If you have ever been to Ho Chi Minh City you might have noticed the mass of motorbikes driving around the city. And there are certainly no rules when driving but somehow it works. Don’t ask me why. Also, don’t even try to stop and wait to cross the road, you just have to start walking or else you will still be stuck on one side of the road at the end of the day. Trust me. That said, let me give you a few infos on my stay in Ho Chi Minh City and what there is to see and do.
When I lived in Singapore in 2015/16 I took a trip to Saigon for 5 days.
You might know Ho Chi Minh City from the Vietnam War since most of it took part in that area. The city and the surrounding area is actually very historic and definitely worth a visit. I never really plan much in advance before I travel somewhere. I just like to see once I am there what there is to explore and do and just decide spontaneously.
↠ Book a tour to see the Củ Chi tunnels ↞
These tunnels are a major network of connected underground tunnels that were used by Vietnamese soldiers during the Vietnam War from 1955 to 1975. The guide took us around the whole area and explained to us what kinds of weapons the Vietnamese used or what traps they build. At the end, we even got to walk through a tunnel. It was kind of scary because it was completely dark down there and there wasn’t much space even though they already made it wider for tourists. I cannot even imagine how it must’ve been during the war. You will not like this if you are claustrophobic!
At the War Remnant Museum, you will get to learn even more about the Vietnam War if you are interested. But the pictures in there can sometimes be pretty horrible. Plus I have never seen such a crowded museum before!
↠ Visit the Independence Palace ↞
If you want to know more about the history of Ho Chi Minh City, then you should definitely also visit the Independence Palace (Reunification Palace). You have to pay around 30,000 VDN which is about 1€ or 1.5 USD. You will get to see all the rooms, such as the presidential office and bedrooms, but also the command bunker.
↠ Check out the local cafés ↞
If you love strong coffee you will definitely love Vietnamese Cafés! But if you dislike coffee (like me) you should still check out all those cute cafés. You will find them on basically every corner and the interior is always super beautiful and thought through. We ended up going into a different café each day.
The café is in this picture was one of my favorites that we just found while walking through the city. It had a back entrance and you didn’t really see the café from the outside. Plus while sitting in that café, I saw Leonardo DiCaprio win his first Oscar and it was my first time seeing the Oscars so I’ll definitely never forget that moment.
↠ Shop at the Bến Thành Market ↞
If you love to shop for souvenirs then this is a must do for you! Trust me, you will find anything here! But you have to bargain. Local vendors usually set the price way too high but once you got into the game of bargaining it will be quite fun and you can find amazing things here.
↠ Visit the Mekong Delta ↞
After having booked the tour for the Củ Chi tunnels, we decided that we also wanted to see the Mekong Delta while we were there. The tour included a few stops along the way. The first one was on a small island where they made candy themselves and sold it at the spot. They made it with coconut and you got to try it there. It was actually pretty good. The highlight of the tour was when we went with this little boat through the Mekong Delta. It is exactly like in all those pictures you see on the Internet and I really enjoyed it!
↠ Stroll through the city ↞
The pollution in Ho Chi Minh City is quite bad. I realized that right on the first day when we walked outside for a few hours and I just started getting really sick and I had a terrible headache. Once I went inside it got better though. So don’t underestimate the horrible air in this city and try not to walk around all day outside.
The city itself is beautiful. There are countless historic buildings and beautiful houses. And if you walk around the city at night you will see a lot of bars with live music.
Have you been to Ho Chi Minh City before?
Do you have any other tips or must do’s in this city?
Let me know in the comments below!