Also known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City widely gets its name famed for not only its buzzing modern vibe, but also its colonial charm. The city leaves a strong impression on both domestic and foreign tourists by its combination of the old and the new. Whether you stroll along walking streets or take a motorcycle through its corners, it is easy to feast your eyes on historical attractions, magnificent museums, nice pavement cafes, noisy markets, food tours and more. For sure, there is no shortage of excitement in this dynamic city when you travel right here. However, if you need a little help planning your travel, then you are on a right path.
What Best to see from a 2-day Travel Itinerary to Ho Chi Minh City?
Day 1: Travel itinerary around the heart of Ho Chi Minh City
Just have 2 days to explore the vibrancy of Saigon while the city has a lot to offer? There is nothing to worry about. With a well-designed itinerary travel, you are definitely able to gain a good insight of the city lifestyle as well as making the most of your time here. Let’s discover the city’s center firstly!
+ Notre Dame Cathedral: The Ho Chi Minh city tour will be incomplete without visiting Notre Dame Cathedral – located in the city’s beautiful intersection. Built by the French colonists, the construction wins people’s heart by its neo-Romanesque characteristics, such as the 2 huge bells, the stained glass window, red brick background, etc. While the locals come here to practice their spiritual life, others see the church as an impeccable place for wedding photos.
+ Saigon Central Post Office: Just directly across the street, and then the Saigon Central Post Office – another not-to-be-missed destination in the city – is in front of your eyes! The highlight of the post office is its ideal architectural blend of the Western and Asian styles, in which typical colonial French features seem to dominate over the part. Coming here, and you will feel that you are in another place, rather than in an Asian post office, since its high ceilings, impressive-pattern-titled floor, eye-catching decoration, and so on are all brilliant from exterior to interior. In addition to standing next to Notre Dame Cathedral, visitors may easily see the magnificent Diamond Plaza and the Metropolitan from here.
+ Reunification Palace: What makes this attraction stand out as a must-see around Saigon’s heart is its resounding character and long witness of city’s history through several colonial domination and wars. At first, the Palace was erected on the former building of Norodom Palace. After 1954, Ngo Dinh Diem – the Prime Minister of South Vietnam – and his family lived and worked in the palace. At that time, he renamed it to Independence Palace. The Palace was terribly destroyed by bombs in 1963. For that reason, it was then rebuilt and redesigned by the noticeable Ngo Viet Thu architect as the residence and workplace for the President during the Vietnam War. Then, it was renamed to Reunification Palace after the breathtaking victory on April 30th, 1975. Hence, it is surely worth your time to visit there and learn more about the palace’s historical and architectural value.
+ Ben Thanh Market: Wonder what to buy for your beloved ones after the interesting Ho Chi Minh City trip? Your question can be answered after checking in Ben Thanh Market – one of the popular and crowded places in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. Certainly, the travel itinerary to Ho Chi Minh City becomes flawless with the arrival to the market. In general, the place is where you can find a wide selection of goods, from handicraft, cloth and fruits to even street food. If you simply want to take a glimpse of the market on a whole, then taking a promenade and seeing the locals’ daily life around are also a good idea.
+ War Remnants Museum: Another valuable stop for history lovers is the War Remnants Museum. This museum welcomes you to broaden your insight into the S-shaped country in history through brutal wars via displays of black-and-white pictures, artifacts, military weapons, etc. From these valuable exhibitions, young generations give their ancestors strong grateful expression while the foreign tourists get a deep understanding of Vietnam in particular.
+ Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens: If you are tired of the heat and sunshine of the city’s noisy streets and thirsty for a peaceful place to unwind, then Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens is highly recommended. Established in 1865, it is not only the biggest zoo and botanical gardens in the domestic nation, but also the eighth oldest zoo worldwide. There are nearly 600 animals and more than 1800 trees and plants inside the zoo. As a result, the landmark is ideal for families, especially children, to stay to nature and sharpen their knowledge. It is better to visit the zoo in normal days because weekends or public holidays are often fraught with visitors.
+ Museum of Vietnamese History: Set inside the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the museum of Vietnamese History should not be missed in the travel itinerary to Ho Chi Minh City, thanks to its convenient location and huge worthy collections. Your interest will firstly be tickled by the building’s exterior architecture which is outstandingly highlighted as the Indochinese style. Going inside, it is hard to take your eyes off a wide range of items from the ancient days, such as extraordinary artifacts from the Khmer civilizations, a set of relics from Angkor Wat in Cambodia, a precious porcelain collection, etc.
+ Bui Vien walking street: Widely considered the backpacker area of Saigon, Bui Vien walking street is bound to fulfill everyone with a lot selection of bars and eateries, street food, friendly services, attractive entertaining performance, and so on. While free souls love getting themselves immersed into the rock sound, others just wish to enjoy a cup of coffee and see how the city is colorful at night. Therefore, don’t miss a chance to drink beer and chill out while in the street.
Day 2: Travel itinerary to the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City
In addition to Saigon’s center area, there are also some attractive landmarks outside it that help you gain a different feeling and a getaway from the madness and noisiness of the city.
The list is imperfect without going to Cu Chi Tunnels. Just 2 hours away from Ho Chi Minh City, the complex of tunnels is often suited to those who want to learn more about Vietnam wars. Such underground network of tunnels was where Vietnamese guerrillas lived and showed fighting strategies. Believe it or not, you can even find hospitals, kitchens, schools, etc. inside this extraordinary tunnel system. Today, tourists visit here to witness interesting exhibits of old items, experience cramped underground life of the soldiers in the past, and try gun weapons at the nearby firing range. As the distance between the city and the tunnels is not in close proximity, and there are also a lot of fun activities to join in while in here, you can come back to the city’s center in the late afternoon. Hence, it is better to rest in the hotel and prepare for something fun in the evening.
After a long day of exploration, let’s gift yourself with a Water Puppet Show and a Dinner Cruise. While the water puppet show brings you closer to the traditional life of the Vietnamese people through brilliant puppet performance, a peaceful dinner cruise helps you take a panoramic view of the city. Of course, sampling exotic Vietnamese cuisine is not skipped in the itinerary list.
In brief, Ho Chi Minh City is so vivid and bustling that no boring vibe is generated. Thus, don’t miss this opportunity to discover its beauty on your own and tell us your memorable experiences now!