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Looking for a way to escape the tourist traps and figure out the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City? Here’s your ultimate guide! First, let’s understand what this city is about from a local perspective.
Ho Chi Minh City, the largest metropolitan city in Vietnam, is one of the most visited destinations throughout Southeast Asia. The city offers travelers the best of both worlds, allowing them to explore exotic local culture while still being able to enjoy modern life comfort. This unique experience exists because the city itself is one of contradiction. Skyscrapers and slum apartments, luxurious shopping malls and street vendors, five-star restaurants, and street food stalls, all co-exist in harmony. Thanks to this, Ho Chi Minh City captivates its visitors by an endless number of things to do. So where should we start?
Previously named as Saigon, this city is undoubtedly famous for its role in the Vietnam War. There are several historical sites within the city such as the Independence Palace, Central Post Office, and in the surrounding area such as Cu Chi Tunnels. The War Remnants Museum is also a top attraction for those who want to learn more about the War from a local perspective.
Moving past history, Saigon nowadays is a major metropolis and entrepreneurial area, hosting national headquarter offices of big foreign companies. It has also become the hottest tech hub for startups in Southeast Asia recently. Young people from different parts of the world come to work in finance, design, tech, fashion, marketing, etc. With a constant pressure to innovate and adapt, Saigon culture is one of diversity, acceptance, and open-mindedness.
Speaking of culture, there are several different religions co-exist here including Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and more. Saigon’s cuisine is delicate and evolving, offering a wide variety to all types of local and international demand. One thing you should not miss is the street food! Yet, it may take a local to help you choose the best (and safest) places to eat. Saigon is also famous for its coffee culture. There are numerous types of coffee shops, from street coffee, artsy boutiques to big, international chains.
And there it goes… people of different generations and backgrounds hustle and live together, creating a myriad of things to do and see. Depending on your preference, whether it’s historical landmarks, cultural hubs, or hidden gems, Ho Chi Minh City will be able to satisfy you.