Answers from Our Experts (1)
Hit the highlights of Vietnam’s largest metropolis with our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the best things to see and do in Ho Chi Minh City:
1. Meander through Reunification Palace. This spot is one of the two most important attractions in Ho Chi Minh City that is tied to the Vietnam War, which effectively came to an end when the North Vietnamese stormed the front gates of the palace in 1975. Many of the rooms here more or less look the same as they did back then, which makes for both an accurate and eerie visit.
2. Visit the War Remnants Museum. Formerly known as The House for Displaying War Crimes of American Imperialism and the Puppet Government [of South Vietnam], this government-run museum tells the story of the war from the Communist regime’s perspective. You’ll see protest photos from around the world, weaponry and a sad, shocking exhibit about the long-term impact of Agent Orange on the country and its people. A visit here is an emotional experience and an impactful way to learn about another side of the war story.
3. Shop Ben Thanh Market. A sprawling maze of shops and stalls packed with lacquered wooden items, clothing, antiques, fabrics, handbags, tea, coffee, this market is undoubtedly the best place in the city to stock up on souvenirs. Be prepared to do some bargaining — prices will decrease as you increase the number of items you buy from the same vendor.
4. Explore the Central Post Office. Located next to the impressive Notre Dame Cathedral, the still-functioning Central Post Office is one of the more underrated sights in Ho Chi Minh City and one of our favorite places to pick up, fill out and mail postcards to friends and family back home. The high, vaulted ceilings and architecture are gorgeous, and there are some great finds (and deals) to be found at the souvenir shops.
5. Trek to the Mekong Delta. Guided one-day tours are probably the easiest way to see these heavily canopied waterways winding though small villages. If you take a tour from Ho Chi Minh City you’ll see how locals turn coconuts into candy, bowls and utensils, listen to traditional music and see what life is like in these picturesque farming and fishing villages nestled along the river.