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Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) was the capital of South Vietnam. Today, Vietnam’s largest city is a bustling town, where you’ll be surprised by the humidity, energy and crowds. At anytime of the day, it seems that everyone wants to be on the streets at the same time. Mixing the modern café and restaurants scene with the ancient pagodas and bustling markets, Ho Chi Minh City will make you fall in love with it.

Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral

No, we are not sending you to Paris (at least, not until you visit Saigon) , but we are inviting you to visit the Cathedral which stands right in the heart of Saigon.

Walk in the historic center at night

The buildings are elegantly lit and look totally different than they do during the day. It’s definitely worth it to see them both under natural light and during the night.

Get out of the city: Mekong Delta

When the hustle and bustle of Saigon is too much for you, explore the Mekong Delta and its narrow canals between the trees. If you opt for a multi-day tour, then make sure not to miss the famous Cai Be Floating Market. You can also bike in rural Vietnam, taste the local fruits and visit farms.

A bit of history at the War Remnants Museum

Any boy (or man) likes airplanes and helicopters …and the War Remnants Museum has plenty on display in the courtyard, along with other military equipment. Also, you can see many pictures and read stories from the Vietnam war about the American crimes. It may be a bit too anti-American, but worth your time if you are interested in the history of the area. It’s extremely graphic and it can take hours to visit.

Shop at the Ben Thanh Market

It is located within walking distance of Pham Ngu Lao , a place well known among backpackers and budget travelers. You can find cheap places to stay, cheap good food and plenty of transportation options from this area.

In the market , you can also find everything you want (or don’t want). Of course, knock-off watches are available, but so are various t-shirts and the food options are endless.

And speaking of food, you can get excellent food in Saigon pretty much anywhere: street stalls, fancy restaurants or local fast food places. And since Saigon used to be under French influence, you have to try the French pastries while you are here.

Explore the Củ Chi Tunnels

You can either visit them as part of a tour or plan a day trip yourself. Explore the tunnels which once were used catch US troops unaware. At the end of the tour you can even test your aiming skills and shoot at targets.

The tunnels have been increased in size to allow the Westerners to crawl. If you are claustrophobic, it’s best to avoid this experience.

Visit the Reunification Palace

The architecture remained almost untouched since 1975 , when the government used this building. Now you can explore the decorations , its halls and the network of tunnels.

Head to the beach: Mui Ne

Mui Net is a resort town located several hours away from the city. Plan to stay here over the weekend and enjoy the sun and sand.

Photo credits: Notre Dame Cathedral , Mekong Delta , War Remnants Museum , Ben Thanh Market , Củ Chi Tunnels , Reunification Palace , Mui Ne