10 Things to do in Vietnam
- Re-unification Palace
106 D Nguyen Du
The building is preserved almost as it was on the last day of the Republic of Vietnam in 1975. The building took its current form in 1966 after it had been partially destroyed in an attack by South Vietnam leader Diem's own air force.
- Giac Lam Pagoda
10km south-west of Ho Chi Minh City, Near Dam Sen
The architecture, layout and ornamentation remain almost unaltered by the modernist renovations that have transformed so many of Vietnam's religious structures. Inside, there are photographs and portraits of monks from the past and an impressive sanctuary with countless gilded figures.
- Notre Dame Cathedral
Dong Khoi, District 1
Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883, stands regally in the heart of the government quarter. Its red-brick, neo-Romanesque form and two 40m-high square towers tipped with iron spires dominate the skyline.
- Buu Dien - General Post Office
2 Cong Xa Paris, District
The General Post Office, adjacent to the Notre Dame cathedral, was built from 1886 to 1891 by by Gustave Eiffel. The architecture style is french colonial. Enter the post office and you'll notice the immense ceilings, it has the feel of a train station. You also can't miss the massive portrait of good old Ho Chi Minh.
- Cu Chi Tunnel
246 – 248, De Tham St, District 1
The Cu Chi Tunnels system is an underground network of tunnels dug in the 1940s by the Vietnamese as a place to hide during the fight against the French.The system consists of more than 150 miles (250km) of tunnels and unlit offshoots, secret trap doors connecting narrow routes to hidden shelters, local rivers and tunnels to the Cambodian border.
- Water Puppet Show
Mua Roi Nuoc or Water Puppet is a unique art which has it origin in the delta of the Red river in the tenth century. This art form is unique to North Vietnam and only finds its way to the world stage in recent years as a result of the normalized relation with the West.The puppeteers stand behind a screen and control the puppets using long bamboo rods and string mechanism hidden beneath the water surface. Singers of Cheo (a form of opera) with origin in north Vietnam sing songs which tell the story being acted out by the puppets.It tells of day-to-day living in rural Vietnam and Vietnamese folk tales that are told by grandparents to their grandchildren.
- Mekong Delta
The delta is a vast network of waterways formed by the Mekong River, and the surrounding fertile patchwork of endless green rice paddies, orchards and swamplands is where most of the country's rice is grown. The best way to experience the delta is by boat, joining the rowing boats and fishermen, rickety houseboats, ferries and traditional sampans on the brown water. Trading is carried out between boats at floating markets, where whole sections of the river are covered by bobbing merchants who publicize their wares hung from the top of a long bamboo pole.
- Try the Vietnamese Coffee
By the late 1990s, Vietnam had become the world's #2 coffee producer, after Brazil, but their production was largely focused on poor-quality beans for export as a commodity. The re-introduction of private enterprise into the industry resulted in a return to earlier coffee quality standards, and a cooperation between growers, producers and government that resulted in branding of finished coffees and exporting of final products for retail.
- Vinh Nghiem Pagoda
339 Nam Ky Khoi Nghai Street
This is a most famous pagoda in the city, built from 1964 to 1973 thanks to financial contributions of the Buddhists of the Truc Lam zen sect who came from Bac Giang province, therefore the pagoda is called "Vinh Nghiem", after the name of a pagoda built in the 11th century in Yen Diung, Bac Giang province, the ancient of the Truc Lam zen Buddhist sect. The pagoda has a seven layered tower keeping many pictures, statues of Buddha and a large bell contributed by Japanese Buddhists for peace prayers during the war in Vietnam.
- Shop at Ben Thanh Market
Le Loi Boulevard, District 1
Ben Thanh Market has the best location among all the markets in HCM City. On an area of over 13,000 square meters, the market is separated from the adjacent blocks by four streets. Its north side borders Le Thanh Ton Street, the east side Phan Boi Chau and the west side Phan Chu Trinh. The south side faces Quach Thi Trang Square.