Saigon, nowadays named Ho Chi Minh City(HCMC), is the most popular and prosperous city among Vietnam. Every year, Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City attracts more than 6 million visitors to explore its beauty. Actually, because of French colonial history, Saigon is tinged with both Oriental and European culture. That means you may savor a bowl of hot Vietnamese rice noodle, with icy coffee aside. What a cultural experience, right?
Ho Chi Minh City is always worth exploring and making some new friends here. Interested? Why not spend 5 minutes here to discover where to have fun in Ho Chi Minh City. Let’s check them out right now.
Spot 1: Chợ Bến Thành
“Chợ”means market in Vietnamese, and in Saigon, Chợ Bến Thành is the most famous local market that provides tourists with a wide range of merchandise; souvenirs, local snacks, coffee, handmade crafts, all you name it can be easily found.
Well cited a saying, “If you want to eat local, buy local, just visit a local market.” And in Ho Chi Minh City, Chợ Bến Thành gives you the chance to experience Vietnam’s local life. If you are into dressing Vietnam’s traditional clothing–áo dài, there are certainly lots of options for you to try on.
Moreover, Chợ Bến Thành is situated in the commercial area of Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City, with super convenient transportation nearby; that means if you visit here first, going to other spots in Saigon is not a big deal.
Spot 2: Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon
Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon is a must-see attraction in Ho Chi Minh City that almost every guidebook focusing on Vietnam will recommend. This cathedral features pink brick made architecture of French style. Its history can be traced back to 1863, which was designed and constructed by France for colonists’ religious purpose.
Nowadays, it seems more like a popular instagram spot for tourists to hashtag in Saigon. What’s more, the location is so convenient to reach, and several travel attractions of Saigon, such as Saigon Central Post Office, Đồng khởi Street, and Nguyễn Huệ Street, are also situated nearby. No more time-wasting and exhausting traffic for extremely far places away from Saigon. Take a cozy breakfast with fresh Vietnamese coffee, and you can still check out some of the most favorite destinations at ease.
For more exciting tourist spots check out the Top 9 Instagram Photo Spots in Vietnam by Instasize.
Spot 3: Saigon Central Post Office
After visiting Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, you really shouldn’t neglect this post office. It’s also a photogenic spot of Ho Chi Minh City. Actually, Saigon Central Post Office is just next to the church. It only takes you less than 1 minute to visit.
The history of this ancient architecture can date back to French colonial era of Vietnam. It was constructed between 1886~1891 by French architect and team. So far, Saigon Central Post Office is still a typical icon representing Vietnam’s history and a popular spot for foreign visitors coming to Ho Chi Minh City.
Upon walking inside the building, you’ll be distracted from the gorgeous interior design: looping roof, pattern marble floors, and vintage red telephone boxes are all eye-grabbing and memorable. However, before you leave, always remember to pick up a postcard Saigon Central Post Office and send it out to your loved one to see how’s Saigon going.
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Spot 4: Lê Lợi Street
Hey friends, if you are book enthusiasts, don’t miss out Lê Lợi Street. It’s located at the center of Ho Chi Minh City, just close to the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon and Saigon Central Post Office. Although the street is not quite long to include hundreds of book booths, for most of the Vietnamese born in Saigon, it’s still the area full of scent of knowledge and coffee.
What’s more, not only newly-published books are sold here, valuable second-hand ones can be found as well, Along this street, you can buy some neat postcards and souvenirs of Saigon. So, why not just write a postcard and send it at the adjacent Saigon Central Office. It’ll bring your memory of book and coffee in Saigon home in the near future.
Spot 5: Đồng khởi Street
In Vietnam, you’ll be amazed at the diversity of its culture, and if you’d like to explore this trait in Ho Chi Minh City, just visit Đồng khởi Street. In fact, this tourist attraction is so extraordinary that it’s hard to ignore.
You can simply appreciate the display of both historic and modern architecture in the same street. Along the street, luxury brands, local handicrafts, and art galleries are harmoniously located side by side, forming a picture of inclusive Saigon’s culture.
