How attractive Saigon is? The way you are attracted by Saigon

HOW ATTRACTIVE IS SAIGON? The way you are attracted by Saigon

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HOW ATTRACTIVE IS SAIGON? The way you are attracted by Saigon


Ho Chi Minh City, still commonly referred to as Saigon, is the largest economic center of Vietnam. Until now, to this day, Saigon is the biggest city in Vietnam with a population of almost 9 million although it’s not the capital. The first thing you will notice when you arrive is that it is full of energy. Motorbikes weave their way in and out of traffic, sometimes carrying the whole family to destinations unknown.

Besides that, Saigon has all the key signs of a big city in a developing world: noise, crowd, chaos, pollution, and an energy that can’t be contained. Life here seems to move at a much faster pace. The city is constantly moving no matter day or night, the street is always full of lights and lines of people connecting each other.

Let’s find out the most amazing fun things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.

1. Ben Thanh Market

The unique and best-known market in Saigon is Ben Thanh Market. It’s the most famous market and a great place to experience local Vietnamese culture. It’s one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon and a key symbol of the city. 

Ben Thanh Market can get pretty crowded but it’s definitely worth a visit, especially if it’s your first time in Ho Chi Minh City. It has over 1,500 stalls selling everything. Come to Ben Thanh Street Food, a convergence of more than 60 stalls selling delicious dishes. It can be said that this is a culinary paradise for gourmets, you can eat as much as you want and the price is very cheap.

You can also find interesting authentic souvenirs back home at Ben Thanh Night Market nearby as the market offers a wide range of items including clothing, footwear, jewelry to special Vietnamese dishes. The market is open daily from seven in the morning until seven at night, so there’s no reason to miss out on the experience.

2. Water bus

Saigon Water Bus where you can sit comfortably and take in breathtaking views of the Saigon skyline. You’ll cruise by key sites such as Landmark 81 – the tallest building in Vietnam in Bình Thạnh District and Diamond Island in District 2 before landing at Bạch Đằng Station at the city center in District 1. 

On the far bank, you’ll see where the commercial expanse of the city hopes to mount the skyscrapers of the future. But for now, there are just huge billboards and jungle foliage. Within seconds, you’ll leave the glitz of the downtown and move along more industrialized sections of the river, lined with rusty barges, factories, and shanties dangling over the murky, polluted water.

The trip ends in District 9, north of the city. We recommend you pick up a return ticket to head back to District 1 – but if you don’t, a taxi ride back downtown will only cost about $10. There isn’t anything to do at the last stop, so don’t expect to get out and explore.

3. Traditional Water Puppet Show

Getting to know Vietnamese culture is not only limited to going to museums. You can also do so by going to one of the most traditional attractions, a water puppet show at The Golden Dragon Water Puppetry and Theater. These shows depict Vietnamese traditions, folklore, and myths by using puppets that splash around on a water stage. They have an elaborate set-up and lively music and effects to make your experience truly unique. Although this was done entirely in the Vietnamese language, don’t worry, the play was easily understood because of the puppets’ obvious actions.

4. Snails at Vinh Khanh Street

The small street of Vĩnh Khánh (District 4, Ho Chi Minh City) comes to life just after dark. Around 6 pm, it transforms into a bustling neighborhood, filled with diners gathering for a beer over some snails and seafood skewers, on weekdays and weekends alike. For foodies who want to immerse in the lively atmosphere of Ho Chi Minh City, head to the restaurants along Nhiêu Lộc – Thị Nghè Canal (bờ kè area), a branch of the Saigon River that runs through the city.

While snails may sound foreign to some, they are one of the city’s most famous specialties. Snail restaurants lay out fresh catches of the day in baskets or trays for you to choose from. They can go up to twenty different kinds. From stir-fried with butter and garlic, grilled with sea salt and chili, to stewed in coconut milk, each way of cooking snails pairs perfectly with each type of snail. Sweet snails, cockles, and razor clams are some local favorites. Overwhelmed by these selections? Simply ask what the other diners are eating and they will be happy to help you.

5. Cu Chi Tunnels

A tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels is the most popular day tour you can make from Ho Chi Minh City. Cu Chi Tunnels is about two hours away from Ho Chi Minh City by car. It’s worth the trip, though, with the winding underground network providing a close-up look at the lives (and deaths) of the Viet Cong during the war. This is the base of operations of the rebels, who carved out the intricate network themselves

Tours vary but most will give you the chance to crawl through the famed tunnels as well as fire weapons used during the war. I got to fire ten rounds from an AK-47. You can book a Cu Chi Tunnels tour on Toward Local.

6. Public bicycle

Ho Chi Minh City might not seem like a safe city to ride a bicycle ar, but once you get the hang of the traffic, it’s a lot of fun. Last year the city government set up ‘bike stations around the inner city where people can go to rent bikes. When you ride a bicycle around the center of the city, you will have special feelings that you have never had before. 

They’ve proven to be extremely popular, especially among the younger generations for whom cycling these days is a bit of a novelty. Keep an eye out for the stations around the city and scan the QR code with your mobile phone to follow the instructions for renting a bike. Note, there aren’t attendants at the stations to help you out.

7. Motorbike tour

Motorbikes are a way of life in Vietnam. The Vietnamese learn to ride motorbikes at a young age so it’s second nature to them. They’re by far the best way of getting around Ho Chi Minh City. I went on this motorbike tour and was amazed by how deftly my driver and tour guide would give me his monologue while weaving through Ho Chi Minh City’s crazy traffic. It was insane!

Motorbikes are such an important part of Vietnamese life that I think going on a motorbike tour is one of the best and most fun things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. There are lots of Saigon motorbike tours to choose from, from the classic District 1 sites to some hidden attractions in the surrounding districts. We found that District 1 was pretty easy to explore on foot, so opted for the Toward Local.