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City Pass Guide

EXCLUSIVE Travel Guide to attractions

In Ho Chi Minh City 🇻🇳 Since 2008

SAIGON INSPIRATION ATTRACTIONS

Your Insider's Guide to Key Attractions In Saigon City

As Vietnam’s commercial center and an essential feature of any Southeast Asian travel itinerary, Ho Chi Minh City is full of tourist attractions, fascinating historical landmarks, beautiful buildings and monuments.Ho Chi Minh City is so vast and so diverse that many first-time visitors have no idea where to begin. What are the top things to see in Saigon? What are the top things to do? Well, we think the best way to tackle this city is to break it into districts.

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Q&A

There are many attractions worth visiting in Saigon and it could take a few days for you to see all of them. For your reference, check these places worth seeing.

What historic and cultural attractions can I visit in Ho Chi Minh City?

While HCMC is known more for its brash cosmopolitan lifestyle that seems to be hurtling unchecked towards the future, the “ghosts of the past” still haunts the city with pagodas, museums and other historic cultural sites. For those looking for a cultural experience, we have listed below some sites of cultural and historical interest. For religious centres, please refer to the Living section.

What attractions are there in District 1?

Bitexco Financial Tower

bitexcofinancialtower.com

2 Hai Trieu, D1; +84 28 3915 6156

This gleaming marvel of steel and glass is HCMC’s tallest building for the time being. It rises more than 260 metres with 68 storeys – including a 49th floor observatory and 52nd floor helipad. According to principal architect Carlos Zapata, the tower’s design was inspired by the lotus, Vietnam’s national flower.

It includes a shopping mall, a cinema, a complex of three restaurants and bars on the 50th, 51st and 52nd floors. If you have a business meeting there in the office building, you will be asked for your ID or passport in order to get in.

City Hall

http://www.hochiminhcity.gov.vn

86 Le Thanh Ton, D1; +84 28 3829 6052

This French colonial treasure owes much of its flair to its Parisian predecessor. Finished in 1908, the structure’s yellow- and cream coloured plaster looks good enough to eat, and is a very popular photograph subject. The roof houses a bell tower. Also known as the HCMC People’s Committee, the property is especially captivating at night, bathed in floodlights, fringed by penumbras. Unfortunately public access to the building is not permitted.

Hotel Continental Saigon

continentalsaigon.com

132-134 Dong Khoi, D1; +84 28 3829 9201

The oldest hotel in Vietnam, built in 1880, the Continental, with its ubiquitous door and window arches, is a classic example of French colonial architecture. Named after its French hotel forebear, the Continental has seen its fair share of famous guests, Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore and journalist Graham Greene amongst them.

Fine Arts Museum

97A Pho Duc Chinh, D1; +84 28 3829 4441

Price: VND10,000 for general admission

The first floor of this museum exhibits contemporary art by local and international artists. The second floor features a permanent collection of sketches, paintings and statues, many of which focus on Vietnam’s resistance to colonial rule. The third floor displays older works.

HCMC Museum

hcmc-museum.edu.vn

65 Ly Tu Trong, D1; +84 28 3829 9741

Price: Vietnamese VND5,000;

Foreigner VND15,000

The Museum displays HCMC culture divided into nine categories.

National History Museum

2 Nguyen Binh Khiem, D1; +84 28 3829 8146

Price: VND15,000 for general admission

Occupying an area of more than 2,000 square metres just next to the zoo, the National History Museum traces the history of the Vietnamese people with displays of cultural and ethnological significance.

Opera House

info@hbso.org.vn

7 Lam Son Square, D1; +84 28 3823 7419

Built in 1897 by French architect Eugene Ferret, HCMC’s Opera House has been retooled constantly, most recently in 1995. The building’s facade borrows from the Petit Palais, a Paris museum, and was once covered with ornate inscriptions and reliefs, typical of the building’s style. Most ornamentation was removed in the 1940s after being judged too flamboyant.

Independence Palace

dinhdoclap.gov.vn

135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D1; +84 8 8503 7080

Price: VND30,000 for general admission

This palace was designed by Ngô Viết Thụ for South Vietnam’s former president Ngô Đình Diệm during the American War. The official handover of power took place here on 30 April 1975 and the palace became a monument to that historic date. Do not miss the basement set up like a war-time movie set.

