be able to e book your journey on-line or by way of native operators. The Ho Chi Minh Hop On Hop Off tour can be a good way to get round to all the massive sights.

Hop on hop off tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Hop on hop off tour in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Pattern native delicacies

Meals is a significant a part of any journey to Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh Metropolis isn’t any exception. With avenue meals on each nook and numerous eating places serving up conventional dishes, you’ll by no means go hungry right here.

Be sure that to strive a number of the native specialties comparable to pho (a noodle soup), banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), and spring rolls. In the event you’re feeling adventurous, head to native markets, the place you possibly can strive every part from snails to grilled goat meat.

For these on the lookout for a extra upscale eating expertise, Ho Chi Minh Metropolis has loads of choices as properly. Take a look at The Deck Saigon for beautiful river views and gourmand Vietnamese delicacies or Cuc Gach Quan for a comfy ambiance and farm-to-table dishes. Right here’s one other farm-to-table expertise – a cooking class!

Take a look at these wholesome dishes in Vietnam.

Pho dish in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Pho dish in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Getting misplaced in native markets

One in all my favourite issues to do in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is simply wander by way of its many markets. Not solely do these bustling hubs supply a number of the finest avenue meals round, however they’re additionally an incredible place to buy souvenirs, in case you are on trip.

They’re additionally nice sensible locations for a nomadic traveler to replenish its journey gear, and get, let’s say, a Nike backpack for $4!:). I don’t know the way a lot of an precise ‘Nike” is in my backpack, nevertheless it seems and feels good, and for $4 I wasn’t too choosy!:)

Folks watching can be enjoyable.

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market in Chinatown is probably the preferred market within the metropolis and gives every part you possibly can consider, and even didn’t know existed! You will discover a colourful choice of gadgets on this bustling hub, from contemporary produce to clothes and souvenirs.

Ben Thanh Market is without doubt one of the oldest and most well-known markets within the metropolis. After you discover the market” limitless stalls, it’s also possible to get pleasure from quite a lot of avenue meals and drinks. You will discover pho, banh mi, spring rolls, espresso, and coconut juice and way more right here.

Ben Thanh Market is open each day from 6 am to 7 pm. And after darkish it transforms right into a energetic night time market full of extra meals stalls and distributors lining the streets.

In case you are on the lookout for an genuine cultural expertise, Ben Thanh Market is a must-visit vacation spot!

Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Bin Tay Market (Cholon Chinatown Market)

Bin Tay Market market is a vibrant market in Chinatown, the place you possibly can expertise the tradition and delicacies of the Chinese language neighborhood. You will discover quite a lot of items, comparable to materials, electronics, home items, and Chinese language herbs and medicines.

Did you just like the meals on the markets? Possibly it is best to learn to prepare dinner this meals?

Take a Vietnamese cooking class

This cooking class in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis features a trip on a standard Vietnamese cyclo to Ben Thanh Market. You’ll store for contemporary herbs and produce there after which learn to put together quite a lot of typical Vietnamese dishes. You’ll be guided by an expert chef.

So now you’ve already tasted Vietnamese meals, and realized the historical past of Vietnam. You additionally explored French structure, so perhaps you wish to see the historic Vietnamese structure?

Cooking class in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Cooking class in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Cultural Vietnamese structure

Go to the Jade Emperor Pagoda

Jade Emperor Pagoda is a Taoist Temple.

Vietnam seldom practices Taoism in its pure kind; nevertheless, the Vietnamese folks faith has absorbed sure facets of it. You’ll be able to see Taoist temples right here and there in Vietnam.

Go to the Jade Emperor Pagoda when you’re occupied with Taoist tradition and faith. The pagoda is a vital shrine in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis and was in-built 1909 by a Chinese language service provider named Liu Daoyuan.

It’s devoted to the Jade Emperor, who’s the supreme god of Taoism. You’ll discover statues, work, and woodcarvings inside, in addition to a pond with sacred turtles.

Admission is free, and you may be a part of the locals in burning incense and making choices to the gods. It’s a peaceable and non secular place that gives you a glimpse into Vietnam’s wealthy spiritual traditions.

Temple in Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Temple in Saigon in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Benefit from the nightlife of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is a metropolis that by no means sleeps, with a energetic nightlife. While you stroll on a busy avenue at night time, it is extremely thrilling to see so many individuals exterior, having fun with the cooler temperatures! I feel I loved this time of the day probably the most.

You don’t must stroll removed from any most important avenue to eat in case you are hungry. There are such a lot of locations to eat in every single place, opened late!

And in case you are within the temper to membership, right here is the listing of prime nightclubs in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis.

