TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM

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Still often referred lớn by its old name, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a clamorous, chaotic sensory feast. Motorbikes honk in a tidal wave across clogged intersections, locals crouch on street corners slurping steaming hot bowls of Pho (noodle soup); và the sultry air is thiông xã with exhaust fumes và exotic spices.

Ho Chi Minc City is Vietnam"s commercial hub và largest city, and it"s a place where old abuts new with striking contrast. Temples huddle amid skyscrapers & designer shops; locals cast bamboo fishing rods into lớn the languorous Saigon River; và in places, the city feels almost European, with its elegant French colonial architecture and wide, tree-lined avenues.

Adding khổng lồ the fascinating cultural jolt is a clutch of intriguing tourist attractions, from the poignant War Remnants Museum & captivating water puppet shows to colorful markets and the time warp of the Reunification Palace.

Not far from the city, the famous Cu Chi tunnels are a must-see attraction, và the lush waterscapes & small villages of the Mekong Delta provide a fascinating glimpse of rural life.

For more ideas on the best places lớn visit and the most rewarding things to lớn bởi vì, read our menu of the top attractions in Ho Chi Minc City.

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See also: Where to lớn Stay in Ho Chi Minc City

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1. Cu Chi Tunnels

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Cu Chi Tunnels


About 60 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, the Cu Chi Tunnels are a must-see half-day trip và one of the top tours for visitors to the đô thị. This vast 250-kilometer-plus network of tunnels served as the base for the Viet Cong"s military operations during the Vietnam War. Soldiers used the excruciatingly cramped tunnels as hiding places, hospitals, communication bases, supply routes, and even living quarters.

A visit usually includes the chance khổng lồ crawl through part of the tunnel network, an experience that enhances your appreciation for the stamina và adaptability of the soldiers who lived here. Even if you"re not a người of modern military history, the tunnels offer powerful insight into lớn the conditions faced by troops during the conflict và the strategies that strengthened the VC"s resistance against American forces.

To make the most of your visit, consider joining a Cu Chi Tunnels và Mekong Delta Full-Day VIP Tour from Ho Chi Minh thành phố. This 11-hour tour includes round-trip transfers by VIP limousine or air-conditioned bus, snacks và cold drinks during the trip, as well as a full Vietnamese lunch (with a vegetarian option available). You"ll visit the Cu Chi tunnels, learn about the guerrilla welfare và the booby traps used in the tunnels, then step right inkhổng lồ one of the tunnels.

After the tour, you"ll head to lớn a local restaurant lớn enjoy lunch before you continue on khổng lồ the Mekong Delta. Here, you"ll board a small boat to paddle along the coconut-fringed canals before you head lớn a farm khổng lồ try local products, including honey tea và fruits grown there.


2. War Remnants Museum

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War Remnants Museum | Sistak / pholớn modified


The War Remnants Museum is one of the most popular museums in Vietnam, with harrowing exhibits related to lớn the horrors of war in this battle-worn nation. The museum primarily focuses on the Vietphái mạnh War, however, some exhibits relate khổng lồ the first Indochimãng cầu War with French colonialists.

It"s a good idea lớn start on the top floor & work your way down, so you cap off your experience with the lighter exhibits on the ground floor.

Most of the displays are photographic images, & some of these are confronting - especially the graphic shots of child Agent Orange victims. Artifacts on display include a guillotine and the "tiger cages" used for Viet Cong prisoners.

Many argue that the museum"s approach is biased; however, the exhibits poignantly portray the brutality of war. The museum also includes a fascinating display on the work of war photographers, from both sides, who lost their lives during the conflicts.

Period military vehicles and weapons are displayed in the museum"s courtyard. After touring the countryside và the Cu Chi Tunnels, you"ll find these exhibits even more moving, but note that some of the exhibits are not suitable for small children.