Saigon Central Post Office

http://hcmpost.vn/

So 125 Cong xa Paris, Ben Nghe, D1; +84 28 3822 1677

The largest post office in Vietnam, Saigon Central was conceptualised by Frenchman Gustave Eiffel and finished in 1891. The vaulted ceiling and arched windows of this Gothic-style edifice suggest the ingenuity of 19th century European railway stations. Note the giant wall maps of the city, Vietnam and Cambodia, in addition to the portrait of Hồ Chí Minh.

What attractions are there in District 2?

If ever you’re in District 2 and you’re looking for a place you must see, how about visiting the Minh Đăng Quang pagoda?

Minh Đăng Quang pagoda

505, Xa Lo Ha Noi, D2; +84 28 3501 9988

Built in 1968, and currently under construction from 2009 to 2018, this pagoda will be one of the largest Buddhist destinations in HCMC with a surface area of 37,490 square metres. The pagoda features four towers around the main hall, large statues of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara inside the hall and a special bodhi tree originating from the famous 2,000-year Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Sri Lanka.

To learn more about other pagodas in HCMC, visit Photo Story: Pagoda Charm.

For information on District 1 go to District 1- Point of Interest

For information on Saigon attractions go to Beer From an Altitude: The World of Heineken at Bitexco

Click here to read about A Brief History of the Ho Chi Minh City Zoo and Botanical Gardens

There are many attractions worth visiting in Saigon and it could take a few days for you to see all of them. For your reference, check these places worth seeing.

What historic and cultural attractions can I visit in Ho Chi Minh City?

While HCMC is known more for its brash cosmopolitan lifestyle that seems to be hurtling unchecked towards the future, the “ghosts of the past” still haunts the city with pagodas, museums and other historic cultural sites. For those looking for a cultural experience, we have listed below some sites of cultural and historical interest. For religious centres, please refer to the Living section.

 

What attractions are there in District 1?

Bitexco Financial Tower

2 Hai Trieu, D1, HCMC, Vietnam, HCMC, Vietnam / +84 28 3915 6156 / bitexcofinancialtower.com

This gleaming marvel of steel and glass is HCMC’s tallest building for the time being. It rises more than 260 metres with 68 storeys – including a 49th floor observatory and 52nd floor helipad. According to principal architect Carlos Zapata, the tower’s design was inspired by the lotus, Vietnam’s national flower. It includes a shopping mall, a cinema, a complex of three restaurants and bars on the 50th, 51st and 52nd floors. If you have a business meeting there in the office building, you will be asked for your ID or passport in order to get in.

City Hall

86 Le Thanh Ton, D1, HCMC, Vietnam /+84 28 3829 6052 / hochiminhcity.gov.vn

This French colonial treasure owes much of its flair to its Parisian predecessor. Finished in 1908, the structure’s yellow- and cream coloured plaster looks good enough to eat, and is a very popular photograph subject. The roof houses a bell tower. Also known as the HCMC People’s Committee, the property is especially captivating at night, bathed in floodlights, fringed by penumbras. Unfortunately public access to the building is not permitted.

Hotel Continental Saigon

132-134 Dong Khoi, D1, HCMC, Vietnam / +84 28 3829 9201 / continentalsaigon.com

The oldest hotel in Vietnam, built in 1880, the Continental, with its ubiquitous door and window arches, is a classic example of French colonial architecture. Named after its French hotel forebear, the Continental has seen its fair share of famous guests, Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore and journalist Graham Greene amongst them.

Fine Arts Museum

97A Pho Duc Chinh, D1, HCMC, Vietnam / +84 28 3829 4441

Price: VND10,000 for general admission

The first floor of this museum exhibits contemporary art by local and international artists. The second floor features a permanent collection of sketches, paintings and statues, many of which focus on Vietnam’s resistance to colonial rule. The third floor displays older works.

HCMC Museum

65 Ly Tu Trong, D1, HCMC, Vietnam / +84 28 3829 9741 / hcmc-museum.edu.vn

Price: Vietnamese VND5,000; Foreigner VND15,000

The Museum displays HCMC culture divided into nine categories.

