War Remnants Museum


This is one of the most moving and emotional museums you’ll ever visit. It showcases the horrors of the Vietnam War with the U.S. and the country’s earlier conflicts with the French, but what will really tear at your heart are the former U.S. veterans who come to the museum and let their emotions flow.


   

Cu Chi Tunnels

 
Since this city’s modern history is so wrapped up in war, you have to take a short drive outside this city formerly known as Saigon to see the amazing Cu Chi Tunnels where Viet Cong fighters and their families lived under ground – some up to 10 years – and caused guerilla war havoc for first the French and the Americans. You can crawl in the narrow tunnels and actually shoot an AK-47 rifle, which the Viet Cong used so successfully against their enemies. The rubber tree plantations surrounding the Cu Chi Tunnels will also fascinate you.
 

Notre-Dame Basilica


The cathedral was constructed by the French between 1863 and 1880. It has two bell towers, reaching a height of 58 metres. All the original building materials were imported from France. The Virgin Mary statue in front of the church reportedly shed tears in 2005 but that was later denied by the Vatican.


   

Opera House

 
Built in 1897 by French architect Eugene Ferret as the Op─Śra de Saigon, the 800 seat building was used as the home of the Lower House assembly of South Vietnam after 1956. It was not until 1975 that it was again used as a theatre, and restored in 1995.


 

Ben Thanh Market


The market is one of the earliest surviving structures in Ho Chi Minh City and popular gathering spot for tourists and locals alik who come seeking local handicrafts, textiles and souvenirs, as well as local cuisine. Built in the 17th century the market was destroyed by fire in 1870 and rebuilt to become Saigon's largest market.


   

Mekong Delta

 
For a real treat, you can arrange a trip down the Mekong River. Here’s you’ll see local life up close and stop at riverside markets where you can sample snake wine and other local “delicacies”.

 

Ride a motor scooter


For those daring enough, you can take a scooter rise around Ho Chi Minh City and the experience is amazing. The veteran drivers weave in and out of the traffic chaos but it’s all great fun.


   

Jade Emperor Pagoda

 
Built in 1909 in honour of the supreme Taoist god (the Jade Emperor or King of Heaven, Ngoc Hoang), this is one of the most spectacularly atmospheric temples in the city. It features lots of statues of phantasmal divinities and grotesque heroes. The pungent smoke of incense (huong) fills the air, obscuring the exquisite woodcarvings.

 

Reunification Palace


Its 1960s architecture does not impress but this building symbolizes the fall of then Saigon in 1975 and it’s regarded by the Vietnamese as an important reminder of the past. The gardens surrounding the palace are quite lovely.


   

Food Tours

 
The French left a great culinary legacy in Vietnam and especially Ho Chi Minh City, where some of the best restaurants in Asia are located. There’s lots of food and cooking tours offered and taking one of these tours really gives you an insight into local food customs and traditions.