What to visit in Saigon?
Updated: 1/2/2018 | 2:59:58 PM
You planned to go to Saigon (Hô-Chi-Minh-City), but you do not know where to start? Here is a list of sites you should visit in the economical capital of Vietnam.
The reunification palace
This solidly-built building is the symbol of the fall of Saigon (30th April 1975). The architectural style has a 60’s atmosphere. At the end of the war, the fence of the former presidential residence was sunk by the Chinese tank (the victorious army). In this instance, the presidential palace was renamed the reunification palace. Although still used for diplomatic meetings, the reunification palace is now a museum open to the public. We can visit reception rooms, the office of former president and also the fortified command centre underground.
The war museum
This museum shows tools of war with picture about conflicts between the United States and Vietnam from 1963 to 1975. There is many cruel photography showing war atrocities. However, the museum is one of the most interesting museum in Hô-Chi-Minh-City. This is a must do for those who are interested in history.
Schedule: from 7:30am to 12:00am and from 1:30am to 5:00pm
Cù Chi tunnels
Cù Chi tunnels are an huge system of underground tunnels located in the Cù Chi area. They were created by the Viet Minh under the French Indochina (the network was around 20km) and those tunnels had been developed during the US-Vietnam conflict and was around 250km. It was then a gigantic network of narrow galleries serving semi-underground rooms and deeper cavities entirely dug. Access to the tunnels was through carefully camouflaged hatches. The Cù Chi tunnels were the site of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War, and were the base of the Viet Cong operation during the Tết offensive in 1968.
The Cholon market
Cholon is the Chinese district in Saigon. We can find the oldest pagodas in the city. There is an interesting district where there are 6 pagodas. In this district, you can find the biggest market of Cholon.
Saigon Opera House
Inspired by the architecture of the Garnier Opera in Paris. It was built in 1900. The façade is similar to the Small Palace in Paris. During the Vietnam war, this theatre was the seat of the parliament of the republic. The Opera has actually 500 seats, and this place is used for artistic performances and big manifestations since 1975.
The Jade Emperor Pagoda
This pagoda is dedicated to the Ngoc Hoang emperor, an illustrious personage of Taoism. The pagoda was built in 1909. The legend tells that Liu Minh would have saved himself from China after being sentenced for the assassination of his brother. Then he built the temple where a tree had been struck by lightning to redeem itself. The place is beautiful, but the pagoda is small and far away from other interesting sites. If you have free time it is a great place!
Pham Ngu Lao street
Known as the backpacker’s district, the Pham Ngu Lao street is animated with market that attracts people for its clothes abundance, memories of war and other products.
Notre-Dame cathedral in Saigon
With its colours, Notre-Dame cathedral do not go unnoticed. This cathedral was built between 1877 and 1880. It is the most famous monument in the city. It is a religion place very frequented by local Catholics but also by expatriates. There is an English mess every Sundays at 9:30 am.
Schedule for tourists:
Weekend: from 5:00am to 11:00am and from 3:00pm to 5:30pm
Week: from 8:00am to 11:00am and from 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Sunday: 5:30am, 6:30am, 7:30am, 9:30am, 4:00pm, 5:15pm, 6:30pm
Week: 5:30am, 5:30pm
Ben Thanh market
Ben Thanh is the touristic market in Saigon. The clock situated at the entry is one of the major symbols in the city. There you will find everything, clothes, gadgets, trinkets, beauty products, food, etc. At the centre of the market, prices are not fixed and you have to bargain. There are 4 areas in the market: restaurants, textiles, cosmetics and sundries. Around the covered market, you will find public stores with fixed prices. A sign with “fixed price” will be hanged.
Open every day from 6am to 5pm for the covered market
Open every day from 6pm to 10pm for the night market around the covered market
The main post office in Saigon
It is one of the best testimony of the colonial period’s architecture. Its steel frame was built by Gustave Eiffel. Besides its tourist interest, the post is working. You can buy postcards and tax stamps and send mails.
Schedule: Open from 8:00am to 5:00pm
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