Address: 28 Vo Van Tan, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC

Official site: http://warremnantsmuseum.com/


3. Mekong Delta

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Woman paddling along the Mekong Delta


Cruising through the lush labyrinth of palm-fringed channels, rivers, & islands of the Mekong Delta is a popular day trip that seems a world away from hectic Ho Chi Minch City. It offers a fascinating glimpse into lớn the way of life of the people who depkết thúc on this fragile waterway for their survival.

Encompassing about 40,000 square kilometers, the delta produces more than half of the country"s grain & 90 percent of its exports, & it"s well-known for its floating markets, which usually take place during the early morning.

From Ho Chi Minch City, tours to the delta, usually involve sầu a 70-kilometer drive to lớn My Tho, a market town on the banks of the Mekong River; a cruise along the delta; và visits to local villages, farms, & factories. The Mekong Delta Discovery Small Group Adventure Tour offers these activities, as well as the chance to lớn sample traditional dishes and tropical fruit from the region.


4. Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre

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Water puppets


The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre is perfect for families with young children and anyone who enjoys light-hearted traditional entertainment. Water puppetry originated in rural villages in the Red River Delta & has been performed in Vietphái nam for more than 1,000 years.

The captivating 50-minute show provides a window into the country"s culture. It"s presented in Vietnamese, but the strength of the puppet characters, both people and animals, transcends the language barrier.

Live sầu music enhances the experience; the talented musicians play traditional instruments such as bamboo flutes & two-stringed violins. The theater is air-conditioned, & if you"re sitting in the front row, be prepared for some gentle splashes.

Address: 55B Nguyen Thi Đường Minh Khai Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minc City


5. Thiên Hau Temple, Chinatown

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Thiên Hau Temple, Chinatown | bvi4092 / photo lớn modified


The atmospheric 19th-century Thiên Hau Temple is one of the best places lớn visit in Ho Chi Minc City"s Chinatown (ChoLon) and one of the oldest Chinese temples in the city. Dedicated khổng lồ the Lady of the Sea, Thiên Hau, this evocative temple is visited by local worshippers, as well as tourists, and many of the materials used in its construction were brought from Đài Loan Trung Quốc.

Clouds of incense billow in the air, candles flicker on altars, and shafts of sunlight pierce through the partial roof as you enter the green wrought-iron gates and stroll across the small courtyard. From here, you can see the altar, with statues of the goddess, & the intricate porcelain dioramas adorning the roof depicting scenes from 19th-century Chinese life.

According khổng lồ legkết thúc, the goddess left two turtles to guard the temple in her absence. On the 23rd day of the third lunar month, a parade takes place in the neighborhood featuring a figure of Thiên Hau, who is believed lớn save seafarers stranded on the high seas. Entry to the temple is không tính phí.

While you"re visiting Đài Loan Trung Quốc Town, it"s also worth stopping by the hectic Binc Tay Market, which sells everything from fresh produce to lớn Chinese trinkets. The area is also home to some beautiful examples of classical Chinese architecture.

Address: 710 Nguyen Trai Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City


A fine example of Neo-Romanesque architecture, the red-brick Notre Dame Cathedral is a distinctive sầu landmark in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. Its twin square towers rise almost 60 meters above the đô thị, capped by iron spires.

Built from 1877 khổng lồ around 1883, the cathedral was intended to be a place for the colonial missions to worship and a symbol of the power of the French colony.

The exterior consists of red bricks from Marseille, and the clock between the two bell towers was built in Switzerlvà in 1887.

Notable features of the interior include 56 squares of stained glass by Lorin from Chartres, France; the 12 pillars representing the 12 apostles; và one of Vietnam"s oldest organs. To see the interior, try visiting in the morning or attending a Sunday mass.

Across the street, the French colonial-style post office, completed in 1891, was designed by Gustave sầu Eiffel, the French architect of the Eiffel Tower. Today, the post office is still in use và is a popular meeting place for locals.

