Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Ho Chi Minh City.
Saigon has no shortage of places of worship; some of these temples, pagodas, and churches are among the oldest sites in the city while others are worth a stop for a quick shot of local culture. If you have time to spare, when you’re not running off to Cu Chi or the Mekong, here are some of the city’s must-see places of ... Read more about Saigon's must-see places of worship .
Saigon is a city filled with places of worship, and while many of these spots are nothing particularly special in terms of architectural or historical significance, the Jade Emperor Pagoda, built in 1909 by the Cantonese, is an ... Read more about Jade Emperor Pagoda .
Many of Ho Chi Minh City's older and more atmospheric pagodas can be found in Cholon and one of the best places to start your pagoda hopping is with one of the city's most popular, Thien Hau ... Read more about Thien Hau Pagoda .
If you're weary of small pagodas which are being chocked out by surrounding buildings, and don't mind a bit of a trip from downtown, Saigon’s oldest place of worship, Giac Lam pagoda, may ... Read more about Giac Lam Pagoda .
If you could use some adventure in your pagoda life, it might be time for a visit to a pagoda where something is going on: Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City's District ... Read more about Vinh Nghiem Pagoda .
Situated on the corner of the busy intersection of Dinh Tien Hoang and Phan Dang Luu in Binh Thanh district, the Tomb of Le Van Duyet is an oasis away from the outside noise. ... Read more about Tomb of Le Van Duyet .
HCMC has a fair share of museums giving the city’s, and the Vietnamese government’s, side of its historical story. Here are a handful of museums you’ll find around town which are worth a ... Read more about Saigon for museum-goers .
The Reunification Palaceis one of the holy triumvirate of attractions in Ho Chi Minh City’s downtown District 1. Just like the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Post Office, it sits as a time capsule of the city’s turbulent ... Read more about Reunification Palace .
Just few blocks from the entrance to the Reunification Palace, Saigon’s War Remnants Museum offers a narrative of the war from the North Vietnamese ... Read more about War Remnants Museum .
Just on the other side of the Troung Tran Nguyen Han roundabout from Ben Thanh market, behind the bus centre down Pho Duc Chinh, the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum sits in a flamboyantly yellow colonial ... Read more about Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum .
While some of Saigon’s more popular museums can draw big crowds, a few museums around town that are worth at least a quick stop seem to fall to the wayside. The Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, housed in a fine example of French colonial building prowess, is one such oft-overlooked ... Read more about Museum of Ho Chi Minh City .
Ho Chi Minh, affectionately referred to as Uncle Ho, spent his life fighting for Vietnamese independence and, for this, he is still the country’s most celebrated ... Read more about Ho Chi Minh Museum .
Established in 1864, making it one of the oldest zoos in world, the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden is one of the best and largest recreational areas in Saigon. Known as Thao Cam Vien locally, it is home to more than 500 animals of more than 100 species and more than 1,800 trees and plants of more than 250 species. This creates a great setting for an afternoon stroll, however there are some areas ... Read more about Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden .
To outsiders, Saigon is a sprawling, concrete metropolis, but the city does have its share of green spaces scattered about that are very popular with locals. If you happen to be in the mood for a shaded sit, or a quiet stroll, here are a few parks to enjoy free of charge in Ho Chi Minh ... Read more about Parks in Saigon .
Nestled inside a traffic roundabout at Pham Ngoc Thach and Vo Van Tan, distinctive Ho Con Rua or Turtle Lake is a popular destination for young Saigonese looking to escape the heat and grab some tasty street snacks. While the location is serene enough, the history behind the area is filled with ... Read more about Turtle Lake or Ho Con Rua .
As soon as you hit the ground in Saigon you can’t help but notice the large building that anchors the city’s skyline. Bitexco Financial Tower stands at 68 storeys, or 262 metres high, and was designed to look like a lotus flower sprouting out of the city and in an abstract way it kind of ... Read more about Saigon Sky Deck Observatory .
Ben Thanh Market is one of Saigon’s icons and forms the heart of downtown District 1, bustling with activity from early morning until late at ... Read more about Ben Thanh Market .
