The Sights and Sounds of Saigon, Walking in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
We experienced several days wandering the streets and attractions of Saigon, Vietnam. As a result of being a major part of history, with an interesting past, the city was decorated with many historic sights, colonial structures and other features that made it a stimulating and engaging stay that is well worth a travelers’ time and effort in order to visit.
This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Vietnam, Maldives and India. Round the World #3 in Star Alliance Business Class via Air Canada, Asiana, Singapore, Air India, Turkish Airlines Business Class
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Vancouver International
- Air Canada Business Class: Vancouver International – Seoul Incheon
- The Nest Hotel, A Member of Design Hotels, Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class Lounge: Seoul, Incheon
- Asiana Business Class: Seoul Incheon – Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers, Ho Chi Minh City
- The Sights and Sounds of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Restaurant Review: Nhà Hàng Ngon, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
- Trading at Ben Thanh Market and Street Life in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. Travelling Ho Chi Minh City to Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Travelling the Mekong River. The Canals of Thù Thùa, Vietnam
- Ho Chi Minh City Airport Lounge – Fin Bar
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Ho Chi Minh City – Singapore
- Westin Singapore
- Shopping at Retail Giants on Orchard Road, Singapore
- Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge: Changi Airport Terminal 2
- Singapore Airlines Business Class: Singapore – Male
- Hotel Jen Maldives Malé by Shangri La, Malé, Maldives
- Street Life in Malé. A Day Walking the Republic’s Maldivian Capital
- Maldivian Moonmia Domestic Lounge, Malé Ibrahim Nasir Domestic
- Maldivan Airlines: Malé – Koodhoo
- Park Hyatt Maldives
- Circumnavigating Hadadaa Island, Maldives
- The Guided Back of House Tour, Park Hyatt Maldives
- Snorkelling the Park Hyatt Maldives House Reef
- Sunsets on Hadahaa Island, Hudavdoo Atoll, Maldives
- The Leeli Lounge – Male International Airport
- Air India: Male Thiruvananthapuram
- Air India: Thiruvananthapuram – Chennai
- Air India Maharajah Lounge: Chennai Madras International Airport
- Air India Business Class: Chennai – New Delhi
- The Leela Palace, New Delhi, India
- Jama Masjid, New Delhi
- Stepping into Chandi Chowk, New Delhi, India
- Overland Travel: New Delhi to Agra by BMW Luxury Sedan
- The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
- The Walled City of Agra, Agra, India
- Air India Maharajah Lounge, Indira Ghandi Domestic, New Delhi
- Air India: New Delhi – Jaipur
- The Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India
- Walking the Old City of Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, and City Palace, Jaipur
- A Day in the Footsteps of Royalty, Touring Amber Fort, Jaipur
- Air India: Jaipur – New Delhi
- ITC Muraya Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, New Delhi
- The Plaza Premium Lounge, Indira Ghandi International Airport, New Delhi
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: New Delhi – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk Business Lounge
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Montreal
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Montreal Domestic
- Air Canada Business Class: Montreal – Vancouver
The Sights and Sounds of Saigon, Walking in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
“A historic city with attractions that are easily covered on foot, set amongst terrific food options”
We had three pleasant days within Saigon. Ho Chi Minh City isn’t about seeing world famous landmarks, although history fans will have a lot to see and explore. Instead, it’s about tasting, smelling and experiencing the sights and sounds of life on the street. Having had some busy work schedules, and a long trip ahead of us, we didn’t attempt to cram in every attraction, sight or tour. Instead, we took the slower pace approach, and tried to settle into the city during our time here.
Ho Chi Minh City is full of older buildings and colonial area structures that were left over from the French.
Visiting Ho Chi Minh’s Notre Dame Cathedral:
From an easy walk from our hotel in the Dong Khoi area, we walked to the Notre Dame Catherdal. It’s a major stop on the tourist circuit as one of the largest European styled churches in Asia.
It’s a bit surreal to see traditional churches in the heart of South East Asia.
The Saigon Post Office:
Immediately across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral, is the beautiful yellow Saigon post office. The post office was constructed between the year 1886 and 1891. It’s now a popular tourist attraction within Ho Chi Minh city.
Once inside, the Saigon Post office has a wicket style window that is reminiscent of old communist style offices (think heavy on staff space), with different counters for different things.
Viewing The Saigon Post Offices hand drawn maps (1892):
Inside, the post office features two maps of Saigon that were hand drawn. drawn in 1892. These maps have withstood the test of time and are now over one hundred and twenty nine years old.
Touring through the Reunification Palace:
Inspecting the Seat of Government of South Vietnam
Our exploring took us to the Reunification Palace. This was previously the seat of government in South Vietnam and was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The North Vietnamese crashed tanks through the front gates, which was well covered by photo journalism, prompting in part a massive US led evacuation of Saigon. Although a 70’s era building, I found the visit to be quite steeped in modern history with many interesting elements to see at this particular attraction.
The Reunification Palace tour included the seventies war rooms used to communicate, helicopter escapes, red circles where bombs previously struck, and a little bit of history in the basement.
Saigon Opera House:
We continued our walk through Saigon by visiting the area surrounding the Saigon Opera House. The Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon Municipal Opera House is an opera house in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It is an example of French Colonial architecture in Vietnam.
There are lots of interesting buildings to look at in Ho Chi Minh City that offer a glimpse into the cities past.
Having a Drink at the Lotus Tower:
Along with the old history is the contrast of contemporary Ho Chi Minh. This means the Lotus Flower building with a skyline bar and it’s own helicopter pad on the 51st floor. It had great views from the top, although this concept hasn’t caught on yet since there we were the only visitors having a $10 beer on a weekday at 3 PM.
If you plan on visiting Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon, make sure you allow for a few days in order to take in some of it’s sights.
My thoughts on seeing the sights in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam:
Our city visit to Ho Chi Minh City started off by taking in the buildings and historical structures of the city once known as Saigon. While it doesn’t contain world class structural attractions like the Eiffel Tower or the newer Burj Khalifa, there were quite a few attractions that were well worth seeing for any history buff that appreciated older history and the cross roads that Saigon had in the years past.