Ho Chi Minh City Things to Do
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam. Given its size and history, it should be no surprise that there are many attractions and things to do when visiting.
There are many historic religious structures in the city. Cao Dai Temple, or the Great Holy See Temple, is one of the places you must see when in Ho Chi Minh City. Daytime visitors can witness the midday mass held by the Cao Dai followers. The temple was built in 1926 and is considered one of the most striking structures in Southeast Asia. It is the headquarters of the unique Ca Dai sect, a religion that is a hybrid of Buddhism, Christianity, and Confucianism.
Tran Hung Dao Temple is dedicated to the Vietnamese hero and king, Tran Hung Dao, who vanquished the Mongols in 1287. Today it is a popular worship site for locals. Tourists often visit to see the scenic little temples in the area. There is also the Temple of King Hung Voung. This temple is right next to the Museum of History and is well worth a look. It was built in 1927 to honor Vietnamese war dead from World War I and was rededicated in 1955 to the first Hung King.
One of the most widely known structures in the area is the Notre Dame Cathedral. This French cathedral is another example of colonial influence. Finished in 1880, this church stands 57 meters high and is the largest church in Vietnam. It is also the center of Catholicism for the country.
The Binh Tay Market is Cholon’s main market, a Chinese-style architectural masterpiece, with a great clock tower in the center. Much of the business here is wholesale. If you are buying in bulk, this is the place to do your shopping. It is cheaper than Ben Thanh market and there are fewer tourists.
Ben Thanh market is located in the first district, just a walking distance from the Pham Ngu Lao Road. You can easily see it its belfry, which includes a large clock, marking the entrance. Opposite of this belfry is a statue of a horseman , making the entry easy to recognize. This is a beautiful market packed with history, sights, smells, colors, and delights. It makes the ideal place to practice your bargaining, as the people here are friendly and welcoming. It’s also a good place to go for dinner. At night, the area around Ben Thanh Market becomes a giant food court.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about attractions and things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.