If you’re going to visit Ho Chi Minh City your visit will not be complete without visiting a local market and Binh Tay is the largest traditional market in the ... Read more about Binh Tay Market .
Most travellers visiting Saigon stick only to themain points of interest in the city’s downtown District 1, but just a short taxi ride outside of District 1 lays one of HCMC’s most interesting areas: Cholon, or Chinatown. If you’re in Saigon, and have the time to spare, spending a day in Cholon is ... Read more about Things to do in Cholon .
While Vietnam is a predominantly Buddhist country, Ho Chi Minh City happens to be home to a large Catholic community and where better to find them than at the spectacular Notre Dame ... Read more about Notre Dame Cathedral .
This pastel-yellow and white, slender church is worth combining with a trip to Cholon as it had a small but important role to play in Vietnam's wartime history. Following a coup on November 1, 1963, President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother fled their palace through a tunnel network and eventually sought safety here. They spent the night hidden within the church's grounds, but after efforts ... Read more about Cha Tam Church .
Cho Quan Church, located off a busy intersection in Saigon's Cholon district, is one of the oldest and largest churches in Ho Chi Minh City. While the existing church, built by one Father Nicolas Ham who is now buried under the foundation, is more than a century old, it was built on the site of two earlier churches destroyed in wars—with the original being constructed in 1720. The ... Read more about Cho Quan Church .
Serving Cholon's Muslim community, the Cholon Mosque is a small place of worship built by Muslims from South India in 1932. With its blue gates, pastel details and white walls the mosque stands in quiet contrast to the surrounding busy area. A pool in the courtyard is used for ablutions, and prayers are held several times a day. While Ho Chi Minh City once had a vibrant Muslim community, ... Read more about Cholon Mosque .
Located in the heart of the city, the blue and white Saigon Central Mosque is a quiet oasis is the busy business district of Saigon. Constructed in the 1930s by South Indian Muslims, the mosque is one of around a dozen that serve the city's Muslims and it stands on the site of an earlier mosque. Home to four minarets, tall spires typical of Indo-Islamic mosques, they're not used for the call ... Read more about Saigon Central Mosque .
Saigon offers plenty of great reasons to visit: every corner you turn on the street can lead you to great food, there are some cool pagodas and theme parks, and it’s a great spot to start a new adventure into other parts of the country. Decent shopping can also be done in my city — here’s a round up of the key spots for a spot of mainstream market shopping for things like clothes, watches, ... Read more about Shopping in Saigon .
Finding shoes that fit a Westerners feet in Saigon can be a tough proposition. We’ve covered shopping for shoes in Vietnams’ commercial capital, mentioning some spots where you can find bigger shoes, but the town also has cobblers who can make you a shiny new pair of tailor-made ... Read more about Custom made shoes in Saigon .
Shoes are among the most difficult thing I have managed to find during the fair amount of shopping I have done during my time in HCMC — those of us from the Western world have big feet, much bigger than your average local’s. If you’re on the lookout for a pair of shoes in Saigon, here are a few places you can ... Read more about Shopping for shoes in Saigon .
Saigon is a city where you can shop till you drop; plenty of markets, stores and boutiques are eager to help you part with your cash. Many of these places however have become a little too focused on tourists and visiting them may give you little in the way of a cultural experience. Add that to the fact that many places basically sell the same copies of popular Western brands and things can get ... Read more about Saigon Flea Market .
Sometimes the noise and grind from the constant busyness of Saigon can get you in a funk. Even if you’re only in the city for a few days, a quick break can help you keep your sanity. For a break from the city, I like to take a trip out to District 7’s Phu My Hung area to hang out at the Crescent, a pedestrian-friendly complex of apartments, restaurants, and shopping built along the bend of a ... Read more about Saigon's The Crescent .
When I travel I pack light. This helps me breeze through airports and carry fewer pieces of luggage up the stairs in my elevator-less hostel. But packing light has its drawbacks, and sometimes I don’t have room for all the outfits I may need, say for a fun night out or a fancy dinner. That’s why I love living in Saigon, because a seemingly endless number of tailor shops are eager to help meet ... Read more about Saigon tailors .
