With its chaotic streets and hectic energy, Ho Chi Minh City makes a dramatic first impression on many visitors. Also known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City offers some of the country’s best nightlife and shopping, as well as a wealth of fascinating cultural attractions. Admire the handsome colonial architecture built by the country’s former French rulers, learn about Vietnam’s dark wartime history and discover why the city’s cuisine is so loved.
Gain a sobering perspective into the country’s history at the War Remnants Museum, which examines the horrors of the Vietnam War. See tanks, fighter planes, unexploded ordinance and chilling photographs of events like the My Lai massacre.
Don’t miss the Jade Emperor Pagoda, one of the most beautiful Chinese pagodas in the country. Built in 1909 by the city’s Cantonese community, the pagoda features a variety of exquisite carvings and statues inspired by Taoist and Buddhist lore.
Shop for souvenirs at Ben Thanh Market. Dating back to the 17th century, this buzzing market is a fun place to shop for clothing and artisanal crafts. Remember to haggle for the best price. Sample traditional Vietnamese food, such as pho, the country’s famous noodle soup, prepared at one of the market stalls.
Head to the Bitexco Financial Tower, the tallest building in the city, for a glimpse of Ho Chi Minh’s modern side. Ascend to the Saigon Skydeck on the tower’s 49th floor for spectacular views over the city. Interactive screens provide information about notable streets and sites visible below.
Stroll along Dong Khoi Street, Ho Chi Minh City’s main commercial district, to view the remnants of the city’s colonial-era buildings. For budget-friendly fun, check out the Pham Ngu Lao area, a popular backpacker hub known for its cheap accommodation and lively nightlife scene.
Most international flights to Vietnam arrive in Ho Chi Minh City. The city is also connected by bus to other major destinations around the country, as well as to neighboring Cambodia. Get around by public bus or by taxi, both of which are inexpensive.
Ho Chi Minh City is one of Vietnam’s most exciting cities, provides a thrilling introduction to this beguiling country.