1. Ho Chi Minh City – Pearl of the Far East

Located in the southeast region, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest metropolis in Vietnam. Unlike other big cities in the world, Ho Chi Minh City used to be a seriously war-torn place and was kept under the chains of colonialism for almost a century. However, just a few years after reunification, it has swiftly transformed into the cultural, economic, and technological hub in the country and Southeast Asia. Coated in a new appearance, Ho Chi Minh City boasts a beautiful landscape, historic value, great cuisine, and hospitable locals.

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People visiting this city can’t help falling in love with its youthful flow and bustling life, particularly nature lovers, foodies, and night owls. Such outstanding qualities have made Ho Chi Minh City the “Pearl of the Far East” – a dazzling tourist destination for avid travelers. Let’s check out the best things to SEE and DO during your 2 days in Ho Chi Minh City.

2. 2 days in Ho Chi Minh City Itinerary

2.1. Day 1 – Tour around beauty spots in the city center 

2.1.1. The Best Places to Explore in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is divided into numerous numbered districts and District 1 is where almost all of the city’s main attractions can be admired.

  Enjoy a 360-degree view from Bitexco Financial Tower
  • Address: 2 Hai Trieu street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Ticket price: from $7 to 12$/hour

The first spot that you can visit is the skyscraper, called Bitexco Financial Tower, which lies in the heart of the city. With 68 stories, Bitexco promises to please the most fastidious visitors as it provides all-in-one service including sightseeing, shopping, dining, and entertainment.

After booking the tickets to the ultra-modern Saigon Skydeck on the 49th floor, tourists can get a panoramic view of the emerging boom city. The Skydeck is not at the top of the tower but it offered incredible views of the city. You can also go to the 50th floor to sip tea or coffee while enjoying a glimpse of the pink edge of the skyline during sunset. The ticket price ranges from $7 to 12$/hour, contact Metta Voyage for more information.

 Send a postcard from Saigon Central Post Office
  • Address: 2 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 – 19:00 ·
  • Phone: +84 83 822 1677.

Next, head to the most graceful place – Saigon Central Post Office. This landmark is a harmonious combination of original neo-classical French architecture and Vietnamese restoration. Saigon Central Post Office is still in operation today with a museum and souvenir shops within the building. That’s why huge influxes of tourists visit it each year. You can come there to snap some beautiful photos, admire the fine architecture and buy some artfully handmade gifts.

Take photos at the Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Address: 01 Cong Xa Paris Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 9:30 to 18:00
  • Ticket price: Free

Nearby, the Notre Dame Cathedral seems to echo the soul of the bygone. This masterpiece is the Roman Catholic church built by the French in the 19th century. The remarkable thing is that all materials are transported from France and as of today, it is still half under construction. Tourists are lured to visit the church for its traditional architecture and the perfect red bricks.

 Visit Reunification Palace
  • Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: from 07:30 to 11:30 and 13:00 to 16:00 every day, except on public holidays
  • Ticket price: less than $2/ adult.

Reunification Place offers a wonderful insight into the dark days in the southeast region of Vietnam. The building witnessed a North Vietnamese tank crash through the main gate, signaling the end of the world’s first televised war. You can enter the Palace and walk deep down into the tunnels in the basement, which served as a war room and a bomb shelter. The Reunification Palace opens from 07:30 to 11:30 and 13:00 to 16:00 every day, except for public holidays and the entrance fee is less than $2/ adult.

Enjoy nightlife in Nguyen Hue Walking Street
  • Address: Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening Hours: 7:30 – 16:00, except lunchtime

Nguyen Hue Street is a walking-friendly space for people to get light exercise, enjoy some fresh air, and spend quality time with their loved ones. We bet that when you go for a walk here, it will bring you a strong sense of close community and you want to melt into the crowd right away. There are also a variety of intriguing and amusing events that you cannot refrain yourself from joining. It can be seen that Nguyen Hue Walking Street is heaven for anyone who enjoys a festive mood.

2.1.2. The Best Places to Explore in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

When it comes to District 3, tourists have the chance to discover another side of Ho Chi Minh City as it is filled with several museums and religious sites.

 Visit the War Remnants Museum
  • Address: 28 Vo Van Tan, in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.
  • Ticket price: 40,000 VND ($1.75) for adults and 20,000 VND ($0.88) for children aged 6-15. Children under 6 can visit for free.

