If you are planning a trip here, you may wonder what to do first.
If this is the case, and you are searching for things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, then you're in the right place.
While there are countless Vietnam travel guides out there, the information found here focuses on Ho Chi Minh City specifically.
1. War Remnants Museum
The war-torn history of Vietnam is something that can't be easily ignored. At the War Remnants Museum, you can learn from several informative exhibits and browse countless artefacts and photographs.
While the country has a bloody past, the museum handles this in a sensitive manner, without glossing over the atrocities that occurred. A great (if sombre and heart-breaking) example of this is the exhibition dedicated to chemical warfare and the infamous Agent Orange.
The Museum is inside the Gia Long Palace, which is where Ngo Dinh Diem spent the last hours of his life prior to his assassination in 1963.
2. Binh Tay Market
When you are trying to find out what to do in Ho Chi Minh City, one of the most common recommendations is going to be Ben Thanh Market.
While Ben Thanh is great, featuring perhaps the most diverse street food hall in all of Vietnam, it’s not the local favourite. If you want to find a location with better prices and an authentic experience, Binh Tay Market is the place to go.
This market is one of the official markets in the region, found in the Cholon area of the city. It's commonly referred to as Chinatown.
While it's similar to the Ben Thanh Market, it caters to more local Vietnamese people. The prices are lower and the environment isn't as "touristy."
Also, if you visit in the morning, between the hours of 6 am and 8 am, there's an indoor market with all types of fresh, authentic Vietnamese ingredients.
If you aren't interested in buying products to cook yourself, you can visit the small food court, where you can purchase Vietnamese food.
3. Cu Chi Tunnels
This tourist attraction allows visitors to experience what it was like for the soldiers who used the extensive network of tunnels, designed to ensure they remained undetected by enemies.
During your visit, you'll watch an informative movie, then take a guided tour of some of the mock recreations of traps laid by Viet Cong's hiding out in the jungle.
There are plenty of photo ops, with burnt out tanks and the authentic jungle environment. You'll also have the opportunity to crawl through a smaller section of the tunnels, which are now wider and have better support than in the past. There is also a gun range where you can fire the various weapons used during the conflict.
4. Dong Khoi
This is an active stretch of bars and shops that spans from the Saigon River to the Notre Dame Cathedral.
In addition to the myriad of shopping opportunities, Dong Khoi is also an area full of history and amazing stories. For example, the road played a huge role in entertaining young American GIs in the 1950s and remained popular for this purpose until the fall of Saigon in the 1970s.
Today, the area is just as colourful and lively, making it a must visit while in Ho Chi Minh City.
5. Jade Emperor Pagoda
Considered one of the most revered temples in all Ho Chi Minh, the Jade Emperor Pagoda was first constructed in 1909.
Chinese immigrants built the pagoda, and today the Taoist temple also welcomes Buddhist worshiping.
There's a timeless ambiance in this Pagoda, thanks to the intricate architecture, statues, and carvings.
6. The Bitexco Financial Tower
When it comes to tall buildings in Ho Chi Minh City, the Bitexco Financial Tower wins it all. This skyscraper's design resembles a lotus bulb and is definitely a site to see.
This is the most recognizable building in the entire city, thanks to its modern design and imposing height.
There are several things you can do while visiting, but the most popular is to climb to the top and take in the view of the city, while enjoying a beer in the sky bar.
On the bottom floor, you'll find a small shopping centre, along with a few cafes, but not much else. Most of the building is office space.
7. The Central Post Office
The construction of the Central Post Office began back in 1886. Like many of the other buildings in Saigon, it's the beautiful French colonial architecture that makes this building stand out.
While the architecture is amazing, what makes this building stand out is the fact that Gustave Eiffel designed it which as you may have guessed form the name is the same man who engineered Paris's Eiffel Tower.
Not only is this a popular tourist attraction, but it's also fully functional.
8. The Opera House
Considered one of the best representations of French colonial architecture in Ho Chi Minh City, this theatre has served guests since 1897.
If you want to take in a show, you can attend the O Show, which is a performance of traditional dancing using bamboo, an excellent Vietnamese cultural experience.
Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City: What's on Your List?
As you can see, there are more than a few things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. If you are planning a visit, be sure to make a checklist. This will help you avoid missing out on any great experiences.
If you want a guided tour through Vietnam or want to learn more about what the region has to offer, then be sure to check out our blog, or reach out.
We offer a wide array of services to ensure you make the most of your trip to Ho Chi Minh City.