Ho Chi Minh City gives a real opportunity to see the past come to life with its fascinating historical activities and classic French architecture everywhere to see. A carefully planned tour organized through a trustworthy Vietnam tour operator will make sure it is possible to see the best possible attractions while in this dynamic city.
Here are 10 of the best attractions in this vibrant city:
Ho Chi Minh City Museum
A visit to the Ho Chi Minh City Museum makes it possible to learn more about Vietnam's war-torn past with its absorbing exhibitions that illustrate the country’s bloody history with memorabilia, artefacts and photographs. The museum showcases the events with great sensitivity and is located in Gia Long Palace.
Lam Son Square
Get dressed up and visit Lam Son Square to experience first-hand the city’s most well-heeled area. It is a perfect place to visit for shopping or a night of culture while among the affluent locals. A visit to the 100-year-old Municipal Theatre gives a meaningful cultural experience that is the host to touring and local theatre, opera and dance companies.
Jade Emperor Pagoda
The Jade Emperor Pagoda was built by the Buddhists and Taoists in the 1900s and one of the most popular pagodas to visit in Vietnam. The interior of the pagoda is lined with intricate deities and ornate carved panels. Plus, there are the fruit offerings that are surrounded by clouds of incense smoke. A trek to the top of the pagoda has the roof terrace which gives great views of the courtyard and its sacred bodhi tree.
Ho Chi Minh City has two major markets and several other smaller ones. Cho Ben Thanh is the best known and located in District 1. This market is favoured in the evenings when the food stalls are set up to serve both the tourists and locals. Cho Lon is the other large market. This is a large Chinese market that has a wide range of goods, but is less appealing to tourists. But, a visit to either of these markets is great fun for browsing or souvenir shopping.
Vietnam has one of the world’s tastiest street food scenes, with Ho Chi Minh City offering outrageously good food at very low prices.
Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels make a great day out and approx 70 km from Ho Chi Minh City. This popular tourist attraction gives visitors a first-hand view of an extensive network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong throughout the war. There are sections of the tunnel that have been widened and supported to let tourist crawl through while a informative film and guided tour gives more information on the daily life of the soldiers concealed in the jungle.
The Reunification Palace has featured in some fascinating scenes, including the North Vietnamese Army tank smashing through the gates at the end of the Vietnam War. Since that time, this former allied command post has essentially been left alone and now a visitor attraction with a guided tour organized through a Vietnam tour agent including access to the command bunker, grand reception halls and secret rooms.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Built in the late 1880s, the Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the last Catholicism strongholds in a mostly Buddhist country. The cathedral attracts thousands of visitors every year with many wishing to see the Virgin Mary statue, which is said to have shed tears in 2005.
Mariamman Hindu Temple
The Mariamman Hindu Temple is an active Hindu place of worship with vibrant and bright architecture. It is open daily to visitors, but it is essential to dress appropriately and shoes must be removed when entering the inner temple.
Cao Dai Temple
The Cao Dai Temple is a base of the Cao Dai faith which is a religion that involves elements of Confucianism, Taoism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. This bright and colourful temple is open to visitors that wish to learn more about the Cao Dai faith.