Vietnam is best seen through its deeply rooted museums, casual night strolls, and breathtaking cultural plays.
Here are the top 5 must-sees in Ho Chi Minh City that will help you better understand the Vietnamese culture, where they were coming from, and how they became the Vietnam that they are today. Just be sure to cross-body your bag and wear the least amount of jewelries that you can when you go out. Do not underestimate these motorbike drivers. They are as swift as a cheetah. Or maybe not. Anyway, you get the picture.
War Remnants Museum
Winner of the Travelers’ Choice 2013 award, War Remnants Museum consists of floors dedicated to exhibitions during the Vietnam War. You will see pictures, names, weapons and every detail you need to know about how tough life was for the Vietnamese and how they surfaced from these difficult times. Coming to the War Remnants Museum, I honestly felt sad for the Vietnamese (especially the kids affected by the Agent Orange), and at the same time, I am very proud of how they used these to pick themselves up and take their lives to a positive turn.
Location: 28 Vo Va Tan, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Open during: Daily, 7:30AM-12:00NN and 1:30PM-5:00PM
Price: 15,000 VND
Ben Thanh Market
Known to the Vietnamese as Cho Ben Thanh, this is the most popular all-day market in Ho Chi Minh. It is one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon where you can find local handicrafts, souvenirs, and authentic Vietnamese cuisines. Ben Thanh Market is huge! So if you’re bringing your children here with you, be sure to always keep them at check and not let them wander around on their own as you can get lost in the chaos.
Location: District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Open during: Daily, 8:00AM-12:00MN
Saigon Opera House
“Municipal Theater” is another name for the Saigon Opera House. Just a couple of blocks away from the Notre Dame Cathedral, it stands high and proud of its French colonial architecture and of course, of its AO Show.
The AO Show is the most visited cultural show in Ho Chi Minh City and was awarded the Certificate of Excellence for 2015. The performance was well executed, leaving you in such awe, amazement and with plenty of goosebumps. No words can ever describe how perfect witnessing the AO Show was. The timing, the movements, the script, everything was beyond unimaginable and I would definitely, a hundred percent watch this again!
Location: 7 Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Open during: Daily, 9:00AM-6:00PM
Price: starts at 567,000 VND
Note: You may book at the venue itself, but the show is usually fully booked. I suggest you either book through their site or through an agency.
If you are nearby the Ben Thanh Market, I recommend the Travel Service Center. Their service was amazing and Amy was definitely the best!
Best seen during the night whilst having a dinner onboard a cruise. You may book from an agency near the Ben Thanh Market, or anywhere in Ho Chi Minh actually.
Cu Chi Tunnels
It is a replica of how the Viet Cong soldiers survived the war by the use of escape tunnels and various booby traps. Constructed a little bit bigger for the tourists, the original tunnels were a lot smaller, narrow and darker to match the slim body frame of the Vietnamese.
Best booked through an agency.
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