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Get a Taste of all Best Things to Do in Saigon

November 18, 2022 - 4064 views

Unlike any other city in the world, Saigon and its unique local taste bring you the motivation to do things differently. With this list of things to do in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), you’ll wish you could stay longer!

1. Sightseeing all landmark of Ho Chi Minh City

Go around Saigon to see it famous landmarks

Go around Saigon to see its famous landmarks

Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant mix of old and new things, with well-preserved colonial structures and war relics from the devastating Vietnam War as well as modern skyscrapers, sports clubs, and shopping malls against a metropolis backdrop. Spend a nice day of walking around exploring the city and seeing some beautiful historic buildings, you will be amazed. Choose to walk or get on the back of a bike by night or day to visit the highlights of the city: Ben Thanh Market, War Remnants Museum, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Thien Hau Pagoda in Sai Gon's China Town, etc. There are no entry fees for these sightseeing places, except for the Reunification Palace. 


2. Visit Cu Chi Tunnels

Explore the underground Cu Chi Tunnels

Ready to explore the underground world of guerrilla warfare in the incredible Cu Chi

While it is super touristy in the city center, you should take a tour of the fascinating Cu Chi tunnels on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City (2,5-hours by car/bus) to experience the underground guerrilla network by yourself. Here, you will learn more about the living conditions Vietnamese people in war time, the hardships they faced and the amazing ingenuity employed to maintain life in the tunnels.


3. Shopping in Saigon

Ben Thanh Market best shopping places in Ho Chi Minh

Ben Thanh Market - an important symbol of Saigon


Ben Thanh and Binh Tay markets are usually the recommended shopping heaven to tourists visiting Ho Chi Minh City. Here you can find everything from foods or specialties to fashion items. However, it tends to be overpriced and really crowded. If you want to grab some good bargains on clothes and accessories, head to Saigon Square, which can best be described as a flea market in an air-conditioned building. Put your bargaining boots on and go.

Markets asides, there are plenty of options for high-end shopping. The major department stores are found at the central business district's Diamond Plaza or Saigon Centre — though prices will not be different much from other countries — while locals tend to favour Nguyen Trai Street, belonged to districts 1 and 5 for cheaper goods. Le Cong Kieu is famous for antiques, and the relatively new Vincom Centre opposite the Hotel Continental is a good bet for pricier, high-quality and boutique wares, while fashionistas will really love Nguyen Hue Street.


4. Explore China Town (Cholon)

Thien Hau Pagoda in China Town
Thien Hau Pagoda in China Town

Ho Chi Minh’s crowded China Town is the largest one in Vietnam. China Town, or Cholon, is laden with pagodas, street food hawkers, and tea houses at every corner. Observe the rhythm of daily life and watch locals go about their routine, explore crumbling Chinese buildings, or follow the wafting aromas of food. It is hard to go wrong here – the labyrinthine alleys are brimming with things to do and wandering aimlessly is bound to yield returns.

The highlight of a visit to China Town is definitely its pagodas. They offer a spiritual experience like no other. The fragrance of incense sticks hangs heavily in the tepid air while devotees pray with conviction, and unravel in the pagodas’ expansive courtyards. There are 3 prominent pagodas in China Town: Thien Hau Pagoda, Phuoc Hai Tu (Jade Emperor Pagoda) and Hoi Quan Nghia. Despite the number of devotees, the atmosphere is extremely peaceful.


5. Tasting Saigon local foods

The food stalls in Ben Thanh market
The food stalls in Ben Thanh market sees hundreds of visitors a day


Along with being very affordable, eating street food is a way to socialize with friends, and enjoy the atmosphere of the city. You will find street food stalls set up in every neighbourhood, along every street, and on just about every corner of Saigon. If you wander around Saigon, you will have no trouble finding unbelievably delicious food to try. You may not always know what you’re eating, but you will have an incredible time tasting, and the experiences you will have as a result of being adventurous and samplings different foods is something you will never forget. If you want an overview of Vietnamese cuisine, Ben Thanh Market is also a good place to go.


