The marriage of the East and West, old and new, tragic and gay is all around this city historically named Saigon, the largest city in Vietnam. For anyone headed for Ho Chi Minh City, here’s a look at our highlights on the who, what, where, when, and how of the city.
We took a Jetstar flight from Jakarta to Ho Chi Minh City with transit in Singapore at around Rp. 1.200.000 (total flight time: 4 hours).
We stayed at Hotel Nikko Saigon at USD 125/night – amazing space, facilities, and service. I absolutely recommended it!
1. Eat Pho
Pho at Pho Hoa, one of the oldest and most popular pho establishments in the city.
2. Notre Dame Cathedral
Located in the downtown, this Basilica was constructed by the French colonists between 1863-1880, with all building materials imported from France. Mass in both Vietnamese and English are held every Sunday morning. Other services are held throughout the week. Visitors who want to attend mass should go on Sunday at 9:30 am.
3. Mekong Delta Day Trip
In a quiet village in the Ben Tre Province, we were served a sampler of tropical fruits including pineapple, mango, banana, jackfruit, and sawo, and some hot Vietnamese tea while listening to local villagers play traditional music.
Local Tropical Fruit Sampler
A taste of the local Snake Whiskey
Mekong Delta Day Trip: My Tho – Ben Tre Tour
(includes private transportation by car and boat, entrance fees, local tour guide, and lunch)
- Cruise on Mekong Delta
- Vinh Trang Pagoda
- Explore the local coconut candy production
- Taste local delicacies including honey wine, natural honey, snake whisky, and others
- Visit orchards, bee-keeping farm
- Listen to traditional music
- Ride in a horse cart
- Paddle your way on a boat through a creek
Rate per person ranges from 680,000 to 2,400,000 Dong (US$33-US$115).
Tieu Chuan Co., Ltd.
Saigon Center Post Office, No. 2 Cong Xa Paris, D1, HCMC, Vietnam
T. 08 3823 3189
4. Vinh Trang Pagoda
Built in the 18th century, this ancient pagoda in Mekong Delta is located in the harbor town of My Tho (part of the Mekong Delta Day Trip).
5. Báng tráng Nuong Dà Lat
Bánh tráng, literally “coated cake,” is a thin and lightweight, edible Vietnamese rice paper wrapper made from either rice or tapioca flour or a mixture of both, water, and salt used mostly in finger foods (nem). You’ll see many street vendors selling this finger food around the city during the afternoon. In the wrapper is a mix of a quail egg, fried red onions, scallions, chili sauce, and other condiments cooked over a hot grilled until the egg is cooked and the rice wrapper turns extra crispy, much like a kerupuk.
6. Cu Chi Tunnel Tour
Cu Chi Tunnel Tour
(includes private transportation by car and speedboat, entrance fees, local English speaking tour guide, breakfast, and lunch)
Rate: $69++ USD/passenger
Starting at around 7:30 am, the tour is done at your pace and generally takes about an hour or an hour and a half. Lunch is served on the boat on the way back to District 1 arriving at around 1:30 pm.
Special pick-up at your own hotel at no additional charge.
Book via email and pay on the tour day.
7. Shoot an M60
It’s an experience shooting in the ground areas of the Vietnam War. 1 bullet cost 35,000 Dong, or less than US$2 (part of the Cu Chi Tunnel Tour).
8. War Remnants Museum
28 Võ Văn Tần phường 6
Ho Chi Minh City
All days of the week (including holidays) 7:30 AM – 12 PM | 1:30 PM- 5 PM
T. (84-4) 39302112
9. Egg Rolls
10. City Hall
11. Ben Tahn Market
Intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao Avenues and Le Lai Street
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Souvenir shopping: textiles, local handicrafts, clothes
Tasting local delicacies
12. Reunification Palace
135 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa
Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Mon – Fri: 7:30 – 11 AM; 1 – 4:30 PM
Sat – Sun: Closed
* Take only metered taxis. Recommended: Vinasun Taxi and Mailinh Taxi.
* When crossing the street, take a deep breath, close your eyes and go!