Capital of southern Vietnam and the economic core of the nation, the ancient Saigon appears to exhibit unlimited vigor every day. This warm and frenetic city perpetually in continual transformation brilliantly blends the memories of its colonial heritage with futuristic triumphs.
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Exploring Cholon’s Chinatown
A city inside a city, a true anthill, Saigon’s Chinatown is the old neighborhood of opium dens and dance halls during the colonial period. This historically naughty and sulfurous district is now the principal retail hub of the southern capital. We come here to smell its very distinctive ambiance, to wander through the traditional booths covered with Chinese ideograms, to sample some Chinese dishes, and to find its spectacular pagodas buried in the haze of incense which burns continually.
Discover one of its numerous marketplaces
The city is full of marketplaces, each neighborhood has its own. Among all the markets, we propose you identify the two most essential marketplaces that you should not miss. First, the Ben Thanh market is in district 1 where the tourist activity is focused. A century-old market, created during the colonial period, where you may purchase souvenirs, food goods, clothing, and even something to eat on site. Also worth visiting is the Binh Tay Market in the Cholon district. Teeming, energetic, full of aromas and colors, this market has the power of waking and reawakening the senses. A lovely and exciting immersion in the famous retail activities of Saigon.
Visit Vietnam War Museum
The Vietnam War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City is a prerequisite for knowing Vietnam and its modern history. A visit that is surely sad but that helps you to appreciate the intensity of war and to better understand the principles of peace.
Getting to Bitexco Tower
Saigon in all its modernism with this magnificent skyscraper which bravely launches an attack on the sky. With its 262 meters high for 68 stories, it is the highest structure in Saigon and the iconic skyscraper of the city, symbol of the modernization of Vietnam and its economic progress. You may visit the tower and ascend to the 49th level to enjoy a spectacular perspective of the city.
Admire its colonial heritage
Although the city has immensely modernized, Saigon nevertheless possesses a spectacular colonial architectural legacy. While wandering in the city and in particular in district 1, you can observe some of the most characteristic colonial structures of the city such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, the Majestic Hotel, the Opera or the Museum fine Arts. In the evening, you may appreciate their illumination which accentuates them especially nicely.
Explore Cu Chi Tunnels
Located more than sixty kilometres to the northwest, the Cu Chi tunnels are an extraordinary and innovative system of tunnels spanning more than 250 kilometres on numerous levels. Originally dug by the Viet Minh below French Indochina, Cu Chi tunnels harbored thousand Viet Cong insurgents throughout the Vietnam War against the Americans. This is one of the greatest half-or full-day trips from Ho Chi Minh City and provides for terrific history education.
Attend Midday Mass at Cao Dai Temple
If you depart to explore the Cu Chi tunnels, your day will be linked with the tour of the Cao Dai Temple of Tây Ninh. This temple of amazing architecture is a must-visit destination! Inside, you will discover a wonderfully designed room. Remember to arrive on the passageways before noon to attend Mass, which takes place at lunchtime. The ceremony is incredibly nice.
Taste the gastronomic delights of Saigon
Certainly less renowned than that of Hanoi or the Center of Vietnam, the cuisine of Saigon and South Vietnam offers plenty to thrill the most sensitive palates. Especially because for some time now, fantastic restaurants have been cropping up everywhere in town, from the most fashionable to the trendiest, from the most traditional to the most street food. This true culinary ebullience could soon drive Ho Chi Minh City into an unmissable gourmet destination in Southeast Asia.
In the Nutshell
Ho Chi Minh is a major metropolis that is sometimes hectic and boisterous like its Asian sisters. The flow of scooters on the major avenues never appears to end and such enthusiasm might startle people who come to experience the charms of Vietnam and not the large cities. Now, we all know the best things to see and do in Vietnam. So, plan your getaway with AirlinesMap and make your travel worth visit and even more memorable!