While there’s so much to see within walking distance in Saigon, Ho Chi Minh, if you have the ability to get a bit further afield grasp the chance.
Most of the below places, with the exception of the tunnels, I visited on the back of a scooter as part of an XO Tour. I cannot rate these guys high enough, I thoroughly enjoyed both tours I did with them (not a paid advertisement).
Cu Chi Tunnels
To be honest, this wasn’t high on my to-see list. I never learnt about this war in school, nor did I have a family member fight in this war, so I always felt a bit disconnected, and probably couldn’t give the site the respect it deserved. I did go, just because the opportunity was there and I thought why not, and I did come away with some knowledge about that aspect of the fight.
If you can get down low and don’t have claustrophobia, do attempt the walk through the tunnels, I think this experience is what really hit home, how hard it was to live in such small confines. Keep in mind this tunnel has been widened slightly for westerners.
Tan Dinh Market
Not as well known with the tourists as the Ben Thanh market, but in my opinion so much better. It’s a more local market specialising in more fresh food, and oh so much fabric. I may have went a little overboard with photos here, but I just loved capturing the ‘life’ of the markets. I would have stayed here all day if I could.
Thich Quang Duc Memorial
During the years of the Vietnam War there were numerous protests all over the world, unfortunately, the protest of a monk called Thich Quang Duc was one the most peaceful but disturbing that shook the world. It was also one that I had not heard of prior to arriving in Vietnam.
The memorial is located at the intersection where Thich Quang Duc stepped out of his car (which is on display at his temple in Hue) dosed himself in aviation fuel and lit the match to set himself on fire. The intersection itself is still busy, but the memorial somehow has a quiet solitude.
Thien Hau Pagoda
Built to honor Mazu the ‘Lady of the Sea’ in 1760, this Taoist temple is filled with coils of incense, and even though it is a relatively small temple, it takes a bit of time to take it all in. Definitely, a photographers dream location if smoke trails are your thing.