No visit to Vietnam is really complete without a visit to Ho Chi Minh City, the buzzing and crazy commercial hub of the country. Discover the best top places to visit now!
While Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital city backed by a thousand years of history, Ho Chi Minh City (commonly referred to as “Saigon”) is hands-down the beating heart of the country, where over 8 million people and just as many motorbikes add to the beautiful frenzy of Vietnam’s economic, culinary and entertainment hub.
History buffs will enjoy all the colonial-era buildings with their faded yellow facades, including the Central Post Office designed by Gustav Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame) and the Notre Dame Cathedral, built entirely from materials imported from France. Many of these buildings are located in downtown District 1, around Dong Khoi and Le Loi Streets.
Credit: Hữu Công
The best spot to enjoy spectacular citywide views of Ho Chi Minh City by night is the park on the District 2 end of the Thu Thiem Tunnel. Expect to share this family-friendly spot with Saigonese out for a bit of fresh air while munching on street food or BBQ, all while taking in glittering views of HCMC by night!
Credit: Thủy Phương
Since it was converted to a pedestrian walking street in 2015, Nguyen Hue right in the heart of downtown is where the locals love to gather any time of day. Lined with shops including an old apartment building turned into trendy boutiques and hip coffee joints (42 Nguyen Hue) with great views of the entire street down below, there’s always something to see and do and eat on Nguyen Hue, including street performers and kids out hoverboarding. Especially on holidays and special occasions, Nguyen Hue has some of the city’s best decorations anywhere!
Credit: Thiên Chương
Chinatown or “Cholon” in District 5 is a treasure trove of colourful temples and pagodas. Take a stroll along its busy streets and admire the historic shopfronts and traditional medicine sellers. Don’t forget to stop for some dim sum or a quick meal of freshly made noodles!
Located in District 7 just south of downtown, pedestrian-only Anh Sao (Starlight) Bridge crosses Ban Nguyet Lake, and is a great spot for photos, especially at night when it’s all lit up. The surrounding area of Phu My Hung is full of spacious gardens, leafy streets and modern Western villas making it a pleasant place for jogging and biking.