6. Motorbike tour is must try in Ho Chi Minh 

Experience Saigon on the back of a vintage scooter
Experience Saigon on the back of a vintage scooter


This is an interesting and authentic way of discovering Saigon behind the scenes. Given the amazing variety of street food in Saigon, it’d be perfect to get on a scooter with a local and visit those hidden alleys for scrumptious street food that only the locals know about. Interacting with locals wherever you go – be it for discovering local hidden gems or for sharing stories with them – you will feel that such interaction with locals enhances your travel experiences and gives you a different perspective on life. Exploring the streets from the back seat of a motor scooter is an exhilarating way to get a feel for a city with nearly 5 million motorbikes. To get your orientation fast, jump on an organized tour with an emphasis on food, nightlife, iconic sights or unusual attractions; a guide can help you discover the hot spots. Noted that motorbike helmets are compulsory in Vietnam.


7. Hang With The Saigon Locals

"Cafe Bet" - Saigon's Street Coffee Scene
"Cafe Bet" - Saigon's Street Coffee Scene

If you have ever been to South-East Asia, you’d know that the people here are extremely friendly and love to share their culture with visitors. In Saigon, there is a coffee culture named "Cafe Bet" literally drinking vendor’s coffee on the flat ground. To witness Cafe Bet as an outsider seems to be an expression of the optimism and youth of this generation. There is an infectious buzz that makes you wish you were a part of the excitement and youth of the students sitting in the park.

Indeed, one of the great things about Cafe Bet is that you can easily join in the fun: just buy a drink and a snack from one of the vendors, lay down some newspaper and take a seat on the ground. This is a chance to make some friends and learn more about Vietnamese culture. No strangeness, no border, no national differentiates, while enjoying Vietnam coffee, we are all friends, all willing to listen and to share our own stories.


8. Cooking class in Ho Chi Minh

Cooking Class in Ho Chi Minh
Gain an insight into the cuisine of Vietnam with a cooking class


After tasting so much great food, you will want to replicate them. A small-size cooking class is a good option. The classes will team you up with a chef to source ingredients at a nearby market before you learn to cook classic Vietnamese traditional dishes. Most provide a take-home recipe pack so you can cook for your friends and relatives to enjoy when comeback home.


9. Watch Saigon À Ố Show

Saigon À Ố Show
À Ố Show

À Ố Show is a new kind of art performance commonly acknowledged globally as ‘new circus’. Visit the historic Saigon Opera House for this sophisticated cultural show featuring traditional music, dance and acrobatics. Beautiful choreography and stunning optical illusions lend to a story about how a rural Vietnamese community adapts to urbanization. Get a complimentary beverage before settling into your seat for the family-friendly performance.


10. Have dinner on the cruise

Enjoy a meal while seeing the city from the water

Enjoy dinner on a cruise that highlights the beauty of Saigon at night. This Ho Chi Minh dinner cruise is a Vietnamese dining experience with a difference and is the perfect way to soak up the activity along the Saigon River. You will cruise about 2 hours on a traditional junk and enjoy sensational gastronomic moments on one of the most authentic vessels on the Saigon River. 


11. Explore The Mekong Delta from Saigon

Trip to the Water World Of Mekong Delta
Trip to the Water World Of Mekong Delta

Less than 3 hours away from the chaos of Saigon lies the idyllic Mekong Delta. Here dozens of sampan boats peacefully glide down the river that is the lifeline of South East Asia. The seductive flow of the Mekong River is enchanting and offers the perfect respite from Saigon’s urbanity. It is easiest to experience the delta on a tour, with most ranging from between one and five days. Spend a few days here if time permits; you can even make your way over to Cambodia by river, rather than by plane or bus.

And so, as soon as you arrive in the city you’ll be surrounded by a sea of motorbike traffic, delicious street food everywhere you look, and a host of attractions that will keep you busy and entertained.

Now it’s your turn to navigate your way through the bustling traffic, stop at a museum or market, grab a banh mi and slurp down a bowl of hot noodles on the sidewalk, and explore the many possibilities waiting for you in Saigon!


Image Sources: Internet


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