The main pages about Saigon :
- What to Visit in Saigon (Tourist Attractions)
- Where to Stay in Saigon (The potential zones for the Hotel)
- The Transport in Saigon (Airport, Bus and Train stations)
See this interactive Map, with all the places mentioned on this page :
You are on Page 1 of the places to visit in Saigon.
- Page 1
- Page 2
1. Independence Palace (Reunification Palace)
During the Vietnam war, It was an administrative and operational headquarter for the South-Vietnamese army and Americans. It was from the roof of this building that the last American helicopter escaped, when the war ended (April 1975).
The basement of the building served as a telecommunication center and there are now several rooms to visit with interesting old equipment (it was before the Internet era).
As a bonus, you will see a lot of furnitures from the seventies. It will remind you your childhood, if you were born at the right time.
See more photos in the reunification palace page.
2. The War Remnants Museum
It is a museum about the Vietnam war and its horrors. Inside the building there are several halls with explanations and photos about the history of the war, the weapons, the “orange toxic powder” that was sprayed by the Americans with airplanes in order to destroy the vegetation where the VietCong were hiding.
And the consequences on the population. 4 million people were affected by this chemical, with heredity affects still going on.
In the courtyard of the museum, there are exhibitions of methods of tortures employed by the South Vietnamese army when they caught soldiers from the north. In the photo the “Tiger cages”. Prisoners where held inside these reduced cages as a form of torture.
This is not an easy visit. I was very upset and sad after visiting the museum, especially remembering that tortures are still going on, in our days, in different conflicts on our planet. You can read about the Vietnam War in Wikipedia.
In the very Center of Saigon there are several monuments and elegant streets that you can visit walking :
Notre Dame Cathedral
Constructed between 1863 and 1880 by the French.
Central Post Office
In the same square of Notre Dame Cathedral. It was constructed between 1886-1891, also by the French. The post office is fully operational. I sent from it a postcard and it arrived to destination.
You guessed right, it was also constructed by the French. In 1897 by
the architect Eugène Ferret.
Nguyen Hue Street – The pedestrian street
An elegant pedestrian street, it reminds Paris, during the evenings.
There’s a lot of things happening in this walking street, in the evenings :
It is really the centre of Saigon, people like this place. It is the only place I know where you are safe from motorbikes.
The walking street is specially decorated and alive on the Vietnamese new year, the “Tet”, which happens in February (some years in January). If you visit Saigon in Tet time, be aware that a lot of businesses and attractions are closed for vacation, including the big malls.
If you succeed to cross the large street (traffic, traffic), you will arrive to the promenade on the river.
Recently, the promenade has been renovated and there are places to drink a coffee.
Ben Thanh market is not far from the walking street.
Ben Thanh Market
This market is an icon in Saigon, a well known spot.
It’s a day market. At night the building is closed and there are stands outside, for tourists. Including food.
Inside the building, you will find items for tourists and food, including some stands where they will cook for you Vietnamese dishes and you can sit to eat (somehow).
You can buy a T-shirt with a star on it :
Hindu Temple – Mariamman
Really close to the market is Mariamman hindu temple.
The temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess of rain Mariamman.
You can see more photos of the temple in the Temple page.
Hindu Temple – Sri Thenday Yuttha Panin Temple
This temple is also not far from the market. It is just beside the big mall “Saigon Center”.
You can see more photos of the temple in the Temple page.
Bitexco Financial Tower – The skydeck
I always like to see a city from above, it is impressive and it helps me to understand the orientation of the city. Bitexco is the second highest building in Saigon (the highest building in Saigon is called Landmark 81 and is mentioned on the second page). It has 262 meters. The observation deck is lower, it is located just under the Helipad. There is a 360 degree view, including over the river. The binoculars are free to use.
The entrance is relatively expensive : 200,000 Dong, but it is worthwhile in my opinion, if you like this kind of attractions.
Instead of paying for the observatory, you can ask to go to the cafeteria, which is located one floor above. The entrance to the cafeteria is free but you will pay for a Cappuccino the same price and you will not be able to move from your table, so don’t do it.
There are other options for having a view over the city. You can go to one of the skybars, in the evening, in one of the skyscrapers beside the big river. For example the skybar of Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel, very close to the walking street (and the river, of course).
The Touristic Bus
There is a touristic bus, that can take you for a tour in the center of Saigon. It is type “Hop On – Hop off”. It starts from the Opera house, which is near Hotel Caravelle.
The bus operates also in the evening
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If you find incorrect data on this page, like a restaurant that has closed or a big river that has moved or you want to tell me something, please write me to contact.