Ho Chi Minh City (also known as the old name Sai Gon) is the biggest city in terms of population and economy, also one of the bustling sociocultural centers in Vietnam. Under the influence of the French colonial period (1884 – 1945), Saigon was then designed in the European model, in which many buildings of public offices such as the governor’s palace or the court followed the classic Renaissance style. Though the war has passed for years, the remnants still remain and become top Saigon tourist Vietnam attractions. If you are much of a history lover, take a look at the list below as a recommendation for your wonderful tourist experience in Saigon.
1. Dinh Thong Nhat ( The Independence Palace)
The Reunification Palace, previously known as the Independence Palace, is a typical Western architecture landmark of the 1960s, located on an area of 12 hectares in the heart of the city. It was once the residence and workplace of the President of the Republic of Vietnam. Visiting the Independence Palace, visitors can observe many historic items from the old regime as well as the evidence marking the independence day of April 30, 1975. Through the ups and downs of the history, the palace was opened for sightseeing in late 1966 and considered as a special national monument.
- Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1
- Opening hours: 7.30 am – 11 am and 1 pm – 4 pm
- Ticket Price: VND30,000 for adult and VND15,000 for student
The Independence Palace
The Banquet Room inside the Palace
2. War Remnants Museum:
This is one of the most worthy Saigon tourist experience. The War Remnants Museum has received a certificate of excellence in the top 10% of global destinations. Visitors will understand more about the fierce war years in Vietnam. Through the exhibits on display, you will see the brutality and cruelty of the colonialism and imperialism torturing Vietnamese people. The museum is holding more than 20,000 documents, documentaries, artifacts such as airplanes, cannons, tanks, guillotines and two “tiger cage” simulations built according to the actual size of those in Con Dao Prison. Besides that, there is a lively gallery of the SouthWest border warfare, the northern border’s war and the conspiracy of hostile forces.
- Address: 28 Vo Van Tan Street, District 3
- The museum is open in two time zones, 7.30 am – 12 am and 1.30 pm – 5 pm
- Ticket price: VND 15,000 per person.
War Remnants Museum
3. Cu Chi Tunnels:
Cu Chi Tunnels are the noted historical relic belonging to Phu My Hung Commune, Cu Chi District, which were formed between 1946 and 1948 during the resistance war against French colonialism. Tunnels are unique wonders: with the length of 250 kilometers and being made with the common rudimentary tools like hoe and shovel, the tunnels lay from 3 to 8 meters under the ground. The tunnel system consists of 3 floors with the sufficient facilities such as infirmary, living rooms, kitchen, storage and workplaces. By 2015, this historical site had received the title of Labor Hero. During 20 years of operation, the area has welcomed more than 20 million domestic and foreign tourists to visit. In early 2016, the site was ranked as a special National Monument.
- Opening hours: 9 am – 5 pm
- Ticket Price: VND 20,000 for Vietnamese and VND 90,000 for foreigners
- A door to the underground world of Cu Chi Tunnels
Wondering how the tunnel system worked? Here is the answer
4. Ben Duoc Martyrs Memorial
This is a work to commemorate the great merits of people who fought and sacrificed on the land of Saigon – Cho Lon – Gia Dinh during the two resistance wars against French and American invaders. This significant memorial was built in 1993 on an area of 7 hectares in the region of the historic Cu Chi Tunnels. The temple is located in the heart of the “iron triangle” where the bomb blast of war years stays forever, reminds the future generations of our national glorious history.
At present, Ben Duoc Martyrs Memorial is considered as the largest memorial temple in Vietnam. Visiting in a Saigon tour on the day of commemoration and tribute to the dead soldiers (December 19 every year), tourists will have the chance to feel the quietly solemn atmosphere and learn more about Vietnam’s history.
The peaceful ambiance outside the temple