Whether you travel to Ho Chi Minh City to learn about the Vietnam/American war, get a glimpse of French colonisation in Asia, or discover a chaotic (but loveable) Vietnamese capital, there’s plenty to do here! These top things to do in Hi Chi Minh City are a good place to start.
1. War Remnants Museum
Undoubtedly one of the most iconic things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, the War Remnants Museum tells the story of the war between Vietnam and the USA. It’s a sobering experience – many of the exhibits here talk the brutality that went on during this bleak period, and there are photos across the museum that show the unfortunate reality of what went on during this time. There are also vehicles, bombs, and weapons on display.
2. Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market is one of Ho Chi Minh’s iconic landmarks. This is a hive of activity, a place you can find delicious street food as well as local handicrafts and souvenirs. Get ready to barter though – haggling is expected here otherwise you will be ludicrously over-charged for everything.
Mingle around here at night to soak up the vibrant atmosphere and try food from the restaurants. It’s easy to get lost here but that’s the beauty of the experience – this is one of the best places in Ho Chi Minh to witness chaotic Vietnam life.
3. Cu Chi Tunnels
Located around 4km from Ho Chi Minh, the Cu Chu Tunnels are a must-do day trip when visiting the city. This network of underground passages was used by the Viet Cong during the 60s for communication and coordination of attacks. This wasn’t just a single tunnel – the space had living areas, kitchens, storage facilities, and more. There are many companies that run tours around Cu Chi’s tunnels, with experienced guides that can tell you everything you need to know.
4. Temples, temples, temples
Like any beautiful Asian city, Ho Chi Minh is full of temples. The Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the most famous, which was built in 1909 and welcomes in Taoists and some Buddhists. Here you can take a peaceful stroll around in the incense-heavy space.
Also don’t miss stopping by the stunning Cao Dai Temple, which is of a faith of the same name, one that is only practised by a handful of people. The architecture here is incredible, with dragons curling up pillars and gorgeous tiling all over the floor.
5. Notre Dame Cathedral
No, we’re not getting confused between this and the Notre Dame in Paris! The Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon was built at the end of the 19th century and is evidence of the French colonisation of the city. It is a landmark for Catholicism in Ho Chi Minh, and adds an interesting spin to the city’s urban landscape.
What would you most list to see from the top things to do in H0 Chi Minh City list?