Address: Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, Ben Nké, tp. Ho Chí Minch, Ho Chi Minh;


Also known as The Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City, the elegant Saigon Opera House, at the start of the famous tree-lined Le Loi Avenue, is eye-candy for architecture buffs - especially fans of the French colonial style. It was built as Opera de Saigon in 1897 by Euren Ferret, a French architect, to lớn entertain French colonists, và its striking facade echoes the style of the Petit Palais, which was built in the same year in Paris.

After 1956, the building was used as the trang chủ of the Lower House assembly of South Vietphái mạnh và again became a theater in 1975, after the fall of Saigon. The only way lớn see the theater"s interior is lớn purchase a ticket lớn a show.

Both the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra và Opera perkhung here, and tickets are available at the box office or local travel agents. In the area around the opera house are some of the city"s new shopping malls và exclusive sầu hotels. You can also combine a visit here with the nearby Notre Dame CathedralReunification Palace.

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Address: 7 Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minch City


A visit to the Reunification Palace, once known as Independence Palace, is more about the historic events that took place here than any pomp & grandeur. In fact, this 1960s-style building, with its large, airy rooms & dated furnishings, seems frozen in time since April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese army tank crashed through the iron gates here, bringing an kết thúc to lớn the Vietphái nam War. For locals, the palace represents this historic event & the reunification of the country.

Set on 44 acres of lush lawns and gardens, the palace also offers a fascinating glimpse at the lifestyle of privileged heads of state in 1960s Saigon. It was built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, which was bombed by fighter jets in 1962 in an unsuccessful assassination attempt on the South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinch Diem.

The current building was completed in 1966 và became the home page và workplace of the successive sầu president when Vietphái mạnh was split between the north và the south. Notable features include the president"s living quarters, the war command room with large maps và antiquated communications equipment, and the maze of basement tunnels.

You"ll also see military vehicles outside, including the fighter jet that destroyed the Norodom Palace, and tank 843, which rammed through the palace gate on that fateful day in April more than four decades ago. Guided tours in English are available.

Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City


For sightseers, the hot & hectic Ben Thanh khô Market is almost an obligatory stop, even if only khổng lồ witness the crammed stalls và market chaos. The stalls are piled high with everything from local delicacies, fish, flowers, & tropical fruits to lớn shoes, clothes, colorful candy, and souvenirs. The markets are also notorious for pickpockets, so make sure any valuables are secure and out of sight.

After soaking up all the ambiance, head lớn Saigon Square, about a three-minute stroll away, for a slightly less frenetic shopping experience with the added bonus of air conditioning. Here, you"ll find fantastic đơn hàng on everything from clothing and backpacks lớn jewelry & shoes. Haggling is customary at both locations.


Within the grounds of the botanic gardens, the Museum of Vietnamese History unveils the country"s cultural evolution from the Bronze Age to the early 20th century. The exhibits are organized chronologically and include artifacts from Vietnam"s former ethnic groups, including the Dong Son, Funan, Khmer, & Csi mê civilizations. Particularly interesting are the stone & bronze sculptures, Angkor Wat relics, & the well-preserved mummy.

For an extra fee, you can attover a water puppet show in the museum"s small theater, with performances held every hour (except during lunch).

Almost as interesting as the museum exhibits is the building itself, which dates from 1929 and fuses French & Asian architectural styles. After viewing all the museum exhibits for an hour or so, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll around the botanic gardens.

Address: 2 Nguyen Binc Khiêm, Ben Nkẹ Ho Chí Minh City


Built in the early 20th century, the evocative Jade Emperor Pagoda (Chua Phuoc Hai) sits in an unassuming neighborhood a few blocks away from the Botanical Gardens. The temple was built in honor of the Taoist god, the Jade Emperor or King of Heaven, Ngoc Hoang, & within its dimly lit interior, you"ll see many representations of both Buddhist and Taoist deities.

As you step inside, incense shrouds the many local worshippers, and candles illuminate altars brimming with offerings. Of special note are the intricately carved panels of woodwork và the many elaborate Long & animal sculptures adorning the roof.

