Top 6 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Sai Gon, is the most populated city in Vietnam with a population of approximately 100 million people. It is also one of the most commonly visited destinations in Vietnam which welcomes about 12.6 million international tourists in the year 2023.

So what makes this city an interesting destination? Let’s find out the top 6 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City in this article.

1. What to see in Ho Chi Minh City?

1.1. Have a lot of fun at Pham Ngu Lao Street

If asking young tourists where is the funniest place in Ho Chi Minh City, surely they will answer “Pham Ngu Lao Street”. Sitting in District 1 of Sai Gon, this street is a perfect place for travelers to stay, find delicious local delicacies, and join the local nightlife.

Of all the activities that this street offers, having a cup of local beer on the sidewalk is the weirdest, yet interesting experience to try. Here, you can find local Sai Gon beer in every corner with only about 20,000 - 30,000 VND. Furthermore, you can also watch street performances such as dancing, singing, or even fire-spitting while enjoying your beer. 

However, this hectic street is only open on the weekend (Friday to Sunday) from 18:00 to midnight. So, keep that in mind when arranging your schedule.

Pham Ngu Lao Street

1.2. Take waterbus ride

One of the best things to do around Ho Chi Minh City is to take a waterbus ride on the Sai Gon River. The waterbus was put into operation since 2017 to meet the transportation demand of local people. However, it has been drawing a lot of attention from tourists and is considered one of the most interesting experiences when traveling to Ho Chi Minh because it not only gives tourists chances to enjoy the scenery of the city from the water but also is a cheap, yet fun thing to do in Ho Chi Minh city.

Here is some general information about this water bus:

  • Capacity: 66 seats
  • Bus stops: Bach Dang, Binh An, Thanh Da, Hiep Binh Chanh, and Linh Dong
  • Price: 15.000vnd/way
  • Operating hours: 6:00 – 19:30
  • Total time from Bach Dang – Linh Dong: about 50 mins
  • Where to buy a ticket: at the stops
  • There is one thing you should keep in mind that it is advisable to avoid weekends because the demand is very high at this time which will take you long hours waiting.

Water bus ride in Ho Chi Minh City

1.3. Explore the Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most famous places of interest in Ho Chi Minh City located in District 1. Originally, this cathedral was made of wood and was hugely damaged by termites. Not until 1877, refurbishment was made and finished in 1880 which converted the old wooden cathedral into the current version. As it was built by the French, all the red bricks used to erect the construction were bought in Marseille, France. The design of it was also an imitation of the famous Notre Dame de Paris with Romance and French Gothic architectural style.

Besides its beauty, the event in October 2005 also made up its reputation among tourists. That is the moment the Virgin Mary statue in front of the cathedral shed tears which drew tons of attention from the public and was mentioned in a number of international news. Thus, this is a must-go thing to do when you visit Ho Chi Minh City.

Address: 1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

The Notre Dame Cathedral

1.4. Discover the Cu Chi tunnel

Cu Chi tunnel is the most famous historical site in the South of Vietnam as it played an important role in the victory of Vietnam in defeating the Americans. Come to Ho Chi Minh City, tourists cannot miss this one of the best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam.

The tunnel was built in 1948 and took 25 years to complete, the whole complex had the original length of 250 kilometers, until today, only 120 kilometers remained and conserved by the Vietnam government. In wartime, it functioned as the operation base of the Viet Cong for the event of Tet Offensive in 1968.

It has a total of 3 levels which can accommodate everything needed in the war such as food, hospitals, supply routes, weapons, etc., and also was an accommodation for the soldiers. Nowadays, to ensure safety for tourists, it is allowed to visit and crawl the 1st floor and only some safe parts of the lower levels.

Address: TL15, Phu Hiep, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City.

Consider our best customized Ho Chi Minh City & Cu Chi tunnel tours to have a full explanation of the historical depth of the tunnels.

Gun shooting in Cu Chi Tunnel

1.5. Wander along Starlight Bridge

Starlight Bridge is located in District 7 which crosses Thay Tieu Canal. It is considered one of the most beautiful and modern bridges in Vietnam. What makes this bridge special is that, as it is called, the bridge has a system of light stretching along its floor which brings visitors a feeling of walking in a galaxy with many stars. In addition, it’s also designed with the water spray system combined with rainbow lights which makes the bridge so gorgeous from a far distance. 

However, the scenery is not available every day. You can only see it on Thursday and Sunday nights from 18:30 to 22:00 and in some national holidays such as New Year's Eve, etc. 

Address: Rach Bang Bridge 2, Tan Phu, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City

Starlight Bridge

1.6. Explore Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market is situated in the prime location of District 1. The market dates back more than 100 years ago during the French colonial period, thus, its architecture was strongly influenced by the French.

It is one of the most well-known places of interest for tourists when traveling to Ho Chi Minh City which welcomes more than 10,000 people visiting every day. 

One special thing is that it transforms every day from a shopping paradise to a night market. In the morning, you can come here for shopping. It offers tourists almost everything from souvenirs, handicraft items, branded goods, etc. with approximately 1,500 booths of more than 6,000 business owners. In the evening, it converts into a night market with a wide range of delicious street food such as seafood, crispy pancakes, etc. even options for vegetarians.

Address: Le Loi, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1

Ben Thanh Market

2. Best tours to take when you staying in Ho Chi Minh City

When you are staying in Ho Chi Minh City, you may wonder what are the best tours to take. See some tours suggested by our experts as below:

2.1. Mekong Boat Trip from Ho Chi Minh City

After several days exploring the hustle and bustle city of Sai Gon, it’s time to relax a bit with a trip to a further place. The Mekong Delta day trip is one of the best choices for you. In this tour, you will be taking a river cruise along a part of the Mekong Delta River, having local tea while watching the Vietnam folk singing performance, and enjoying a local lunch at the Unicorn Islet.

For more details, please click HERE.

2.2. Long Tan – Nui Dat Day Tour

Long Tan and Nui Dat were battlefields that watched a fierce battle between the ANZACs – an Australian and New Zealand Corps – and the Vietnamese army forces. Coming here, you will have a chance to understand more about Vietnam’s history. On this day trip, you will also be visiting Long Tan Cross Memorial, Horseshoe FSB, and Long Phuoc Tunnels

For more details, please click HERE.

So, those are the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City that we want to provide to tourists. Don't hesitate to contact Incredible Asia Journeys to start planning your Vietnam trip today, many excitements await!

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