Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Ho Chi Minh City
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As the heart of Southern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is a must-visit destination for foreign tourists. Arriving in Saigon, you will not only see the historical sites from the French Colonial time but also the outstanding beauty of the modern world. It is time to find out top 10 best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh.
1. Cu Chi Tunnels
If you want to try the feelings during the Vietnam War, it is a pity without trying the authentic Cu Chi tunnels. Built for war purposes of Viet Cong soldiers, these tunnels promised to bring you through a page of history.
Exciting Place to Explore
Visitors who want to crawl in the narrow hiding location of Vietnamese soldiers will have to enter through a door perfectly camouflaged. Afterward, you will continue in the safe areas in the tunnels, viewing the command center, kitchen and especially deadly booby traps to eliminate threat inside the tunnels. Upon entering the command area, tourists can enjoy the simple food that Vietnamese soldiers ate in the past.
The Hiding Location for Vietnamese Soldiers
However, crawling in Cu Chi Tunnels will not the only activity as a shooting range is available for visitors as well. A good selection of assault rifles used by Viet Cong soldiers may be tried here, including AK-47, M16 rifle or light machine gun. you can refer to this article to know how to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Cu Chi Tunnels
Old Kitchen from the War
2. War Remnants Museum
Besides Cu Chi Tunnels, visiting unique war museums in Ho Chi Minh city will also provide excellent history information during your travel to Vietnam. As a result, we recommend you to arrive in one of the best museums in the city, the War Remnants Museum.
The Exterior of the Museum
This is the most wonderful location to learn about the horror of Vietnamese War. Controversial pictures and documents are presented there, but lots of them were used in the war. For example, you can visit the outdoor exhibition with military machines such as UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, M48 Patton tank, A-1 Skyraider attack bomber.
A War Machine in the Outdoor Exhibition
Other than that, you may encounter a wide range of pictures and guillotine showing the cruelty in the Vietnam War.'
Contemplating Various Pictures
3. Fito Museum
If you want something more traditional and less tense, it is advised to visit Fito Museum or Museums of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine & Pharmacy. Here, you will explore the Vietnamese medicine and medical methods from thousand years ago.
Authentic Architecture Style
These are two museums relating to traditional Vietnamese medicine and pharmacy. Coming to the museum of traditional Vietnamese medicine, tourists will contemplate various tools and equipment used in the past like ceramic teapots, wine jars to keep the medicine, knives and so on. Other than that, it will be a fantastic exploration of traditional medical ingredients and well-known names in Vietnamese medicine.
Traditional Herbs in Fito Museum
On the other hand, the museum of traditional Vietnamese pharmacy will offer a different view to medicine in the past. Reaching room 1 to witness hundreds of paintings and watch a short film about the art of treatment in Vietnam. Afterward, you can visit the medical plants shop to touch and see the raw ingredients up-close. A lot of tools for producing drugs are available around the museum allowing tourists to understand deeply about the medicine in the country.
Tools and Equipment in the Past
4. Artinus 3D Art Museum
Ho Chi Minh City packs with traditional, rich history of the country, however, Artinus 3D Art Museum is definitely a wonderful location to spend fun time with friends and family.
A Fun Place for Teens
The 3D pictures presents outstanding opportunity for photographers around the world to show their imagination. Even though it is not about the local traditions and cultures, you still can enjoy the one-of-a-kind paintings on walls, floors with different themes to choose. Although solo travelers may not have the best time here, you can ask the staff to take picture for you and still have something interesting to post on facebook.
Using your Creativity and Imagination
5. The Independence Palace
Being the headquarter of multiple powerful countries in the 20th century (France, Japan), the Independence Palace shall be a great example of French Colonial architecture in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Headquarter Built by the French
When you are inside the building, you will venture through many working offices of the French, the minister cabinet room, and conference hall. The basement room has a collection of propaganda materials and a rooftop containing old helicopter. Finally, tourists will want to contemplate the two tanks which rammed the main gate and claimed the palace for North Vietnamese. At that historical moment, Vietnamese soldiers put on their flag on the balcony opening an independence and unification age in Vietnam.
The Reception Room
6. Saigon Opera House
Saigon Opera House, also known as Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City, is often considered to be a smaller version of its counterpart in Hanoi. Built by architect Eugène Ferret, tourists will contemplate the signature theater of French Colonial time.
Viewing the Interior of the Theater
This building is extremely well-preserved by the Vietnamese government especially on the occasion of the 300th anniversary in 1998. As a result, a number of sculptures, decorations, inscriptions are perfectly intact and in good condition till today. New lighting and sound system have been installed, so if you are interested, feel free to participate in a concert held in Saigon Opera House to contemplate the impressive interior.
Regular Show in Front of the Opera House
7. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
Located on busy streets in District 1, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral has special meaning in the heart of the local. It is not only a relic of the past but also one of the most significant religious symbol in Vietnam.
The Religious Symbol of Saigon
All the materials were imported from France, including tiles and bricks, though some of them have been replaced after being damaging by war. Visiting the church and you will be able to see the unique Our Lady of Peace Statue which made in Rome and said to shed tear in 2005. Otherwise, tourists are also fascinated about the two bell towers in which 6 bells presenting 6 notes in music (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si). While only 3 bells are being rung on Sunday, during Christmas, all the bells will be rung created beautiful sounds marking the magical event in the city.
Unique Architecture Style
8. Ben Thanh Market
Shopping is certainly a must-do activity in Ho Chi Minh City and nowhere is better than Ben Thanh Market in terms of local products. Those who seek cheap and authentic goods in the region will be strongly advised to reach this destination.
One of the Most Busiest Market in Saigon
Clothes, textiles, handicrafts accessories are offered around the market with reasonable prices. Moreover, the fragment tropical fruits, flowers and dried coffee are really appealing to customers from other countries. After some time strolling in Ben Thanh, you can enjoy the best kinds of Vietnamese street foods such as Banh Beo, Banh Cuon, Banh Beo and watch the lively life of local people. This is obviously a wonderful place to experience the traditional market in Vietnam.
Enjoying Local Cuisine
9. Ba Thien Hau Pagoda
A long time ago, Chinese people settled in several streets in Vietnam and lived there for hundred years. Today, their magnificent legacy and buildings left in Vietnam and Ba Thien Hau Temple is one of the finest examples.
Interesting Carving in the Pagoda
The architecture of the pagoda was heavily influenced by the Chinese culture with various unique cultures, carving and artifacts. The sacred altar of Thien Hau or Chinese sea goddess Mazu is filled with incense burning in the peaceful ground of the temple year-round. You may also contemplate the local people praying and donating for the pagoda before taking pictures of wonderful arts on the roofs and walls.
The High Altar of Thien Hau
10. Central Post Office
Our final place on the list is Central Post Office in the city which considered to be the landmark in Saigon. This is not just a simple post office, but a magnificent building featuring a combination of French architecture and Asian decorations.
The Hall and Picture of Ho Chi Minh at the End
Despite built more than 100 years ago, the post office is incredibly new and beautiful showing great preservation from the people. The best part about Central Post Office is the interior in which a large picture of Ho Chi Minh at the end of the hall. Other highlights include two painted map, one called “Saigon et ses environs 1892” - Saigon and its surroundings 1892 and another is “Lignes telegraphiques du Sud Vietnam et Cambodge 1892” - Telegraphic lines of Southern Vietnam and Cambodia 1892. This will be a great chance to learn about the geographic and history of Southern Vietnam in the 19th century.
Special Map in the Ancient Post Office
- Source: Vietnam Excursions
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