HO CHI MINH CITY TOURS WITH LOCAL PRIVATE TOUR GUIDES

     

Still often referred khổng lồ by its old name, Saigon, Ho Chi Minch City is a clamorous, chaotic sensory feast. Motorbikes honk in a tidal wave sầu across clogged intersections, locals crouch on street corners slurping steaming hot bowls of Pho (noodle soup); & the sultry air is thiông xã with exhaust fumes and exotic spices.

Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam"s commercial hub & largest city, & it"s a place where old abuts new with striking contrast. Temples huddle amid skyscrapers and designer shops; locals cast bamboo fishing rods into the languorous Saigon River; and in places, the city feels almost European, with its elegant French colonial architecture & wide, tree-lined avenues.

Adding khổng lồ the fascinating cultural jolt is a clutch of intriguing tourist attractions, from the poignant War Remnants Museum and captivating water puppet shows khổng lồ colorful markets & the time warp of the Reunification Palace.

Not far from the thành phố, the famous Cu Chi tunnels are a must-see attraction, & the lush waterscapes và small villages of the Mekong Delta provide a fascinating glimpse of rural life.

For more ideas on the best places to visit và the most rewarding things lớn vì, read our danh sách of the top attractions in Ho Chi Minc City.

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See also: Where to lớn Stay in Ho Chi Minc City

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1. Cu Chi Tunnels

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Cu Chi Tunnels


About 60 kilometers from Ho Chi Minch City, the Cu Chi Tunnels are a must-see half-day trip and one of the top tours for visitors lớn the đô thị. This vast 250-kilometer-plus network of tunnels served as the base for the Viet Cong"s military operations during the Vietnam War. Soldiers used the excruciatingly cramped tunnels as hiding places, hospitals, communication bases, supply routes, và even living quarters.

A visit usually includes the chance to crawl through part of the tunnel network, an experience that enhances your appreciation for the stamimãng cầu & adaptability of the soldiers who lived here. Even if you"re not a fan of modern military history, the tunnels offer powerful insight into lớn the conditions faced by troops during the conflict and the strategies that strengthened the VC"s resistance against American forces.

To make the most of your visit, consider joining a Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta Full-Day VIPhường Tour from Ho Chi Minc đô thị. This 11-hour tour includes round-trip transfers by VIP.. limousine or air-conditioned bus, snacks and cold drinks during the trip, as well as a full Vietnamese lunch (with a vegetarian option available). You"ll visit the Cu Chi tunnels, learn about the guerrilla welfare & the booby traps used in the tunnels, then step right into one of the tunnels.

After the tour, you"ll head khổng lồ a local restaurant lớn enjoy lunch before you continue on to the Mekong Delta. Here, you"ll board a small boat lớn paddle along the coconut-fringed canals before you head to a farm to try local products, including honey tea và fruits grown there.


2. War Remnants Museum

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War Remnants Museum | Sistak / photo modified


The War Remnants Museum is one of the most popular museums in Vietnam, with harrowing exhibits related khổng lồ the horrors of war in this battle-worn nation. The museum primarily focuses on the Vietphái nam War, however, some exhibits relate khổng lồ the first Indochina War with French colonialists.

It"s a good idea lớn start on the top floor and work your way down, so you cap off your experience with the lighter exhibits on the ground floor.

Most of the displays are photographic images, và some of these are confronting – especially the graphic shots of child Agent Orange victims. Artifacts on display include a guillotine và the "tiger cages" used for Viet Cong prisoners.

Many argue that the museum"s approach is biased; however, the exhibits poignantly portray the brutality of war. The museum also includes a fascinating display on the work of war photographers, from both sides, who lost their lives during the conflicts.

Period military vehicles và weapons are displayed in the museum"s courtyard. After touring the countryside & the Cu Chi Tunnels, you"ll find these exhibits even more moving, but note that some of the exhibits are not suitable for small children.

