Perhaps one of the most well-known cities in Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City. Originally known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City cemented itself in history as the location for the crucial role it played in the Vietnam War. Because of this, today, you can find a blend of cultures, including French colonial architecture and cutting edge modern city life, against the backdrop of traditional Vietnam. Embrace the heart of Vietnamese culture through colorful markets and authentic food, and learn the history of the reunification of this country’s difficult road to peace. Ho Chi Minh City is so packed with history and culture on every street that it can be challenging to know where to start for a tourist. To help, here is a short guide of places that you must see in order to get the true Ho Chi Minh City experience.
Binh Tay Market
Binh Tay Market is a regular center of commerce for the local population; featuring a variety of fresh produce, meat, and seafood from regions across Vietnam. It was built by the French in the 1880s in the center of Vietnam’s Chinatown district. Binh Tay Market is contained in a two-story building on Thap Moui Street. There is a central courtyard featuring a stone altar that commemorates Quach Dam, a philanthropist from Guangdong. In addition, you can find an assortment of unique Vietnamese-Chinese delicacies including pho noodle soup, com tam (broken rice), and spring rolls.
War Remnants Museum
If you want to experience the history of Vietnam, then prepare yourself for a sobering visit to the War Remnants Museum. This museum was first opened to the public in 1975, where it was originally named the ‘Museum of American War Crimes.’ Here you will find grim, and even shocking, documentation of the events of the Vietnam War. Keep in mind, the War Remnants Museum displays some graphic photos of the prisoners and victims of the war. In addition, the museum features American military equipment, including a tank, fighter plane, helicopter with rocket launchers, and more.
Lastly, to experience a full cross-section of Ho Chi Minh City, you must see Bitexco Tower. This modern office tower is characterized by an oval extension that serves as a helicopter landing pad. Bitexco Tower is a 68 story building and is the highest in the country. Bring your camera to the sky deck at the top to take in a 360-degree view of Ho Chi Minh City.
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