Ho Chi Minh City is an amazing place – I really liked it and would definitely go back!
Although I didn’t have long in the city, I made the most of my time there and did as much as I could.
These are my top 5 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
1. Saigon After Dark Scooter Tour
An amazing night tour with Vietnam Vespa Adventures (check out my full review here) which takes you around the busy Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) streets on the beck of an old-school vespa! (trust me, you won’t want to drive yourself!)You stop at 4 different food stops get to try authentic Vietnamese dishes, in places that you’d otherwise probably not find. An absolute MUST for anyone with a night to spare!
You need to book this one, but it’s easy enough to do – our hotel did it for us. The Cu Chi Tunnels shows you how the Cu Chi people outwitted and defended themselves from American soldiers by living underground in tiny tunnels during the Vietnam War. The place is quite eerie and includes a captured American army tank, bomb shells from the war, tiny tunnels you can crawl through (which have actually been widened for tourists) and at the end you can shoot real guns into a mud wall. It’s a really interesting and the visit is very worthwhile.
3. Chợ Bến Thành Markets
These were probably the best markets I went to in Vietnam for cheap, fake bags, sunglasses, shoes etc. Hanoi was much more expensive. They’re also open late each night, and there’s heaps of street food vendors with delicious Vietnamese food at ridiculously cheap prices. Just be careful of your bag when in the markets – two girls in my group got their bags snatched. I tended to just carry cash in my front pocket.
The War Remnants Museum is really a must-do too. I mean the Vietnamese War is still pretty recent history, and even just walking around the city you can still see the effects of it – especially from ‘agent orange’. It’s good to go and get an understanding of the war from the Vietnamese perspective and learn about how they’ve moved on from it – it’s really quite humbling. However, although the museum has a captured American fighter jet and army tank out the front – the inside of the museum is mostly photos and documents – not really suitable for children.
5. Glimpse of the Mekong Scooter Tour
This is another motorbike tour from Vietnam Vespa Adventures (check out my full review here) but this one is a full day. This tour takes you out of the city and to the rural are of the MeKong Delta. Here you see a different side of Vietnam, and to eat a lot of delicious food a long the way! One extra cool thing about it is that whole day I didn’t see any other tourists besides the 3 others in my group!