Ho Chi Minh City is a wild and exhilarating destination in the south of Vietnam that is well worth a visit. While the capital Hanoi is more historic, the city of Ho Chi Minh is appreciated for its dizzying energy, terrific nightlife and a booming economy.
Let's take a look at a few reasons to visit this flourishing city on the Vietnam holiday:
From banh mi to bahn xeo, bun bo hue and pho, the dishes served throughout Ho Chi Minh City are fantastic and limitless. Visitors to the city should experience the local street food scene to really appreciate the most authentic feel. The vendors are located in every part of the city and open at all hours of the day and night. Beyond the traditional dishes, there are plenty of unique dishes served in Ho Chi Minh City, including fermented scorpion wine, fertilized duck eggs and deep fried frogs. However, there are also dishes for the vegetarian.
Vietnam has developed its own coffee style and a morning cup of coffee is available everywhere in Ho Chi Minh City. It is can be difficult to walk through the main streets without seeing a coffee shop, carts or roadside vendors every 50 feet or so. This is a city has a very established coffee culture with simple stalls or high-class establishments serving a delicious coffee. Order a ca phe da (Vietnamese iced coffee) to taste some of the finest coffee in the country.
Ho Chi Minh City is split between many different neighbourhoods. From the small, labyrinthine alleyways to the tree-lined, wide boulevards, the various neighbourhoods of the city can be quite distinct. A typical area for tourists on the Vietnam family holiday is the Nguyen Hue or Pham Ngu Lao areas, but those in search of the most unique, off-the-beaten track experience, Phu Nhuan or Binh Thanh may be more appealing to give access to plenty of small, yet very lively lanes. Taking a varied approach to the city and exploring the different neighbourhoods makes it that much easier to get a full appreciation for the pulse of the city.
Relive the history
A visit to the War Remnants Museum is a fascinating way to relive the history of Vietnam. This is one of the country's most popular museums which depict the brutality at the time of the Vietnam War. There are plenty of exhibits and in-depth texts that document the effects of the past conflicts. On average, this museum attracts nearly 600,000 visitors every year.
Appreciate the architecture
A walk around Ho Chi Minh City offers a wonderful opportunity to appreciate a wide range of architectural styles with impressive buildings like the Saigon Central Post Office, the Opera House, and the Notre-Dame Basilica. In addition to those noteworthy structures, there are also many landmarks with a French colonial style including the Phuong Nam Mansion and Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee.
For a relaxing time in the city on the tours of Vietnam, it is worth walking Nguyen Hue Street, which is a pedestrian strip that is nearly 60 metres wide and runs from the People’s Committee Building to the Saigon River. With such a wide space to enjoy your walking it can make a great place to get a breather from most other areas with fast paced traffic. Most of the street is lined with good cafes and high-end fashion stores for a great shopping experience.
A great way to relax in the evening after a day of exploring the city in the inescapable heat is the rooftop bars. The city's many rooftop bars are certain to appeal to the travellers that want to go a little more upmarket than drinking a cheap beer on the streets. But, the cost of a beer or cocktail is a little more expensive with typically costs in the region of $5 to $10 (this compares to about $0.50 for the dirt-cheap alternatives found on the street scene). A visit to the Chill Skybar is perfect for the vibrant, stylish and younger vibe. However, for tourists more interested in the peaceful, quiet and calm atmosphere, a visit to the Majestic is certain to be more appealing which overlooks the Saigon River to give wonderful views.
Apart from the rooftop bars, Ho Chi Minh City has a great nightlife scene with plenty of amazing pubs to visit on District 1. There are great dinner options and local beers to taste while getting to appreciate the amazing local vibes.
There are plenty of markets to visit on the travels to Ho Chi Minh City. One of the most popular is Ben Thanh Market, which is a sprawling shopping area with endless things to buy or pick up a few souvenirs for family and friends at home. However, there are other options for a more relaxed shopping experience. The local and small markets are a great option for tourists looking to bargain for the best deals. A great neighbourhood street market can be found in Binh Thanh at Vo Duy Ninh, a visit to Chinatown is great for a varied selection of spices, and Tan Dinh is your choice for textiles. Beyond the markets, there is a varied range of fixed price stores that are located a short distance outside the market.
It is not only the food and drink that is pleasantly cheap in this lively city. After spending a little time exploring Ho Chi Minh City on the Vietnam travel, most tourists will find it is very easy to travel and enjoy the sights without having to spend a lot of money. A well planning tour of the city that includes shopping, drinking, eating and exploring can easily cost less $20 for the entire day. Also, staying overnight in the city is relatively cheap with accommodation for the night costing as little as $20 to $25 per person.