Wednesday, May 16, 2012

10 Best Places to visit / things to do in Downtown Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City Hall night shot

There is only one thing I am so scared to do in Saigon ....cross the streets! The traffic there is really crazy, the city is well famous for its motorbikes that throng the streets. If you have been there you know what I mean, and if not it is something you need to experience.  Is it a turn-off for tourists? Nah, actually it adds up to the personality of the city, one reason why you will enjoy it more!

Ho Chi Minh City , formerly named  and until now well known as Saigon is the largest and most populated city in Vietnam. It is also the second most important city of Vietnam next to Hanoi because of its contribution to tourism and commerce.  

Saigon is best enjoyed by foot. Yeah you read it right, so walk! Let me enumerate the 10 best places to visit and things to do in Saigon by just walking in their city center:

1)  Notre Dame de Saigon –also called Notre Dame Basilica de Saigon, is a magnificient building located at the heart of the city, it is well visited by tourist because of its neo-Romanesque style architecture. 
    Ho Chi Minh Notre Dame de Saigon

    2) Ho Chi Minh City Museum – this used to be the residence of so many Vietnam rulers and now considered a historical site. Tunnels were built underground the building to help the leaders escape in case of political strikes.
      Ho Chi Minh City Museum

      3) Reunification Palace- also called the Independence Palace was built as the home of the president of South Vietnam during the time of the Vietnam war.
        Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh

        4) Central Post Office- this building is famous for its French colonial architecture. It is a creation of Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the world famous Eiffel Tower of Paris.   

        Central Post Office, Ho Chi Minh 

        5) Ho Chi Minh City Hall- for me this building is well photographed at night. Also famous for its French Colonial style of architecture.

        6) Municipal Theater- also known as Saigon Opera House was built in 1897 in a style which they claimed very similar to that of Opera Garnier and Petit Palais in Paris. It was also used as the residence of the Lower House of Assembly of South Vietnam.

        Municipal Theater, Saigon

        7) Vietnam Park and walking their streets- expect crowded parks, Vietnamese loves to hang out with their friends doing.. nothing! believe me you will be surprise

        Saigon, Vietnam

        8)  Shop at Cho Ben Thanh Market - Cho Ben Thanh is the large market located at the heart of the city. Shopping here is fun, you can haggle the prices! I specially love their colorful home decors.

        9) Eat their food and don't forget to taste their coffee! -Food tripping is fun anywhere you go, it is the best way to explore and appreciate culture. And Vietnamese food is definitely one thing you should not ignore and never ever dare to leave Saigon without tasting their local coffee, believe me you will be sorry if you will not try it! 

        Vietnamese coffee
        Vietnamese coffee is a local ground coffee, brewed in the regionally popular Phin filter, A MUST try!
        10 . Cross their streets - yeah no matter how scary it is, you should try it.. goodluck and don't forget to have fun!

        Related blog:
        - trip to Mekong River
        -Accidental Saigon Photoshoot

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          1. Wonderful. I wish to get here someday, too!:) Anyway, followed you through Bloggers, Google Friend Connect and NetworkedBlogs. Hope you could do the same. Newbie travel/adventure blogger here. :)

            1. Followed you too, thanks! ;)

          2. considering Vietnam this year. Thanks for this post!

            1. Thanks Too Riz for dropping by. ;)

          3. will note some of the places in Saigon thanks

          4. Wow vietnam, with its famous Ha Long Bay. Look at their streets, loaded with motorcyclists hehe. :)

          5. If talking about Saigon, Vietnam... it is Miss Leah Salonga, registering on my mind. hehe ^^

          6. Been to Vietnam for a day on one of my connecting flight to Cambodia and was able to visit some on your list. The architecture are mostly Parisian influenced being once a colony of France.

          7. I am soooo looking forward to my trip to Saigon this November! I actually bookmarked your post so that it can help me plot out my itinerary! Thanks so much Violy! More tips please? :)

          8. yummy post! I'd definitely consider visiting this place

          9. I will take mental note of this since plans for a Family trip to this place is in the offing.:)

          10. If I were to visit this place, I would definitely check those churches, they are so amazing :)

          11. I'm so excited to see a throng of motor bikers. How's the accident incidence of motor biking? Is it rare? Or very common?

          12. i like how orange the Notre Dame Basilica de Siagon is. :)

          13. You are so lucky to visit many places.Saigon is really one of the best place to go.

          14. Every time I hear the song "Imagine.. " I think of Saigon, I don't know why!
            Maybe because we learned its history in high school that makes me want to visit it someday!!! bookmarking!!! thanks!:))

          15. Another wonderful place to visit...
            SAIGON, new culture and the views
            are engaging.

          16. Saigon is the nearest place outside the country to have a vacation

          17. Would visit you one day Saigon :)

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          20. I used to visit Vietnam last year and I had stayed there Hanoi with my father by the bustours. It is a capital city of Vietnam. Hanoi is just great due to its food, attractions and interesting culture. I also visited the city museum. The museum is only 2,000m2 in total, it provides a great overview of the history of Vietnam. Visitors may have to make full use of imagination as well as sensitivity to understand artifacts and relics exhibited in the museum.

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