Last stop in Vietnam was Ho Chi Minh City, maybe better known by it’s old name before reunion of Vietnam: Saigon. Same as in Hoi An and Da Lat Robin was again on our site exploring this place.
Saigon is the business and biggest city in Vietnam with about 13 million people and a bit harder to explore than the capital, as the old quarters of Hanoi make it easy for tourist to find their way. Saigon is a bit spread, but still most attractions are close to each other, so I decided to make this a top thing to do report again, giving an idea of an efficient route for one day in Saigon starting at “TDH xe buyt Sai Gon” bus terminal area where many hostels are situated. The route is based on the one I did with Sara and Robin, just a bit changed due to efficiency:
- City Hall
- Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Starting at the town hall the Nguyen Hue Walking Street is impressive and enjoyable to walk at.
- Opera House
Half way down the Nguyen Hue street there is the Opera House on the left-hand site. The Opera House is right now a bit hidden behind the construction site for the new Opera House metro station which will open in 2020 – just go around it.
- Saigon Skydeck
Due to the entrance cost of 200.000 Dong we skipped that, but on a clear day the view is amazing from this building. Robin did it on a different day and provided me those shots.
- The Promenade & Dach Bang Park
From the Skydeck make your way to the close river and walk along the river promenade towards the Dach Bang Park.
- Notre Dame & The old post office
Not to far to walk from Dach Bang Park the Notre Dame church is located. Right now, the church was a bit in renovations, still it is pretty.
Right next to the Notre Dame is a yellow building that you shouldn’t miss to take a look inside: The old post office.
Worldtrip Berlin Tip: The old post office has a good amount of ATMs insight, so it is perfect to get some cash out and check, which bank has the best conditions for your card.
- Independence Palace
Just a 5 min walk down the big alley the Independence Palace is located
- War Remnants Museum
For most people the Highlight of Saigon is the Vietnam War Museum. It closes in the middle of the day from 12-14 o’clock, so it is perfect to arrive at 14.00 at the museum to have the afternoon in the museum. We did the same points of this list and arrived perfectly at 13.52 and could buy a ticket directly.
- Asiana Food Town
Not far from our starting point at the bus station there is Asiana Underground Food Town. After a long day of walking it is the perfect place to have something to eat and prepare for the evening. The Asiana Food Town contains more than 60 food stalls which serve food from all over Asia.
- Bui Vien Walking Street (Nightlife)
After filling up and maybe have a first drink at Asiana Food Town it’s time to go to the crazy Bui Vien Walking Street – the center of Saigon nightlife. The evening can begin.
If you like markets you might add the Ben Thanh and Benh Thanh street food market to your list – they are close to each other and on the way.
Beside those ten points which are doable in 1 day, there are some more popular things to do in or around Saigon. One thing will be the Chu Chi Vietcong tunnels, which you can see me crawling through in the top of this article. The guides will show visitors a lot about the daily life of the Vietcong in south Vietnam and their surprising easy methods to fight and beat the tech superpower USA.
Worldtrip Berlin Tip: Go to the TDH xe buyt Sai Gon bus station and take the public bus to Chu Chi instead of joining one of those half day tours, as the groups will be 20+ people and you will not get much out if your visit. The public bus will not bring you directly to the tunnels, but to Chu Chi town where you can take a mototaxi. Once you entered Chu Chi Tunnels one of the employed guides will guide you around in way smaller groups or even alone.
If people are short on time, there is also the option to book a daytrip to the Mekong Delta. As we didn’t do it, I can’t say much about it, but I also never heard anybody talking enthusiastic about the Delta. I think, there are nicer things to spend the time on in Vietnam – but give it a try and have your own experience – Never stop exploring!
The report about the War Remnants Museum and Vietnam war will be separate as it deserves to be mentioned more precise.
Please share your experiences, tips and tricks about Saigon in the comment section to help others!