If you’re looking for your next city adventure, then be sure to check out Ho Chi Minh City in the south of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City, also commonly referred to as Saigon, is the largest city of Vietnam. A vibrant city full of life with loads going on day and night, you won’t have a dull moment here.
The first thing you will notice when you arrive in Ho Chi Minh has to be the busy streets full of motorbikes weaving in and out of the city. But don’t worry, you can still cross the road if you walk slowly and carefully and follow the locals. There is a slight knack to it, but you will soon get the hang of it.
Here I’ve put together a travel guide of my must-visit places across Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Getting your travel visa for Vietnam
Before you book your flights and head to Vietnam, make sure you have your Vietnam travel visa in order.
Those travelling from the UK can enter Vietnam for two weeks without a visa upon arrival. You must have your return flights sorted, indicating the period you wish to stay in Vietnam.
For those wishing to stay longer than two weeks and wanting to travel around Vietnam (which I highly recommend), you will need to apply for a one-month travel visa to Vietnam.
You can easily arrange your travel visa before you arrive in Vietnam and then you can travel around the country for a whole month.
Saigon Central Post Office
The Saigon Central Post Office, also known as Ho Chi Minh City Post Office, is located downtown in Ho Chi Minh City, near Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica.
The building was constructed when Vietnam was part of French Indochina in the late 19th century and was built with Gothic, Renaissance and French influences.
The Saigon Central Post Office is well laid out and well equipped for the different services that it provides.
War Remnants Museum
The War Remnants Museum is a war museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
It contains exhibits relating to the Vietnam War and the First Indochina War.
Independence Palace, also known as Reunification Palace, built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, is a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
It was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975, when a North Vietnamese army tank went through its gates.
Thien Hau Temple
The Thien Hau Temple, officially the Ba Thien Hau Pagoda, is a Chinese-style temple of the Chinese sea goddess Mazu on Nguyễn Trãi Street in the Cho Lon of District 5 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Day trip to Củ Chi Tunnels
The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting tunnels located in the Củ Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. They are part of a much more extensive network of tunnels that underlie much of the country.
If you would like to visit Củ Chi Tunnels, it’s quickly done on a day trip from the city. I’d recommend booking with a tour company which will include your transfer, entrance ticket and guided tour to cover all the costs for the day.
As the tunnels are located around 40km northwest from Ho Chi Minh City, plan to spend half a day here. I’d recommend doing the tour in the morning. That way, you can head out there after breakfast. There are some beautiful lunch spots in the area so you can enjoy a nice meal before returning back to the city.
Eat at Pho 2000
What would a culinary trip to Ho Chi Minh City be without a beautiful big bowl of pho? Pho comes in many forms, but the delicious dishes of noodle soup to be found at Phuong Cafe make this place stand out.
This place specialises in vegetarian pho which means all the ingredients are super fresh.
A much-loved favourite of President Bill Clinton, Pho 2000 enjoys a popular place in the hearts of visitors to Ho Chi Minh City.
Tucked away above a little coffee shop, Pho 2000 serves up cheap but tasty Vietnamese food.
It’s also just a short walk from Binh Tanh market, so it makes a fantastic place to refuel after a hot afternoon pounding the market streets!
Walk about the Ben Thanh Street Food Market
Pottering about Ben Thanh market means you are guaranteed to find many traders selling delightful handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art, and souvenirs and trinkets that would delight your friends back home!
It’s always a vibrant and busy place with lots going on, and you can pretty much find everything you need to purchase here at the market.
There are also loads of street food traders to chat to and you can try some real authentic, affordable food here. Truly a taste of Vietnamese cuisine!
I’d recommend trying to find a street stall selling fresh Gỏi cuốn, Vietnamese spring rolls, which are bursting full of flavour and perfect for dipping into a sweet and sour sauce. Also worth trying here is the Vietnamese Bánh mì which is a fusion of local flavours and the famous French baguette.
Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon
The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon is a cathedral located in the downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Built by French colonists who initially named it the Church of Saigon, the cathedral was constructed from 1863 and opened in 1880.
The name Notre-Dame Cathedral has been used since 1959. It has two bell towers, reaching a height of 58 metres.
Day trip from Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong Delta
If you’re looking at venturing out of Ho Chi Minh City for the day and exploring the outer countryside, why not book yourself a day trip to the Mekong Delta?
You can book a tour that will take you from the city to the start of the Mekong Delta, and you can go on a local boat adventure to see what life is like along the water.
One of the highlights from this day trip has to be passing by a local fruit seller and purchasing a freshly chopped coconut from the boat.
The whole transaction took place on the water as many of the local businesses operate from a floating market. Lots to see and experience along the Mekong.
Thank you for reading about Ho Chi Mihn City
Thank you for passing by and reading my guide to exploring the city of Ho Chi Minh. I hope you found this article useful and wishing you a wonderful future trip to Vietnam.