Ho Chi Minh City Tourist Information and Tourism

(Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon, Vietnam)

After years of post-war decline, the Vietnamese metropolis once known as Saigon has roared back into life with the passion and urgency of a tiger. The traditional and the modern have found a way to coexist in Ho Chi Minh City, exemplified by scenes such as incense-filled temples standing sentinel as streams of motorbikes zip past.

History plays its tourism role in many of the city's noteworthy attractions, like the War Remnants Museum. However, there are also colourful markets such as Ben Tanh to explore, more incredible food than you could possibly consume and a nightlife that sizzles. Stop by the useful and privately run Ho Chi Minh City Tourist Information Centre (Vietnam Tourism) at the corner of Le Loi and Nguyen Hue to get yourself oriented.

Ho Chi Minh City Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

It is hard to quantify and identify what the main appeal of Ho Chi Minh City is. Whilst there is certainly a good supply of temples and pagodas to explore, for many it is simply the bustling atmosphere and undeniable energy of this city that is so endearing and alluring. A self-guided walking tour of the city is a good way to familiarise yourself with the real Saigon, with many of the main sights and sounds being based within District 1. The famous Reunification Palace resides here and rather bizarrely has tanks permanently parked outside, remembering the moment when the North Vietnamese Army bulldozed their way through the entrance and ended the Vietnam War. If your time is a little limited and you wish to see the most interesting and magnificent temples, then the Chau Quan Am, the Mariamman Hindu, the Le Van Duyet and the Tran Hung Dao temples stand out. For relaxation and recreation, the Cong Vien Van Hoa Park next to the Reunification Palace is the place to head, while for oriental dining, the Cholon (District 5) and its spectacular Chinatown will likely overwhelm you due to its sheer scale. More information about Ho Chi Minh City Tourist Attractions.

The pagodas of Ho Chi Minh City are in good supply and spread around the city, combining history and beauty. The Jade Emperor Pagoda (Phuoc Hai) really is a must see, along with the Giac Lam Pagoda (Chua Giac Lam), which is the city's oldest and dates back to the middle of the 18th century. Further landmarks come in the form of the People's Committee Building (Saigon City Hall) and its ornate French-style facade, the towering late-19th century neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral, and the renowned Saigon Opera House, where much restoration work following severe WWII bombing damage secured its future for further generations of opera lovers. Also deserving a mention is the Cha Tam Church, which boasts a fascinating political history, and the rather elegant Cholon Mosque. More information about Ho Chi Minh City Landmarks and Monuments and Ho Chi Minh City Pagodas.

Being the biggest city in the whole of Vietnam, and certainly one of the most important, Ho Chi Minh City offers tourists a very commendable selection of museums and similar cultural offerings. Brimming with information relating to the revolution and the ultimate fall of Saigon, the Ho Chi Minh City Museum contains a wealth of militaria, including an actual fighter plane and Huey helicopter. At the similarly named Ho Chi Minh Museum, the life of the founder of modern-day Vietnam is remember and celebrated in the former Customs House, now named the Dragon House Wharf. The Vietnam History Museum is a little different and contains some ancient artefacts and valuable Vietnamese sculptures. If art is your thing, then don't miss out on a trip to the Fine Arts Museum (Bao Tang My Thuat), where paintings, enamelware, lacquerware and pottery pieces are displayed side by side. More information about Ho Chi Minh City Museums and Ho Chi Minh City Art Galleries.

Any holiday in Ho Chi Minh City is unlikely to be long enough to properly explore all that this city has to offer. However, the surrounding region provides the opportunity to escape from the city for the day, with excursions to the Dai Nam Tourist Park being especially popular, since this park is just 30 minutes away. Also nearby are the Cu Chi Tunnels, which once famously harboured North Vietnamese guerrillas during the Vietnam War. To the south-east, the town of Tay Ninh is central to the Cao Daism religion and home to the Cao Dai Great Temple. Further getaways include the Can Gio Island, the simply vast Cat Tien National Park and the Buu Long Mountain and its array of walking trails. Day trippers prepared for an early morning start can even reach the beach resorts around Vung Tau, which is roughly two hours away and connected by both road and Saigon River boat trips. More information about Ho Chi Minh City Attractions Nearby.

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