National History Museum

2 Nguyen Binh Khiem, D1, HCMC, Vietnam / +84 28 3829 8146

Price: VND15,000 for general admission

Occupying an area of more than 2,000 square metres just next to the zoo, the National History Museum traces the history of the Vietnamese people with displays of cultural and ethnological significance.

Opera House

7 Lam Son Square, D1, HCMC, Vietnam / +84 28 3823 7419 / info@hbso.org.vn

Built in 1897 by French architect Eugene Ferret, HCMC’s Opera House has been retooled constantly, most recently in 1995. The building’s facade borrows from the Petit Palais, a Paris museum, and was once covered with ornate inscriptions and reliefs, typical of the building’s style. Most ornamentation was removed in the 1940s after being judged too flamboyant.

Independence Palace

135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D1, HCMC, Vietnam / +84 8 8503 7080

Price: VND30,000 for general admission

This palace was designed by Ngô Viết Thụ for South Vietnam’s former president Ngô Đình Diệm during the American War. The official handover of power took place here on 30 April 1975 and the palace became a monument to that historic date. Do not miss the basement set up like a war-time movie set.

Saigon Central Post Office

So 125 Cong xa Paris, Ben Nghe, D1, HCMC, Vietnam / +84 28 3822 1677 / hcmpost.vn

The largest post office in Vietnam, Saigon Central was conceptualised by Frenchman Gustave Eiffel and finished in 1891. The vaulted ceiling and arched windows of this Gothic-style edifice suggest the ingenuity of 19th century European railway stations. Note the giant wall maps of the city, Vietnam and Cambodia, in addition to the portrait of Hồ Chí Minh.

 

What attractions are there in Thu Duc City (D2)?

If ever you’re in District 2 and you’re looking for a place you must see, how about visiting the Minh Đăng Quang pagoda?

Minh Đăng Quang pagoda

505, Xa Lo Ha Noi, Thu Duc City / +84 28 3501 9988

Built in 1968, and currently under construction from 2009 to 2018, this pagoda will be one of the largest Buddhist destinations in HCMC with a surface area of 37,490 square metres. The pagoda features four towers around the main hall, large statues of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara inside the hall and a special bodhi tree originating from the famous 2,000-year Sri Maha Bodhi tree in Sri Lanka.

To learn more about other pagodas in HCMC, visit Photo Story: Pagoda Charm.

For information on District 1 go to District 1- Point of Interest

For information on Saigon attractions go to Beer From an Altitude: The World of Heineken at Bitexco

Click here to read about A Brief History of the Ho Chi Minh City Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Your Insider's Guide to Museum Attractions in Saigon

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HCMC ATTRACTION MUSEUM War Remnants Museum

HCMC’s War Remnants Museum is a deep dive into the price of conflict. It includes U.S. armored vehicles, weapons as well as photographs that show the brutality of war. Located in Saigon’s District 3, the War Remnants Museum is a must-stop for anyone interested in Vietnam’s powerful ability to overcome its painful history.

7:30 AM to 11:30 AM / 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM daily

HCMC ATTRACTION MUSEUM HCMC Museum

Any architecture and history fans should be sure to visit the HCMC Museum. The neoclassical structure was built in 1885 and its white pillars make a grand backdrop for the tanks and war memorabilia in the garden. Unlike the War Remnants museum, the HCMC museum isn’t just about Vietnam’s conflictual past. It tells Saigon’s story through art, maps and artifacts.

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily

HCMC ATTRACTION MUSEUM Reunification Palace

The Independence Palace, now known as the Reunification Palace, sits in the center of D1. Surrounded by greenery and numerous eateries and cafes, the palace is the perfect stop on your D1 tour. The former presidential home became an iconic symbol of Vietnam’s reunification when North Vietnamese tanks crashed through the steel gates ending the war. The tanks are still on display in the garden.

8:00 PM to 4:00 PM daily

INTRODUCTION TO THE MUSEUMS OF Saigon

The interesting history of Saigon is kept alive in several amazing museums throughout Ho Chi Minh City. Whether you are interested in the American War or fine art, include a visit to one or more museums in your city tour itinerary.The National History Museum in District 1 is one of the must-see attractions of Ho Chi Minh City. It displays a variety of ancient artifacts and other items, that tell about the history of Indochina.