Shopping and bargaining in markets is one of my favourite pastimes in Saigon. Here are my pointers for hunting down good deals and to make sure you don’t offend ... Read more about Saigon market shopping etiquette .
When you think of shopping in Ho Chi Minh City, heading to places like Ben Thanh Market and Vincom might first spring to mind. However, a few flea markets now give up and coming designers their chance to shine and are worth a browse for those looking to unearth something a bit ... Read more about Weekend markets .
Southern Vietnam’s coastal city of Vung Tau makes for an interesting, easy and cheap daytrip from Saigon — go by hydrofoil, see the sights, have a splash at the beach and enjoy the food. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do ... Read more about Vung Tau day trip .
A quick walk through Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao will lead you past several locations selling tours. While most feature longer tours to popular areas around the city, like tours of the Mekong Delta and the Cu Chi Tunnels, most also sell a generic five-hour day-tour of Ho Chi Minh City. If you find yourself considering one of these tours here’s what you can ... Read more about Saigon Day Tour .
If you find yourself shopping in Saigon, a walk through any market or mall will inevitably lead you, sooner or later, past a souvenir stand selling lacquer art. Lacquer can be very impressive to look at but the process of making it is also quite interesting. If you have time to spare while visiting the city, taking a tour of a lacquer factory can be an educational way to spend an hour or ... Read more about Touring a Saigon lacquer factory .
If you take a stroll through Saigon’s backpacker district of Pham Ngu Lao you’ll notice that the landscape is full of travel agents. They are everywhere. Although they all offer tours that will take you throughout Vietnam, their specialties are trips to the Cu Chi Tunnels and tours of the Mekong Delta. ... Read more about Mekong Delta Day Tour .
Riding on a ferry in Southeast Asia is quite an experience and unlike any boat ride you’ll go on back home. The ferries are small, a little old, and they have to fight for space on busy waterways. It’s not that I feel particularly in danger during a ride, but I don’t always feel 100% safe; it’s exhilarating! Plus, there are times when they are the only way to go, like if you’re going to ... Read more about Saigon's Thu Thiem Ferry .
Roughly 60km from the centre of Saigon — a beautiful two-hour trip by motorbike and ferry away — sits Can Gio, an island formed where the Saigon River hits the sea. ... Read more about Saigon’s Monkey Island .
A trip to Ho Chi Minh City isn’t complete without a quick visit to the Cu Chi district, where the city’s big buildings melt away and morph into rural countryside. While the area is most famous for its tunnels and war history, Cu Chi has something else worth a visit: a Cu Chi cricket farm. A stop here will show you the process, and give you a taste, of the popular culinary ... Read more about Cu Chi Cricket Farm .
As one of the most popular daytrips from HCMC, finding a way to get to the Cu Chi Tunnels is as easy as a walking through the Pham Ngu Lao backpacker district. Almost every travel agent in Saigon offers a one-day tour of the tunnels but some are light on the details. If you’re considering a Cu Chi Tunnels tour, here’s what you can ... Read more about Cu Chi Tunnels day tour .
Tay Ninh province sits to the northwest of Ho Chi Minh City and is bordered by Cambodia to the west and north, with its eastern border formed by the Saigon River as it empties out of Dai Tieng lake. As with pretty much all the surrounds, the landscape is primarily flat farmland with just the occasional hillock here and there. The exception is Nui Ba Den which reaches almost 1,000m and sits around ... Read more about The Cao Dai Holy See at Tay Ninh .
Just across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral, and a short walk from the Reunification Palace, the Saigon Central Post Office is one of the most recognisable landmarks in ... Read more about Saigon Central Post Office .
In a few weeks, my parents and brother are visiting Saigon, and Vietnam as a whole, for the first time. As I’m being a good daughter and helping with them plan their trip, I thought it would be a good idea for them to go on a tour of the city. ... Read more about Back of the Bike Tours .
I’ve always been a fan of a good bike ride, but Saigon never seemed like a great place to peddle around. Sure, plenty of locals gingerly roll up and down the busy streets, dodging traffic as they go; it’s just not my cup of tea. ... Read more about Bicycle tour of Saigon .
