Saigon - The Charming Balance of Metropolis in Vietnam
by Top Mekong Cruises Apr 15, 2017
You can not finish the book called “Vietnam travel” if you miss out the page written about Saigon. It’s the place where you can find the balance of the traditional and modern values that could not find in any other place in Vietnam.
Nowadays, Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam. It is one of the most important economic and tourist hubs in this beautiful country. It’s an ideal destination for visitors to enrich your knowledge about Vietnam - a beautiful, independent and resilient nation.
Things to See and Do in Saigon
1. War Remnant Museum
War is one of the parts in the history of Saigon. Thus, paying a visit to War Remnant Museum is a good option to understand deeply about this city. This museum opened on September 4, 1975 with the first name The Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes. In 1995, its name was changed to War Remnants Museum as we know today. Thanks to many photographs which show the heart breaking scenes, and American military equipments, you yourself can really feel the violence of the war in Vietnam. Moreover, the “tiger cages” brought to Vietnam by French as prisons are one of the highlights of this place.
2. Reunification Palace
Another site should not be ignored by any tourists is Reunification Palace. It is a five-storey building; however, the outstanding features almost exist in the basement with a war room, telecommunications centre and warren of tunnels. In 1975, a North Vietnamese Army Tank crashed through the main gate of this house, which is considered as one of the historical milestones and marks the ending of Vietnamese War.
3. Cu Chi Tunnels
Cu Chi Tunnels is well known by several visitors because of not only its history but its structure also. It is live museum with more than 120km of underground tunnels. This place is where you can see several trapdoors, storage facilities, kitchens, hospitals used by soldiers during the southern war. It is an ideal destination for you to go back time and enrich your knowledge about Vietnam in the war period.
4. Central Post Office
One of the things still exists from the French colonial times in Saigon is Central Post Office. It is designed by Gustave Effiel and constructed between 1886 and 1891. Beside comtemplating the Western style in architecture and having experience in sending letter with stamp on it, you can enjoy the impressing images panted in the wall here. They are two maps of Saigon region and the telegraph lines between Vietnam and Cambodia.
5. Fine Arts Museum
Fine Arts museum is one of the largest fine arts centre in Vietnam. It was constructed in 1929, the French colonial-era. Those who are keen on Vietnamese arts and culture should not pass it in their trip. This yellow and white building attracted visitors by its collection of domestic and international arts work in both paintings and sculptures. Some of them are arts from 7th century.
6. Notre Dame Cathedral
This beautiful spot which is located at Saigon center is known as the largest church in Saigon. It was built between 1863 and 1880 by French colonists. The official name is Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception. This magnificent building gains the nice fame with visitors by its two bell towers, each of them high about 60m and other six bronze bells. Moreover, the statue of the Virgin Mary in front of the Church which is supposed to shed tears in 2005 also supports Notre Dame Cathedral to become one of the particular tourist destinations.
7. Jade Emperor Pagoda
Built at the turn of the 20th century, Jade Emperor Pogoda is in honour of Taoist god or God of Heavens (Ngoc Hoang). It is really a good location for those who want to enjoy slow and quite moments in this busy city and experience Buddhism. You can also feast your eyes on several sophisticated and unique depiction of dragon, birds or animals in the roof as well as the decoration inspired by many Buddist legends and myths at this spot.
8. The FITO Museum
The FITO Museum is known as the first museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine & Pharmacy in Vietnam. Thanks to its distinctive architecture charm and a large number of traditional Vietnamese medicine items dating back to Stone Age such as medicinal herbs, tools, books, wooden paintings, this place is worth having a visit.
9. Ben Thanh Market
If you overload with the past and want to refresh yourself with something in the modern life, Ben Thanh Market is a good choice. The spirit of city will lift you up and empress you with a lot of bustling activities such as eating traditional foods, buying clothes with different styles and souvenirs which are unique like handmade stuffs,etc.
10. Street food
If you want to discover the variety of Vietnamese cuisine do not miss the chance to enjoy street food in Saigon. It will never let you down with a lot of delicious dishes such as Banh Cuon, Banh Xeo, Bun Bo Hue, Oc, Hu Tieu Nam vang,etc.
» Extend your exploration from Saigon to the mysterious nation of Cambodia with: Vietnam to Cambodia River Cruises