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SAIGON INSPIRATION ATTRACTIONS MUSEUM

Your Insider's Guide to Heritage Attractions in Saigon

Citypassguide.com adv

HCMC ATTRACTION HERITAGE ATTRACTIONS Opera House

One of the city’s most elegant landmarks, the Saigon Opéra House is an ode to the past. Built in 1897 by the French Architect Eugene Ferrat, the Opera and its surrounding boulevards seem to come straight out of a European city. The building isn’t open for tours; however, there are always a variety of shows to see at this storied building.

Open only to ticket holders during performances

HCMC ATTRACTION HERITAGE ATTRACTIONS Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica was built in 1877 by French architect Jules Bourard. The Romanesque and French Gothic cathedral, located near the Saigon Central Post Office and Reunification Palace, is an important architectural stop on your D1 visit.. Mass takes place every Sunday at 9:30 a.m in both Vietnamese and English.

6 AM to 8 PM daily

HCMC ATTRACTION HERITAGE ATTRACTIONS People’s Committee Building

The People’s Committee Building, built between 1902 and 1908 by the French architect Paul Garde, is one of the best preserved examples of French colonial architecture in Saigon. Spacious gardens connect this iconic landmark with the Nguyen Hue walking promenade, where a statue of Ho Chi Minh stands guard. Go at nightfall, when the building and the boulevard sparkle with lights.

7:30 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday

INTRODUCTION TO THE HERITAGE ATTRACTIONS IN SAIGON

The architecture of Ho Chi Minh City is a splendid mix of Vietnam’s historical heritage, from French colonial villas to modern steel and glass monuments. The top architectural sights for tourists date back to the time when Saigon, the “Pearl of Indochina”, was the capital of French Indochina. More has been added to the cultural heritage since then, and we see interesting times ahead in terms of modern architecture.

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SAIGON INSPIRATION ATTRACTIONS HERITAGE ATTRACTIONS

Your Insider's Guide to Religious Attractions in Saigon

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HCMC ATTRACTION RELIGIOUS ATTRACTIONS Jade Pagoda

Jade Emperor Pagoda (or Ngoc Hoang Pagoda) is one of the most well-known pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City. It’s painted a brilliant pink and filled with ancient figurines made of wood and paper. In the halls leading between the front, middle and main rooms, there are statues of Taoist deities such as the Jade Emperor as well as characters from Vietnamese folk tales.

7 AM to 6 PM / On 1st and 15th days of the lunar month: 5 AM to 7 PM

HCMC ATTRACTION RELIGIOUS ATTRACTIONS Saigon Central Mosque

Saigon Central Mosque was built in 1935 for the Muslim community living in Ho Chi Minh City. The central location, just off of Dong Khoi shopping street, makes this an easy stop during a day of District 1 sightseeing. The mosque is light-filled and colorful. Make sure to wear appropriate clothing during your visit.

8 AM to 8 PM

HCMC ATTRACTION RELIGIOUS ATTRACTIONS Giac Lam Pagoda

Giac Lam Pagoda, established in 1744, is one of the oldest pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City. The sacred sit is famous for both its unique architecture and its preservation of precious documents and artwork, including 113 ancient statues. It contains the largest collection of ceramic plates, according to the Vietnamese Record Book.

5 AM to 12 PM reopens 2 PM to 8 PM Daily

INTRODUCTION TO THE RELIGIOUS SITES IN SAIGON

Churches Due to the French colonial past of the South of Vietnam, there is a selection of historical churches and cathedrals you can include in your tour itinerary for sightseeing and taking pictures. The most prominent cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City is Notre Dame de Saigon, which, like most churches and cathedrals in HCMC, was constructed by the French during the colonial era. It is right opposite of the Central Post Office, has quite an interesting history and is a popular sight on Saigon city tours.
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Saigon has a lot of things to offer in terms of churchestemples and pagodas. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian, Buddhist, Mormon etc. so if you want to see visit famous churches, you can choose from the following:

Notre Dame Cathedral

1 Cong Xa Paris, D1, HCMC, Vietnam

Mass hours: Monday to Friday: 5:30am, 5pm; Sunday: 5:30am, 6:30am, 7:30am, 9:30am, 4pm, 5:15pm, 6:30pm.

