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Ho Chi Minh City

Beyond The Basics | 15 Extraordinary Things To Do In Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis in Vietnam. It is the country’s largest city and a significant economic and cultural hub. Saigon is a melting pot of cultures, with influences from its Vietnamese, Chinese, French, and Khmer heritage. Ho Chi Minh City is known for its delicious food, its lively nightlife, and its rich history.

Saigon has a rich cultural and historical significance. The city was founded in the 17th century and has been a center of trade and commerce for centuries. Saigon was also a major battlefield during the Vietnam War, and the city is home to several important war memorials and museums such as the War Remnants Museum.

The purpose of this article is to provide travelers with a list of activities and attractions to explore in Saigon. The article will cover a wide range of activities, from historical and cultural attractions to food and entertainment venues.

Ho Chi Minh City travel - Lonely Planet | Vietnam, Asia

Overview Of Saigon

Saigon was the capital of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. After the Vietnam War ended in 1975, Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in honor of the communist leader of North Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. The name change was controversial at the time, but it is now widely accepted.

Ho Chi Minh City is the most populous city in Vietnam, with a population of around 9 million people. It is also the largest city in Vietnam by area, covering over 2,000 square kilometers. Ho Chi Minh City is located in South Vietnam, near the Mekong Delta. The Saigon River flows through Ho Chi Minh City.

Economic And Cultural Significance

Ho Chi Minh City is the economic and cultural hub of Vietnam. It is home to the country’s largest stock exchange and is a major center for trade and investment.

Ho Chi Minh City is also a major tourist destination, with attractions such as the War Remnants Museum, the Independence Palace, Nguyen Hue walking street, and the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Ho Chi Minh City travel - Lonely Planet | Vietnam, Asia

Diverse Population

Ho Chi Minh City is a diverse city with people from all over Vietnam and the world. The city’s population includes Kinh people, Viet Hoa (Vietnamese Chinese), Khmer Krom (Cambodian Vietnamese), Chams, and other ethnic groups. This diversity is reflected in the city’s culture and cuisine. Ho Chi Minh City is known for its delicious food, which includes influences from Vietnamese, Chinese, French, and Khmer cuisine.

This diversity has had a major impact on the city’s culture and cuisine. For example, Ho Chi Minh City’s local street food scene is known for its wide variety of dishes, from Vietnamese pho and banh mi to Chinese dumplings.

Ho Chi Minh City population - VnExpress International

Top Things To Do In Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with something to offer everyone. Whether you are interested in history, culture, food, or nightlife, you are sure to find something to your liking in Ho Chi Minh City.

1. Visit The War Remnants Museum – Learn About Vietnam’s History During The Vietnam War.

The War Remnants Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, and for good reason. The museum provides a comprehensive and unflinching look at the Vietnam War, from its roots in French colonialism to its bloody end in 1975.

The War Remnants Museum exhibits include photographs, documents, and artifacts from the war. Some of the exhibits are particularly graphic and disturbing, but they offer a powerful reminder of the human cost of the war.

A Visit to the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City

2. Explore The Reunification Palace – Once The seat Of The South Vietnamese Government.

The Reunification Palace, also known as the Independence Palace, is one of the most iconic landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City. The palace was built in the 1960s and served as the seat of the South Vietnamese government until the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

The Reunification Palace is a beautiful example of modern architecture. The palace is surrounded by gardens and has a large central courtyard. The palace interior is decorated with marble floors, crystal chandeliers, and Vietnamese art.

Visitors to the Reunification Palace can tour the staterooms, the presidential office, and the war bunker. The palace also has a museum that tells the story of the Vietnam War and the reunification of Vietnam.

Reunification Palace

3. Take In The Beautiful Architecture At The Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica Of Saigon And The Central Post Office.

The Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon is a stunning example of neo-Romanesque architecture.in Ho Chi Minh City. The cathedral was built in the late 19th century by the French and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City. The Notre Dame Cathedral is known for its red brick facade, its twin bell towers, and its beautiful stained-glass windows. Visitors to the cathedral can tour the interior, which features a high altar, a nave, and two transepts.