Address: 28 Vo Van Tan, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC

Official site: http://warremnantsmuseum.com/


3. Mekong Delta

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Woman paddling along the Mekong Delta


Cruising through the lush labyrinth of palm-fringed channels, rivers, and islands of the Mekong Delta is a popular day trip that seems a world away from hectic Ho Chi Minch City. It offers a fascinating glimpse inkhổng lồ the way of life of the people who depover on this fragile waterway for their survival.

Encompassing about 40,000 square kilometers, the delta produces more than half of the country"s grain & 90 percent of its exports, và it"s well-known for its floating markets, which usually take place during the early morning.

From Ho Chi Minc City, tours khổng lồ the delta, usually involve sầu a 70-kilometer drive khổng lồ My Tho, a market town on the banks of the Mekong River; a cruise along the delta; và visits to local villages, farms, and factories. The Mekong Delta Discovery Small Group Adventure Tour offers these activities, as well as the chance lớn sample traditional dishes & tropical fruit from the region.


4. Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre

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Water puppets


The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre is perfect for families with young children & anyone who enjoys light-hearted traditional entertainment. Water puppetry originated in rural villages in the Red River Delta & has been performed in Vietnam giới for more than 1,000 years.

The captivating 50-minute show provides a window into lớn the country"s culture. It"s presented in Vietnamese, but the strength of the puppet characters, both people and animals, transcends the language barrier.

Live music enhances the experience; the talented musicians play traditional instruments such as bamboo flutes and two-stringed violins. The theater is air-conditioned, & if you"re sitting in the front row, be prepared for some gentle splashes.

Address: 55B Nguyen Thi Phố Minh Khai Street, Ben Tkhô cứng Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City


5. Thiên Hau Temple, Chinatown

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Thiên Hau Temple, Chinatown | bvi4092 / phokhổng lồ modified


The atmospheric 19th-century Thiên Hau Temple is one of the best places khổng lồ visit in Ho Chi Minc City"s Chinatown (ChoLon) và one of the oldest Chinese temples in the city. Dedicated khổng lồ the Lady of the Sea, Thiên Hau, this evocative temple is visited by local worshippers, as well as tourists, & many of the materials used in its construction were brought from Đài Loan Trung Quốc.

Clouds of incense billow in the air, candles flicker on altars, and shafts of sunlight pierce through the partial roof as you enter the green wrought-iron gates and stroll across the small courtyard. From here, you can see the altar, with statues of the goddess, và the intricate porcelain dioramas adorning the roof depicting scenes from 19th-century Chinese life.

According to legend, the goddess left two turtles to guard the temple in her absence. On the 23rd day of the third lunar month, a parade takes place in the neighborhood featuring a figure of Thiên Hau, who is believed khổng lồ save seafarers stranded on the high seas. Entry to the temple is không tính tiền.

While you"re visiting China Town, it"s also worth stopping by the hectic Binc Tay Market, which sells everything from fresh produce khổng lồ Chinese trinkets. The area is also home lớn some beautiful examples of classical Chinese architecture.

Address: 710 Nguyen Trai Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minch City


A fine example of Neo-Romanesque architecture, the red-briông xã Notre Dame Cathedral is a distinctive sầu landmark in the heart of Ho Chi Minch City. Its twin square towers rise almost 60 meters above sầu the city, capped by iron spires.

Built from 1877 khổng lồ around 1883, the cathedral was intended lớn be a place for the colonial missions to worship and a symbol of the power of the French colony.

The exterior consists of red bricks from Marseille, & the clock between the two bell towers was built in Switzerland in 1887.

Notable features of the interior include 56 squares of stained glass by Lorin from Chartres, France; the 12 pillars representing the 12 apostles; và one of Vietnam"s oldest organs. To see the interior, try visiting in the morning or attending a Sunday mass.

Across the street, the French colonial-style post office, completed in 1891, was designed by Gustave sầu Eiffel, the French architect of the Eiffel Tower. Today, the post office is still in use và is a popular meeting place for locals.