The most prominent cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City is Notre Dame de Saigon, which, like most churches and cathedrals in Ho Chi Minh City, has been constructed by the French during the colonial era. It is right opposite of the Central Post Office, has quite an interesting history and is a popular sight on Saigon city tours.

Tân Định Catholic Church

289 Hai Ba Trung, D3, HCMC, Vietnam 

Mass hours: Monday to Saturday: 5am, 6:15am, 5:30pm, 7pm; Sun: 5am, 6:15am, 7:30am, 9am, 4pm, 5:30pm, 7pm.

The pink Tan Dinh church is the second largest church of Ho Chi MInh City and located in the center of the Tan Dinh fabric market area. During Christmas time, there is a small, but colorful Christmas market right next to it.

Huyện Sỹ Church

1 Ton That Tung, D1, HCMC, Vietnam

Mass hours: 7 days a week: 5am, 6:30am, 8am, 4:30pm, 6pm, 7:30pm

Huyen Sy church is among the largest churches as well and over a century old. The small windows keep the building cool, even during the tropical heat waves from February to May. Built in the style of European cathedrals and located at the crossroads of Ton That Tung and Nguyen Trai street in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1, Huyen Sy church is named after the grandfather of queen Nam Phuong, the wife of Vietnam’s last king. He is buried in the church in a luxurious marble tomb.

Ky Dong Church

38 Kỳ Đồng, Phường 9, D3, Vietnam

Ky Dong church in District 3 is one of the city’s biggest churches. Once it had engulfed an entire city block. The church area has been downsized, but still features a school, shops and other things.

Saigon has a lot of things to offer in terms of churchestemples and pagodas. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Christian, Buddhist, Mormon etc. so if you want to see visit famous churches, you can choose from the following:

Notre Dame Cathedral

1 Cong Xa Paris, D1, HCMC, Vietnam

Mass hours: Monday to Friday: 5:30am, 5pm; Sunday: 5:30am, 6:30am, 7:30am, 9:30am, 4pm, 5:15pm, 6:30pm.

The most prominent cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City is Notre Dame de Saigon, which, like most churches and cathedrals in Ho Chi Minh City, has been constructed by the French during the colonial era. It is right opposite of the Central Post Office, has quite an interesting history and is a popular sight on Saigon city tours.

Tân Định Catholic Church

289 Hai Ba Trung, D3, HCMC, Vietnam 

Mass hours: Monday to Saturday: 5am, 6:15am, 5:30pm, 7pm; Sun: 5am, 6:15am, 7:30am, 9am, 4pm, 5:30pm, 7pm.

The pink Tan Dinh church is the second largest church of Ho Chi MInh City and located in the center of the Tan Dinh fabric market area. During Christmas time, there is a small, but colorful Christmas market right next to it.

Huyện Sỹ Church

1 Ton That Tung, D1, HCMC, Vietnam

Mass hours: 7 days a week: 5am, 6:30am, 8am, 4:30pm, 6pm, 7:30pm

Huyen Sy church is among the largest churches as well and over a century old. The small windows keep the building cool, even during the tropical heat waves from February to May. Built in the style of European cathedrals and located at the crossroads of Ton That Tung and Nguyen Trai street in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1, Huyen Sy church is named after the grandfather of queen Nam Phuong, the wife of Vietnam’s last king. He is buried in the church in a luxurious marble tomb.

Ky Dong Church

38 Kỳ Đồng, Phường 9, D3, Vietnam

Ky Dong church in District 3 is one of the city’s biggest churches. Once it had engulfed an entire city block. The church area has been downsized, but still features a school, shops and other things.

Saigon has so many churches and temples worth visiting. If you’re a Christian looking for Evangelical Christian Church, District 1 has a must see point of interest for you.

Saigon Evangelical Church

155 Tran Hung Dao, D1, HCMC, Vietnam

Aside from Catholic ChurchesSaigon has a lot of attractions worth visiting especially if you’re an expat who came from a different country. If you’re looking for a Mormon church, district 1 has a must see point of interest for you:

Bùi Phát Church

Hẻm 1074 Trường Sa, Phường 12, D3, HCMC, Vietnam

Every religion has a different set of rules and practices and that applies to their homes and places of worship. It is important to be mindful and respect these for when you visit, especially if you’re an expat that generally practices a different spiritual belief

There are several mistakes first time visitors make when visiting Saigon and you can avoid these things altogether.