When taking a walk in Đồng khởi Street, you may feel more comfortable than the other places in Ho Chi Minh City, because parts of the area here are covered with firmianas. Perhaps you might have an illusion that you’re in Les Champs-Élysées, but…wake up, you’re in Saigon.
Once visiting Đồng khởi Street, just forget the hustle and bustle of your city. Take Đồng khởi Street as a relaxing retreat and lovely place to keep in mind.
Spot 6: War Remnants Museum
As generally known, the Vietnam War deeply struck Vietnamese in all aspects of their lives, and caused countless casualties. It’s a truly heart-wrenching reminder and a significant lesson for everyone to learn.
So, if you’re free, why not learn from history in War Remnants Museum. This museum lies in the heart of District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, and exhibits meaningful and profound curation collected from many sources regarding war, such as photos and documents.
Outside the building, Tiger Cage, the limit space that cramped political prisoners, might horrify everyone again. Also, maybe you’ll be evenly astonished at American Huey helicopter, M48 Patton tank, and more military equipment even parked in front of the entrance. Sad as the fact remains, it reminds people of the importance of peace, and thus, we shall work together to stop history from repeating itself.
Spot 7: Museum of Ho Chi Minh City
This museum is also an ancient building that was built between 1885~1890, and was designed by a French architect, Alfred Foulhoux. It lies in the commercial center of Ho Chi Minh City, and aims to exhibit stories of Saigon for all visitors. Through the perspectives and curation of archaeology, geography, and culture, etc., Museum of Ho Chi Minh City truly shows many details connected to historical revolution of Saigon.
You can see some historic things, such as old currency, household devices, clothing, housing, and so on. If you’re interested in Saigon’s history, Museum of Ho Chi Minh City is rich in treasures for you to cherish.
Spot 8: Phạm Ngũ Lão Street
Every year tons of backpackers flock to Ho Chi Minh City, and for the budget-conscious visitors, living in Phạm Ngũ Lão Street is obviously the top choice on their accommodation lists. In addition to lodging expense, this area is well-known for its booming nightlife of Saigon.
It’s just like the Khaosan Road of Bangkok; a great variety of characteristic bars, clubs, spas, and foods are all available. So, when stepping here, you’ll notice so many youngsters that tend to travel in and around Ho Chi Minh City are gathering here. Thanks to this reason, a lot of travel agencies can be reached in Phạm Ngũ Lão Street as well.
If you’d like to visit another city close to Saigon from here, you can definitely get a bargain ticket.
Spot 9: Independence Palace
Independence Palace, also called Reunification Palace, is a 3-story architecture located in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. It was constructed and named Norodom Palace during the French Colonial Era of Saigon. After then, it served as the base of Vietnamese General, Ngo Dinh Diem, until his death in 1963.
Independence Palace was the home and office for presidents and governors of Vietnamese history. And this building has related to so many important moments in Vietnamese history, including the end of Vietnam War. That’s why Independence Palace has still occupied a crucial place in all Vietnamese’s heart.
Today, we can take a glance at this memorable place and imagine how former presidents lived and worked in this palace during their reign over Saigon.
Spot 10: Bitexco Financial Tower & Skydeck
When it comes to the landmark of Ho Chi Minh City, Bitexco Financial Tower surely takes this place. This tower stands 262 meters high, and becomes not only the hub for many foreign corporations, but also an entertainment center for both locals and expatriates in Ho Chi Minh City.
A great deal of popular brands worldwide, from fashion, household products, to 3C devices, can be seen here. Besides shopping at a mall and savoring cuisine at a fine restaurant, don’t forget to take a shot at a laid-back skybar, feasting on spectacular panoramic view of Saigon at night.
Sparkling stars, billboards, and boats on the Mekong River are completely captured in sight. At this moment, everything seems romantic, especially when you’re surrounded by lots of sweet couples. Enjoy your night in high Saigon.
WOW! So many places to visit in Saigon, right? Believe us. Saigon will never let you down. So, don’t hesitate to buy a ticket and spend a wonderful vacation there right away.