Ho Chi Minh City, still commonly known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and often confused with Hanoi as the capital. It was a French colony, and till today still has some French influences in architecture, culture and cuisine. Sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City is easy by foot as most attractions are nearby each other, just like Moscow.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon.
Besides the pinnacles, doesn’t it looks really similar to the one in Paris?
The interior of the church looks similar as well, though smaller than the one in Paris. And of course, hotter and more humid now that I’m back in South-East Asia.
The Saigon Central Post Office, just beside the Notre-Dame Cathedral.
This is a fully-functional post office and even if you’re not posting anything to anyone, it is still worth a visit to look at the architecture.
The Reunification Palace, which was unfortunately closed due to something official happening when I was there.
Ben Thanh Market, which is the flagship market of Ho Chi Minh City, possibly comparable to Pratunam Market in Bangkok. I didn’t do much looking around inside though, shopping here would also be a disaster for me to lug home.
The Ho Chi Minh City Hall and the Ho Chi Minh Statue. Closed as well during my visit.
The Saigon Opera House.
The view from the Bach Dang Wharf of the Tran Hung Dao Statue and Bitexco Financial Tower in the background. You can go up to the observation deck on the 49th floor if you like for VND 200000 (S$12.14).
The Saigon River along Bach Dang Wharf.
Ho Chi Minh City is really convenient to get around as everything you need and want to see is within walking distance. Jaywalking is the norm and the cars will navigate around you when you cross the road, so just cross – do not hesitate, that’s when accidents happen. There are also plenty of hotels and hostels near Ben Thanh Market along Pham Ngu Lao where I stayed. When I did get an Uber and GrabCar because I was lazy to walk (I tried both during my stay), the fares did not cost me more than S$3 for every trip within the city.
Overall, it was nicer and more developed than Hanoi in my opinion, and now I know why people actually confuse Ho Chi Minh City with Hanoi as the capital of Vietnam.