Don’t touch or sit near Buddha statues or any raised platform. Taking photographs is generally allowed, but it is best to ask for permission first. It is considered polite and respectful to be covered so wear modest clothing. Wear long trousers rather than shorts or miniskirts and avoid sleeveless shirts. Turn off mobile phones and lower your voice during religious services.

Aside from churches and templesSaigon is known for its beautiful pagodas and finding them should be a breeze, regardless if you’re an expat who wants to do a bit of exploring or a local who just wants to rediscover your city. If you’re looking to find the most famous ones that are definitely worth visiting, you can choose from one of the following:

Chùa Giác Lâm – 565 Lac Long Quan, Tan Binh District. Built in 1744, this historical Buddhist site features a beautiful garden with a large statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara under a tall Bodhi tree, a seven-storey hexagonal stupa, and a chamber full of photos and shrines dedicated to former monks of the temple.

Chùa Ngọc Hoàng (Jade Emperor Pagoda): 73 Mai Thi Luu, D1

Chùa Quan Âm: 12 Lao Tu, D5

Chùa Vĩnh Nghiêm: 339 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D3

Chùa Xá Lợi: 89B Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, D3.

Chùa Hoằng Pháp: 8 Le Loi, Tan Hiep, Hoc Mon

Việt Nam Quốc Tự: 244 Ba Thang Hai, D10

Aside from Catholic ChurchesSaigon has a lot of attractions worth visiting especially if you’re an expat who came from a different country. There are two very important Cao Dai Shrines in HCMC, and if you want to visit both, you can find them at:

Cao Đài Saigon Shrine: 891 Tran Hung Dao, D5

Cao Đài Phú Nhuận Shrine: 71 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Phu Nhuan District

Saigon is a culturally and religiously diverse city which means that expats and other tourists can practice their religion openly. There are 3 well known and well attended Hindu temples in Ho Chi Minh City, all are located in the central District 1. Names and addresses are listed below:

Mariamman Hindu Temple

45 Truong Dinh, D1

Sri Thenday Yuttha Pani Temple

66 Ton That Thiep, D1

Subramaniam Swamy Temple

98 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D1

Read more about Mariamman Hindu Temple

The best known and attended synagogue in Saigon is certainly Chabad, located in northern District 1, not too far from Saigon Zoo. Check out the exact location below:

Chabad of Vietnam: 5A Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D1

It is open every day from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM with a Jewish library.

jewishvietnam.com

The Minyanim for Shacharit during the weekdays are on:

Sunday – 8:30am, Monday and Thursday 7:30am.

Friday night – candle lighting on time, than Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Kiddush and Dinner.

Shabbat Morning – Shacharit at 10:00am.

Saigon is a very open country. It welcomes all religions and beliefs so expats and foreigners can freely practice their faith without inhibitions. There are a number of mosques where Muslims can go to practice their faith. The most well known is Jamia Al Musulman Mosque, but you can also check out other options below:

Jamia Al Musulman Mosque: 66 Dong Du, D1

Jum ah Nancy/Masjid Jamiul Islamiyah: 459 Tran Hung Dao, D1; +84 28 3920 3325

Al Rahim Mosque: 45 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D1

Masjid Mosque: 317/27 To 18, Hem 285 Cach Mang Thang Tam, D10

SAIGON INSPIRATION ATTRACTIONS RELIGIOUS SITE

Your Insider's Guide to Parks in Ho Chi Minh City

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HCMC ATTRACTION PARKS Tao Dan Park

Tao Dan Park is one of the biggest green spaces in Ho Chi Minh City. It’s a nice place to visit at any time of year, but it is especially exciting during Lunar New Year festivities when it turns into an outdoor concert hall and pop-up market. Tao Dan has a range of activities for kids and adults alike.

7 AM to 10 PM Daily

HCMC ATTRACTION PARKS Vinhomes Central Park

Vinhomes Central Park is one of the most modern parks in Ho Chi Minh City. Completed in 2016, the park stretches for 1.2 km along the Saigon River. It features a Japanese garden, a massive lake, a pirate themed playground and plenty of grass. If you need a break from the heat, the Vincom Landmark 81 shopping centre is nearby.

