Places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City
Take a Trip to Ho Chi Minh City and Feel its Pulsating Energy
Often referred by its old name, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is largest city and must-visit place in Vietnam, and is bustling blend of old and new culture. Visitors in this city will find both shopping malls and old-fashioned markets with stalls selling array of local handicrafts and street food. It is also home to large number of temples and pagodas, as well as historical sites including Cu Chi tunnels. From perfectly maintained American War planes, it is a chaotic sensory feast and clamorous. With its tree-lined avenues and elegant French colonial architecture, small villages of Mekong Delta and lush waterscapes provide amazing glimpse of rural life. Below given is list of places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City:
- Ben Thanh Market
Being bustling market in daytime and social center in the evening, Ben Thanh Market is must-see attraction. For sightseers, hectic and hot Ben Thanh Market is an obligatory stop with large number of stalls where visitors can purchase inexpensive souvenirs and local handicrafts. Exploring this Asian market is exhilarating experience. Built in 1870, the market also has local shops for daily needs, including clothing and coffee, and visitors can enjoy Vietnam’s local street foods. It possesses one of most important locations in District 1 and trade is bustling and transportation is convenient.
- Bitexco Financial Tower
Bitexco Financial Tower is a skyscraper and was tallest building in Vietnam until 2011. Standing at the heart of Ho Chi Minh’s Financial Centre, it is strategically positioned to attract leading companies both local and global. With 68-storey and 262 meters high, it is designed by Carlos Zapata. Shaped like lotus bulb, it also resembles CD rack. Its Sky Deck is located on 49th floor, where visitors can enjoy 360 degree views of city and Saigon River. It has two restaurants on 50th and 51st floor, which provides amazing views of area.
- Cao Dai Temple
Finished in 1955, Cao Dai Temple has unique architectural style that reflects blended traditions. There are nine hierarchies of worship in this temple including cardinals, pope and archbishop with rituals and festivals. This temple is similar in design to Christian Cathedral with aisles and altar. The main focus point is Divine Eye symbolizing God which has Ying and Yang icon in it pupil. Visitors are allowed to watch galleries and take photographs.
- Giac Lam Pagoda
Believed to be oldest temple in HCMC, Giac Lam is atmospheric place set in peaceful grounds. It is historic Buddhist pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City. Prayers are held daily from 4 AM to 5 AM, 11 AM to noon, 4 PM to 5 PM and 7 PM to 9 PM. Next to tree stands gleaming white statue of Quan the Am Bo Tat on lotus blossom which is symbol of purity. Like other Vietnamese Buddhist temples, aspects of both Taoism and Confucianism can be found.
- War Remnants Museum
War Remnants Museum is one of the most popular museums in Vietnam and offers different view of Vietnam War. Opened in around 1975, the museum was really called Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes. Most of the exhibits in this museum depict Vietnam War, but there are also some related to first Indochina War. It has more than 20,000 documents, films and exhibits, in which more than 1,500 artifacts, documents and films have been applied for eighth thematic exhibition.
- Reunification Palace
Once known as Independence Palace, Reunification Palace was once home and workplace of President of South Vietnam. Designed by architect Ngô Viết Thụ, it is a historic landmark that seems to be frozen in time. Built on the site of former Norodom Palace, it has airy, large rooms and dated furnishings. Set on 44 acres of lush gardens and lawns, it also offers fascinating glimpse of lifestyle of privileged heads. Its architecture is blend of modern architecture and traditional ritual.
- Ho Chi Minh City Zoo
Saigon Zoo is the largest zoo and botanical garden in Vietnam. Ranked as 8th oldest zoo in the world and best place to visit in Asia, it is home to more than 100 spices of reptiles, mammals and birds. It has botanical garden which is also home to ornamental plants and rare orchards. Within zoo, there are many attractions such as Museum of Vietnamese History displays 25,000 documents and Vietnamese culture, history and ethnography. Additionally, it has more than 1,830 trees and 260 plant species. Creatures from nearly every continent can be found here.