What To Do in Ho Chi Minh City
Top four sights to do & see
Cu Chi Tunnles
Cuchi Tunnels, just 60 kilometers northwest of Saigon, lay on one of the most fascinating historical sights of Vietnam-American War. The beginnings of the Cu Chi tunnels date back to Vietnam's struggle for independence from the French, but it was not until the Vietnam-American War that the tunnel network was widely expanded to cover a total distance of some 250 kilometers (170 miles). A small part of this network has been restored and opened to visitors to cast a fascinating light on the lives of the Cu Chi guerrillas and their hideouts. Join Vantours for a visit to Cu Chi where we'll take you underground to experience a glimmer of the conditions in which these people lived and fought.
Once known as the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes, the War Remnants Museum is consistently popular with Western tourists. Few museums anywhere drive home so effectively the brutality of war and its many civilian victims. Many of the atrocities ocumented here were well publicised but rarely do Westerners get to hear the victims of US military action tell their own stories.
While the displays are one-sided, many of the most disturbing photographs illustrating US atrocities are from US sources, including those of the infamous My Lai Massacre.
The former presidential palace of Saigon. This is where the North Vietnamese tanks smashed through the gates on April 30, 1975 and hung their flag. Replacement tanks are still on the grounds; the actual ones that crashed through the gate are in Hanoi. The palace is mostly kept "as is" and not much restoration going on. Cool bunkers down below and old equipment. It's worth a visit.
The new building was named Independence Palace and was home to the successive South Vietnamese president, Nguyen Van Thieu, until his hasty departure in 1975. Designed by Paris-trained Vietnamese architect Ngo Viet Thu, it is an outstanding example of 1960s architecture, with an airy and open atmosphere.
Ben Thanh Market
The largest old-style market in the central district, with several hundred small stalls stuffed with goods on almost impassably narrow aisles. Due to its popularity with tourists, the market is now divided about half and half between tourist goods (Jeans, T-shirts, smaller souvenirs in abundance) and the stuff of regular life (fruit and vegetables, rice, kitchen wares, flowers, meat, fast food, and local-style pickled fruits and candies). Most items are not price-marked, and vendors always quote a higher price to tourists, so the fortitude to haggle will save you some money.