Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, is often likened to the “Pearl of the Far East” due to its charming architectural heritage, vibrant and dynamic atmosphere, and friendly people. These characteristics make this lively city an attractive destination for both domestic and international tourists alike. If you are planning a trip to Saigon, why don’t you explore Saigon Travel Guide below together with Asia Legend Travel to know more about this dynamic city?
Saigon Travel Guide: Overview of Saigon
Saigon is a well-known and vibrant metropolis, widely recognized as Vietnam’s largest and most bustling city. Located at the heart of Southeast Asia, it serves as a crucial transportation hub, including road, waterway, and air transport. This strategic location enables the city to connect the region’s provinces and establish itself as a vital international gateway.
Alongside the vibrant city is a free and harmonious lifestyle, with long-standing customs and traditions that intersect cultures from the region and the West. Hundreds of temples, shrines, and altars dedicated to national heroes and ancient sages fill the air with incense year-round. The remnants of the liberation of the city and the country are respectfully kept. Additionally, the architecture of old Saigon is preserved and elevated, making it a fascinating tourist attraction.
Moreover, the cuisine in this city never fails to impress tourists. The city always surprises visitors with a diverse culinary scene, ranging from a street food paradise to inspiring pastry shops, traditional Vietnamese cuisine, and even modern Asian-style restaurants.
Saigon Travel Guide: Top-Rated Destinations
Below is a list of the top tourist attractions in Saigon that are worth visiting. Hopefully, these recommendations in the Saigon Travel Guide below help you plan an ideal journey.
Saigon Central Post Office
As a magnificent architectural work with over a century of rich history, Saigon Central Post Office is a must-visit destination for both tourists and city residents alike. The structure features a classic European architectural style combined with exquisite Asian decorative elements. The building’s stunning colors and sophisticated design perfectly complement the surrounding landscape, making it a true gem in the urban space.
If you travel to Saigon, do not miss the opportunity to explore the Independence Palace, which has witnessed numerous significant events in the country’s history, particularly the Liberation of the South and the National Reunification Day on April 30, 1975. This historic site is of significance as a testament to the nation’s proud milestones in its arduous fight against invading colonialism..
Ben Thanh Market
As an iconic symbol of Saigon, the Ben Thanh Market provides a wide range of goods, from affordable to luxurious, catering to every shopping need of tourists. Not only is it a hotspot for shopping and entertainment, but it also showcases the vibrant and lively daily activities of the people of Ho Chi Minh City.
Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Nguyen Hue Walking Street is a must-visit destination for any tourist to Saigon. With its spacious road, various entertainment options, and delectable street food, you’ll never run out of things to do here – day or night.
Binh Tay Market (Cho Lon)
Binh Tay Market, also known as Cho Lon Market in Chinatown, is a highly significant wholesale local market in Saigon that offers a diverse selection of dried goods, including fruits, nuts (such as pistachios, cashews, and almonds), and seafood. This bustling and lively market is the ideal location to observe the daily trading practices of the locals.
Cu Chi Tunnels
With its location just 45-65 km northwest of Saigon, the Cu Chi Tunnels are an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Ho Chi Minh City, offering invaluable insights into the Vietnam War. These tunnels provide a unique opportunity for visitors to learn about the resourcefulness and determination of the Vietnamese people during the war, as well as their ingenuity in surviving and fighting against better-equipped Americans.
Saigon Travel Guide: Must-Try Local Food
Saigon is widely recognized as the “paradise of cuisine” these days. It boats a diverse range of dishes from different parts of Vietnam, allowing you to experience the rich culinary traditions of the Northern, Central, and Southern regions like never before. Let’s explore some mouthwatering Saigon delicacies in the Saigon Travel Guide below!
Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup)
Pho is a highly popular and mouth watering Vietnamese dish that you can find all over the country, from cozy street stalls to fancy restaurants. Pho Saigon, in particular, has some unique features that make it extra special. It combines sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and spiciness, resulting in a delightful harmony of flavors.
