18 Must-Visit Attractions in Ho Chi Minh Cityairport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

18 Must-Visit Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

The Cao Dai's followers | © Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/Flickr
The Cao Dai's followers | © Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/Flickr
Ho Chi Minh City may be full of traffic, crowded and hot. But there’s much more to it than these generalisations. Being patient with the Vietnamese city will lead you to temples, French colonial architecture and serene neighbourhoods, far from the chaos. Here are 20 must-visit attractions in Ho Chi Minh City.

Saigon River

The Saigon River, with its constantly running ferries, river taxis, and motor-canoes, offers one of the most tempting invitations to the city’s sunset charms. And there is no better place than a seat at The Deck for a sunset cocktail.

Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts

Art Museum
Ho Chi Minh Museum of Fine Arts
Ho Chi Minh Museum of Fine Arts | © Jon-Eric Melsæter
You can get a glimpse of what the local art scene looks like and what local artists are up to at HCMC Museum of Fine Arts. This dauntingly huge complex with an appealing mix of French and Chinese architectural styles was owned by a Chinese-born businessman who was known as one of the city’s richest men at the time it was constructed.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Indoors, Architectural Landmark, Quiet, Touristy

Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine

Building, Museum
The Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine
The Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine | © Anthony Tong Lee/Flickr
To remind yourself that this is indeed Vietnam, not France, head to the first private traditional Vietnamese medical museum. The six-storey building features traditional architecture and a tremendous collection of Vietnamese potions and remedies dating back to the Stone Age.
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Bitexco Financial Tower

The city is brimming with skyscrapers, but for the most impressive building, there is only one you need to know: Bitexco.

Bitexco Financial Tower © Bitexco/Wiki Commons

Cafe-apartments

The cafe-apartments at No.42 Nguyen Hue St or No. 14 Ton That Dam St are a fine example of the antithesis of planned and efficient architecture. Originally serving as a residence of high-ranking government officials, they are now home to retro-style coffee shops, co-working offices, fashion boutiques and tattoo studios.

Saigon Opera House and A O Show Saigon

Nothing makes your visit to Saigon Opera House more worthwhile than enjoying a one-hour performance of A O Show Saigon. It offers an intriguing mix of experiences combining the French architectural gem and a spectacular fusion of temporary dance, circus and Vietnamese music which features a typical element of Vietnamese rural life: bamboo.

Cao Dai Temple

Buddhist Temple, Church, Mosque
Cao_Dai_Temple_Tay_Ninh_Vietnam
Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, Vietnam | © Jean-Pierre Dalbéra / Flickr
Visitors in search of an unfiltered dose of distinctive and ceremonial indigenous Vietnamese religion will find a warm welcome at Cao Dai Temple.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Peaceful, Architectural Landmark, Touristy

Cholon – Saigon’s Chinatown

The proximity to China explains why Vietnamese culture has deep-rooted ties to the country, and to get an idea of its influence, make your way to Cholon – Saigon’s Chinatown. You might need roughly half a day to tour around the area, from Binh Tay market, Cha Tam Church to the popular Thien Hau Pagoda and Quan Am Pagoda.

Can Gio

Have a relaxing day out by taking a trip to Can Gio, a coastal suburban district which boasts mangrove forests and various wild animals. It’s a chilled-out hideaway for relaxing and escaping from the chaos in the city.

The Venerable Thich Quang Duc Monument

Set amid a maze of scooters, cars, and buses, the Venerable Thich Quang Duc Monument could easily be missed but will offer you the chance of momentary self-reflection and inner peace.

Binh Quoi Village

Another wonderfully peaceful alternative on the weekend for both tourists and locals is the Binh Quoi Village. Replicating the Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region of yesteryear, the green village offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in green grasslands, and enjoy small cottages and fish ponds shaded by coconut trees.

Bamboo Waterwheel Courtesy of Wiki Commons

Saigon Central Mosque

Building, Mosque
Saigon Central Mosque
Saigon Central Mosque | © Marie/Flickr
To get a glimpse of the Muslim scene in Vietnam, head to Saigon Central Mosque, the lime-green building constructed by Muslims from South India in 1935.
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