Address: Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, Ben Nxẹp, tp. Ho Chí Minh, Ho Chi Minh;


Also known as The Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City, the elegant Saigon Opera House, at the start of the famous tree-lined Le Loi Avenue, is eye-candy for architecture buffs – especially fans of the French colonial style. It was built as Opera de Saigon in 1897 by Eugen Ferret, a French architect, lớn entertain French colonists, và its striking facade echoes the style of the Petit Palais, which was built in the same year in Paris.

After 1956, the building was used as the trang chủ of the Lower House assembly of South Vietphái nam & again became a theater in 1975, after the fall of Saigon. The only way to lớn see the theater"s interior is lớn purchase a ticket khổng lồ a show.

Both the Ho Chi Minch City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera persize here, và tickets are available at the box office or local travel agents. In the area around the opera house are some of the city"s new shopping malls and exclusive sầu hotels. You can also combine a visit here with the nearby Notre Dame Cathedral & Reunification Palace.

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Address: 7 Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minc City


A visit lớn the Reunification Palace, once known as Independence Palace, is more about the historic events that took place here than any pomp and grandeur. In fact, this 1960s-style building, with its large, airy rooms và dated furnishings, seems frozen in time since April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese army tank crashed through the iron gates here, bringing an end to the Vietphái nam War. For locals, the palace represents this historic sự kiện & the reunification of the country.

Set on 44 acres of lush lawns & gardens, the palace also offers a fascinating glimpse at the lifestyle of privileged heads of state in 1960s Saigon. It was built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, which was bombed by fighter jets in 1962 in an unsuccessful assassination attempt on the South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinc Diem.

The current building was completed in 1966 & became the trang chính and workplace of the successive sầu president when Vietnam was split between the north & the south. Notable features include the president"s living quarters, the war command room with large maps và antiquated communications equipment, & the maze of basement tunnels.

You"ll also see military vehicles outside, including the fighter jet that destroyed the Norodom Palace, và tank 843, which rammed through the palace gate on that fateful day in April more than four decades ago. Guided tours in English are available.

Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minch City


For sightseers, the hot và hectic Ben Tkhô nóng Market is almost an obligatory stop, even if only lớn witness the crammed stalls và market chaos. The stalls are piled high with everything from local delicacies, fish, flowers, & tropical fruits khổng lồ shoes, clothes, colorful candy, & souvenirs. The markets are also notorious for pickpockets, so make sure any valuables are secure và out of sight.

After soaking up all the ambiance, head lớn Saigon Square, about a three-minute stroll away, for a slightly less frenetic shopping experience with the added bonus of air conditioning. Here, you"ll find fantastic deals on everything from clothing và backpacks khổng lồ jewelry & shoes. Haggling is customary at both locations.


Within the grounds of the botanic gardens, the Museum of Vietnamese History unveils the country"s cultural evolution from the Bronze Age khổng lồ the early 20th century. The exhibits are organized chronologically & include artifacts from Vietnam"s former ethnic groups, including the Dong Son, Funan, Khmer, & Csi civilizations. Particularly interesting are the stone và bronze sculptures, Angkor Wat relics, and the well-preserved mummy.

For an extra fee, you can attover a water puppet show in the museum"s small theater, with performances held every hour (except during lunch).

Almost as interesting as the museum exhibits is the building itself, which dates from 1929 và fuses French & Asian architectural styles. After viewing all the museum exhibits for an hour or so, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll around the botanic gardens.

Address: 2 Nguyen Binh Khiêm, Ben Nghé Ho Chí Minh City


Built in the early 20th century, the evocative sầu Jade Emperor Pagoda (Chua Phuoc Hai) sits in an unassuming neighborhood a few blocks away from the Botanical Gardens. The temple was built in honor of the Taoist god, the Jade Emperor or King of Heaven, Ngoc Hoang, & within its dimly lit interior, you"ll see many representations of both Buddhist and Taoist deities.

As you step inside, incense shrouds the many local worshippers, & candles illuminate altars brimming with offerings. Of special note are the intricately carved panels of woodwork và the many elaborate dragon và animal sculptures adorning the roof.