Greatest golf equipment round Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

Bars in District 1

That is the center of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis’s nightlife and among the many hottest areas for clubbing. That is the place most vacationers keep. You will discover many bars and golf equipment right here catering to varied tastes and budgets.

Just a few of the perfect golf equipment in District 1 embody:

  • Chill Sky bar:
    That is certainly one of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis’s most famous rooftop bars. It gives breathtaking views of the skyline with an elegant ambiance. The music sometimes options EDM and hip hop, whereas the drinks may be dear however value it. On the identical flooring, it’s also possible to take pleasure in high quality eating on the Chill Eating restaurant.
    Handle: AB Tower, 76A Đ. Lê Lai, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh
  • Apocalypse Now Bar:
    A legendary membership that has been round for over 20 years, drawing locals and foreigners alike. Apocalypse Now Bar has two flooring with a spacious dance flooring, pool desk, and a stage for reside music on the bottom flooring. The higher flooring has a lounge space with sofas and a balcony. The DJ performs a mix of rock, pop, and dance, and the drinks are inexpensive.
    Handle: 2F Nguyễn, Thi Sách, Bến Nghé, TP, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 70000
  • Lush Membership:
    A stylish membership that draws a younger and trendy crowd. The membership spans two flooring, with a large dance flooring, VIP space, and a bar on the bottom flooring, Lush Membership additionally has a rooftop terrace with a pool and a bar on the higher flooring. The music primarily options EDM and home, and the drinks are moderately priced.
    Handle: 156/2 Lý Tự Trọng, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh

Bars in District 3

It is a quieter and extra residential area in comparison with District 1, nevertheless it nonetheless gives some glorious choices for clubbing. A few of the prime golf equipment in District 3 are:

  • Carmen Bar:
    An intimate and comfortable bar that focuses on reside music, particularly Latin and jazz. The bar boasts a country and chic decor with picket furnishings, crimson curtains, and candles. The music is carried out by proficient native and overseas musicians, and the drinks are moderately priced.
    Handle: 8 Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh
  • Envy Membership:
    An expensive and glamorous membership showcasing state-of-the-art sound and lighting programs. Envy Membership gives reveals with spectacular performances by dancers, singers, and DJs. The membership has a big dance flooring surrounded by VIP cubicles and tables. The music primarily options EDM and hip hop, and the drinks are costly however high-quality.
    Handle: 74-76 Đ. Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Phường Nguyễn Thái Bình, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 11111
  • Seventeen Saloon Saigon:
    A western-style bar offering reside rock music each night time. Seventeen Saloon Saigon has a cowboy theme with picket barrels, leather-based sofas, and cowboy hats. The music options energetic bands enjoying basic rock hits from the 70s to the 90s. The drinks are low cost and robust.
    Handle: 130A Đ. Phạm Ngũ Lão, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh

Bars in District 4

It is a working-class district with a repute for being tough and harmful, nevertheless it additionally gives some hidden gems for clubbing. A few of the prime golf equipment in District 4 embody:

  • TNR Saigon:
    A pleasant and relaxed bar that provides low cost drinks and glorious music. The bar has a pool desk, and you may request your most popular music from the DJ. The group is generally expats and backpackers who come right here to socialize and have enjoyable.
    Handle: 57 Đỗ Quang Đẩu, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 700000
  • Ong Cao Craft Beer:
    A craft beer bar providing quite a lot of native and imported beers on faucet or in bottles. The bar has a contemporary and minimalistic decor with picket tables and stools. The workers are educated and useful, and the costs are affordable.
    Handle: 240 Đ. Bùi Viện, Phường Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh
  • Broma Not A Bar:
    A rooftop bar offering splendid views of the streets under. The bar has a laid-back and informal vibe with picket furnishings, fairy lights, and vegetation. The music primarily options indie rock and various pop, and the drinks are reasonably priced.
    Handle: 41 District, 41 Đ. Nguyễn Huệ, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh

Be sure that to style this beer in Vietnam!

HCMC has a purchasing scene that caters to all tastes and budgets.

Listed below are a number of the finest locations to get pleasure from purchasing in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

  • Ben Thanh Market:
    Extra particulars about this marker are above.
  • Vincom Heart:
    This is without doubt one of the largest malls in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, with over 250 retailers, eating places, cinemas, and leisure services. You will discover worldwide manufacturers comparable to Zara, Mango, Adidas, and Nike, in addition to native services and products.
  • Style boutiques:
    In the event you’re on the lookout for a pleasant outfit by native designers, you possibly can take a look at a number of the vogue boutiques in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis. A few of the common ones are L’Usine, Nosbyn, Cashew, and Ren. You will discover stylish and distinctive clothes, equipment, and footwear at affordable costs.

Store for bargains and souvenirs at Saigon Sq.

