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Museum of Fine Arts

Visit Museum of Fine Arts: This excellent Fine Arts Museum is housed in two buildings that were once the French Ministry of Information. Treasures abound, including ancient Champa stone carvings and some astonishing effigies of Guan Yin, the thousand-eyed, thousand-armed goddess of compassion. Look out for the lacquered statues of Buddhist monks from the Tay Son dynasty and the substantial collection of contemporary art and folk-naive paintings. The Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts is located in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is a museum showcasing Vietnam's fine arts from a range of historical periods. The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum is a cultural information and educational institution, directly affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and Information, with the function of conserving and exhibiting historic and contemporary artworks, archaeological and historical materials, and objects important to the history and nation of Vietnam. The Vietnam Fine Arts Museum is a national museum having legal status, its own stamp, and account in the State Treasury and bank. Visitors to the Museum can appreciate and understand the entire history of the Vietnamese fine arts through the collections and exhibitions on display.


Cholon District

Visit Cholon District: Ho Chi Minh City’s Cholon is Vietnam’s largest Chinatown with roots dating back to 1778; it’s also a place of great historical and cultural importance. Chinese minorities hid here from the Tay Son and subsequently had to rebuild the area twice following an attack with as many as 70% estimated to have died trying to escape on boats. Those who survived settled and began selling a variety of Chinese products. During the Vietnam, War Cholon was a thriving black market for US soldiers trading in American Army issue supplies. The area today is a popular site for those on the tourist trail and also attracts many Taiwanese and Chinese visitors. Colon is an interesting place to see classical Chinese architecture reminiscent of years gone by with plenty of Chinese restaurants. The Binh Tay market at the center is busy, crowded and messy with small aisles selling all manner of goods. This market sometimes disappoints tourists when compared to other markets in Ho Chi Minh as the products are not that varied, but the main draw to Cholon is not to shop, but to enjoy the authentic Chinese atmosphere that has existed here for hundreds of years. It’s a wonderful place to experience at night.


Mariamman Hindu Temple

Visit Mariamman Hindu Temple: Situated close to the Ben Thanh market, the Mariamman Hindu temple serves the small community of 100 or so Chinese and Vietnamese Tamil Hindus living in Ho Chi Minh City. It is the only Hindu temple that is still open in the city and is considered sacred by Hindu and non-Hindu Vietnamese. The temple is rumored to have miraculous powers, giving luck and wealth to those who worship within its walls. Built at the end of the 19th century in honor of Mariamman the Hindu Goddess of strength, the temple’s first purpose was as a place of worship for the Chettiar community. Classically Hindu in style, the colorful temple features vibrant deity sculptures reminiscent of those usually found in Southern India, decorating external walls, rooftops, towers and the shrine inside. The temple was also once used as a factory in which Joss sticks were produced. Sacred images dance on the external walls which feature a royal tower at the entrance that stands 12 meters high. Gods and Goddesses, including Shiva, Kali, Brahma and Vishnu are prominently represented with Simha Vahanam sitting to the left of the entrance.

Bach Dang Pier

This is a famous spot for boat trips to the Saigon River in Ho Chi Minh City. The visitors can easily get access to the different parts of the city that they want to explore. Both tourists and commercial boats move in and out of the Bach Dang Pier in the course of the day and night. There are many operators that even make special arrangements for attractions like Cu Chi Tunnels.
Highlight: This place has an elegance of its own. Visitors can find large numbers of authentic eateries, coffee shops, and bars. The bustling area also attracts the attraction of lots of locals sipping drinks and doing tai chi in the morning
Location: It is located at Ton Duc Thang, just next to the ferry terminal. It is also very closely located to the Renaissance Central Hotel.
Price: Several cruise tours are available here and the prices range from 90000 Dong to 100000 Dong.

Starlight Bridge

Located only 6km from the busy areas of the Central Thanh Market, the area with the Starlight Bridge gives a completely different feel compared to the other parts of the city. There is less traffic, and it is quitter, but it is still a popular attraction of the city. It is the ideal place to spend some relaxing time with a loved one, which of course brings a romantic feeling in Saigon.

Highlights: There are some uncluttered sidewalks along with some malls and cafes. It gives a feeling that someone has left the Vietnam and moved to a different country. The bridge spans across a lake with beautiful waterfall cascading down. These waterfalls are illuminated by flash light of different colors, which makes the site altogether more appealing and attractive.

Location: The Bridge is situated at Ton Dat Tien, Tan Phu, Ho Chi Minh City.

Price: The entrance is free for everyone.

Pham Ngu Lao Street

Visit Pham Ngu Lao Street: Pham Ngu Lao Street in Ho Chi Minh City is on the western edge of District 1 and is renowned as the place where most backpacking travelers stay during their holiday. A 25-minute taxi ride from Tan Sot Nhat International Airport, it comprises numerous lanes and back alleys through the main thoroughfares include Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham, Bui Vien, and Do Quang Dao streets. Set along these alleyways are western-style restaurants, coffee shops, and international bars, countless tour companies and kiosks, affordable motels, hostels and guesthouses (as well as many of the so-called ‘mini-hotel’ buildings usually with six to seven floors, rarely offering an elevator), internet cafes, pharmacies, and souvenir-and-craft shops. The Pham Ngu Lao Street is not limited to only low-budget travelers. Its own unique vibe draws people from everywhere due to its close proximity to prominent landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City. As there is always something going on in Pham Ngu Lao Street, many visitors prefer to enjoy local street food or people-watching while enjoying the incredibly cheap Bia Hoi draught beer on the roadside.


