Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor January 17th, 2016 Posted in Asia, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 22 Comments

Ho Chi Minh City is the biggest city in Vietnam, also known as Saigon until 1975. It was changed when the South lost against the North. Despite the name changing, a lot of locals still prefer to call it Saigon. North had a war against the South regarding of Vietnam to be turned into a Communist country.

There wasn’t a declaration of when the war started, but it’s widely accepted that it began late 1955 and ended in 1975.

7 Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City 5Cu Chi Tunnel

There are plenty of tours to try, places to see and activities to do in Ho Chi Minh City. Here are the things and activities you should not miss during your stay in this amazing city.

Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City

  • Stay at District 1

How to make sure you’ll have a fabulous time in this place? Be at the right location. District 1 is the area where most backpackers are staying. It is also very close to most of the museums and attractions. Pubs, restaurants, local restaurants, and travel agencies are all nearby and easy to access. You can check the list of best and cheapest backpackers hostels here in Ho Chi Minh (rates starting from $6/night)

7 Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City 15

  • Visit War Remnants Museum

My visit at War Remnants was great, as I love history. The museum showcases the helicopters, tanks, and bombs that have been used during the war. A thorough narration of how the war started and ended is displayed (in English) where people can read them. Photos from the war are also printed and displayed. This museum will give you more idea and knowledge about one of the most controversial wars in the history.

7 Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City 1

  • Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels

Going to Cu Chi Tunnel is a must when visiting Ho Chi Minh City. Not far from the city, you will see through your eyes the famous tunnels that Vietnamese dug to hide from the Americans and shield themselves from the bombs. The tunnel is around 120 kilometers long and is preserved by the Vietnamese government. The defense tactics, traps, and way of living at that time will be available for tourist to see and understand more about the war.

7 Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City 3

A chance to try local Vietnamese snack and tea will also be available while an option to fire an AK-47 Rifle is possible as well.

  • Never miss the Mekong Delta – A Tinggly Experience!

Sailing through Mekong Delta River should be on your list, as this popular river flows through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. I did this tour with Tinggly and the experience was great. We started to walk through a small village where their livelihood work focuses on products made by the bees; honey and face creams. A plate of fruit was served while we were listening to a local song performed live by the local people.

7 Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City 9

Then we sailed for 15 minutes through the Mekong River and ended up in the area where locals are making a life through producing products from coconut; candies, fan, hat, flip flops and more. Another sailing to a local restaurant where we had a traditional mouthwatering Vietnamese dishes for lunch. A small bus ride to a Pagoda where three big Buddhas are displayed.

7 Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City 10Thank you for a very Tinggly Experience:

Click here to get your Tinggly Experience for Mekong Delta.

  • Ben Thanh Market – Shop till you drop!

The famous market is worth to visit even you don’t need anything. This market is not the usual kind of market you are used to. A huge one story building where all sort of things you need are available; from clothes, shoes, accessories, food and even flowers can be found here. My friend bought a pair of shoes here, and I must say he’s the haggling master! Don’t be shy to bargain, when they give you a price, remember to cut at least half the price and exercise your haggling techniques.

  • Go on a walk to Independence Palace, Notre-Dame and Central Office

Holding a remarkable dramatic history when a communist tank crashed to its gate on 1975 and an officer ran up the stair and waved the flag on its balcony. As General Minh was waiting for his cabinets that time, said this line to the officer “I have been waiting since early this morning to transfer the power to you” while the VC officer responded as “There is no question of your transferring power, you cannot give up what you do not have.”.

Notre-Dame Basilica

A remembrance of Vietnam was colonized by France once; this is open and active until today. It was built between 1863 and 1880. This Catholic Cathedral is named after the Virgin Mary. English speaking staffs between 9 am to 11 am.

7 Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City 6Notre-Dame Basilica

Central Office

A few steps away from the Basilica, you can see and visit the Saigon Central office and send a lovely postcard to your home country. Few boutiques are inside the building that offers fantastic souvenirs for your trip.

7 Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City 16Saigon Central Office / Photo Credit: James Saw Siew

  • Party and Food trip in Ho Chi Minh City

Locals and western restaurants, pubs and clubs can be found on the busy street of Bui Vien and Pham Ngu Lao. Keep in mind that this area is very touristic and could be pricey. For cheaper alcohol and food, sit on a local eatery that is located through the small alleys. Pub and clubs are open until 3 to 4 in the morning.

7 Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City 14Had some great sweet snack by the street

Personal  Note: I stayed for a week in Ho Chi Minh, but 3-4 days would be more than enough. You might want to decide to cross the border to Cambodia. You can read our guide here.

Monkey Dividers

Feeling bored or craving for unique activities to do in Ho Chi Minh city? LandedVibe offers a wide variety of entertainment experiences hosted by indie artists, professionals, and hobbyist. This is the perfect chance to hang out with cool people, pick up a new skill or simply kill time, all in a fun way. A few activities definitely caught my attention: sneak in hidden rooftops to have drinks & chill, craft a silver ring, create a DIY perfume and lipstick. Give it a try and see if you like it.

Transportation Tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to book the Trains, Buses, Ferries, Transfers on this route, we use 12Go.Asia to compare the prices!

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Monkey Dividers

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About the Writer: 

Mary Charie Profile PicHello! I am Mary Charie Ramos Ylaga

n I’m a bookworm, ice cream hyped (only chocolate flavor or something with chocolate on it, ah, I don’t even know why I’m babbling about this), writer and a traveler. I am a private person, like very. One of my friends even said that maybe I was a hooker before. But if you are highly curious about my personality (which I profoundly doubt), we should travel together. I’m sarcastic in an annoying way, but my very close friends love it, though! Pulling some jokes is like a hobby to me, although this gives me a hard time to open up my feelings. That’s why I love my blog, it lets me express myself in a different angle.
Join me on my adventures here

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22 thoughts on “Awesome Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  1. Vietnam looks like such an amazing place to visit, I love how much culture there is! You would definitely find me shopping in the market and trying out some delicious food! xx

  2. I like these ideas. I’d definitely have to do some shopping in the market. Sailing the river would be really nice as well.

  3. Everything about this place looks fascinating, especially the sailing. I’m planning a trip to Asia next year and still don’t know where to go x

  4. I really want to go along the Mekong Delta – considering a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam next year so definitely want to do it!

  5. The Cu Chi Tunnels sound fascinating! I hope you don’t have to climb down that tiny hole though! 😉

  6. Vietnam looks like a lovely place to visit and its unique blend of culture and beautiful views makes it a wonderful holiday destination.

  7. I would love to travel, exploring other countries and learning about the new and old culture. The food looks so nice and fresh x

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