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Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City
Hoi Chi Minh city, once called Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam and forms the major financial hub of the country. It is a dynamic and historic city that practically never sleeps and is full of energy. The city of Hoi Chi Minh is full of fascinating things to do, ranging from feasting on the delectable street food available to visiting iconic historic structures like the War Remnants Museum and Cu Chi Tunnels. The dark past of the city and its role in the Vietnam War with America can still be felt in such structures. However, having now progressed, the city is making a comeback as a popular tourist destination. Even special spiritual structures like the Cao Dai Temple are not to be missed here. There are activities to suit every kind of visitor in this city.
Check out Binh Tay Market
Cholon Chinatown or Binh Tay Market, developed in the 1880s, can be found in the heart of Vietnam’s major Chinatown area. Distinct from Ben Thanh Market in District 1, this market is famed for its incredibly rich produce, locally sourced from across Vietnam. A two floor building, you can also find traditional handicrafts and fabrics available here. Exploring this market is one the most popular things to do as it gives visitors an insight into the local culture and lifestyle.
Visit the War Remnants Museum
The War Remnants Museum is a fascinating and remarkable museum which has tracked the horrors of the 30 year long Vietnam War. Visitors can observe unspoiled tanks, airplanes and various other equipment in the outdoor gardens. However, the truly intriguing evidence is located in the museum itself in the form of photos, exhibitions and inscribed certification showcasing the atrocities of the American Military in order to decimate the Northern forces of the Vietnamese Army all those years ago. It is a disturbing but highly informative thing to do, especially for visitors with a passion for history.
Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels
This unique attraction allows tourists to travel into the past by experiencing the stark reality of how the Vietnamese soldiers used these underground tunnels during the war. Built in 1948, the area is nearly 120 km long and includes old gunrooms, infirmaries and kitchenettes. There is an educational film, followed by a simulation of everyday life of the Viet Cong taking refuge in the jungle land. Visitors who are curious to learn about the history of Vietnam tend to thoroughly enjoy these tunnels.
Visit the Cao Dai Temple
Cao Dai Temple is the most significant shrine of the Cao Dai religion, am amalgamation of Christianity, Taoism, Islam, Buddhism and Confucianism. One the best things to do is check out this ancient structure to learn about the customs and rituals of this unique community. Each Cao Dai specialist is clothed in white robes along with a band to signify their earlier religion. The temple’s design is bright and charming, with stunning frescoes on the ceiling and partitions. This a fantastic experience for history buffs.
Check out the Reunification Palace
The hub of the Allied Command and the spot where the North Vietnamese triumphed in the American War, Reunification Palace has incredible historical significance and stories. The palace has been untouched since 1975 after the army had broken through its walls. Guests will get the opportunity to study underground lodgings, outstanding reception galleries and military bunkers. This is a special experience that gives deep insight into the mindset of the Vietnamese Army during what is considered the Dark Ages of the country.
Enjoy the delicious street food
In Vietnam food plays such a vital role in representing the local culture. The best food can be found on the streets, in little roadside stalls with plastic tables and chairs. Most of the food is noodle and rice based dishes, usally meat or seafood based and also involves some sort of broth made up of the stock of the meat being used. Leafy vegetables also form an intergral part of the cuisine. Thai Street, Bus Station Street Food and Ben Thanh Street Food Market are just some of the hotspots to hit up in order to sample some spectacular food. Exploring the street food scene is hands-down one the best things to do in the city.
Jade Emperor Pagoda
Jade Emperor Pagoda is arguably one the most revered ancient shrines in all of Ho Chi Minh. Initially constructed in 1909 by Chinese settlers, this Taoist sanctuary now welcomes Buddhism and creates for a serene and calm atmosphere. Sophisticated designs, carvings, sculptures of Gods and Goddesses and Chinese typescripts produce an unusual and eternally glorious environment. Entry to the temple is free and a trip here is one the best things to do for visitors looking to meditate and escape the commotion of the city.
Bitexco Tower and Sky deck
Bitexco Tower is unlike most of the structures in Saigon. It is a contemporary office tower in Ho Chi Minh, with a distinguishing elliptical extension that doubles up as a landing pad. Upright at 262 metres high, this 68 floor structure gives visitors incredible 360 degree views of the entire city. There is a spectacular sky bar called Alto, where visitors can take in the sunset and enjoy a drink and bite to eat at the same time. Visitors are recommended to carry their cameras here to make memories to last a lifetime!