Awesome Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City On Your First Visit

As a city of rich history, Ho Chi Minh has emerged from its significant contribution to Vietnam’s history during the Vietnam war. Today, the city prominently takes the business and financial strength of the country.

Fusing modern and traditional landscape merits, Ho Chi Minh City delights with towering skyscrapers and 19th-century French architecture. Coupled with its fascinating culture, travelers can embark on an extraordinary journey of unearthing places that hold great importance to the city’s history. At the same time, sign up for experiences that are made memorable by the warm reception of the locals.

Growing fond of Ho Chi Minh City is inevitable. To get around the city, check out this transportation guide. If you are set for your first Saigon adventure, make sure to maximize your day trips with the amazing features the city offers.



Spree On Museum Tours

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As a tourist, learning about the history of the place you visit for the first time is a must. Museum of Vietnamese History and HCMC Museum of Fine Arts takes you to an informative Ho Chi Minh City History 101 trip as it provides intensive details and information to Vietnam’s civilization growth. 

String your museum day tour with a visit to War Remnants Museum. Albeit documenting the disheartening cruelty of the Vietnam War, it gives an insightful grasp to appreciate the resilience of the Vietnamese. 

An interesting old-age medicine archive is housed by the Museum of Vietnamese Traditional Medicine. Aside from its authentic ancient architecture, the vast collection of Vietnamese curing concoctions and traditional remedies easily blow minds away.



Find Serenity At Temples And Pagodas

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Arguably one of the most popular landmarks in the city, the Taoist temple highlights the supreme god – Jade Emperor. Vividly designed, rooms dedicated to other deities can be found in the temple. Expect tranquil mood to envelop your senses in this must-visit sanctuary.

Historic Giác Lâm Pagoda is another widely-regarded city feature as the oldest Buddhist temple. Housing historic statues, the surrounding garden soothes visitors who are intent to pay their respect in the temple.

Celebrating faith of the primitive Vietnamese people, Cao Dai Temple is the seat of Cao Dai faith. It merges the prevailing religious beliefs of Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. Hence, unlikely yet interesting elements of the mentioned religions are evident on the temple’s structure.



Trace The Footsteps Of The Guerillas

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For a unique walk through history, comb through the labyrinthine Cu Chi tunnels. Used as evading routes and headquarters by the Viet Cong, the tunnels aided the guerillas during the Vietnam War. 

Read through this complete guide of why you should not miss the Cu Chi tunnel adventure.



Marvel  At French Architecture 

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Remnants of French colonization are evident on famed city landmarks – Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon and Saigon Central Post Office.

Boasting a spacious hall and cathedral dome ceiling, Saigon Central Post Office is decked with Gothic-style arched windows and wooden shutters. Such an elaborated design makes the post office an amazing spot not to miss in the city. 

A stone’s throw away from Saigon Central Post Office is Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon. Lauded as the grandest cathedral in the country, the iconic church flaunts materials that were shipped from France.

TIP: Drop by the Reunification Palace, the residence of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War



Shop Like A Local At Ben Thanh Market

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Mingle with locals and experience the bustling vibe of Ben Thanh Market. Like any archetypal marketplace, fresh produce, clothing, handicrafts, food and more items are sold. Tourists flock to Ben Thanh Market to score souvenir deals. To see its thriving spirit, schedule your trip to cover its night market setting.


Splurge On Local Food Treats

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Brimming with cafes, the coffee drinking culture in Ho Chi Minh City is tweaked to complement its weather. Sip some authentic iced-cold coffee for a dose of sweetness to perk up your day. 

After a healthy helping of pho and banh mi, explore local dishes and delicacies as you go along your trip. Whether you’re daring to try exotic food on night markets or coming across accidental discoveries of amazing food at restaurants, you will surely delight in the richness of Vietnam’s mouth-watering dishes.


BONUS: Vietnam Travel Essentials