With the help of a bicycle you can to see an awful lot in one day around Ho Chi Minh City. This is because much of what is to see is in District 1, otherwise known as Saigon. These include Notre Dame Cathedral, a host of museums and, well, just the area as a whole.
Flowing through Saigon in the east is the Saigon River which is always full with boats of all shapes and sizes going up and down. As some of the streets are packed with shoppers, street hawkers and ex-pats among others, the banks are a great place to go for a breath of fresh air.
It might not have the historical element of other parts of Vietnam, but there are still some temples in HCMH which are worth a visit to give some sense of the past. And one other thing which Saigon is probably best-known for, the Vietnam War, is represented with memorials and museums.
28 Vo Van Tan St, District 3, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Even though its subject matter isn’t the most uplifting one in the world, the War Remnants Museum is one of the most popular in HCMC. Vietnam as a whole is famous for various wars, and this museum concentrates on the French and American ones. While some of the imagery in the photos can be quite shocking, it is nonetheless quite gripping. Originally called the War Crimes Museum, it was changed to ensure no other nations were offended.
junction of Tran Hung Dao, Le Loi and Ham Nghi, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
The city’s best known market is ‘Ben Thanh Market’ in Saigon. It has recently been refurbished making the experience of looking for those bargains an awful lot more enjoyable. Inside you can find everything from clothes to food to tobacco to aftershave. Built in 1914, it also one of Saigon’s best known landmarks.
106 Nguyen Du St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Reunification Palace has probably the most historical significance in regards to modern Vietnam. It was here, on 30th April 1975, that the Vietnam War ended. Tanks of the Liberation Army drove through the gates and a soldier went up to General Minh who then surrendered.
It is now open to the public and you can explore this building which is fascinating both from outside and in.
Open from 7am-11am and then again from 1pm to 4pm.
off D Nguyen Van Troi, District 3, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
All the city’s temples and pagodas are fascinating to visit as, along with their unique architecture, there are always many locals worshipping and meditating. This particular one is eight storeys high and has a statue of Buddha on each one.
Open from 7am-11.30am and 2pm-6pm
, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
These are the tunnels which were hand-dug by the Vietnamese when they were fighting with the French, and then the Americans. The entire network of tunnels covers over 200km and some of them have been made bigger so tourists can crawl through them to experience what it was really like. Situated approximately 90 miles from HCMC, they are well worth the journey.
Admission costs VND65,000. You should be able to book yourself on to an organised tour from the city.