Guide to Ho Chi Minh
Guide to Ho Chi Minh
As you arrive at Tan Son Nhat Airport, you are embracing the very first moments in Vietnam, whether it is the blistering air or breezy chill that welcome you. Ho Chi Minh City, also called Saigon, is the business and financial hub of Vietnam. It is a city that is rich in culture and history. Here in the most cosmopolitan city in Vietnam, you can immerse in the city’s elegant architecture and broad boulevards. Saigon offers a diversity of culture and colonial buildings with classic French architecture such as Notre Dame Church and glamorous skyscrapers like Landmark 81 or Bitexco Tower. You will also find ornate temples and ancient pagodas, which blend in well with the budding economical situation in this vibrant city.
Ho Chi Minh at a Glance
There are several neighbourhoods, which are called Districts (Quan) in Ho Chi Minh city. District 1 is the city centre with a plethora of popular landmarks. If you want to stay in District 1, you can find affordable accommodation, restaurants and bars on Pham Ngu Lao street. It is said that the best hotels are located around Dong Khoi in the city centre, and there are some smart mini-hotels on nearby Mac Thi Buoi as well. Expat community usually gather in District 2 with lots of high-end apartments, villas and houses.
What you may find fascinating in Saigon
- A blend of modern and historical landmarks
- Good range of restaurants suitable for all budgets
What you may find less fascinating
- Traffic Jam
- More expensive than most cities in Vietnam
- Things You Can Do in Ho Chi Minh
Notre Dame Cathedral
Located in Paris Square, Notre Dame Cathedral was built in the late 1880s by French colonists. It is among some remaining French Catholic Church, as Buddhism is more popular in Viet nam. In 1959, a statue called “Peaceful Notre Dame” was installed, which gave the Church the name “Notre Dame”. In 1962, the Vatican conferred the Cathedral status as a basilica and gave it the official name of Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica.
Be prepared to endorse a peaceful setting in the middle of downtown District 1. 60 metres in height, Notre Dame Church features neo-Romanesque design with all red-brick facade with a few stained-glass windows. A statue of the Virgin Mary provides the centrepiece to the small park in front of the cathedral where you may catch sight of cyclo drivers. Some people even claim that they saw her shedding tears. The experience of listening to whispered prayers merging with the murmur of the traffic outside is worth your visit.
Pay this place a visit - Make your internship in Vietnam more enriching
Reunification Palace was once the Norodom Palace, a colonial mansion built in 1871 to housse the governor - general of Indochina. It used to be under Ngo Dinh Diem’s presidential palace under French colonization in 1954. However, in February 1962, the Palace was damaged extensively by two Southern pilots. In 1966, the building was named the Independence Palace, which then renamed into the Reunification Hall when 2 parts of the country united in 1975. The place which is a whitewashed concrete edifice, looks like a municipal library. You will learn more of the American and French war in Vietnam and listen to the story of glorious victory in uniting two regions of Vietnam as you visit it during your internship break.
Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market in 1921
If you are a foodie, Ben Thanh market is a must where a cluster of food stalls offer a bewildering variety of dishes, many specializing in seafood. It is a place where you can find almost anything: food such as com, pho, baguette, souvenirs from conical hats to basketware, shoes and lacquerware. Ladies searching for eels, live frogs and hens for a home-cooked meal also come here to enjoy the lively and diverse food it offers. It is the busiest market in the city for almost a century and its previous name was the Halles Centrales under French colonization. Don't forget to check this out cause that's what a must-do to become Saigonese.
Bars and pubs in Ho Chi Minh City
The number of tourists and expats renting apartments nearby the area of Dong Khoi is the reasons for the rise of bars and pubs on Le Thanh Tong, Hai Ba Trung, Thi Sach streets. Here you can find all types of bars and pubs, from hole-in-the-wall dives to elegant cocktail lounge.
More affordable cafes can be found around De Tham, where many bars will feature live music. For example, 17 Saloon features Filipino bands performing covers of current hits and old favourites. If you want to mix and mingle with local artists, Thi Café and Yoko should be on your list as it is the place you can find local singers making their name here.Reference:
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