At the temple"s entrance, masses of turtles swyên ổn in a pond, some with inscriptions on their shells, và for this reason, the temple is often called the tortoise pagodomain authority. Locals come here frequently lớn worship, so it"s important khổng lồ be respectful when you visit.

Address: Ða Kao Quan 1 Vietphái mạnh, 73 Mai Thi Luu, Ða Kao, Ho Chí Minh


Near the Reunification Palace, the Ho Chi Minc City Museum occupies an impressive Neoclassical building, formerly known as Gia Long Palace, that was once home page khổng lồ the Cochinchina"s governor. It"s worth a stop for an overview of the city"s history và a look at the grand architecture, which includes Oriental and European flourishes.

The museum traces the city"s past with exhibits on the struggle for independence, nature và archaeology, trade, village handicrafts, currency, and the culture of Saigon. Interestingly, the building sits on a network of tunnels và bunkers, which served as escape routes for past dignitaries, though these are closed to lớn the public.

Address: 65 Ly Tu Trong, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Official site: http://www.hcmc-museum.edu.vn/en-us/home-page.aspx


Although it"s a little challenging khổng lồ find if you"re traveling without a guide, the first Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine (FITO) occupies a beautiful old five-story building framed by bamboo. It"s worth a look for anyone who is interested in alternative sầu medicine or wants khổng lồ soak up some Vietnamese culture away from the main tourist trail.

The museum displays thousands of items relating to Vietnamese traditional medicine, from the Stone Age lớn the present day, including books, documents, herbs, and implements used in preparing the medicines. You can also try your hvà at grinding up some of the ingredients. The presentation begins with a short film on the history of Vietnam"s traditional medicine, & herbal cures are available for purchase before you leave sầu.

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Official site: http://www.fitomuseum.com.vn/


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While the northern half of Vietphái mạnh experiences a cool season between the months of December và March, the southern half of the country sees average temperatures in the 30s Celsius all year long. However, these are still the best months to lớn visit Ho Chi Minch, as there"s little rain, lots of xanh skies, & the humidity actually drops just enough lớn make the weather more bearable.

December might even give you a few days here và there where the temperature drops just under 30 degrees Celsius. On the other h&, April is the hotchạy thử month, with temperatures in the upper 30s & high humidity.

As a general rule, the best time to visit Vietphái nam is always outside the rainy season, which runs between May & September & can cause flooding & make outdoor time a little uncomfortable. August & September are particularly rainy months in Ho Chi Minc – strong storms often hit the city during these months, causing power outages & forcing people to lớn stay indoors.


Vietnam"s capital should be on everybody"s menu – Hanoi is a frenzied, hectic city with lots of energy & a charming Old Town Quarter. Aside from walking the old winding streets & haggling at the local markets, visitors can also stop by other Hanoi attractions, like the Ho Chi Minc Mausoleum, và visit Hoa Lo Prison Memorial khổng lồ get an insight into lớn the history of the country. A walk around Hoàn Kiem Lake is a great way khổng lồ end the day.

For a trip bachồng in time, both Hoi An & Hue offer stunning architecture going baông xã hundreds of years. Hue sits on the banks of the Perfume River & is home lớn the Tnhì Hoa Palace và the walled Imperial City.

Hoi An, a 15th-century trading port, is home page lớn a number of beaches, including popular An Bang, the not-so-secret Hidden Beach, và Cua Dai Beach, which is becoming narrower and narrower due to erosion but is still beautiful & a great place khổng lồ escape the crowds.

The small city of Nha Trang is best known for being the getaway lớn one of Vietnam"s most famous stretches of shoreline. White sands, clear blue waters, và beautiful seaside promenades have sầu earned the beaches here the nickname "the Riviera of the South Đài Loan Trung Quốc Sea." In town, the ancient Po Nagar Cham Towers are well worth a visit, và so is the Alexandre Yersin Museum, dedicated khổng lồ the French-Swiss bacteriologist who co-discovered the bacteria responsible for the bubonic plague.


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