Ho Chi Minh city, also known as Saigon, is the biggest city in Southern Vietnam. It is more of a sprawling metropolis than Hanoi with its many districts. It is still referred to as Saigon by local & tourist alike. As a first time visitor I stayed at District 1 and explored the wonderful surrounding area on day & Night tours.
Things I covered on Day 2 in Ho chi Minh City:
Admittedly, Ho chi Minh City isn’t it as full of sight as Hanoi with it’s old quarter, but once you get in to the city, there is a certain vibrant liveliness that you can’t ignore. It has a younger, more urban vibe than its counterpart and with almost two hundred years of French occupation, there is plenty to see.
1 – Dinner Cruise: Cruising along Saigon river brings lot of relaxing feeling with cool breeze and nice weather. There are plenty of companies who offer these dinner cruising services which generally starts in the evening around 7 PM and takes you around the Saigon river to get panoramic view of Ho Chi Minh city colorful skyline with delicious Vietnamese food & some wonderful performances by the locals.This 2 hours dinner cruise may cost you in the range of 25 to 35 $ per person, as its prices varies company to company.
2 – Ben Thanh Market:
Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 is a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs. Here, you’ll find eating stalls inside the market where you can get a taste of hawker-style Vietnamese cuisine or simply cool off with a cold drink when the bargaining becomes too much. The market is big, difficult to navigate at times and certainly best avoided during the hottest part of the day but all the same its well worth a look. When night falls, restaurants around the perimeter of the market open their doors creating a vibrant street side scene filling the air with the scents of wok-fried noodles, barbecued fish and meats. One of Saigon’s oldest landmarks, Ben Thanh offers a great atmosphere that is absolutely authentically Vietnamese.
3 – War Remnants Museum:
The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City first opened to the public in 1975. Once known as the ‘Museum of American War Crimes’, it’s a shocking reminder of the long and brutal Vietnam War. Graphic photographs and American military equipment are on display. There’s a helicopter with rocket launchers, a tank, a fighter plane, a single-seater attack aircraft. You can also see a conventional bomb that weighs at 6,800kg. American troops had used these weapons against the Vietnamese between 1945 and 1975.
The most talked-about exhibits at the War Remnants Museum are the ‘tiger cages’. The South Vietnamese government kept their political prisoners in these confinements. Locals believe the cages imprisoned up to 14 people at a time. The museum also has a guillotine brought in by the French government. Both the French and South Vietnamese used it to execute their prisoners until 1960. Also featured are grisly photos of victims that had suffered ‘Agent Orange’. As many as 4.8 million people were exposed to strong pesticide and chemical spray. The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs believed 500,000 children were born with birth defects. The War Remnants Museum is in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. It’s every day from 07:30 to 17:00. A visit to this war museum can be disturbing experience for most people. Although children can enter, we highly advise against it.
Opening Hours: Daily 07.30 – 12.00 & 13:30 – 17:00
Location: 28 Vo Van Tan, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
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