6 AM to 9:30 PM Daily

HCMC ATTRACTION PARKS Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden

The Ho Chi Minh City Zoo and Botanical Garden is located in the diplomatic centre of the city. Head here for a bit of greenery rather than for the animals. The botanical gardens are filled with rare species of orchids, bonsai and birds. If you’re sensitive to the plight of animals in captivity, skip the elephant area and the tiger cages.

7 AM to 6:30 PM Daily

INTRODUCTION TO THE PARKS AND GREEN SPACE IN SAIGON

Of all the many things to see in Ho Chi Minh City, parks and wildlife are not the most well-known. But, though not famed for its fauna like majestic Ha Long Bay or leafy green Sapa, Ho Chi Minh City does in fact host a variety of options for the avid nature lover.

 

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SAIGON INSPIRATION ATTRACTIONS PARKS

Your Insider's Guide to the Local Markets in Saigon

HCMC ATTRACTION MARKETS Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market is the most famous market in Ho Chi Minh City. Also, one of the oldest structures in the city, it’s functioned as a market since the 17th-century. Inside, you’ll find 100s of different merchandise. After 6 pm, the stalls shut down and a busy night market forms complete with an open air barbeque and a variety of other street food.

6 AM to 7 PM daily

HCMC ATTRACTION MARKETS Binh Tay Market

Binh Tay Market also known as Cho Lon, is in the heart of the Chinese district in Ho Chi Minh City. The site has been a market since 1880, but it was rebuilt in the 1920s. Today it is filled with more than 2000 stalls selling everything you can imagine. At the back of the market, there’s a food court filled with street food stalls.

6 AM to 7 PM daily

57A Thap Muoi Street, D6, HCMC, Vietnam

HCMC ATTRACTION MARKETS Lantern and Decoration Market

Ho Chi Minh City’s Lantern Street is worth a visit. Head to Luong Nhu Hoc street in Cholon during the Mid-Autumn festival to purchase lanterns in hundreds of different colors, materials, sizes and styles. There’s also an abundance of options for street food. It is best to go during the lead-up to the national holidays when the atmosphere is festive.

9:30 AM to 7 PM Daily

INTRODUCTION TO the Local Markets in Saigon

From clothes and jewelry to fresh produce, markets in Ho Chi Minh City offer an endless range of products for the cheapest prices. As one of Vietnam’s top attractions, markets in Ho Chi Minh City are as varied as they are vibrant. Tourists from across the globe visit this thriving metropolis to browse its many halls of commerce, from high-end shopping malls to traditional marketplaces, drawn in by the city’s famous deals and discounts.

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It’s nice to just sit back and relax from time to time, especially if you’re working in Saigon where the streets are always busy and everyone is in a rush. Aside from going to shopping centers,a lot of expats and foreigners also enjoy going to parks to unwind and spend quality time with their loved ones, pets, or family and friends. Here are a few parks for your enjoyment. 

District 1

September 23rd Park (23/09)

1 Pham Ngu Lao, D1; +84 28 3827 2698

23/09 Park is a park in downtown HCMC, between Le Lai and Pham Ngu Lao streets. The park stretches from Quach Thi Trang square to Nguyen Thai Binh market which is located on Nguyen Trai.

30-4 Park

184 Pasteur, D1

This small, shady, central HCMC park takes its name from Vietnam’s Reunification Day, as April 30 marked the fall of Saigon. It offers a cool respite courtesy of its tall trees and it connects the Reunification Palace with Notre Dame Cathedral. A hub of activity and a popular gathering place for locals, 30-4 Park is a splendid place to people-watch. Take your camera, buy a drink from one of the nearby park vendors and bask in the commotion.

Lê Văn Tám Park

Vo Thi Sau, Da Kao,D1; +84 28 3829 0945

This park is located between four main roads: Hai Ba TrungDien Bien PhuPhan Liem and Vo Thi Sau. During the French colonial period, it was the cemetery for the French. During 1985, the area was thankfully cleared and named Lê Văn Tám Park to celebrate the 10 years after liberation. This park is a favourite for families as there are games for children.

