What to Do in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

I spent two great days exploring Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, Vietnam’s largest city during my fabulous cruise with Silversea. It was probably my favourite port of call that we visited, although I did love Nha Trang, and I found loads of great things to see and do there.

WHAT TO DO IN HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM

The view of Ho Chi Minh City from where the ship docks

Markets

We visited the Ben Thanh Market which is full of all different types of goods – kitchenware (Vietnam is great for kitchenware!), accessories, fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and fish, clothes and shoes among many other things. I got two gorgeous silk scarves and a mother of pearl coaster set.

Prepare to bargain as this is customary in Vietnam and always agree on a final price that is at least half what the seller first asked for. This is completely normal.

Central Post Office, Buu Dien Trung Tam

The Central Post Office of Ho Chi Minh City is a great building to explore. The building is in a French Colonial style thanks to Vietnam’s period under French colonial rule. There is also a fascinating giant map of old Indochina inside the building and you definitely shouldn’t miss it.
WHAT TO DO IN HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM

I was travelling with a woman who had travelled to Vietnam 15 years previously and remembered that the General Post Office was the only place where you could make a phone call from. You had to book a slot, turn up and wait in a queue until there was a phone available for you to use. Wow!

Notre Dame Cathedral, Nha Tho Duc Ba

Notre Dame Cathedral sits opposite the Central Post Office and is strikingly similar in design to the original Notre Dame Cathedral which you’ll find in Paris, although on a more modest scale. I didn’t venture inside but it is free to enter and it’s supposed to be very good, although quite crowded.

Ngon

We asked a friendly local in the adorable Gabi Cafe if they could recommend somewhere nearby for good Vietnamese food and she told us about Ngon. She told us the word ‘ngon’ means delicious in Vietnamese (I don’t know if that’s really true…can anyone confirm?!) and we were sold on the idea. Following her directions we found Ngon, lit by fairylights, and incredibly busy with many local people. Always a good sign.

We got a table and were handed menus and they were the largest menus I’ve ever seen with a ridiculous amount of choice. Everything sounded good but we settled on a ‘hot plate’ dish which was essentially a pot on a small stove that contained a spicy broth sort of mixture and we dipped our beef, calamari and other white fish into the broth mixture in order to cook it. Fun!

WHAT TO DO IN HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM

Dinner at Ngon

Stroll the Streets

One of the things I enjoyed most in Ho Chi Minh City was simply wandering around the streets and taking in everything around me. It’s a city filled with motorbikes and mopeds. You’ll see entire families crammed onto one single motorbike weaving through the traffic as if it’s completely normal. Quite bizarre to see!

The different architectural styles are great to see too. The mixture of French colonial style buildings with the shiny new and super modern skyscrapers is an interesting juxtaposition and shows just what a metamorphosis the city has gone through in recent history.

The streets are filled with locals selling knick knacks and countless street food stalls.

Of course there are plenty more things to do and see whilst in Ho Chi Minh City, these are just the things that I did and thoroughly enjoyed. If you’ve been before I’d love to hear what you got up to whilst exploring Ho Chi Minh City.

The sail into and out of Ho Chi Minh City is also a great experience. There’s plenty of boats passing by and there’s lots to keep you entertained whilst sipping a cocktail on board. Perfect!
WHAT TO DO IN HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM

WHAT TO DO IN HO CHI MINH CITY VIETNAM