The Saigon Central Post Office is another beautiful example of French colonial architecture in Ho Chi Minh City. The post office was built in the early 20th century and is one of the largest post offices in Southeast Asia. The central post office is known for its high ceilings, its marble floors, and its wrought-iron staircase. Visitors to the post office can see the original post office boxes and can even send a postcard from Ho Chi Minh City’s central post office.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City Attractions - Vietnam

4. Sample Delicious Street Food At Ben Thanh Market.

Ben Thanh Market is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, around one kilometer from Nguyen Hue Walking Street. The market is known for its wide variety of stalls selling everything from clothes and souvenirs to food and drinks. Ben Thanh Market is a great place to sample delicious Vietnamese street food. Some of the most popular street food dishes at Ben Thanh Market include:

  • Banh xeo: a Vietnamese pancake made with rice flour, water, and turmeric powder. Banh xeo is filled with shrimp, pork, and vegetables and is served with a sweet and sour dipping sauce.
  • Com tam: Com tam is a broken rice dish with grilled pork, pork liver, and a fried egg. Com tam is a popular dish for both locals and tourists alike in Ho Chi Minh City.
Món Ngon Chợ Bến Thành Khiến Khách Nước Ngoài Khen Ngợi

5. Savor A Bowl Of Authentic Pho At A Local Noodle Shop.

Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth, linguine-shaped rice noodles called bánh phở, a few herbs, and meat. It is a popular street food in Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam.

You can easily find a local Pho shop in Ho Chi Minh City to try this typical Vietnamese dish during your street food tour.

Những quán phở ngon ở Sài Gòn mà bạn nhất định phải ghé thử - 1 phút Sài Gòn

6. Try Banh Mi – A Vietnamese sandwich, From One Of The Many Street Vendors.

Banh mi is a delicious and affordable Vietnamese sandwich that is perfect for a quick and satisfying meal. Be sure to try a banh mi when you visit Ho Chi Minh City and have a street food tour.

When ordering banh mi, be sure to specify the type of meat that you want. The most popular meats are grilled pork, roasted pork, and meatballs. You can also add vegetables, cheese, and eggs to your banh mi. Here are some of the best places to try banh mi in Saigon:

  • Bánh mì Huỳnh Hoa is one of the most popular banh mi shops in Saigon. It is known for its fresh ingredients and its wide variety of banh mi dishes.
  • Bánh mì Bảy Hổ is another popular banh mi shop in Saigon. It is known for its generous portions and its delicious banh mi dishes.
10 thương hiệu bánh mì lâu đời nhất Sài Gòn: Như Lan, Bảy Hổ rồi bánh mì  nào nữa?

7. Explore The Bustling Ben Thanh Market For Souvenirs, Clothing, And Fresh Produce.

Ben Thanh Market is one of the most popular Ho Chi Minh City’s tourist attractions in, and for good reason. The market is a bustling hub of activity, where you can find everything from souvenirs and clothing to fresh produce and street food.

The market is a great place to buy souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh City for your friends and family back home. You can find everything from traditional Vietnamese handicrafts to knock-off designer goods. Some of the most popular souvenirs and clothing include:

  • Ao dai: Ao dai is the traditional Vietnamese dress for women. It is a long, flowing dress that is typically made of silk. Ao dai are available in a variety of colors and patterns, and they make a beautiful and unique souvenir.
  • Conical hats: Conical hats, also known as non la, are traditional Vietnamese hats made of bamboo and palm leaves. Conical hats are worn to protect people from the sun and rain, and they make a great souvenir from Ho Chi Minh City.

Ben Thanh Market is also a great place to buy fresh produce. Some of the most popular fresh produce items at this market in Ho Chi Minh City include:

  • Fruits: Vietnam is known for its delicious fruits, and you can find a wide variety of fruits there, including mangoes, papayas, dragon fruit, and rambutan.
  • Vegetables: Ben Thanh Market also has a wide variety of vegetables available. You can find everything from leafy greens to root vegetables to herbs.
Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City | What to Buy, Food, Opening Hours

8. Visit Binh Tay Market In Chinatown For An Authentic Market Experience.

Binh Tay Market is a large wholesale market in Chinatown (Cho Lon), Ho Chi Minh City. It is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, and it offers a wide variety of goods, including fresh produce, dried seafood, spices, clothing, and souvenirs.

