Everyone coming to Ho Chi Minh City – the southern center for economy and entertainment will want to grab a motorbike, work up the bravery, and wander around. Here, the dynamic cityscape draws together old and new Vietnam in the most compact spaces, representing the city’s past and future.
Feel the streets
Either when you take control or are on the back of a motorbike, you see the city on street level and feel its energetic pulse. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle of the land that people like to call Sai Gon.
The streets in Ho Chi Minh City offer a mix of original culture, unique entertainment, and delicious food. There is Nguyen Hue Street – a big walking street where modern and traditional architecture blend in well. Another worth-walking spot is Bui Vien Street – once the “international intersection”, known for its printing shops and newsrooms, now a vibrant hub of restaurants, cafes, hotels, and bars that draw visitors from around the world.
Eating street food is one of the most authentic experiences you’ll find in not only Ho Chi Minh City but also around many cities of Viet Nam. Plastic tools and tables are arranged nicely along the pavement of almost every corner, and dining in groups with myriad dishes and raucous toasts of Mot-Hai-Ba Dzo are some kinds of “informal” formalities that you should try with the locals if possible.
The landmarks, and the Landmark
Ho Chi Minh City is where history is made. This is home to the Reunification Palace – the palatial estate designed as the residential and administrative quarters of the President of South Vietnam.
History spreads among the districts, with Ben Thanh Market in District 1 – a timeless marketplace built atop a reclaimed plot of land which was formerly known as Bo Ret Pond; the Ho Chi Minh Museum located in District 4, where President Ho Chi Minh as a young man departed for a journey to find Viet Nam’s independence, freedom, and happiness; the Cu Chi Tunnels – home to a network of over 250 kilometers used by the Vietnamese army in the 1960s.
These are the pieces of a bigger story about how the Vietnamese people shape and define our land in today’s world.
While the historical landmarks tell you a story of the city’s past, one sky-scraping building will tell you the story of Ho Chi Minh City’s today and tomorrow.
The Landmark 81, standing near the city river bank, holds the record of the tallest building in Vietnam, the second tallest in Southeast Asia, and the eighteenth in the world overall. When you arrive at this magnificent work, remember to take the elevator up to the roof and you will be able to see the panorama picture of all the bustling streets below.
It is just so hard to capture all the things that make this Southern gem the top destination for travelers. But let’s wait no more and plan your trip to Ho Chi Minh City, feel the vibrations that make this city so wonderful and exciting.
– Images from Viet Nam Tourism Board