Top 10 Places to Visit in South Vietnam Should Not Miss
South Vietnam is a worth-visiting land that features many things to explore - a modern and dynamic city, a network of floating markets, pristine beaches and islands, natural diversity, and unique local lifestyles.
If you're curious about where to go, here's a list of 10 must-visit places in South Vietnam to add to your itinerary.
1. Cu Chi Tunnel
- Address: Phu Hiep, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours: 08:00 - 17:00 (seven days a week)
- Best time to visit: Dry season (from Nov to Apr)
Cu Chi Tunnels is a network of tunnels constructed during the Vietnam-American War. It is a historical site where Viet Cong Soldiers hid for contact and trained for surprise attacks. Thus, in Cu Chi tunnels, you will experience the atmosphere of the American war for a long time.
Coming here, you will experience talking and breathing in harsh conditions (darkness, lack of air) and discover underground life, so make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes and be ready for rocky surfaces.
If you have Claustrophobia, it’s not recommended to visit Cu Chi Tunnels.
After the underground tour, we would recommend some interesting activities to try:
- Touch the real guns in the shooting range: learn how to shoot AK-47s or M16s under the instruction. (Price: Around USD $2.5 per bullet)
- See the life of soldiers living in Cu Chi during the war in the reenactment areas
- Taste tea and boiled tapioca (Main food during the war)
Explore Cu Chi Tunnels And Try Tapioca
2. Ben Thanh Market
- Address: Le Loi, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours:
- Morning market: 06:00 - 18:00
- Night market: 19:00 - 23:00
- Best things to buy: Handicraft products
- Recommended things to eat: Tropical fruits and street food
Ben Thanh Market is the most popular shopping destination for tourists in Ho Chi Minh District, offering every kind of souvenir that a visitor wants to purchase.
- In the main entrance - renowned for its massive clock tower, the emblematic symbol of Ben Thanh market, you can find rows of vibrant textiles and clothes entering this door.
- The east side of the market has 6 gates where you can buy a lot of Vietnamese canned food and specialties like coffee beans, tea, fish sauces, and dried products.
- The north side sells new products with a selection of fish and meat. You can also see flowers, dried foods, and fruit here.
- And the West Side Gate is a souvenir paradise with many gift stalls, ceramics, and art.
Especially visiting Ben Thanh Street Food Market is a pleasant opportunity to explore local people's lifestyle and food culture. For your first visit, visitors will be drawn by an outdoor and spacious indoor area with lined-up table sets in the direction of the street.
Note: Don't buy the first thing you see. There are also other similar items on the market, and you should compare prices before buying.
Ben Thanh Market - A Good Spot For Shopaholics
3. War Remnants Museum
- Address: Vo Van Tan, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
- Opening hours: 07:30 - 18:00
- Best for: Culture & history lovers
War Remnants Museum mostly includes exhibits on the American phase of the Vietnam War, including materials, photos, and artifacts on evidence of crime and effects.
The museum is intended to educate the public, particularly the younger generation, about the spiritual struggle for liberation and freedom of the nation to defend peace and unity amongst people around the world.
It currently maintains more than 20,000 records, objects, and videos, including more than 1,500 documents, artifacts, and films, in eight subjects that are frequently displayed.
Therefore, in 35 years, this museum has welcomed more than 15 million visitors nationally and internationally. Currently, with about 500,000 tourists per year, War Remnants Museum is one of the most popular destinations in South Vietnam for both local and foreign visitors.
Inside The War Remnants Museum
4. Star Beach Phu Quoc (Sao Beach)
- Location: On the south-eastern edge of Phu Quoc island
- Best for: Both relaxation lovers and active travelers
- Exciting things to try:
- Aquatic activities: Swimming, sunbathing, scuba diving, kayaking, etc.
- Foodie delight: Seafood eating from vendors
Bai Sao Beach boasts white powdery beaches, swaying palm trees, clear turquoise water, and a jungle background. Its relaxed tropical lifestyle, unspoiled atmosphere, peaceful beach, and easy access to the An Thoi archipelago make it an ideal location for a short vacation.
In addition, two gentle mountain ranges enclose Bai Sao Beach, offering a peaceful area and fresh air. Right here, you'll be able to enjoy quiet moments by wandering leisurely along the seaside, watching the sunrise early in the morning, or taking light sunstrokes at the end of the day.
Bai Sao Beach - An Ideal Place For Beach Relaxation
5. Cai Rang Floating Market
- Location: Hai Ba Trung, Tan An Ward, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho
- Best for: Culture seekers
- Opening hours: Quite early 05:00 - 07:00
The floating market of Cai Rang, one of the biggest floating markets in the Mekong Delta, is a rare sight when you only find out about the stunning lifestyle trade when traveling in the special Wetlands of southern Vietnam.
Early morning is the ideal time to see the dream sunrise scene with a cup of Vietnamese coffee on the water.