Binh Tay Market is a great place to experience an authentic Ho Chi Minh City’s market atmosphere. The market is bustling with activity, and the vendors are friendly and welcoming. You can find everything you need at Binh Tay Market, and the prices are very reasonable. Here are some of the things you can see and do at Binh Tay Market:

  • Shop for fresh produce: Binh Tay Market is a great place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. The market has a wide variety of produce available, including tropical fruits that are difficult to find elsewhere.
  • Try dried seafood: Binh Tay Market is known for its dried seafood. The market has a wide variety of dried seafood available, including shrimp, squid, and fish.
  • Buy spices: Binh Tay Market is also a great place to buy spices. The market has a wide variety of spices available, including black pepper, cinnamon, and turmeric.
Ngôi chợ gần 100 tuổi ở TP HCM chính thức mở cửa trở lại - Báo Người lao  động

9. Stroll Along Bui Vien Street For A Taste Of Saigon’s Nightlife.

Bui Vien walking street, also known as Pham Ngu Lao Street, is a famous backpacker street in Saigon. It is located in District 1, near the Nguyen Hue walking street. Bui Vien walking street is known for its lively nightlife, with many bars, clubs, and restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City.

The nightlife on the walking street is electric, with something to offer everyone. There are bars playing all kinds of music, from rock to pop to electronic. There are also clubs where you can dance the night away. And if you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, there are plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy a meal and a drink.

Bui Vien Street: Nightlife Heaven for the Youth & Backpackers in Saigon

10. Enjoy Live Music And Rooftop Bars With Panoramic Views Of The City.

Here are some rooftop bars with live music and panoramic views of Ho Chi Minh City:

  • Chill Skybar: Chill Skybar is a glamorous rooftop bar with 360-degree views of the cityscape. It features live music every night, making it the perfect place to enjoy a drink and take in the sights.
  • Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar: Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar is located on the ninth floor of the Caravelle Saigon Hotel. It offers stunning views of the city skyline and features live music on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
  • Rooftop GRAND Lounge: Rooftop GRAND Lounge is located on the 8th floor of the Hotel Grand Saigon. It offers stunning views of the city skyline and features live music on weekends.

These are just a few of the many rooftop bars in Saigon with live music and panoramic views of the city. Be sure to check out one of these bars when you’re in town for a truly unforgettable experience.

Best Rooftop Bars in Ho Chi Minh City | Top Rooftop Bars in Saigon

11. Visit The Saigon Opera House For A Dose Of Culture And The Arts.

The Saigon Opera House, also known as the Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Theater, is a magnificent opera house located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was built in the late 19th century by the French colonial government, and it is one of the most iconic landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Opera House is home to a variety of cultural events, including opera, ballet, and concerts. It is also a popular tourist destination, and visitors can take tours and learn about its history and architecture.

Nhà hát Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh – Wikipedia tiếng Việt

12. Relax And People-Watch In Tao Dan Park.

Tao Dan Park is a beautiful park in the city center of Ho Chi Minh City. It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to relax, people-watch, and enjoy the fresh air.

The park is home to a variety of plants and trees, including towering flame trees, shady banyan trees, and fragrant frangipani trees. There are also several lakes and ponds in the park, where you can see ducks, geese, and turtles swimming.

Tao Dan Park is a great place to people-watch. You can see people of all ages and from all walks of life enjoying the park. There are families with children playing, couples strolling hand-in-hand, and groups of friends chatting and laughing.

Tao Dan Park: A tranquil oasis amidst Ho Chi Minh City

13. Discover The Saigon Botanic Gardens And Its Serene Atmosphere.

The Saigon Botanic Gardens, also known as the Tao Dan Park Botanical Garden, is a beautiful and serene oasis in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. The gardens are home to a wide variety of plants and flowers, as well as several lakes and ponds.

