Ho Chi Minh City is full of life, colour and mesmerising places that you must visit during your stay in this unique city in Vietnam. A new discovery is awaiting every day and getting out and about, especially by foot, is the best way to learn and explore the city.
In this article, I haven’t included the famous Cu-Chi Tunnels or the Mekong, that naturally need to be on your list. This piece is about what is within the districts of this mainly chaotic city and the 5 places you must visit in Ho Chi Minh City.
Bitexco Financial Building
The best view of Ho Chi Minh City is a must when you visit the city. The perspective is different when you are away from the manic traffic below and you see the fast-developing city from the 49th floor of the Bitexco Financial Building.
The cost on the express elevator to near the top is around $12AD and it’s worth every dollar to get an amazing 360 view of a city on the rise. Make sure you go on a clear day, no need to waste your trip when the view is obstructed by overcast conditions.
Vietnam War Remnant Museum
It’s not for the light hearted but The War Remnant Museum needs your full attention. On first sight, it all seems fine with real United States Tanks, artillery guns and fighter planes on show when you enter the grounds.
Thick skin is required when you enter the building and go upstairs to the different exhibits. The photos are not only heartbreaking but horrific to view. Pictures of missing limbs, dead soldiers and traumatic visions of young kids running away and fearing for their lives s their villages are attacked. The agent orange room will give you goosebumps as you discover some brutal truths from the war.
As disturbing and gut wrenching the images can be, the War Remnant Museum is a great history lesson of a brutal war. It’s also great to see how far Vietnam has come, considering the war was only 50-years ago.
Notre Dame Cathedral and Post office
In the District 1 area of Ho Chi Minh City, the Notre Dame Cathedral and the historic post office is great for tourist with an articulate. Two great French designed buildings, built in the late 1800’s, stand practically side by side and the location is booming with tourist and locals alike, who are eager for a glimpse of Vietnamese history.
The area has a real carnival atmosphere with market places, book stores and souvenir shops on show to give it a real vibrant feel. Beautiful Vietnamese women are out and about also, dressed nicely in their traditional dress, making a stunning photo amongst the backdrop of the Cathedral.
Ben Thanh Market
Over three-thousand stalls of clothing, merchandise, seafood, fresh produce and food court that serves mainly rice noodle soup, is the makeup of this popular Ben Thanh Market
Much like the streets, the markets are chaotic and crammed with shoppers looking for a bargain. Pesky stores owners will do everything to grab your attention and sell you mostly useless items, but at times you may find a real steal. Just a side note, when purchasing any products make sure you bargain down at least 50%. The locals will always try to drive the prices up on a clueless tourist.
You want a bit of modern then take a taxi to District 7. it is a nice change to be in a real glamorous part of the city with Stylish restaurants lined up along the canal and a stunning walkway that leads to the Romantic and lit up Starlight Bridge.
The Crescent Mall will knock you for six with its modern touch that will make your retail shopping pure luxury in the comfort of air-conditioning. District 7 is a must to put on the list, especially if love the that laid-back lifestyle away from the chaos.