Ho Chi Minh City

It is often said that Hanoi is a better city for tourists while Ho Chi Minh city is a better place to live in. Notwithstanding when visiting Ho Chi Minh city- Vietnam’s largest city, formerly called Sai Gon, travelers should not worry about running out of things to do and discover due to its amazing cuisine, spectacular architecture, great shops and wonderful nightlife.

What to see
Cuchi tunnel ranks top of must-see locations in Ho Chi Minh city which is considered to be one of the most complicated man-made underground tunnel constructed during Vietnam war with America. The 500-km-tunnel system was served as a hiding place, supply routes and hospitals for the Viet Cong. Tourists will be guaranteed to have a sobering experience crawling through this extensive network which is only one meter tall, dark and humid.
Taking a boat trip drifting on Mekong delta also worth a try which definitely rewards tourists with relaxing and precious time. Visitors will have an opportunity to contemplate and purchase incredibly yummy fruits and local food or even a taste of a warm noodle bowl at floating markets along Mekong’s sides. When it comes to exploring Mekong delta, tourists are commonly recommended to buy a tour because it is supposed to be cheaper and more convenient.
Getting lost in Chinatown where gathers a maze of activities, shops, temples, restaurants waiting for sightseers to discover. Coming to Chinatown, tourists will have a chance to emerge themselves into a small-size China in the middle of Ho Chi Minh city from Chinese conventional festivals, Chinese commodities to fascinating pagodas.
Shopping in Ben Thanh market also affords to be in tourists’ bucket list of Ho Chi Minh traveling. Ben Thanh market is considered to be one of the city’s representations constructed before the French put their first step into Vietnam. Visitors can picture Ben Thanh market’s design in mind that it looks somewhat like Dong Xuan market in Hanoi, nevertheless, Ben Thanh market offers more diversified types of goods, everything you can imagine available here.
Wandering around and admiring the Notre Dame Cathedral- the work was reproduced after the Cathedral in Paris, France featuring classically unique architecture. The Cathedral truly expresses an authentic and typical Sai Gon arresting a growing number of visitors, especially to contemplate the most noticeable features of the church which are the 40-meter-high towers and the neon-lit statue of the Virgin Mary.
Observing the whole city on Bitexco Financial tower. If Hanoians are obsessed with Lottee or Kangnam tower to earn a chance of getting the spectacular view of the city then Bitexco becomes a perfect choice of Saigon people. The building is by far the tallest one in Sai Gon, tourists can either go to the sky deck at 49th floor or enjoy a cup of coffee at the 50th-floor café and watching how Sai Gon is moving.
Other top-ranked places which travelers should give a shot comprising: Binh Tay market, Thien Hau temple in China town, the Emperor Jade Pagoda, the War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh museum, the Vietnam History Museum, Cao Dai Holy temple, Can Gio island, Thu Thiem bridge, the Old French Quarter, etc.

What to eat
What else is better than roaming around the city enjoying the refreshing atmosphere and hopping into any food stall or restaurant to gain the taste of Sai Gon. The big draw for tourists is the street food culture which can be found at any corner of Sai Gon’s streets. Once again this list is not exclusive to Saigon; you could find these meals across Vietnam; nevertheless, Saigon excels is in its representation of Vietnamese food with probably the best representation of foods from around the country.
Take-away bread, eating a yummy bread while walking on the street is regarded to be one of typical sign of Sai Gon – the busy city. Only 0.5 to 1.5 USD for an irresistible Vietnamese sandwich with the combination of herbs, pork, eggs or sausage, seasoning, sauce, etc, tasters will definitely be blown away by how incredible it is.
Coi Cuon – soft vermicelli summer rolls which are stuffed with full of mints, shrimps, pork rolled with a paper rice and dipped in black soybean jam.
Banh xeo Nam Bo (shrimp crepes) an intriguing dish that is not a strange dish to anyone visiting Vietnam; however, in Ho Chi Minh city, Banh xeo is stuff with more ingredients including mushrooms and regional herbs which will undoubtedly bring tourists a new blast of taste.
Bun Mam, Lau Mam (noodle, hotpot with specializing broth and local herbs) is delicately made from a tangy fermented fish sauce which makes featuring delicious broth. The hotpot or noodle is served with several types of herbs such as water morning glory (Vietnamese spinach), banana flower, mint, water-lily, etc and a full plate of seafood to dip into the steaming broth.
Seafood in Sai Gon is best enjoyed in groups, where you can order a variety of different dishes while catching up with friends. With less than 10$, you are guaranteed to have a great night of tasting various kinds of seafood and enjoying some sips of cheap beer.
Bun Bo Hue (Hue beef noodle), Hu Tieu-hoanh thanh ( Sai Gon noodle), Banh trang Trang Bang (spring rolls with pork, beef, and herbs), etc are also worth a try.
One more tip is that while Hanoians are familiar to appreciate a glass of lemon tea or iced tea on a small blue stool, having some chit chat with friends and nibbling a small plate of sunflower seeds, Saigon residents are well-known for Café bet which means coffee will be served in a small plastic cup and customers will seat on the pavements, in the park without any chair, stool or table. Sometimes they bring their music instruments along and playing music, having a great time with their friends.
Alternatively, aside from traditional and regional food, there are a wide range of restaurants offer tourists with Western dishes to please the crave for their hometown’s cuisine

Best time to get there
Unlike Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city is known as to have two main seasons: dry season and rainy season. There is no doubt that dry season is the best time to visit Sai gon which starts from December and lasting until April when the weather is pretty moderate. However, rainy season doesn’t lose its priority which grants tourists with cool and fresh weather after a quick rain.


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