War Remnants Museum

Visit War Remnants Museum: The War Remnants Museum is a unit under the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho Chi Minh City. Located in the museum system in Vietnam, the museum for world peace and a member of the World Council of Museums (ICOM), the War Remnants Museum, the Museum of thematic research, collection, storage, preservation and display of the material, photographs, artifacts on the evidence of the crime and the consequences of the war that the invasion force has caused to Vietnam. Thereby, the Museum of educating the public, especially the younger generation, a mental struggle for independence and freedom of the country, the anti-war sense of invasion, to protect peace and solidarity friendship between the peoples of the world. Museum store more than 20,000 documents, exhibits, and films, in which more than 1,500 documents, artifacts, films have been applied to introduce in eight thematic exhibitions frequently. In 35 years, the Museum has welcomed over 15 million visitors, at home and abroad. Currently with about 500,000 visitors each year, the War Remnants Museum is one of the only cultural tourism to attract high public credibility at home and abroad.

What You Should Know More About Ho Chi Minh

  • About the destination:

    Also known as Saigon in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is a city that juxtaposed by ancient traditions, temples and urban skyscrapers. There are many places to see and things to do in this city. The city is sprawling with pagodas, tunnels, places of sightseeing, museums, parks, restaurants, places of amusement for family and backpackers. The best time to visit this city is between December to April. It was an important seaport during the times of Vietnamese war. The climate of the city is tropical and dry most of the year. It experiences heavy rains, and visiting the city during monsoons is best avoided.

    Air, rail, bus, and water transportation are available in this city. You can take cruises and visit nearby places. Take bus or hire motor bikes to travel within the city. You can visit many historical monuments that narrate its history linked to various timelines in the Vietnamese war and post war. There are art galleries, botanical gardens, amusement and culture parks, and places for sports and other activities. You can also visit live concerts and events that happen very often in the city apart from taking shopping sprees. A day at the spa and wellness center is also recommended as the massages rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit.

  • Travel advice

    • Get local information about the city before travelling. It might be Ho Chi Minh, but for locals it is called Saigon.

    • There are many luxury as well as budget hotels to stay at this city.

    • To enjoy your travel in the city, do not cover this city on foot. You can hire rickshaws or private taxis to take local tours in the city.

    • Walking even on sidewalks can be difficult because of the heavy traffic most of the time. Avoid walking on the sidewalks as much as possible, because there are no stringent traffic rules followed by the commuters.

    • The nightlife in this city is something you can explore. It is sprawled with many local night clubs and bars.

    • Do not leave your belongings unattended and beware of pickpockets in the crowded areas. Also, when you buy an item, look for its authentic quality for which you are paying. It is common for tourists to be fooled for high paid souvenirs, where they get knock outs instead of the real ones.

    • Always bargain when you shop, as you are likely to pay for the exact price of the product only after a bargain.

    • There are many touring packages available in the city. It is good to book these packages and take meaningful tours instead of exploring the city all by yourself.

    • Do not venture into shady places. You could be robbed, as this place is thronged with thieves and robbers.

    • Always carry mineral or bottled water along with you, and do not accept edibles or drinks from strangers. Also, do not leave your drinks unattended in bars and pubs.

    • Do not wear skimpy or revealing clothes when travelling. People in the city are conservative.

    • Never ever take photographs of military installations or anything related to army or military in the city or any part of Vietnam as this is considered a breach of national security.

    • Remove your footwear when visiting homes or temples.

    • Follow all the rules and show respect to their culture and religious believes.

  • Drinking law

    There is no official drinking age restriction in the city. You cannot drink in public areas or in temples. You cannot carry liquor in or outside the city.

  • Our Recommendations: What you can’t afford to miss?

    Historical sites and pagodas

    Visit the Reunification Palace and take a look at the magnificent architecture and the get to know the history that erects this edifice. The Jade Emperor Pagoda, is built with the Taoist belief system. The smoke from the holy incense fills the air. The pond outside this temple has turtles and their shells are inscribed with auspicious inscriptions. Notre Dame Cathedral is a historic cathedral that has tablets and many parts of the building are imported from France. Most of the materials and inscriptions are from France and Saigon.

    The Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda is a sacred place where you will find brass ritual utensils, woodcarvings, hanging lanterns, and burning incense. This is a Taoist temple where people pay a visit and show their faith in the Quan Cong, who is the main god of this temple. Also are churches, mosques, and Hindu temples in the city that you can visit if you have permission to. A few places might not permit a tourist who does not share their religious faith.

    Museums and art galleries

    Western tourists might be interested in the War Remnants museum as it depicts the history of the Chinese and the American war. The History museum has many collections of Vietnamese evolution from Bronze age. The Ho Chi Minh Museum is dedicated to the personal items used by Ho Chi Minh, and also illustrates his life.  The Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine has a fascinating architecture and is an information ground on the Vietnamese medicine.

    Theatres, dining, pubs, and shopping

    You can take many city tours and visit the local events happening in theatres, and enjoy their performance arts. You can also visit pubs as they have a vibrant nightlife. Many international drink labels are available in most of the pubs. You can visit the B?n Thành Market to shop for handicrafts, textiles, souvenirs, and local spices.

  • What you will like there?

    City tours and shopping

    The city has open minded people, and you will love the diverse culture, architecture of the city, as well as the local cuisine. The markets are popular and cover a larger geographical portion. You can shop till you drop at these places and get the best of Vietnamese souvenirs and artifacts.  

    Parks and sightseeing

    There are museums, amusement parks, and places of historical significance that you can see when you visit this city. You have Water Park, and botanical gardens that you can visit. You can take small biking and adventure tours in and around the city. Make sure you only take guided tours. There are not a lot of water sport activities that are available in this area.

  • Recommended reads for destination

    Website :

    Vietnam Travel Website

    Forum :

    Travel Website

    Books :

    Destination Saigon: Adventures in Vietnam by Walter Mason

Listings in Ho Chi Minh