Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon?

It’s a city of two names, I got confused and asked a local guide who replied (I’m relying on my memory here),

“those from the north call it Ho Chi Minh, us from the south call it Saigon.”

In essence, the locals will not get offended either way.

All up I was here for nearly five days, and I truly wished I could’ve stayed longer. The food scene is amazing (a seperate blog to follow), the locals are super friendly, and the city is somehow the perfect balance of old and new.

I stayed in District 1, which meant I was within walking distance of most things tourists want to see or need during their stay. I also took a couple of scooter tours to get a bit further afield and visit the outer Districts (XO Tours are the best, I could not fault them). If you are looking for an area to stay in on your first visit to Ho Chi Minh, definitely look at District 1 first.

What follows in this blog, is a simple “walking tour” of the main attractions and sights of Ho Chi Minh. I do highly recommend you walk as much as you can, as that is where I felt like I got a true sense of the city, from the students questioning me to practice their english to locals dancing in the park, theres so much vibrancy and life. I will have follow-up blogs that encompass food (so much good food) and those sights you’ll need to get some transport to get to.

I visited these sights over a couple of days, however you could visit them in a day if needed.

  1. Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon
  2. Central Post Office
  3. Town Hall
  4. Opera House
  5. Pedestrian Street (looks empty during the day, but really comes alive at night)
  6. Independance Palace
  7. Ben Thanh Markets

I did go to the War Museum, but thought it disrespectful to take photos. However, there were some pageant queens from some international pageant who turned up while I was there, all taking selfies, which seemed a bit I’m not sure surreal?

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