Moving to District 3, tourists can reach the War Remnants Museum within 5 walking minutes from the Reunification Palace. This place truly represents the horrors of the Vietnam War. At times, heroic stories and untold truths are shared by locals who are soldiers involved in the war. Many visitors have paid a visit to this place to better understand one of the most controversial conflicts in the 20th century. The entrance fee is 40,000 VND ($1.75) for adults and 20,000 VND ($0.88) for children aged 6-15. Children under 6 can visit for free.

 Explore Vietnam Southern Women’s Museum
  • Address: 200-202 Vo Thi Sau St., Ward 7, Dist. 3,Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

It is not common to find out a place that preserves many things about Vietnamese women during the war because the feudal society underestimated the role of women for thousands of years. However, Vietnam Southern Women’s Museum has nurtured the patriotism of Vietnamese heroin, showcased how brave they are, and kept their items untouched such as clothes, Ao Dai, and handmade textiles.

Pay a visit to numerous religious sites

Although Vietnam is officially an atheist country, there are a number of long-established religions in Vietnam including Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. District 3 is crowded with many religious places. You can orient yourself to some places such as Xa Loi Pagoda, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, Tan Dinh Church, Ky Dong Church, etc. to discover different kinds of energy in Ho Chi Minh City’s incensed filled churches, temples, and pagodas. Most of them are free of charge.

2.2. Day 2: Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai Temple

2.2.1. Cu Chi Tunnels

  • Address: Phu Hiep, Phu My Hung, Cu Chi, Ho …
  • Ticket Price: 70 000 ($4)
  • Phone: +84-837948767
  • Opening hours: 07:30 – 16:30

Tourists can actually get inside the tunnels to understand the kind of lifestyle Vietnamese forces might have had during the Vietnam war. As the tour proceeds, you find out very intriguing details about this secret passageway, traps for American soldiers, and smart techniques which helped Vietnamese people win the war. Typically, you will be shown how Vietnamese soldiers disappear into the Cu Chi tunnel’s secret entrance perfectly and you can also try it if you wish.

 2.2.2. Cao Dai Temple

  • Address: To 11, Ap An Hoa, Xa Tam Thon Hiep, Huyen Cu Chi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
  • Phone: +84-838745025
  • Opening hours: Daily

About 90 km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City in Tay Ninh, you will find one of the most special temples in Vietnam. The Cao Dai Temple complex is the sacred building of Caodaism – a unique religion in South Vietnam that blends six other religions.

The Cao Dai Temple is a bombastic and colorful building, where hundreds of worshipers flock daily in fluttering white robes. It can be recognized by the large eye on the facade and two square pagoda-style. The outside of the main temple appears to be sagging, but that is an optical illusion caused by the stairs leading up. Despite the fluorescent colors and rococo excess, this ostentatious building somehow manages to transcend the tackiness.

3. Other must-visit places for tourists to come

3.1. Saigon Opera House

  • Address: 07 Lam Son Square Street | District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Capacity: 559
  • Opening hours: Mon – Fri 9:00  – 16:30; Sat-Sun 9:00 – 11:30
  • Ticket price: From 700 000 VND ($26.47)

If you enjoy theater productions filled with culture, acrobatics and traditional live music then visiting the Saigon Opera House in Ho Chi Minh to watch the A O Show or The Mist Show will be right up your alley.

Tourists are not allowed to take photos or video the performance but you can book a special backstage sneak peek (with permission to film) before watching the full performance. Make sure you check when the sessions are beforehand. You can pick up your tickets from the Saigon Opera House rather than buy them online too.

3.2. Ben Thanh Market

  • Number of tenants: ~6,000
  • Address: Le Loi, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening Hours: 06:00 – 19:00
  • Entrance fee: 10,000 VND (0.5 USD)

The Ben Thanh local market is located just a few steps away from Nguyen Hue Walking street. You will see different types of fresh food, materials, and souvenirs for sale in small kiosks, shops, or even street stalls. You can pick up something and buy it at a good bargain.

3.3. Artinus 3D Art Museum

  • Address: 02-04 Street 9, Him Lam Residential Area, Tan Hung Ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening hours: 9:00 – 18:00

Visiting Artinus 3D Art Museum is a fun way to spend a few hours. There are a ton of different 3D artworks to take loads of great photos. It’s one of those enjoyable family-friendly top places to visit in Saigon, especially if you want to create some fun memories together.

All in all, in Ho Chi Minh City, boulevards built during the French colonial era are lined with cutting-edge skyscrapers, while jasmine-scented temples gently rub shoulders with chic rooftop bars. Dynamic, chaotic, and energizing – there is no better destination for you to plug into the pulse of the 21st century. Please contact Metta Voyage to get more details.

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