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Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Things to do in  Ho Chi Minh City

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City hums with life. Packs of motorbikes zip along grand boulevards, whipping past colonial buildings left over from the days of French rule. Colorful markets overflow with flowers and fruit from the Mekong Delta, and vendors hawk cold Vietnamese coffee alongside steaming bowls of pho. Known as Saigon until the fall of the South Vietnamese government, Ho Chi Minh City is full of wartime history, from the War Remnants Museum to the nearby Cu Chi tunnels. And while there’s plenty to discover within city limits, for many, Ho Chi Minh City makes an ideal base for exploring southern Vietnam, where the Mekong River becomes a maze of canals and rivers flowing towards the South China Sea.

Top 10 attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

#1
Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels

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Built by the Viet Cong in the 1940s as protection from French air raids during the Indochina conflict, the Cu Chi Tunnels extend underground for more than 155 miles (250 km) in the vicinity of Ho Chi Minh City alone. This network of subterranean passageways later provided vital access to and strategic control over the rural areas surrounding the city during the Vietnam War (also known as the Second Indochina War or the American War), when the tunnels housed living quarters, hospitals, booby traps, and storage facilities for the Viet Cong.More
#2
Saigon Central Post Office

Saigon Central Post Office

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The design of Ho Chi Minh City’s Central Post Office, completed in 1891, mimics an old-world European railway station with soaring ceilings and a giant clock face. These rich details lead travelers to pause and soak up the brilliant interior of this architectural landmark, which includes hand-painted maps of the old city.More
#3
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saïgon)

Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saïgon)

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Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Saïgon) boasts a striking red façade and towering stone arches constructed with materials imported from France in the 1800s. But its architecture isn’t the only draw. In 2005, visitors reported seeing a tear flow from the eye of a statue of the Virgin Mary here, making it a destination for Catholics on a religious pilgrimage.More
#4
War Remnants Museum (Bao Tang Chung Tich Chien Tranh)

War Remnants Museum (Bao Tang Chung Tich Chien Tranh)

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A must-visit when in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City’s War Remnants Museum (Bảo Tàng Chứng Tích Chiến Tranh) is a poignant reminder of the horrors of war. The grounds house American planes, tanks, helicopters, and weaponry captured during the Vietnam War. Pictorial displays cover everything from the My Lai Massacre to the traumas of Agent Orange and the work of war correspondents.More
#5
Saigon River (Song Sai Gon)

Saigon River (Song Sai Gon)

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The Saigon River (Sông Sài Gòn), the fast-flowing main artery of Ho Chi Minh City, is flanked by both modern skyscrapers and rural villages that give insight into old Vietnamese traditions. Used by locals to escape the urban bustle, the riverbanks are dotted with picnic benches and greenery, making for a pleasant refuge from the metropolitan mania of Saigon.More
#6
Reunification Palace (Independence Palace)

Reunification Palace (Independence Palace)

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Originally built by the French in 1868 to commemorate the establishment of the colony of Indochina, the Reunification Palace (formerly Independence Palace) as it stands today was built during the 1960s. Known in Vietnamese as Dinh Độc Lập or Dinh Thống Nhất, it was most famously the symbolic site of the liberation of Saigon by communist forces that reunited the nation on April 30, 1975.More
#7
Saigon Opera House (Opéra de Saïgon)

Saigon Opera House (Opéra de Saïgon)

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The Saigon Opera House (Opéra de Saïgon), aka Ho Chi Minh City Theater (Nhà Hát Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh), is a landmark piece of French colonial architecture. (Saigon was the colonial name for Ho Chi Minh City.) Built in 1897, it is home to the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet and Symphony Orchestra, but is best known for evening cultural shows, such as A O and Teh Dar.More
#8
Ben Thanh Market (Cho Ben Thanh)

Ben Thanh Market (Cho Ben Thanh)

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Right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City is the Ben Thanh Market (Chợ Bến Thành). More than a place to go shopping, the market is also an architectural landmark, a center of local Vietnamese life and commerce, and a meeting point all rolled into one.More
#9
Thien Hau Temple (Chua Ba Thien Hau)

Thien Hau Temple (Chua Ba Thien Hau)

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Thien Hau Temple (Chùa Bà Thiên Hậu), built by Cantonese immigrants in the early 19th century, pays tribute to Thien Hau (sometimes called Mazu), goddess of the sea and protector of seafarers. Situated on a busy street in Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown, the active temple displays intricate porcelain dioramas from Chinese mythology both inside and out.More
#10
Cholon (Saigon Chinatown)

Cholon (Saigon Chinatown)

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Cholon (Saigon Chinatown) is Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinese quarter, and the largest in Vietnam. It’s full of Chinese Buddhist temples, as well as other religious buildings and markets. It contrasts with much of the rest of the city, with its narrow streets and varied architectural styles. This is a great place to come to see a different side of Ho Chi Minh City.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Ho Chi Minh City

How to Spend 2 Days in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam War History Tours in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam War History Tours in Ho Chi Minh City

Mekong River Cruises from Ho Chi Minh City

Mekong River Cruises from Ho Chi Minh City

Top activities in Ho Chi Minh City

Dinner Cruise in Ho Chi Minh City

Dinner Cruise in Ho Chi Minh City

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