At the temple"s entrance, masses of turtles swim in a pond, some with inscriptions on their shells, và for this reason, the temple is often called the tortoise pagoda. Locals come here frequently khổng lồ worship, so it"s important to be respectful when you visit.

Address: Ða Kao Quan 1 Vietnam, 73 Mai Thi Luu, Ða Kao, Ho Chí Minh


Near the Reunification Palace, the Ho Chi Minc City Museum occupies an impressive Neoclassical building, formerly known as Gia Long Palace, that was once home page to lớn the Cochinchina"s governor. It"s worth a stop for an overview of the city"s history & a look at the grvà architecture, which includes Oriental and European flourishes.

The museum traces the city"s past with exhibits on the struggle for independence, nature và archaeology, trade, village handicrafts, currency, and the culture of Saigon. Interestingly, the building sits on a network of tunnels and bunkers, which served as escape routes for past dignitaries, though these are closed khổng lồ the public.

Address: 65 Ly Tu Trong, District 1, Ho Chi Minc City

Official site: http://www.hcmc-museum.edu.vn/en-us/home-page.aspx


Although it"s a little challenging lớn find if you"re traveling without a guide, the first Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine (FITO) occupies a beautiful old five-story building framed by bamboo. It"s worth a look for anyone who is interested in alternative sầu medicine or wants khổng lồ soak up some Vietnamese culture away from the main tourist trail.

The museum displays thousands of items relating lớn Vietnamese traditional medicine, from the Stone Age to the present day, including books, documents, herbs, & implements used in preparing the medicines. You can also try your h& at grinding up some of the ingredients. The presentation begins with a short film on the history of Vietnam"s traditional medicine, and herbal cures are available for purchase before you leave.

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Official site: http://www.fitomuseum.com.vn/


We recommover these great-value hotels in Ho Chi Minh City cchiến bại lớn shops, restaurants, và attractions:


While the northern half of Vietnam giới experiences a cool season between the months of December and March, the southern half of the country sees average temperatures in the 30s Celsius all year long. However, these are still the best months khổng lồ visit Ho Chi Minc, as there"s little rain, lots of xanh skies, và the humidity actually drops just enough lớn make the weather more bearable.

December might even give you a few days here & there where the temperature drops just under 30 degrees Celsius. On the other h&, April is the hotdemo month, with temperatures in the upper 30s and high humidity.

As a general rule, the best time to visit Vietphái mạnh is always outside the rainy season, which runs between May and September & can cause flooding and make outdoor time a little uncomfortable. August và September are particularly rainy months in Ho Chi Minch - strong storms often hit the city during these months, causing power outages and forcing people to stay indoors.


Vietnam"s capital should be on everybody"s danh mục - Hanoi is a frenzied, hectic đô thị with lots of energy and a charming Old Town Quarter. Aside from walking the old winding streets và haggling at the local markets, visitors can also stop by other Hanoi attractions, lượt thích the Ho Chi Minch Mausoleum, & visit Hoa Lo Prison Memorial to get an insight into the history of the country. A walk around Hoàn Kiem Lake is a great way to lớn end the day.

For a trip baông chồng in time, both Hoi An & Hue offer stunning architecture going bachồng hundreds of years. Hue sits on the banks of the Perfume River and is trang chủ lớn the Tnhì Hoa Palace and the walled Imperial City.

Hoi An, a 15th-century trading port, is home page khổng lồ a number of beaches, including popular An Bang, the not-so-secret Hidden Beach, and Cua Dai Beach, which is becoming narrower và narrower due to erosion but is still beautiful and a great place khổng lồ escape the crowds.

The small city of Nha Trang is best known for being the getaway to one of Vietnam"s most famous stretches of shoreline. White sands, clear blue waters, and beautiful seaside promenades have sầu earned the beaches here the nickname "the Riviera of the South Trung Quốc Sea." In town, the ancient Po Nagar Cmê man Towers are well worth a visit, & so is the Alexandre Yersin Museum, dedicated khổng lồ the French-Swiss bacteriologist who co-discovered the bacteria responsible for the bubonic plague.


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