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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Unique Things to Try Out in Ho Chi Minh – Discover the Best of Vietnam
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Unique Things to Try Out in Ho Chi Minh – Discover the Best of Vietnam

From browsing war memorials to visiting the Chu Chi Tunnels and vintage temples, Ho Chi Minh has many surprises in store for you. Read on for tips on the best places to visit and markets to shop at, as you explore the city like a local.

1

Visit the War Remnants Museum

The 30 year long war which ravaged Vietnam and many of America's military is reflected within the sombre corridors of the War Remnants Museum. Outside the complex, the grounds are home to tanks, planes and other machines of war, in perfect condition while the interiors house more sinister memorabilia, such as written documents, photographs and exhibits, chronicling the true horrors of the war. An ideal eye-opener for today's generation, the war museum is a stark reminder to all about the shortcomings of man. The museum can be easily reached from city accommodation options the likes of Somerset Vista Ho Chi Minh City and is well worth a visit.

2

Explore the Chu Chi Tunnels

The Chu Chi Tunnels, offer a taste of what life as a Viet Cong soldier was like, the network of tunnels show visitors how the army managed to move from underground, undetected by the enemy. Guided tours consist of mock exhibits, re-enacted to show the daily routines of these soldiers, while remnants of burnt out tanks are kept as photo backgrounds. There is a section of the tunnel which has been widened to allow visitors to crawl through, thus, getting a taste of what it was like to scrabble through these labyrinths in order to surprise the unsuspecting American soldiers.

3

Understand the Cao Dai Religion

The Cao Dai Temple is about a 2.5-hour drive from the city, which makes for a pleasant day trip, exploring the countryside. The Cao Dai faith is made up of many facets; borrowing teachings from Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity and Islam. You can visit the temple and learn more about the faith, which has a few but faithful followers. Practisers of Cao Dai, enter the temple in white garments, enhanced by a sash which represents the wearer's previous faith. The temple itself is beautifully decorated with murals of clouds on the ceilings and fierce dragons winding their way up the stairs.

4

Binh Tay Market for Some Retail Therapy

Visit the market for local flavours and some pretty good deals. Located in the Cholon area, this market is one of the more popular bazaars and is ideal for picking up locally made souvenirs, clothes and tasty snacks. The perfect venue to explore, Binh Tay is a great place to meet up with friends for a quick bite and shopping spree, especially as it is easy to access from your centrally located serviced apartment. Ho Chi Minh City is home to other markets too, such as the Russian Market and An Dong Market.

5

Visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda

This Taoist Temple was built by Chinese immigrants in 1909 and is one of Vietnam's most revered shrines. The interiors are serene and charming with the smell of incense heavy in the air. Admire the vintage architecture and intricate carvings, as well as, antique statues of numerous gods and goddesses. Chinese characters adorn the walls adding an exotic and magical ambience to the entire place.

6

Enjoy the View from Bitexco Tower

The Bitexco Tower and Skydeck is a lotus bulb shaped building, towering over the city. Easy to reach from your Ho Chi Minh City hotel the amazing views from this tower are quite breath-taking. The Saigon Skydeck is part of the building, located on the 49th floor and is yours to explore once you pay the entrance ticket fee.