The main feature of the Cai Rang floating market tour is a location where agricultural items such as bananas, oranges, pineapples, coconut, watermelon, vegetables, Mekong fish, and even lottery tickets are traded.
Other than that, you'll have a fantastic view of how local people grow up on this river and a chance to learn more about the Mekong community in southwest Vietnam.
- In the bustle of this area, local vendors have their own special advertising to make it easier for tourists to notice their items.
- The owner is going to hold their product on a really tall bamboo stick in every boat so that you can only look up and figure out products you want to have over long distances.
Try Local Cuisine From Traders
6. Cao Dai Temple
- Location: Pham Ho Phap, Hoa Thanh, Tay Ninh
- Opening hours: Flexible, depending on the temple
- Best for: Religious travelers
Cao Dai Temple’s architecture is a mix of Neo-Gothic, Baroque, and Oriental styles and is very ornately painted, including dragon-wrapped pillars, seven-headed cobras, and sky-blue ceilings.
Seeing Caodiasts pray is one of the popular highlights while entering this temple as they dress in long flowing white robes for lay followers, yellow, blue, or red for priests, while Divine Eye is embroidered on their headpieces.
Note: Visitors are able to view from the galleries and can take photos, must dress respectfully and take shoes off before joining. Silence is needed when a service takes place.
Cao Dai Temple's Unique Design
7. Fruit garden in Mekong Delta
Touring to Mekong Delta without visiting fruit farms and traditional features of the southwestern countryside is such a loss.
As the name of "Vietnam rice basket", the fertile land of the Mekong Delta is also resource-producing various kinds of fruit for the S-shaped region. These days, Mekong Delta tours of fruit farms have become a hot topic. Going on those trips, travelers can appreciate the countrified charm of the Southwest and experience the everyday life of the locals.
Things to know
There are fruit farms in each region of the Southwest, and these farms, which are mentioned below, are the best worth-visiting gardens that you should simply choose for your farm tour:
- Cai Be Fruit Farm, Vinh Kim fruit farm (Tien Giang)
- Cai Mon fruit garden (Ben Tre)
- My Khanh fruit garden, Con Son fruit orchard (Can Tho)
Witness And Try Various Tropical Fruits
8. Mui Ne (Phan Thiet)
Phan Thiet is a beautiful ocean city, the capital of Binh Thuan province, Vietnam, where resort-style blooming along the coastline, but the life of the fishing community still remains unchanged, and the beach is still clean and quiet, great for walking, and spectacular sunset.
The most famous spot in Phan Thiet is the Red Sand Dunes, one of Phan Thiet’s most unique natural landscapes.
You can easily catch up with the Red Dunes from the tourist stretch in Mui Ne. It’s wonderful to explore the reddish-brown sand dunes on foot and go to the top for the gorgeous panoramic view, you will be able to see the ocean.
- With a strong wind breeze, you can go kiting and windsurfing. You should also try the most famous activity here: sliding all the way down the sand dunes with a height of more than 10 meters.
Mui Ne Beach And The Red Sand Dunes
9. Cat Tien National Park
- Location: Nam Cat Tien, Tan Phu District, Dong Nai
- Opening hours: 07:30 - 18:30
- Best for: Nature goers and active travelers
If you're setting up your holiday, you can spend some time visiting Cat Tien National Park, a national park located in the south of Vietnam, about 150 km north of Ho Chi Minh.
One of the most tourist destinations is enjoyed by tourists who wish to immerse themselves in nature and wildlife. The park is definitely the best part of your vacation, mainly because it is listed by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve.
Animals include more than 100 species of animals (some endangered), including wild elephants, chimpanzees, and Asian sun bears, to name just a handful, more than 400 butterflies and 350 plus uncommon birds, not to mention the abundance of insects.
Beautiful Scenery Inside The Cat Tien National Park
10. Vung Tau Beach
Vung Tau is a tourism and commercial center of Ba Ria - Vung Tau, among the most beautiful beaches in the world. Known as a popular weekend escape from Ho Chi Minh City, this destination rocks at weekends and is relatively quiet during the week.
Covered by the ocean, you can find your dream holiday here. Vung Tau has four famous beaches:
- Front Beach is the most popular one, there are many tourists, and the water is not clean anymore, so you should stay away. However, you can still enjoy seafood at food stalls and restaurants, they serve the best seafood in the south of Vietnam.
- For a better experience, you should visit Back Beach and Pineapple Beach. The water is much cleaner than Front Beach, you can go surfing, diving and playing many other water sports. These beaches also have perfect sunset views.
- Paradise Beach belongs to a resort, so you have to pay some entrance fee to get rid of the crowd and get access to luxurious services.
Vung Tau Beach - An Ideal Spot For Summer Vacation
If you want to explore more interesting things than those mentioned above, just take a quick look at some of our South Vietnam tours.
(Image source: Internet)