Hoh Chi Minh on a Budget
Hoh Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam in terms of population and has around 10 million inhabitants including surrounding towns. The city has gone through many changes dating back to the French colonial era to post Vietnam war today. The city is hot, humid, busy and can be quite overwhelming when you first visit. I only spent a few days in Hoh Chi Minh but here are a few things that I saw whilst there:
Buildings and Architecture
You will see remnants of the French colonial era in the form of several buildings and their architecture scattered around the city. One of which is the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon. This was built as the Roman Catholic church had established a community and religious services for French colonists. Saigon central post office is another building showing gothic, renaissance and French influences in its architecture and was constructed between 1886-1891. Hoh Chi Minh city hall is another nod to its colonial influences and is a beautiful building, and although it is not open for the public, it lights up at night to make a beautiful picture.
The war remnants museum in the city is one of the most popular museums to visit. It contains exhibits from the Vietnam war and the first Indochina war. Although it feels at times one sided propaganda, some of the pictures and documents are extremely moving showing the victims of war. I would still highly recommend visiting this museum. Cost: 15,000 VND.
There are plenty of markets around Hoh Chi Minh such as Ben Thanh Market. This market sells everything from food, spices, electronics, clothes, household supplies and pretty much everything you will ever need. There is also Binh Tay Market which sells handicrafts and textiles and has an open food court. An Dong market is an indoor market selling clothing, crafts and has restaurants in the basement selling Vietnamese food. I visited Ben Thanh market and found the vendors a little too pushy and aggressive. I always expect to have to bargain at markets but I found the prices they try and charge tourists were ridiculous. If you walk across the street you will find Saigon square, which if you’re looking for clothes is great. The vendors were not pushy, they didn’t seem bothered by tourists and they charge reasonable prices for clothing so I would seriously recommend here over other places.
Stopping for a drink is a must do and there are stalls and café’s on pretty much every corner where you can have a coffee or grab a bite to eat the choice is endless!
Sunset and Sky tower
The Bitexco Finacial tower and Skydeck stands 262 metres high in the heart of the city’s business district. There is a public observation deck and offers breath-taking views of the city. I went up around 5pm and watched the sunset from the top, it was beautiful. However, it seems they don’t put much effort into keeping the windows clean as when I went it was hard to take pictures as the windows were so dirty. It cost 200,000 VND.
the travelling nurse x