1. War Remnants Museum
In this museum, you will learn everything about the Vietnam War. Pull a few hours for this, because you really need that time. You will find 13 rooms that vary from prison and an open-air museum to photographs of journalists and the effects of Agent Orange. The costs are 40.000 Dong per person, less than €1,55.
Read more about the War Remnants Museum
2. Mekong Delta
An hour and a half’s drive from the center of Ho Chi Minh you will find the Mekong Delta. An important area for many Vietnamese who sell their fruit and vegetables on the floating market. We booked a two-day overnight tour and stopped at a few islands and the cities of My Tho and Can Tho.
Read more about the Mekong Delta tour
3. Scooter tour
If you have very little time in Ho Chi Minh City, then a scooter tour is the perfect way to find out more about this city. Put on a helmet and jump on the back, if you dare, and surrender to the chaotic traffic. You can also do the scooter tour in combination with a street food tour, and you will immediately pick up the most delicious dishes of Vietnam.
Read more about our scooter adventure
4. Banh Mi
You can get this Vietnamese sandwich on every street corner, so you really have to try it! During the colonial period, the French took baguettes and other types of bread with them to Vietnam. Here they invented their own variant, which is lighter and has a thinner crust than the French baguette. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, this sandwich can be eaten at any time of the day. The traditional Banh Mi is with pork, different kinds of vegetables like carrot, cucumber and coriander and sauce.
This Vietnamese noodle soup is another popular dish in Vietnam. When I asked about it in the restaurant, they looked at me strangely. Turns out, you pronounce it ‘fuh’. Often you can choose between two kinds of Pho, namely Pho Bo (beef) and Pho Ga (chicken), but in some restaurants, they also serve a vegetarian variant. You eat this with chopsticks and a spoon, that’s easy for the broth. The soup is full of fresh vegetables and, of course, pepper!
6. Rooftop bar
Ho Chi Minh has a lot of sky bars where you can sit or dance in the evening. Find out in advance where you want to go, because some bars have a strict dress code. In District 1, within walking distance of Backpacker Street, you’ll find Chill Skybar Saigon. Here you enter for free and on the 25th floor, you can enjoy the view of the city. Pay attention to the dress code here, because you are not allowed inside with flip-flops. From ten o’clock in the evening, the volume goes up and the DJ plays mainly popular hip hop and dance music.
7. Central Post Office
This post office was built between 1886 and 1891 when Vietnam was still a French colony. The post office is still in use and tourists can book their bus or train tickets to other cities or to Cambodia. On the wall you see two enormous murals showing the map of Cambodia on the one hand and the map of Saigon on the other. You will find the Central Post Office on the same square as the Notre Dame church. Here you can also buy some souvenirs, like magnets and keyrings, but you will also find old stamps of Ho Chi Minh himself.
8. Notre Dame
Notre Dame in Ho Chi Minh was built from 1863-1880 by the French settlers. We thought we don’t have to visit the Notre Dame in Paris for now, so let’s go to Ho Chi Minh. Unfortunately, this was a bit disappointing, because this church is undergoing a major restoration and is not expected to be open to the public until June this year. You can still visit the church during mass, on Sunday at half-past nine in the morning. In front of the church stands a four-meter high statue of Mary that became world-famous in 2005. People would have seen the statue cry, after which thousands of people visited the statue of Mary.
9. People’s Committee Building
The promenade Nguyen Hue is a pleasant street with many restaurants and boutiques. The street is 900 meters long and runs from the Saigon River to the old town hall: the People’s Committee Building. You can’t enter the building, but from the outside, it is already impressive enough. On the square in front of the town hall, there is a huge statue of Ho Chi Minh. In 1976 the city was named after him.
Enough to do in Ho Chi Minh. It’s bursting with hotels and hostels so finding a place to sleep shouldn’t be a problem. Enjoy this city and, the people and the food!