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21 Fun Things To Do in Ho Chi Minh For Passport Bros

Ho Chi Minh City

Forget what you think you know about Vietnam because Ho Chi Minh City is where the action's at. Yeah, yeah, Hanoi's the capital, but who cares?

Ho Chi Minh City is the undisputed KING of Vietnam—bigger, badder, and more visited than any other spot in the country. You want a bucket-list adventure? This is your arena.

Now, let's get real. Saigon—that's the old-school name for Ho Chi Minh—almost got wiped off the map not too long ago.

But guess what? It bounced back like a boss and now it's the Wall Street of Vietnam. You walk these streets and you're time-traveling, baby!

One minute you're hit with history, the next you're staring down the barrel of the future.

So, what's the game plan in this high-octane metropolis? Stick with me, and I'll give you the ultimate guide to conquering Ho Chi Minh City like a pro. Let's get it!

1. Take a Free Walking Tour

You're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're clueless? Don't sweat it. Kickstart your epic journey with a free walking tour.

That's right, FREE. This ain't just sightseeing; it's Networking 101. You're gonna meet some cool cats and maybe even future business partners.

Now, let me drop some knowledge. Saigon Free Walking Tours has been in the game for years, and they're the real deal.

Their Saigon City Tour is a four-hour blitz through the city's hotspots. It kicks off at 8AM sharp, so don't be late. You snooze, you lose.

Here's the kicker: these tours are led by local university students majoring in hospitality and tourism.

These kids are fired up about their city and they're gonna make sure you have a blast. You're not just walking; you're vibing with the future leaders of Vietnam.

And hey, while you're at it, pick the brain of your English-speaking guide.

Get the inside scoop on where to go, what to buy, and where to feast like a king. Trust me, the tips you'll score are pure gold.

So, if you're looking for the ultimate things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, this free walking tour tops the list. Get on it!

2. Visit Independence Palace

Listen, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you skip the Independence Palace, you're missing out on a piece of history that's as epic as it gets.

Ho Chi Minh City

Picture this: April 30, 1975—a tank smashes through the front gate, and BOOM, the war's over. This ain't just a building; it's a symbol of victory and defeat, all wrapped up in one.

But hold up, the story doesn't start there. This place used to be the Norodom Palace, the crib of the French Governor of Cochin-China.

Even the Japanese had their moment here during WWII. But let's fast-forward to the Vietnam War. This was the HQ for the president of South Vietnam.

The place got bombed, rebuilt, and then witnessed the fall of Saigon. Talk about a rollercoaster!

Nowadays, it's a museum that's frozen in time. You'll see everything from swanky meeting rooms to wartime bunkers.

And get this—the ticket's only 40,000 dong, that's like $1.75. Kids get in for half. It's open from 7:30-11AM and 1-4PM. Find it, visit it, and get schooled.

So, if you're hunting for the real deal in Ho Chi Minh City, the Independence Palace is a must-see. Trust me, your Instagram will thank you.

3. Ben Thanh Market (A Paradise for Foodies!)

Listen up, high-rollers and foodies! You're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not hitting up Ben Thanh Market? You're doing it all wrong.

This place is the ultimate one-stop-shop. Forgot your shades? They got you. Need some exotic fruits? Done.

Looking for souvenirs that scream "I conquered Vietnam"? This is your battleground.

This market is a beast—so big you could get lost, and so intense it's like a UFC fight for your senses.

We're talking a barrage of colors, smells, and flavors that'll knock you off your feet.

Location? Smack dab in the heart of the city, District 1. Check your map, you can't miss it. Timing? It's an all-day affair, but if you want to see it in full swing, get there early. By late afternoon, some shops start rolling down their shutters.

Bottom line: Ben Thanh Market is a must-visit. You'll find yourself coming back again and again, just like I did.

So if you're looking for the ultimate Ho Chi Minh experience, this market is non-negotiable.

4, Day Trip to Cu Chi Tunnels

You're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not planning a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels? Are you even serious about understanding Vietnam?

This ain't just a tourist trap; it's a living, breathing history lesson. These tunnels were the Viet Cong's secret weapon—hideouts, supply routes, and even underground homes when the bombs were dropping.

Now, it's your turn to dive into this labyrinth. Learn about the ingenious traps, crawl through the tunnels, and if you're feeling like a real Rambo, hit up the shooting range and fire an M-16. Yeah, you heard me.

Every tour operator in HCMC is ready to get you there. Prices? Anywhere from $10 to $50, depending on how VIP you wanna go.

Got a motorbike? Even better. Ride out there like a boss (check the map, so you don't get lost).

So, if you're looking for a day trip that's gonna blow your mind and give you some serious bragging rights, the Cu Chi Tunnels are it. Don't miss out!

5. Visit The Notre Dame Cathedral

Listen, if you think Notre Dame is just a Paris thing, you're missing out big time. Ho Chi Minh City's got its own Notre Dame Cathedral, and it's a stunner.

Ho Chi Minh City cathedral

Built in the 1880s by the French, this place is a masterpiece made from red bricks shipped straight from Marseille. Trust me, it's one of the crown jewels of Ho Chi Minh City.

Now, get this: the cathedral's got two Romanesque bell towers that soar nearly 60 meters high.

And let's not forget the Virgin Mary statue out front—locals swear it shed tears once. Yeah, you heard that right.

Feel like dropping by? Go ahead, it's open. But remember, this ain't just a tourist spot; it's a living, breathing place of worship.