Saigon Sq. is a wholesale vogue mall in District 1, the place yow will discover plenty of low cost clothes, footwear, luggage, and equipment. The standard could fluctuate, however you possibly can haggle for a cheaper price. The mall is common amongst locals and foreigners alike.

Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Procuring in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Suoi Tien Theme Park

In case you are a touring with a household, go to Suoi Tien Theme Park, a Buddhist-Themed Amusement Park.

Suoi Tien Theme Park is an amusement park in District 9, Thu Duc Metropolis, Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam. It’s the world’s first water park dedicated to Buddhism, particularly the SE Asian animistic type of Buddhism. The park consists of a number of leisure areas that illustrate Vietnam’s historical past and legends.

These areas are: Au Co and Lac Lengthy Quan, the Battle of Son Tinh and Thuy Tinh, and the 4 Noble Fact.

The park opened in 1995 and is without doubt one of the hottest vacationer locations in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis.

Some points of interest within the park

  • Crocodile Kingdom:
    A big pond with over 1,500 crocodiles that guests can feed with fishing rods.
  • Tien Dong Seaside:
    A person-made seaside with a waterfall that has the face of an emperor sculpted into it.
  • Dinosaur Backyard:
    A backyard with life-size fashions of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.
  • Curler Coaster:
    An exhilarating trip that goes by way of a dragon’s mouth and an enormous Buddha statue.
  • Unicorn Palace:
    A palace with statues and work of unicorns, fairies, and angels.

The park additionally has a zoo, a cinema, a spa, a temple, and lots of eating places and retailers.

Suoi Tien Theme Park park shall be served by Suoi Tien Park Station on the primary line of the Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, that’s at the moment underneath building. It’s open from 8:00 AM to five:00 PM day by day.

The admission charge is 90,000 VND (about 3.9 USD) for adults and 45,000 VND (about 1.9 USD) for kids.

You’ll be able to go to their official web site for extra info.

Day journeys from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis

Cu Chi Tunnels

The Cu Chi Tunnels are a community of underground tunnels that had been utilized by the Viet Cong (VC) guerrillas throughout the Vietnam Battle. The tunnels had been situated within the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis.

They stretched for about 250 kilometers, connecting completely different VC bases and hiding spots. The tunnels had been dug by hand, typically utilizing easy instruments comparable to shovels and baskets.

The tunnels had been used for various functions, like:

  • Hiding from American and South Vietnamese forces, who relied closely on aerial bombing and floor
  • Transporting provides, weapons, and communications throughout the battlefield.
  • Offering shelter, medical care, meals, and leisure for VC troopers and supporters.

The tunnels had traps to cease enemies, like explosives, spikes, scorpions, and snakes. To destroy them, the Individuals and South Vietnamese used bombs, chemical compounds, canines, and troopers referred to as tunnel rats who searched inside. However the tunnels had been sturdy and helped the VC resist the stronger enemy.

The Cu Chi Tunnels are actually a part of a warfare memorial park in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, the place guests can be taught concerning the historical past and expertise of the tunnels. The tunnels have been widened and lit to accommodate vacationers, who can crawl by way of them and see numerous displays and shows.

The Cu Chi Tunnels are a preferred attraction for locals and foreigners who need to be taught concerning the Vietnam Battle or like the sort of attraction. There are lots of day journeys to the tunnels from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, together with this half-day tour and this full-day tour that additionally visits the Mekong Delta.

Cu Chi Tunnels close to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Cu Chi Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam.

Mekong River tour

Expertise the integral a part of Vietnam’s historical past with a go to to the Cu Chi Tunnels, thought-about being a must-see attraction.

Improve your go to to an opulent tour that features round-trip transport by a luxurious limousine and a leisurely cruise on the Mekong River. You’ll have a customized expertise in a small group of seven with air-conditioned consolation whereas exploring the tunnels with a information.

Proceed the tour to Mekong River for an unforgettable expertise.

Discover the Mekong Delta on a rowboat and motorboat, and observe the agricultural lifetime of the locals.

Boats on the Mekong river in Vietnam.
Boats on the Mekong river in Vietnam.

There are other ways to e book a metropolis tour in Ho Chi Minh, relying in your preferences, price range and time.

One of many choices is on-line reserving. You’ll be able to examine costs, evaluations, itineraries and availability of various excursions and select the one which fits you finest. A few of the web sites that provide on-line reserving for metropolis excursions in Ho Chi Minh are Get Your Information and Viator.

In the event you plan to go to Vietnam, don’t miss Ho Chi Minh Metropolis!

You’ll get pleasure from this splendidly vibrant metropolis and all the highest points of interest it gives!

  • Tatiana

    Tatiana is a digital nomad. Tatiana travels full time and explores the perfect locations on the planet to remain, eat and play.

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