The Saigon Botanic Gardens were established in 1864 by the French colonial government. The gardens were originally intended to be a place where French colonists could relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Vietnam. However, the gardens were soon opened to the public, and they quickly became a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike.

Ảnh Thảo cầm viên Sài Gòn: Xem hình ảnh Thảo cầm viên Sài Gòn

14. Explore The Cu Chi Tunnels To Understand The Region’s Wartime History.

The Cu Chi Tunnels are an extensive network of underground tunnels that were used by locals and resistance forces during the Vietnam War. The tunnels are located about 70 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, and they were used to hide from American troops, transport supplies, and launch attacks.

The Cu Chi Tunnels are a popular tourist destination, and they offer visitors a glimpse into the life of a Viet Cong soldier during the Vietnam War. Visitors to the tunnels can explore a variety of tunnels, including a command center, a hospital, and a kitchen. They can also see traps and weapons that were used during the war.

Cu Chi Tunnels Saigon: A ULTIMATE travel guide for the day

15. Admire The Beauty Of The Saigon River At Night On A Dinner Cruise.

A Saigon River dinner cruise is a great way to experience the beauty of the city at night. As you cruise along the river, you will see the city skyline lit up in all its glory, as well as some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, such as the Bitexco Financial Tower and the Saigon Opera House.

A Saigon River dinner cruise is a great way to experience the beauty of Ho Chi Minh City at night. As you cruise along the river, you will see the city skyline lit up in all its glory, as well as some of the city’s most iconic places, such as the Bitexco Financial Tower and Landmark 81.

Reviews: Top 3 Saigon Dinner Cruises - Mylittleplan.com

Travel Tips

Next, we are going to discuss the best time to visit Saigon in terms of weather, provide some information on local transportation options, and offer safety tips and cultural etiquette for a pleasant experience.

Best Time To Visit Saigon In Terms Of Weather

The best time to visit Saigon is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During this time, the weather is mild and sunny. The humidity is also relatively low during the dry season, making it a more comfortable time to explore the city.

The rainy season in Saigon runs from May to October. During this time, the weather can be hot and humid, with frequent thunderstorms. However, there are still plenty of things to do in Saigon during the rainy season, and the city can be less crowded than during the dry season.

Ho Chi Minh City guide: What to do on a weekend break in Saigon | The  Independent | The Independent

Local Transportation Options

There are a variety of local transportation options available in Saigon, including taxis, public buses, and motorbikes.

  • Taxis: Taxis are a convenient and affordable way to get around Saigon. There are several taxi companies operating in Ho Chi Minh City, and taxis can be found easily on the streets. Be sure to agree on a price with the driver before getting in the taxi.
  • Public buses: Saigon has an extensive public bus network that connects all parts of Ho Chi Minh City. Public buses are a very affordable way to get around, but they can be crowded and slow during rush hour.
  • Motorbikes: Motorbikes are the most popular form of transportation in Saigon. Motorbike taxis can be found easily on the streets, and they are a very fast and efficient way to get around. However, motorbike taxis can be dangerous, especially for first-time visitors.
Discover the travel tips for Ho Chi Minh City | SaigonWalks

Safety Tips And Cultural Etiquette

Saigon is generally a safe city for visitors, but there are a few things you can do to stay safe:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking alone at night in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Keep your valuables close to your person and don’t leave them unattended.
  • Be careful when crossing the street, as traffic can be chaotic.
  • Be respectful of Vietnamese culture and customs.
  • Dress modestly, especially when visiting temples or religious sites.
  • Be polite and respectful to elders.
Ho Chi Minh City Tours - Best Tours in Ho Chi Minh City of 2023 - Withlocals

Are You Ready To Explore A Vibrant City With Something For Everyone?

Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City, a dynamic city with a rich history and culture, is a vibrant destination for travelers from all walks of life. With its diverse attractions, ranging from modern marvels to ancient temples, Saigon offers something for everyone.

With its friendly locals, delicious food, and vibrant culture, Saigon is a city that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Visitors are encouraged to explore all that this dynamic city has to offer, from its historical landmarks to its modern attractions. By embracing the local culture, travelers can experience the true essence of Saigon.

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