The novel Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) of southern Vietnam is named after the country’s prominent revolutionary leader himself. What was previously known as Saigon is today’s fastest rising tourist’s destination with its pride rooted in Vietnamese culture.
Considerably, the best time to visit HCMC will be during the dry season from April to December but to me, any time is golden as I get to explore the world. From well preserved colonial structures, war relics to sleek and modern skyscrapers, here are the 8 things one must not miss in HCMC.
- Set sail in the city’s rich history
War Remnants Museum is one of the places for one to understand how Vietnam became what it is today with actual war relics and unsettling photographs that captured the Vietnam War. The 19th century Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral stands tall in honouring Virgin Mary that marks the country’s Catholicism.
- Enjoy the local cuisines
Go for Banh Pho, Vietnam’s authentic flat rice noodles served with beef soup or Banh Mi, their local made baguette that is often eaten stuffed with pork. Also, snails of all kinds can be regarded as their national favourite dish.
- Heaven for coffee lovers
Everywhere you go you will see shops selling coffees or cafés for locals and tourists alike. Akin to Starbucks, Trung Nguyen is the leading coffee brand in Vietnam with the best coffee beans and gives the aromatic sip you’ll never forget.
- Explore Mekong delta by boat
If you are all up for a dose of local life, choose a row boat for a tour around the picturesque river. You will be amazed by the boat paddlers, often women, who is full of strength and skilfully navigate the river to your content.
- A shopping session
Shopping in Vietnam needs one to take extra precaution so that it will not bust your budget with the abundance of wonderful things that are offered. Their cultural handicrafts, bags, carpets and other miscellaneous things will make you itch for purchase at the sight of it.
- Experience the Củ Chi Tunnels
Another war relic which played a crucial role during the Vietnam War became a popular historical spot that allows visitors to participate crawling in the 220km long tunnel for a raw experience.
- Catch a show at Saigon Opera House
Also known as Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theatre is a French architectural building that hosts some of the latest classical and contemporary performances in the city.
- Walk in Chinatown aka Cholon
Places like the Thien Hau Temple and Binh Tay Market frame the Chinese culture rooted in Vietnam. If you miss GOASIAPLUS 2017 October issue, you can read more about Cholon here.
By Bruce Dragon