Ho Chi Minh City
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Top Tours & Activities in Ho Chi Minh City

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Top 10 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Named after Communist revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, the city formerly known as Saigon has emerged from its darkest days to become one of Asia's most exciting cities. It boasts vibrant street life, handsome buildings, and warm weather all year round. But what are the best things to do in this interesting city?

Photo: David McKelvey@Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Cu Chi Tunnels

How did the Americans lose the Vietnam War? Your guide will lead you through hidden trap-doors to explore the Cu Chi tunnels that helped thwart the US army at every turn.

Photo: Tun Tun Win@Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Saigon Opera House (Municipal Theatre)

Modelled on the Petit Palais in Paris, this striking example of French Colonial architecture is easy to reach and regularly hosts some of the city's best concerts.

Photo: seafaringwoman @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Saigon Central Post Office

Saigon Central Post Office still operates, though it also serves as one of the city's top attractions, having been designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel.

Photo: yeowatzup @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral

Pilgrims flocked to this beautiful basilica in 2005 when its Virgin Mary statue was reported to have shed tears. We're sceptical, but there are better reasons to visit the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, such as its superior architecture!

Independence Palace (Reunification Palace)

Originally built to demonstrate Vietnam's strength in the wake of Independence, it was torn down, replaced, and eventually renamed Reunification Palace after the fall of Saigon.

Pham Ngu Lao Street

Though known as the backpacker district, the bustling Pham Ngu Lao Street attracts people from all walks of life with its bounty of clothing, war memorabilia, and other merchandise.

Photo: amrufm @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum paints a vivid – and often disturbing – picture of the country's 20th-century struggles. It's a must for anyone hoping to understand Vietnam's complex history.

Dam Sen Park

With lakes, gardens, and so much more beyond the rides, Dam Sen is the perfect amusement park for people who don't like amusement parks, as well as those that do!

Photo: ePi.Longo @Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Jade Emperor Pagoda

With its ornate carvings and constant aura of incense smoke, this is the pagoda to see if you've only time for one. Be sure to look over its gorgeous courtyard from the roof!

Ho Chi Minh City Museum

Located in the old Gia Long Palace, photographs and artefacts offer an exemplary account of Vietnam's bloody past. It's uncompromising without being gratuitous.

Planning Your Ho Chi Minh City Visit

How to get to Ho Chi Minh City from the airport?

The cheapest way to get to the city is by taking bus 152 near the arrivals exit. It costs extra if your luggage weighs over 10kg, but will take you all the way downtown to the bus station near Cho (market) Ben Tanh. Taxis are located to the left of the terminal. Make sure you take a metered taxi and do not pay in any currency other than Vietnamese dong or you risk being ripped off.

Where to eat?

One of the most charming things about Ho Chi Minh City is how the low-cost street food can so often outperform its best restaurants. You'll find many good ones on Dong Khoi, the lively stretch of shops and bars between the river and cathedral.

Where to shop?

Ho Chi Minh City has several markets worth visiting as well as the aforementioned Pham Ngu Lao Street. The two largest are Cho Ben Tanh and Cho Lon. Cho Lon – the Chinese market – has a dazzling array of goods on offer and is the least touristy of the two. Ben Tanh is also fun to visit, and better regulated, with less knock-off merchandise and fewer pickpockets. That said, you should always be wary of both those things.

Good to Know

  • Language
    Vietnamese
  • Currency
    Vietnamese Dong (VND)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+07:00)
  • Country Code
    +84
  • Best time to visit
    Spring

Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City

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What People Are Saying About Ho Chi Minh City

Great way to get from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh!

Excellent trip - lots to see and do on the way that we would never have known about without the tour. Very organised and easy pickups and transfers, included food was delicious. Tour guide Tom (chicken man!) was knowledgable, helpful and entertaining.

Very good and educational experience. Fabulous tour guide (Thao).

Accomodating. Thorough explanation about Cu Chi tunnel and Vietnam history. Fun tour guide. Bring some water. Wear something cooling as the weather is hot. Since we are going through some tunnels, I would recommend to wear shorts and T shirt. Also get some insect repellant. Highly recommended. Have fun guys!

Cu Chi Tunnels: Half-Day in Small Group Reviewed by kwanleng@hotmail.com, 08/14/2017

Guide Fa produced a fantastic day of fun and information

Just wanted to say thank you to FA who really looked after us during the whole day giving great insight into the daily lives of the people of Saigon and the Mekong Delta. Also thanks to the company for rescheduling our tour at short notice.

Ho Chi Minh City: Mekong Delta Small Group Tour Reviewed by Nikita, 08/11/2017

Nice way to discover a few places in one day.

Our guide, Fa, was nice and we had a great time! Several stops to enjoy fruits, tea and local food.

Ho Chi Minh City: Mekong Delta Small Group Tour Reviewed by Thomas, 08/07/2017

We really enjoyed the tour. Fong was an excellent guide

Many things done and sights seen that never experienced before.Organisation was excellent.