Dubbed the “Pearl of the Far East”, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) has long been a cultural, economic and political center of Vietnam. It is also well-known as the biggest and busiest city in Vietnam.
Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City for more than 300 years with numerous elegant architecture and broad boulevards as resulted from the French conquered Saigon in 1859. The city is filled with rooftop bars that overlook Saigon and beyond, while fantastic restaurants offer a combination of French, Chinese, and, of course, local Vietnamese cuisine…Some of the iconic places in Ho Chi Minh city such as Saigon River Cruise, Western Pham Ngu Lao Street, Ben Thanh market, Landmark 81 skyscraper, Can Gio beach …Ho Chi Minh is one of the best places to visit in Vietnam that you don’t want to miss.
Top 10 places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City
With a long history of development, Ho Chi Minh City today is very large and crowded with more than 10 million people. To help you not to be “overwhelmed” by the bustle of the city, I would like to mention the main areas as the top 10 places that you can visit in Ho Chi Minh city ( just my opinion as 12 years living in Saigon) :).
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
Established by French colonists who initially named it the Church of Saigon (French: l’Eglise de Saïgon). The cathedral was constructed between 1863 and 1880. The name Notre-Dame Cathedral has been used since 1959. It has two bell towers, reaching a height of 58 meters.
Notre-Dame Cathedral locates the central area of District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. The Church area clearly shows the “character” of Saigon city. Near the ancient church is the opposite image of the modern reinforced concrete buildings. From Notre Dame Cathedral, you can visit Independence Palace, shop at Diamond Plaza, walk around Dong Khoi Street, go to Con Rua Lake, drink coffee with coffee on Han Thuyen Street …
Nguyen Hue Walking Street
The street is named by a Vietnamese King (1753 – 1792) also known as emperor Quang Trung. This is a walking street in the center of District 1. On the two sides of the road there are many hotels and restaurants. Some places have existed for hundreds of years, bearing the classic European architecture.
Go straight on Nguyen Hue Walking Street, you will enter to Ton Duc Thang Street, along the Saigon River. Especially, every Lunar New Year, Nguyen Hue Street becomes extremely brilliant, where flowers gather to bloom to welcome spring. Flower Festival is often held in December from 28th
Bui Vien Street
The best nightlife places for travelers especially foreigners. Bui Vien street is located in the center District 1. This place well-known as of the mid-range to low-cost backpacker/touristy in this area. Essentially everything you need like ATMs, 24/7 convenience stores, Grab taxi, grab bikes, budget hotels, laundry services, etc. They are right here inadequate supply.
Bui Vien Street also looks like Ta Hien Beer Street in Ha Noi. Also it is a great place to get a beer (you should try local beer). You can try Saigon special beer at 20.000 VNĐ (0.8$).
Tips: Please always ask about the price of everything when you are here and keep your stuff safe. There are some crooks but Bui Vien Street is one of the best places when visiting in Ho Chi Minh.
Ben Thanh Market
Another best place for tourism, Ben Thanh Market is located in the heart of the city. Inside the market, there are the largest traditional items to make as gifts for family and friends. At night, around the market becomes more bustling with people, shops of clothes, vendor restaurants…
- Opening hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm daily
- Address: Phan Boi Chau – Phan Chu Trinh – Le Thanh Ton – Quach Thi Trang Square, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
Tips: If your hotel locates in district 1. I suggest you should take a walk instead of book a grab, then you can explore the city as well. Also, remember to check the price when shopping for anything here.
Vietnam China Town (Cho Lon) District 5
Here you can enjoy a very rich cuisine, there are meals with Chinese style. There are also dishes that have been slightly changed to serve Vietnamese people. Around the Chinatown, there are the largest wholesale and retail markets such as Binh Tay market, Kim Bien market, Soai Kinh Lam market …
Vietnam History Museum
The places that you can visit to learn more about Vietnam history. Vietnam History Museum was built in 1929, formerly known as the Blanchard de la Brosse Museum. Visiting here, you will admire, learn about tens of thousands of valuable artifacts. In addition, the museum also has over 25,000 books and precious documents for archeological and ethnological research…
- Opening hours: 8:00 am – 11:00 am; 13h30 – 16h30 pm (Tuesday – Sunday)
- Entrance ticket: 2,000 VNĐ / adult, 1,000 VNĐ / child (Vietnamese guests) and 0.8$ / person (foreign visitors)
- Address: No. 2, Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
Vietnam War Remnants Museum
Visitors here will feel the most honest about a fierce war period, to further appreciate what is in the present. The galleries & artifacts of the war in the French domination period as well as the war between North & South Vietnam 1954-1975.
Artifacts such as airplanes, cannons, tanks, guillotines, and two “tiger cages”. Compartments were built in the right size at Con Dao prison. There are also galleries on the Southwest Border War in 1979. The Spratly Islands issue, the conspiracy of hostile forces …
- Opening hours: 7h30 – 12h00 AM, 13h30 – 17h00 PM (Mon – Sun)
- Entrance ticket: 15,000 VNĐ/ time / person (foreign visitors) 2,000 VNĐ / person (Vietnamese visitors).
- Address: No. 28 Vo Van Tan Street, District 3.
Whatever the purpose of the war was, whoever victory or defeated, history always taught us a precious lesson. You can take a look at the traumatic and separation that war brought to Vietnamese. One of the best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh city.
Cu Chi Tunnels
This is absolutely a place you must visit in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It’s amazing if you can see your eyes. Cu Chi Tunnels are 70 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. This is the miniature of the battle of the army and people of Cu Chi during the fierce resistance war for 30 years.
Cu Chi Tunnels make the current generation admired by the work deep in the ground, with many floors, many nooks and crannies like spider webs, with accommodation, meeting, and fighting with a total length of over 200 km.
Cu Chi Tunnels have two points:
- Ben Duoc Tunnels: The base of the Party Committee & Military Zone of Saigon – Gia Dinh is preserved in Phu Hiep Hamlet, Phu My Hung Commune, Cu Chi district. The visitor must take 13 and 79 lines, take bus number 13 from Ben Thanh to Cu Chi bus station, then take bus 79 from Cu Chi bus station to Ben Duoc.
- Ben Dinh Tunnels: Cu Chi district Party Committee base is preserved in Ben Dinh Hamlet, Nhuan Duc Commune, Cu Chi district. Directions: Tourists take bus route No. 4 from Ben Thanh to An Suong bus station. From there you take route 122 from An Suong Bus Station to An Nhon Tay.
Please take notes:
- Total time to visit and move: Half-day
- Ticket price: 100,000 VND / foreigner, 20,000 VND / Vietnamese guest.. In the tunnel visitors will be eating cassava and drinking tea for free.
- Other transportation: If traveling by motorbike, you follow the bus route, if in doubt, you can ask for directions. Rent a taxi from the city center to the tunnel is about 600,000 – 700,000 VND / time. It is possible to rent a cheaper tour car by taxi.
Tips: May the transit could make you confuse and lost, so I suggest you should book a grab/taxi (30$)sports. A sport shoes is good for ease of movement in the tunnel.
Saigon River Trip
Saigon river has a length of 37km winding around Ho Chi Minh City. The best place to discover the very special features of Saigon with the wild and beauty of the river in the bustling urban area.
The services included: boat trips along the river to Nha Be, Can Gio, canoes to Lai Thieu, dinner on restaurant, depending on the quality of service. The cost of a trip along the Saigon River costs from 80,000 VND / person or more.
Address: Bach Dang Harbor on Ton Duc Thang Street (District 1, Ho Chi Minh City).