Ho Chi Minh City is formally known as Saigon. It’s a beautiful city with a rich history. There are so many museums to visit as well as huge markets, fancy malls, delicious food, small cafes and a great nightlife. This city has it all. Here is our list of 10 unique things to do while you’re in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam.
1. Tan Dinh Church (Pink Church)
This beautiful pink church is off the beaten track with almost no one even knowing about it. This is a Catholic church that you will find on Hai Ba Trung road in district 3. For us, this is one of the prettiest churches here in Ho Chi Minh City. Its unique pink colour is a strange colour for a church, but the details on it are magnificent. Not many people visit this church, so there’s seldom a crowd of tourists around. We are unsure if you will be able to enter the church, but then again we weren’t properly dressed when we discovered it, so we didn’t even try to enter. If you are looking for something to do, that’s unknown in the city then this is the church for you.
2. The Cafe Apartments
Are you a foodie or a coffee/tea addict? Then this is the place you want to be. This is one of the most unique things to do in the city. The shop owners decided to turn an old apartment block into this cafe paradise. You can choose from 8 floors of cafes where you can have a drink or eat something. You will find anything here, from dessert bars, steaks, vegetarian meals, and coffee. This isn’t the cheapest place in the city to find food or have a drink, but it’s a unique experience that you shouldn’t miss out on.
3. Ben Thanh Market
This is possibly the best market in Ho Chi Minh City for finding souvenirs, clothes, coffee, and so much more. This market is in district 1 of the city, and you should definitely add this on your list of things to do. Get ready to shop until you drop in this big market. Don’t be scared to negotiate with the sellers. If you think that something is too expensive, then walk away. You will find someone else selling the same thing you want for cheaper. One other great thing about this market is that it’s close to an amazing food market, which leads us to our next point.
4. Ben Thanh Street Food Market
This food market is a 2-minute walk from Ben Thanh Market and is the food equivalents of Ben Thanh Market. There is so many little food stands packed into this market. All the food stands sell different food from all around Vietnam and abroad. It’s the perfect place for you to try some new dishes.
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5. Saigon Skydeck
This one of a kind building is located in district 1, and it’s only a 10-minute walk from Ben Thanh Market. It doesn’t just look beautiful from the outside, but it has an incredible view deck. You can buy tickets to go up to the Skydeck for 200 000 Dong to enjoy the 360-degree view from the 49th floor. This is something that many people overlook. There’s also a cafe, restaurant, and bar you can go to. You can find them on floors 50 to 52. Getting to the cafe, restaurant and bar are free, but you must, however, order something.
6. Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon
If you are looking for a breath-taking Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City, then look no further. This Cathedral opened in April of 1880 and is modelled after the Notre Dame Cathedral in France. It’s an iconic attraction in the city, and you shouldn’t miss it. Its currently under restoration and is projected to be completed by June of 2020. While you are here, don’t forget to cross the road to get to our next thing on the list, the Saigon Central Post Office.
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7. Saigon Central Post Office
This is another iconic attraction in Ho Chi Minh, City. This construction of this Post office started in 1886 and was completed in 1891. It has classic elements of Gothic, Renaissance and French colonial designs. Walking inside this building is like walking into an old European train station. The architecture is beautiful and a sight to behold. It’s amazing that they still use the building to this day. This is the perfect place to send a postcard home.
8. Bui Vien/ Phạm Ngũ Lão street (Backpackers street)
If you are looking for a good night out, then backpackers street is where you want to be. This street has many restaurants, bars, and small shops. During the day this street isn’t so busy, and having lunch here is perfect. Most of the restaurants have very similar menus and prices. We noticed that no matter where you eat, the food is the same so maybe one kitchen is suppling all the restaurants with food? Anyway, we recommend finding a place with a drink special as the food is the same. At night this place comes alive. With music and people drinking beer everywhere, this is the party scene in the city. Some parts of the street are a bit dodgy, but overall, it’s a hive of activity which shouldn’t be missed.
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9. Independence Palace
This independence palace might still be stuck in the 1970s. It’s rich in history, and this is the place where the North Vietnamese tank crashed through the front gate on the 30th of April 1975. This was the ending of the Vietnam war. The original two tanks that were used on that day is parked outside the building. It cost 40 000 Dong to enter, and there are also guided tours you can go on, to learn more about this historical site.
There are so many museums in the city that you can go to, but the Independence Palace was the best for us. Other museums you can visit include Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City Museum, and the Fine Arts Museum. Vietnam is full of history and Ho Chi Minh City is the place to go to learn about their incredible history.
10. Do a cooking class
Vietnamese food is unique, and like nothing, we have eaten before. Most of the food in Vietnam tastes delicious. Learning to cook some of these dishes while using their techniques is once in a lifetime experience. There are so many different cooking classes in the city that you can choose from. Our tip is to look for a place with good reviews. You can also ask the reception at your hotel to recommend a place for you.
❥Also read: 10 Things to do in Hanoi, Vietnam.
This city is so much fun to wander around, and you will stumble onto something to do very fast. If history is your thing and you want to know more about Vietnams history than Ho Chi Minh city is where you come. This city has some of the best museums in the country. If museums aren’t your thing, then there are still so many things to do. We enjoyed this Ho Chi Minh city so much and we highly recommend going here when in Vietnam. Don’t forget to read some of our other articles about Vietnam.
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