Ho Chi Minh City, as Saigon is officially known these days, is easily the most head-spinning city in Vietnam, so expect to feel somewhat shell-shocked upon arrival. Don’t worry – you will soon get over the sensory overload and discover a charming mosaic of cultures and attractions underneath the superficial hustle and bustle.
The French conquest of Saigon in 1859 is still evident through the broad boulevards and colonial architecture, but the city is now the throbbing heart of a rapidly developing country, with all the usual trappings of modern-day consumerism very much on display. Designer malls and fine restaurants vie for space with age-old temples and street food stalls, forming an uneasy but fascinating blend of old and new.
With motorbikes zigzagging endlessly across your path, soon enough you will find yourself looking to escape the maddening traffic. There’s no better way of doing this than to venture into Saigon’s "hem" – a tangled network of narrow alleys where the local lifestyle can be witnessed in its full glory. Don’t leave Saigon without getting lost in one of these!
Hidden in the forest and spread underground for miles, Cu Chi tunnels are an engineering genius of historical importance that were used by Viet Cong to defeat the mighty USA army.
Nguyen Hue Street is a lively pedestrian-only place with elegant colonial architecture and a famous "cafe apartment" building.
Bui Vien backpacker street in the center of Saigon, packed with bars and clubs with loud music is loved equally by locals and foreigners.
The dazzling array of arts on display are in a converted French Villa showing some exceptional 19th-century European design.
Located in District 1, this indoor market is an authentic shopping experience where you can find anything and everything.
A place in the heart of China Town Saigon that is dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy.
A pagoda dedicated to the sea goddess Thien Hau, where carved stories can be viewed, and people’s donations displayed.
With 68 floors, 262 meters high and a characteristic helipad Bitexco Tower is the most recognisable skyscraper in the center of Saigon.
The Opera House is one of Saigon's most iconic buildings and an excellent example of French influence in Vietnam.
This bustling market will leave you buzzing after a morning's shopping, bargaining, and sampling of some very tantalizing local snacks.
This Pagoda is the keeper of some of the most exquisite Buddhist Relics and Antiques from the South of Vietnam.
This is a rustic church built by a French Priest who sought to make a place accessible to East Asian Christians in the area yet became a focus in National Politics.
A Pagoda which worships the famous battalion fighter Quan Cong, this is a place to light a coil and pray for luck on a future journey.
This enigmatic temple, opened for over one hundred years, combines influences from Taoism, Buddhism, and other Chinese faith systems.
Known for its stupa and bodhi tree and worshipped in its traditional hall, Giac Lam is the oldest and one of the most treasured pagodas in Ho Chi Minh.
Famous for the events from 1975 that ended the Vietnam War, the palace has many spacious rooms and historical pieces worth a scrutiny.
The War Remnants Museum is an eye-opening and shocking experience that shows the cruelty of war in Vietnam which lasted for 2 decades and ended in 1975.
An iconic building with a 19th-century atmosphere and decors that provides modern days services.
A gothic-style cathedral originally built by the French using French material, now looked after by the Vietnamese and one of the centre points of Ho Chi Minh.
We've pre-picked the best hotels to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.