Top attractions of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
We have picked for you the most interesting sights of Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in the southern part of Vietnam, where you can find lots of ways to have fun. Some people prefer going to museums, others – to the zoo or water park, and some like to wander at a market. There is an option for everyone in our review!
Reunification Palace is at the walking distance from he main tourist street of Pham Ngu Lao. It takes from 20 to 30 minutes to get there. Reunification Palace, also known as Independence Palace is a symbol of the end of the Vietnam War. A tank of the North Vietnamese army approached this building in 1975, heralding the fall of the Saigon regime.
The tallest building in the city is now open to the public. You can get to the viewing platform of the tower, located on the 49th floor. It offers panoramic views of the city and the Saigon river. Bitexco Financial Tower was built in 2010. This 68-storey building is 262.5 meters hight. There are many offices of well-known companies, as well as a restaurant with a magnificent view.
The War Remnants Museum initially called the Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes, and later – Exhibition House for Crimes of War and Aggression. Its also called the War Museum sometimes.
This Museum is located close to Independence Palace. The Museum’s exhibits encourage visitors to think about the horrors of war. Photographic evidence of war violence, recreated setting of the cells and torture chambers, all this is not a sight for the faint of heart. But those who have visited this Museum begin to appreciate their peaceful life more. The Museum is really impressive.
The Museum presents a collection of items, one way or another related to the life of the Vietnamese leader. Although Ho Chi Minh has never lived or worked in this building, the exhibition is of great interest to anyone who wants to learn more about Vietnamese history.
The history of the museum dates back almost a hundred years. It was opened in 1929 and is considered one of the most famous museums in the country. The Museum of Vietnamese History displays archaeological exhibits: pottery, figurines, religious objects and everyday things used in different eras by the people of Vietnam.
Walking around the historic center of Ho Chi Minh City, you can’t miss this Cathedral, built in the French colonial Neo-Romanesque style. Construction materials for the Cathedral were brought from the French city of Marseille, and the mechanism of the clock installed on the facade of the building was made in Switzerland. In front of the Cathedral, there is a square with a marble statue of Virgin Mary.
Tourists from all over the world come here to buy some Vietnamese souvenirs. In the evening, many commercial pavilions open outside the market building and the trade moves there. Here you can buy traditional souvenirs, as well as clothes, shoes, tea, coffee, dried fruits and much more. Ben Thanh Street Food Market, where you can get something to eat for at reasonable prices, is also located nearby. In addition to Vietnamese dishes, the food market also offers Indian, American and other cuisines of the world, delicious smoothies and craft beer.
This pagoda with a beautiful name was built in the early XX century in honor of the supreme sky god. Daylight enters the temple through the roof covered with Chinese tiles. Thin rays of light getting inside and the smell of incense make the atmosphere of the temple mysterious. The center of attraction here is the majestic statue of the Emperor, as well as the pond with turtles, usually surrounded by curious children.
In addition to small animals, the Ho Chi Minh Zoo also hosts Asian black bears, different types of monkeys, including large orangutans, as well as crocodiles, snakes, tigers, lions, elephants and rhinos. Visitors spend a lot of time watching giraffes and deer. The zoo has very good conditions for the animals: non-dangerous ones live in special areas, and predators and reptiles stay behind glass walls.
And although there is no sea in Ho Chi Minh City, you still can enjoy hot days in this city! Both children and adults will like having fun in this park with lots of water slides. Dam Sen Water Park also offers a waterfall, a pool with artificial waves, a huge pool with small slides for kids and extreme rides for the most daring.
The main tourist street of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is called Bui Vien. Life is in full swing here in the evening and at night. People from all over the world gather to drink a little (or a lot) of Vietnamese beer and relax after visiting the sights. Restaurants and bars put tables and chairs on the sidewalks, barkers attract visitors to massage parlors, and sellers — to the shops selling t-shirts decorated with a map of Vietnam or Vietnamese star.
Pham Ngu Lao, another street popular among the travelers, is parallel to Bui Vien street. Many budget hotels, travel agencies and bus companies, where you can buy tickets to almost any part of the country are located here.
A distinctive feature of this Park is that it is not only entertaining, but also religious. The Park covers an area of more than 50 hectares, it keeps constantly expanding and being completed. It has a water park, rides, crocodile farm, 4D cinema, ATVs, fear room based on “Harry Potter”, dolphinarium, winter palace with artificial snow and a theme park with active pagodas and religious Buddhist statues. You can buy a 100,000 VND ticket for to the Park and pay for only the most interesting activities and areas, or buy a more expensive combo ticket.
The Main Post Office of Saigon is a striking example of French colonial architecture. It’s not only a cultural monument, but also still performs its main function. It is a working post office, where you can send postcards to family and friends. However, the most interesting, of course, are the architectural features of the building: arched windows, stucco, multi-colored tiles on the floor, green blinds and patterned lattices at the entrance.
The Museum is one of the brightest works of the colonial architecture of Saigon. The Museum building was initially built for exhibitions of colonial trade. Then the governor of Cochinchina saw the house and liked it, making it his residence. The Museum received the building after the liberation and reunification of the country (find out more about the history of Vietnam from our articles).
The exposition of the Museum is dedicated to the history, culture and nature of the city. The exhibits include jewelry, porcelain, old bills, antique household items. Much attention is paid to the period of the Vietnam War. Military equipment (planes, tanks) and old models of cars are installed in the yard of the Museum.
The monument is located on a large, well-groomed square. This is the front part of the city and the magnificent blooming flower beds are always pleasing to the eye. At the dark beautiful lighting of the square gets activated. Travelers from different countries of the world gather at the monument. In the evenings on weekends there are celebrations and performances. Near the square, there are famous boutiques and hotels.
City Council Building with a red tiled roof, decorated with arches, columns, moldings and carvings is itself very interesting.
Thich Quang Duc was a monk who committed an act of self-immolation in 1963 protesting against the persecution of Buddhists. The self-sacrifice was made at a busy crossroads and the photos were published in many foreign media, so that the problem became known to the whole world community. People keep bringing offerings to the monument, representing the monk surrounded by flames. Vietnamese honor the act of Thit Quang Duc, who gave his life for freedom of religion in his country.
Tran Hung Dao is the author of theoretical works on military affairs and Viet commander, who organized the successful defense of the country during the invasion of the Mongols in Dai Viet in 1287-1288. The statue is set on a high pedestal and is located in a beautiful place near the skyscrapers. On the other side of the road, there is a port, where you can get a ride on sightseeing boat.