Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
Wandering the streets of District 1 is a must. Here you will see the unique mix of Saigon's colonial buildings and the modern, bustling city as scooters whizz past the grand buildings left by the French. It's a dizzying, beautiful scene. Other sites to include on your itinerary include:
Cu Chi Tunnels. During the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong used an extensive network of tunnels as hiding spots by day as well as a communication network. At Cu Chi, 75 miles of tunnels have been preserved and two sections are open to visitors.
Jade Emperor Pagoda. This Taoist temple is one of the most atmospheric in Saigon, built by the Cantonese community at the beginning of the 20th century. The carvings depicting hell are one of the highlights.
Nha Hang Ngon. This sprawling upscale food court gathers all the best hawker cuisine in one place, with different stalls serving dishes typical of all the regions of Vietnam. If you are wary of eating from Saigon's street stalls, you can sample the same dishes here without any worries.
One of the most appealing lanes in Saigon is also the favorite for foreign travelers: three tree-shaded blocks of quirky tube houses and colonial-era shop-houses. Take a walk along the row of cool fashion and home-design boutiques.
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Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, this tour company organizes custom trips to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, and Bali. In addition to a variety of set itineraries, the company also designs personalized tours based on budget and interests, such as history, philanthropy, or cooking.
Pick up a Vietnamese ao dai (a woman's costume of tunic and flowing pants) reinvented by Minh Khoa, Ho Chi Minh City's edgiest couturier.
The temple is topped by a colorful gopuram bedecked with Hindu gods and goddesses.
One of the city’s premier shopping destinations, Zen Plaza is a retail center containing several floors of shops, including designer brands like Diesel, as well as a food court with options like Pho 24 and a photo studio.
If time allows, consider a half-day excursion northwest of the city to these fascinating, albeit touristy, sights. A network of hidden passageways and underground lairs dug by the Viet Cong during the war form the amazing, if claustrophobia-inducing, Cu Chi Tunnels.