Saigon Botanical and Zoological Gardens

2B Nguyen Binh Khiem, D1; +84 28 3829 1425

Price: VND50,000/Adult, VND30,000/Child

Founded by botanist JB Louis Pierre more than 100 years ago, HCMC Zoo and Botanical Gardens (aka Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens) is one of the oldest zoos in the world. There are currently more than 550 animals exhibited in the zoo and more than 1830 trees and 260 plant species in the botanical gardens, with some dating back over 100 years. There are a number of different sections to explore including the animal conservation area, orchid garden and plant conservation centre and a children’s amusement area. Lakes brimming with tropical fish form part of the zoo and botanical gardens which is also home to a monument dedicated to Vietnamese killed in World War I. The HCMC Zoo and Botanical Gardens is a popular place to go and is visited by locals and tourists who are often surprised by the fact that you can get an up close and personal look at some of the animals and feed them. The animal care is not always as good as you may see it at home.

Other Districts

Turtle Lake

Cong Truong Quoc Te, D3

Public square & water fountain in the middle of a roundabout, with benches & street-food vendors.

Hòa Bình Park

1 Nguyen Chi Thanh, D5; +84 9 4523 6852

Riverside park An Phu Hung

Cong vien ven ng, So 46, Khu dan cu An Phu Hung, D7

Đầm Sen Park

3 Hoa Binh, D11; +84 28 3963 2483

Sprawling family-friendly entertainment complex with rides, a water park, cinema & zoo.

The best known and attended synagogue in Saigon is certainly Chabad, located in northern District 1, not too far from Saigon Zoo. Check out the exact location below:

Chabad of Vietnam

5A Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D1, HCMC, Vietnam / jewishvietnam.com

It is open every day from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM with a Jewish library.

The Minyanim for Shacharit during the weekdays are on:

Sunday – 8:30am

Monday and Thursday – 7:30am.

Friday night – candle lighting on time, than Mincha, Kabbalat Shabbat, Kiddush and Dinner.

Shabbat Morning – Shacharit at 10:00am.

Saigon is a very open country. It welcomes all religions and beliefs so expats and foreigners can freely practice their faith without inhibitions. There are a number of mosques where Muslims can go to practice their faith. The most well known is Jamia Al Musulman Mosque, but you can also check out other options below:

Jamia Al Musulman Mosque

66 Dong Du, D1, HCMC, Vietnam

Jumah Nancy/Masjid Jamiul Islamiyah

459 Tran Hung Dao, D1, HCMC, Vietnam / +84 28 3920 3325

Al Rahim Mosque

45 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D1, HCMC, Vietnam

Masjid Mosque

317/27 To 18, Hem 285 Cach Mang Thang Tam, D10, HCMC, Vietnam

Your Insider's Guide to Further Attractions in Saigon

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HCMC ATTRACTION POINT OF INTEREST Dong Khoi Street

Dong Khoi street. Formerly known as Rue Catinat during the French colonial days and Tu Do in the 1960s, this street was reborn during Doi Moi as the centre of Saigon’s commercial and shopping district. Local boutiques compete with international brands, and restaurants litter the street set in beautifully restored French colonial buildings.

Open 24 hours Daily

HCMC ATTRACTION POINT OF INTEREST Nguyen Hue Walking Street

Nguyen Hue Walking Street is a beautiful and modern street in Saigon connecting Headquarters City People’s Committee for Bach Dang Pier, Saigon River. It is the convergence of street bands, street artists and numerous indigenous people. Especially in the evening here with sprinkler performances combined with light.

Open 24 hours Daily

HCMC ATTRACTION POINT OF INTEREST Bitexco Tower

Bitexco was the highest tower in Ho Chi Minh City until Landmark 81 knocked it off the record books. The design can feel slightly lopsided with the helipad jutting out from one side, but it makes more sense when one knows it was fashioned after a lotus flower. Book tickets to the skydeck for a 360 degree view of the city.

8 AM to 11 PM Daily

INTRODUCTION TO FURTHER ATTRACTIONS IN SAIGON

Ho Chi Minh City is an ideal gateway to discovering Vietnam. Travelers will find it easy to navigate, with most attractions and things to do located in District 1. Other popular attractions and points of interest in District 1, include Dong Khoi street, formerly Rue Catinat. It is the most upscale avenue in central Saigon, housing most of the city’s 5-star hotels and designer boutiques.

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SAIGON INSPIRATION ATTRACTIONS FURTHER ATTRACTIONS

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