Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, as it is also called from old memory, is an incredibly crowded and noisy city with completely chaotic traffic, but at the same time, with a unique Asian flavor. Every morning, millions of small mopeds leave the roads of the metropolis and thousands of residents rush to the parks for morning exercises.
In downtown Ho Chi Minh City, French colonial heritage blends with the modern reality of glass skyscrapers, and traditional pho eateries coexist with trendy restaurants. Around everything honks and buzzes, gradually merging into an incessant cacophony. But what is surprising is that after a while you begin to get used to this chaos and even enjoy it.
What to see and where to go in Ho Chi Minh?
The most interesting and beautiful places for walking. Photos and a short description.
A network of underground passages in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City, which appeared during the Vietnam War. The Viet Cong guerrillas hid in the tunnels and attacked the American army from there. The total length of the labyrinths is more than 150 km. They contain several levels that housed living quarters, ammunition depots, and hospitals. Nowadays, tours for tourists are conducted in part of the tunnels.
Cathedral of Our Lady of Saigon
Catholic church in the very center of the city, built by the French in 1880. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that all the materials for the work were imported from France. At the same time, the chief architect personally controlled their quality. The cathedral is the largest and most majestic temple in Southeast Asia; it was built in accordance with the canons of the European style.
Bitexco tower observation deck
Bitexco is a modern skyscraper in the central part of Ho Chi Minh City, owned by a financial corporation. It was erected in 2010 according to the project of the French architectural bureau. The building reaches a height of 262 meters, which makes it the second largest building in the city. In 2011, a rotating observation deck was opened on the 49th floor, which offers a panoramic view. There is a restaurant on the 50th floor.
Building of the People's Committee
The building was erected in the elegant style of French colonial architecture (the building of the Paris City Hall was taken as a model). After the occupation administration left Saigon in the middle of the 20th century, the building housed the office of the mayor of the city. After the unification of Vietnam, government offices moved here. There is a small green park on the square in front of the building.
Central Post Office
The post office building is one of the oldest in the city, it was erected in 1886-91, guided by the drawings of G. Eiffel, the author of the famous tower in Paris. The building was built in mixed Gothic, Renaissance and colonial styles. From the inside and outside, it resembles a European railway station of the early 20th century. Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh worked here when he was 17 years old.
The modern building was erected after the end of the Vietnam War in the 1970s. Previously, there was a 19th-century building on this site that served as the residence of the Governor-General of Indochina. The Reunification Palace consists of five floors and 100 rooms. The interior is luxurious and pompous. There are still carpets in the corridors, and massive wooden furniture in the offices.
Museum of War Victims
The collection is dedicated to the Vietnam War, or rather the period when the United States took an active part in the hostilities. The exhibition is located in several buildings and is divided into eight thematic sections. Here you can see weapons and equipment, as well as numerous photographs of the bombing, bullying by American soldiers against the population and the results of the use of chemical weapons.
Museum of Fine Arts
The exposition is located in a colonial-era mansion. In terms of value, it is second only to a similar exhibition in the country's capital, Hanoi. The museum exhibits works of Vietnamese art - paintings, silk panels, sculpture, national ceramics, woodcuts. There are also works by foreign masters and exhibits related to contemporary art.
Vietnam History Museum
The museum appeared in 1929. For a long time of its existence, he managed to win the fame of one of the most authoritative in the whole country. The exposition covers a wide historical period from tribal relations, the struggle for independence and ancient kingdoms to the end of the Nguyen dynasty in the 20th century. The museum will be of interest to both ordinary tourists and specialists - professional historians.
Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine
The region of Southeast Asia, along with China, has long been famous for its non-standard medicine. Vietnam has been especially successful in this matter - it is not for nothing that “people's pharmacies” with all sorts of drugs are so popular with foreign tourists. The museum dedicated to traditional healing is located somewhat away from the main attractions. It is better to visit this place with a guide who will understand the exhibits.
The opera stage of Ho Chi Minh City is located in a picturesque building in the central part of the city. Like many buildings in the southern capital, it was built in the French colonial style. The interior design is also made by French craftsmen. The building is a copy of the Hanoi Opera House. Not only musical performances, but also events of a different format can be held here.
Puppet theater on the water
The traditions of the Vietnamese puppet theater have more than one century. For a long time, it has hardly changed, and today viewers can watch the same productions as they did several centuries ago. The action of the performance takes place on the surface of the water. Wooden figurines move smoothly over the surface and act out plots unknown to a foreigner. Even without understanding a word during the performance, one can deeply feel the Vietnamese culture.
Tien Hau Temple
In Tien Hau, the patron goddess of sailors and fishermen is worshipped. She is especially revered in the southern provinces of the country. That is why Ho Chi Minh City could not do without such a place. The temple was built in the 18th century, it is located on the territory of Cholon Chinatown. It is logical that the building was built in the Chinese style from materials brought from China.
Jade Emperor Pagoda
The temple is dedicated to the deity Ngoc Hoang, the ruler of heaven in Taoism. According to beliefs, the Jade Emperor stands guard over Heaven and determines who is worthy to rise there and who is not. The pagoda was built at the expense of the Chinese community at the beginning of the 20th century. Inside, in the very center, there is a gilded sculpture of a god, guarded by figures of guards. The temple is surrounded by a picturesque park.
Tan Dinh Church
An incredibly beautiful Catholic church of bright pink color with white openwork trim. Thanks to this coloring and decor, the building looks like a fabulous "gingerbread" house. It was erected in 1880 by French masters in the style of "flying Gothic". The church immediately attracts attention with its rather unusual appearance, because even in Europe it is rare to find a religious building of such an unusual color.
Ben Thanh Market
Officially, the market has been operating since the 19th century. Today it is one of Ho Chi Minh City's most popular tourist destinations. Here you can buy inexpensive souvenirs, Vietnamese items of excellent quality, designer products, local aromatic coffee and tea. Also, the market prepares dishes of national cuisine and offers fresh fresh juices from exotic fruits.
Tao Dan Park
The park is located almost in the center of Ho Chi Minh City. This green oasis in the middle of a noisy metropolis is perfect for morning physical education (Vietnamese people love to do this en masse) and quiet walks. Meetings of pensioners often take place here, who, as a rule, are passionate about some kind of hobby: ornithology or Chinese exercises - it doesn’t matter, because people first of all come here for communication.
Suoi Tien Amusement Park
Suoi Tien is a combined park where, in addition to rides, a zoo, a 4D cinema, a water park and other facilities, there are also functioning temples and religious sculptures. It opened in 1995. At the moment, the territory of the park is more than 50 hectares and it continues to expand. At the entrance, guests are greeted by a huge statue of a dragon - a fairy-tale creature highly revered in Asian culture.
Zoo and Botanical Garden
The botanical garden was created by the French scientist L. Pierre at his own expense. Hundreds of plant species grow here from Cambodia, Laos, Taiwan, as well as from the countries of the American and African continents. On the territory of the garden there is a zoo, which fits very harmoniously into the landscape. About 500 animals and more than 100 birds live in the menagerie. Pink flamingos and black Asian bears are especially beautiful.
An important waterway in the southern part of Vietnam, providing uninterrupted transportation of goods. It passes through the center of Ho Chi Minh City. Pleasure boats ply within the city. The water in Saigon is not very clean, sometimes you can smell an unpleasant smell from it. Good views open from the banks of the river and from numerous bridges. In some places for walking the promenade is equipped.