Monday, August 8, 2016

Best Tourist Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Formerly called Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a bustling metropolitan area with a population of more than 9 million people. There certainly have been a lot of changes since becoming the country’s capital but there are still a lot of attractions in the city that will give you a glimpse of Vietnam’s past. For those who would like to see more modern sights, Ho Chi Minh City still has a lot to offer as well.

Saigon Notre Dame Basilica

It is surprising to note that among the best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City is a Roman Catholic Church called the Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception since the population is predominantly Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian. This beautiful Romanesque infrastructure was actually established by the French colonists between 1863 and 1880.

Independence Palace

First established in 1868 as the Norodom Palace, this beautiful landmark has seen a lot of Vietnam’s history. It had first been used by the French colony as its office until Ngo Dinh Diem took it and renamed it to the Independence Palace after declaring himself as president of the new Republic of Vietnam. During the Fall of Saigon in 1975, a tank of the North Vietnamese Army crashed through its gates ending the Vietnam War.

Gia Long Palace

Just located near the Independence Palace is the Gia Long Palace, which had become a temporary official residence of Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem since the Norodom Palace was still occupied by the French High Commissioner. It has now been transformed into the Ho Chi Minh City Museum.

Ben Thanh Market

The market, which had developed from informal markets dating back in the early 17thcentury, is among the earliest surviving infrastructures in Saigon. It is considered as among the most important symbols of the city and is frequented by a lot of tourists who are looking for locally-made textiles, handicrafts, souvenirs and Vietnamese cuisine.

Pham Ngu Lao Street

Named after the national hero Pham Ngu Lao, this street located in District 1 in the city is also considered as a backpacker district. The street is most famous for the many backpacker inns, guest houses, mini-hotels that cater to budget-conscious tourists. The place also features both open-air and indoor markets that sell cheap clothes, war memorabilia, other souvenirs.

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Best Tourist Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Located along Nguyen Binh Khiem Street in District 1, this is the largest zoo and botanical garden in the entire country. Established in 1865, it is the eighth largest zoo in the world and has hundreds of species of reptiles, birds, mammals. The zoo is also home to the Museum of Vietnamese History which contains thousands of documents on Vietnam’s history and culture.

Suoi Tien Amusement Park

Best Tourist Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

An amusement park located in District 9, the place features various landscaping that highlights the history and legends of the country. Inside, you can easily find sculptures of colorful dragons and Buddha as well as a dinosaur garden. Operating since 1995, the park also has an artificial seawater pool, a zoo, other regular theme park attractions.

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