Banh mi (Vietnamese baguette)
Banh mi, also known as the Vietnamese baguette, is not only famous in Vietnam, but it has also made a name for itself on the world map as one of “the most delicious street foods in the world.” This delightful dish consists of a baguette filled with meat or pâté, and other ingredients. The crispy baguette combined with the flavorful fillings creates a culinary symphony that will surely delight your taste buds.
Banh xeo (Sizzling pancake)
Banh xeo is a delicious and crispy stuffed rice pancake popular in Vietnam. The name comes from the sound (from xèo – ‘sizzling’) that the thin layer of rice batter makes when it is poured into the hot skillet. The name comes from the sound (from xèo – ‘sizzling’) that a thin layer of rice batter makes when it is poured into a hot skillet.
This savory fried pancake is made of rice flour, water, and turmeric powder. Some of the most common fillings are pork, prawns, diced green onions, mung beans, and bean sprouts. Each bite of this exquisite dish is a journey into the heart of Vietnamese cuisine, where flavors blend harmoniously to create a truly unforgettable dining experience.
Com tam (Broken rice)
If Hanoi is known for pho, then broken rice is a unique delicacy in Saigon. This delicious dish can be found everywhere, from small alleys to main streets. What sets it apart is the large marinated pork ribs, cooked using a traditional recipe. The ribs are crispy and fragrant on the outside, and tender and melt-in-your-mouth on the inside. With the addition of the sweet and sour dipping sauce, this dish becomes even more irresistible.
Hu tieu is a long-standing delicacy in Saigon, deeply connected to the lives of hardworking local people. This delightful dish is prepared in various styles, such as Hu tieu with fish or Hu tieu with beef stew, each offering its own unique flavor.
Ca phe sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk)
Coffee is known as a source of inspiration for the local community in Saigon. While it may not be considered traditional local cuisine, the café culture in Saigon has emerged as a significant and vibrant part of the city’s culture. Apart from enjoying a delightful cup of coffee, these cafés are also perfect for capturing stunning photos.
Saigon Travel Guide: Best Things to Do
When you visit Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), you’ll find an abundance of things to do in Saigon to experience. Check out some of them with Saigon Travel Guide right away! First and foremost, the city offers a remarkable opportunity to dive into the rich history of Vietnam. The Independence Palace, War Remnants Museum, and Cu Chi Tunnels are just a few places where you can learn about the challenging period of the Vietnam War and gain insight into the resilience and strength of the Vietnamese people during that time.
In addition to historical sites, a visit to Ben Thanh Market is absolutely a must when exploring Saigon. This lively market offers a wide variety of goods, including local crafts, clothing, and delicious street food. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this famous market, and you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the everyday lives of the local people.
But that’s not all. Saigon’s nightlife is truly vibrant and captivating, with a plethora of bars, clubs, and live music venues. Taking a nighttime cruise along the Saigon River is a magical experience that allows you to witness the city’s lively nightlife and admire its stunning illuminated skyline.
These are just a glimpse of the many incredible things to do in Saigon. This lively city seamlessly combines history, culture, and delicious food to ensure that your visit is truly unforgettable.
Best Time to Visit Saigon
The best time to visit Saigon is between December and March when the city experiences the dry season. During this time, the weather is most pleasant with minimal rainfall and temperatures around 27 degrees Celsius.
How Long to Spend in Saigon
One or two days are enough to visit and fully enjoy the destinations in Ho Chi Minh City. However, if you wish to explore the destinations in the suburban districts of Ho Chi Minh City, allocating three or four days will give you plenty of time to comfortably explore all of them.
Hopefully, the information in the Saigon Travel Guide above is helpful for you. Saigon, with its captivating blend of tradition and modernity, is a destination that offers something for everyone. From exploring historical landmarks to immersing oneself in the vibrant local culture, this city promises an unforgettable experience for travelers from all over the world.