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Updated by Tedd Joseph on Jun 02, 2016
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Tedd Joseph Tedd Joseph
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Top 5 things to do in Ho Chi Minh City - Savour The History

This fascinating Vietnam city is chock full of attractions; savour the destructive past, the long surviving culture and relish the resilient population that strive to evolve and develop over time.

1

Visit Ho Chi Minh City Museum

A visit to the Ho Chi Minh City Museum is a must if you want a comprehensive account of Vietnam's war torn history. The no holds barred exhibits are a reality check to the horrors that took place in the not too distant past. The museum is ironically housed within the Gia Long Palace – the final place of command for Ngo Dinh Diem before he was killed in 1963. Many forms of memorabilia, photographs and artefacts carefully tell the story of Vietnam's past. It is not a place that covers up the atrocities that took place; instead it is a grim display of bombing fragments, photos of napalm burnings and even a blood encrusted guillotine.

2

Browse Chic Lam Son Square

Getting away from the past horrors of Vietnam we come to one of the classy destinations within Ho Chi Minh City. Lam Son Square is where you go for a night out at a ritzy club or spot of shopping amongst the city's high flyers. Whether you are in Vietnam on business or pleasure, an area easily reached from your Ho Chi Minh business hotel, Lam Son Square is not be missed. Quite close to the Somerset Vista Ho Chi Minh City apartment hotel the area is home to the 100 year old Municipal Theatre where you can catch a variety of entertainment both foreign and local. Lam Son Square is also favoured for evenings out where sipping cocktails and enjoying the stylish ambiance is highly recommended.

3

Visit Reunification Palace

Ngo Dinh Diem had the Independence Palace built as a testament to the might of Saigon after the French left Vietnam in 1954. This was however destroyed during an attempt to murder Ngo Dinh Diem and it was in the 1970's that the Reunification Palace was constructed – after the fall of Saigon. The elegant Rosewood rooms and even the old library are good places to explore for many parts of the palace remain preserved as in the 70's. However the most fascinating relic to many is the tank that remains in the garden. This is the very tank that crashed through the palace gates in 1975 heralding the end of the Saigon era.

4

The Jade Emperor Pagoda

The best pagoda in Vietnam the Jade Emperor is not to be missed. It is awe inspiring for its spiritual ambiance, size and classic design. The pagoda was built by Buddhist and Taoist priests in the 1900's and is a cultural splendour. Within you will find elaborately carved panels, beautiful figurines of deities infused with delicate lotus flowers and the misty smoke of josh sticks. On the upper floor you will come across a gorgeous courtyard home to a huge statue of the Goddess of Mercy – Quan Am who overlooks the sacred Bo tree.

5

Explore Dong Khoi

Dong Khoi is a vibrant area that stretches from the Saigon River to the Notre Dame Cathedral; it is home to a variety of shops and bars. The place is actually quite a historical quarter for many of the famous Go-Go bars that catered to the American GI's in the 50's and 60's were located here. Today however the area is neglected; it is home to street food stalls and a dose of local flavour combined with disrepair.