Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the most populous city in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is a vibrant and bustling metropolis in Vietnam, blending commerce and culture to propel the country forward with its lively atmosphere. This city, full of energy and activity, offers a dynamic experience to residents and visitors alike, immersing them in its vibrant way of life. Here are some ideas for an enjoyable stay.
BINH TAY MARKET
The market, constructed by the French in the 1880s, underwent a reconstruction funded by philanthropist Quach Dam, who hailed from Guangdong. His contribution is remembered through a statue now displayed at the Fine Arts Museum. Very little English is spoken but expect a friendly welcome if you take breakfast or coffee with the market’s street-food vendors.
Also publicly known as the Reunification Convention Hall. Surrounded by royal palm trees, the unique 1960s architecture of this historic government building, combined with the eerie atmosphere of its quiet halls, creates a captivating sight. The Palace is accessible to tourists unless official receptions or meetings are underway.
MUSEUM OF HO CHI MINH CITY
A grand neoclassical structure built in 1885 and once known as Gia Long Palace. HCMC’s city museum is a singularly beautiful and impressive building, telling the story of the city through archaeological artefacts, ceramics, old city maps and displays on the marriage traditions of its various ethnicities.
JADE EMPEROR PAGODA
One of the most atmospheric temples in Ho Chi Minh City, stuffed with statues of phantasmal divinities and grotesque heroes. The temple is free to visit.
NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
Notre Dame Cathedral enlivens the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s government quarter, facing Ð Dong Khoi. A red-brick, neo-Romanesque church, it has twin bell towers that are both topped with spires and crosses that reach 60m.
WAR REMNANTS MUSEUM
To understand the US invasion of Vietnam, and contextualize its devastating impact on the country’s civilians, this remarkable and deeply moving museum is an essential visit.