For many travellers, Saigon is a short stop on a long itinerary with many stops in Vietnam. While you can walk around, or hire a cyclo to cruise you about, it’s hard to see the city without a little ... Read more about Vietnam Vespa Adventures .
I’m a walker. When I travel, if there is any reasonable chance for me to walk to my destination, I will. When I walk I feel like I get a better feel for a city, and I see the everyday life that I would miss from the back seat of a taxi. My love of walking is one of the many reasons I enjoy Saigon, as all of the city’s top attractions are within easy walking distance. Here’s a suggested ... Read more about Saigon Walking Tour .
If you are anything like me when you travel you always tend to be in a hurry, trying to check all of the sights off your to-do list. It can get especially bad here because Ho Chi Minh City is such a fast-paced place. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of neon lights and crowded streets. So, when I get tired of the city’s bustle and want to slow things down, my favourite thing to do ... Read more about Hiring a cyclo in Saigon .
The Cu Chi tunnels are a site worth seeing if you are visiting Saigon. However, since they are roughly 70km round trip from the city centre, visiting them on a tour can take the majority of a day. When time in the city is limited they may seem unreachable, but fear not: you can get there and back and still have half a day to ... Read more about Cu Chi Tunnel in a half-day .
Ho Chi Minh City is a city on the go and can feel like it’s constantly looking forward. With new developments springing up almost daily, it’s hard to take stock of what the city used to look like. Tim Doling, a writer and local historian who has been in Vietnam since 1990 and worked with the Ministry of Culture and Information, looks to shed light on the city’s past through his ... Read more about Historic Vietnam tours .
What with the ever-growing options for budget flights in Southeast Asia, with a bit of planning and a bit of cash, there's no real reason why you can't jet off to another city for a weekend, and where better than ... Read more about A weekend in Saigon .
Vietnamese “cultural” shows, whether a traditional water puppet show or a song and dance performance, can sometimes be disappointing. However, the A O Show Saigon offers something new and completely different — it’s worth checking ... Read more about A O Show Saigon .
A fine example of turn of the century French colonial architecture, the Saigon Opera House, also known as the Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City, makes for decent picture on a stop during a tour of the city, or for a cultural experience for those interested in seeing a ... Read more about Saigon Opera House .
Once you arrive in Saigon, especially in the Pham Ngu Lao area, you are bombarded with pamphlets and advertisements for various tourist activities in the city. Among the claims of seeing the country’s beauty, the best proclamation, and maybe the most outlandish, is that you “haven’t really been to Vietnam until you’ve seen a water puppet show”. This is what the folks at the Golden ... Read more about Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre .
Art is sold almost everywhere in Saigon, but much of what you will find is paint-by-the-number reproductions. If you want to see quality original pieces by local artists, there are a few places to go besides the Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum; to see the latest and greatest in local art, take a walk down Dong ... Read more about Ho Chi Minh City's Dong Khoi art galleries .
Seeing a movie at a Saigon theatre is a cheap and easy way to spend a few hours and, since they play both Hollywood blockbusters and Vietnamese movies, you don’t have to understand Vietnamese to enjoy ... Read more about Saigon movie theatres .
Everyone knows that travelling to Saigon during Tet can be a bit of a headache, with many restaurants and shops closed and transportation is limited. Tet, however, isn’t Vietnam’s only celebrated holiday that can throw you for a loop: Reunification Day on April 30 (followed a day later by May Day on May 1) marks the rejoining of North and South Vietnam under one government. Like a major ... Read more about Saigon's Reunification Day .
The Mid-Autumn Festival, or Tet Trung Thu, occurs on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar year. Preparation for the celebration starts early and every year, about a month before the Mid-Autumn Festival begins, colourful shops pop up selling the traditional gift of mooncakes, which are small pastries with various delicious fillings. Here’s a quick rundown on mooncakes in Ho Chi Minh ... Read more about Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes .
Set on the northeast corner of the busy intersection of Ly Tu Trong and Dong Khoi sits a nondescript five-storey building that houses a historic past as well as a new wave of cafes, lounges and retail ... Read more about 22 Ly Tu Trong .
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