Ho Chi Minh City: Bask in the Saigon Experience
Ho Chi Minh, one of the hottest tourist destinations in Vietnam, is a place with compelling history, spectacular surroundings and heavenly cuisine.
This city is always on the move, so fasten your seatbelts as we take off for a city that reflects the true essence of Vietnam – but with a modern twist. The streets are thronged by motorbikes, and the culture and commerce is like a dragon that’s just woke up from a deep slumber.
Life here is lived in fast pace and it’s interesting to see how the old world charm blends with the modern city. It infuses vitality into anything and everything in the city and the tourists can’t help but enjoy the ride.
Formerly known as Saigon, this city is the soul of Vietnam. The name itself evokes a thousand scrambled images and you wander through the old alleys, teeming markets, ancient pagodas, shops selling silk, baskets and spices; to a complete modern world made up of stylish skyscrapers, designer malls, gourmet eateries, and bars.
Tourist Attractions in Ho Chi Minh
Besides basking in the rich culture and tradition of Vietnam, tourists may also explore the diverse attractions in and around the city.
- To enjoy an ancient architectural extravaganza, I’d suggest that you visit the Emperor Jade Pagoda that is embellished with beautiful woodcarvings and sculptures from the past.
- Notre Dame Cathedral is another must-see attraction and also an important landmark in the city. This cathedral was built by the French and it has a picturesque Paris Square.
- Cu Chin Tunnel is an underground tunnel which was used during the French-IndoChina War, as well as the Vietnam War, and hence carries a lot of significance. This tunnel took approximately 25 years to complete, and today it stands reminiscent of the sufferings of Vietnamese people during the war.
- War Remnants Museum is for those who are interested in taking a peek into the history, culture and heritage of the country. It showcases various photographs and artifacts from the Vietnam War (1960’s and 1970’s).
- Market of Cholon is another landmark of the city, and is an ancient Chinese quarter in the Chinatown district. If you wish to witness the hustle and bustle of China trade then come here.
- Some of the other tourist attractions worth seeing include Dam Sen Park, Binh Quoi Village, Thanh Da, Saigon Water Park, and Suoi Tien, Ky Hoa.
Take a Cycle Tour to Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh
If you are the adventurous kind, consider taking a cycle tour to the places of interest such as the Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh, two most popular tourist attractions located in nearby Cambodia. You can rent a bike and explore these attractions on two wheels, just like a local. Try it! This way you will not only save money, but also enjoy your Ho Chi Minh trip to the fullest.
The cycle journey to these destinations will take you through pristine Cambodian and Vietnamese villages to the exotic and ancient complex of Angkor Wat. It is an amazing experience to travel through the fast paced Ho Chi Minh City to the quieter Cu Chi Tunnels and lush green countryside where locals will greet you with warmth. Visiting the phenomenal complex of Angkor, you can soak in the exotic beauty of the ancient temples and then make your way to Phnom Penh which boasts fine palaces, pagodas and breathtaking French architecture.
Photos of Ho Chi Minh City
Where to Stay?
Whether you are looking for high end luxurious hotels or the cheapest guesthouses, there’s no lack of accommodation options in Ho Chi Minh City.
The luxurious hotels in the city are Windsor Plaza Hotel, Hotel Majestic Saigon, Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon, Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers, and Park Hyatt Saigon to name a few. Most of these plush hotels are strategically located close to major landmarks and are easily accessible. They are equipped with the most modern amenities and services for the convenience of the guests.
- Local markets are great places to explore and buy things inexpensively.
- Fast paced city with lots of exciting things to do and places to see
- Easily take a cycle tour to nearby tourist destinations
- No reliable public transport system.
- Beware of pickpockets in the market area.
- Purchase things with caution, as there might be an attempt to cheat you.