They've got Sunday mass and a steady stream of the faithful coming in and out. So show some respect.

Bottom line: If you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you skip the Notre Dame Cathedral, you're missing out on one of the city's top attractions. Find it, visit it, and get some culture in you.

6. Check Out The Central Post Office

You think a post office is just a place to mail letters? Think again.

Right across from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City, you'll find the Saigon Central Post Office, and trust me, this place is a showstopper. It's not just on the list of top things to do in Ho Chi Minh; it's a must-see.

Forget your run-of-the-mill post office; this place is a work of art. We're talking Gothic, Renaissance, and French colonial styles all rolled into one.

It's like stepping into a time machine back to 19th-century France—until you spot that massive portrait of Uncle Ho, of course.

Don't just admire it from the outside; step in and soak it all up. Arched windows, vintage phone booths, oil paintings—it's a feast for the eyes.

And hey, while you're there, why not pen those postcards you've been procrastinating on? With surroundings this epic, you'll be inspired in no time.

Slap a stamp on it using their old-school glue pots and send a piece of history back home.

So, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you skip the Central Post Office, you're missing out on one of the most iconic spots in town. Get there and get cultured.

7. Wander Nguyen Hue Walking Street

Listen, Ho Chi Minh City is a jungle—a concrete jungle with motorbikes zipping around like it's the Grand Prix.

You try walking here, and you're playing a real-life game of Frogger. But hold up, there's a sanctuary in this chaos: Nguyen Hue Walking Street.

This ain't just a street; it's a runway for the high-rollers and the cool cats.

Starting from the Saigon River and stretching up to City Hall, this place is a visual feast. Colonial architecture, fountain shows, and even a statue of Uncle Ho himself, giving you the royal wave.

Feel like kicking back? There's no shortage of benches for prime people-watching.

And if you're in the mood for a latte or some grub, you've got cafes and restaurants lining this pedestrian paradise.

So, if you're looking to escape the motorbike madness and actually enjoy some walking in Ho Chi Minh City, Nguyen Hue Walking Street is your VIP pass to chill.

8. Relax in Local Parks

You think parks are just for picnics and dog-walking? Nah, in Ho Chi Minh City, parks are the ultimate social hubs.

Ho Chi Minh City park

You wanna get a taste of the local culture while breaking a sweat? Then you better hit up the parks. First on the list: September 23rd Park.

This place is a hotspot, especially in the afternoons. You'll see locals smashing it in badminton, getting their groove on with group aerobics, or just chilling and shooting the breeze.

And hey, don't be shocked if some local kids roll up to you to practice their English. Making friends here is as easy as hitting a like button.

But wait, there's more. Check out Le Van Tam Park. This place is a fitness junkie's dream. Walking trails? Check. Outdoor fitness center? Double check.

If you're missing your gym sessions while traveling, this is your spot to get those gains and soak in the local vibes.

So, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not spending time in the parks, you're missing out on some prime cultural action. Get out there and get social!

9. Visit The War Remnants Museum

Listen, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not hitting up the War Remnants Museum, you're missing a crucial chapter of the story.

This place isn't just a museum; it's a wake-up call. It's about the Vietnam War—or as they call it here, the American War—and the Indochina War with France.

This place lays bare the brutal truths of war and its impact on humanity.

You walk in, and BOOM, you're greeted by American tanks, jets, and choppers. But that's just the appetizer. Inside, the mood shifts.

You'll see a French guillotine and the infamous "tiger cages" where prisoners were kept. It's a gut punch, no doubt.

But the real eye-opener? The photos showing the devastating effects of Agent Orange.

And let's not forget the tribute to the journalists who either vanished or were killed covering the war. This place doesn't pull any punches.

Open daily from 7:30-6, with a lunch break from 12-1:30. Entry is 40,000 dong—that's about $1.75.

So, if you're looking for a raw, unfiltered look at the history you won't get in the textbooks, the War Remnants Museum is a must-visit.

10. Temple and Pagoda Hopping

You're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not temple-hopping? You're missing out on the soul of this place. Saigon is a spiritual smorgasbord—Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu—you name it, they've got it.

First stop, the Jade Emperor Pagoda, also known as Ngọc Hoàng Pagoda. This ain't just any pagoda; even Barack Obama paid his respects here. So, if it's good enough for a former US President, you better believe it's worth your time.

But don't stop there. Head over to the city's Chinatown and you'll find gems like the Quan Am Pagoda and Hau Thien Temple. Trust me, these places are more than just Instagram spots; they're a deep dive into the spiritual fabric of Vietnam.

So, if you're looking to elevate your Ho Chi Minh City experience from touristy to transcendent, temple and pagoda hopping is your VIP ticket to the spiritual big leagues.

11. Check Out Chinatown

Listen bros, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you haven't hit up Chinatown, you're playing the game wrong.

This ain't just any Chinatown; it's Cholon, one of the biggest and oldest, dating back to 1778. You want a slice of the real Saigon? This is where you find it.

Now, Cholon means "big market," and let me tell you, this place lives up to the name.

Back in the day, even American soldiers were wheeling and dealing here. You want to shop like a boss? Hit up Binh Tay Market and get your hustle on.

But it ain't just about the market. Red lanterns, authentic Chinese eats—this place is a feast for all your senses.

So, if you're looking to elevate your Saigon experience from basic to baller, Cholon is your VIP ticket to the big leagues.

12. Go On A Bike Tour

You're in Ho Chi Minh City, the motorbike capital of the world. With 8 million people and just as many bikes, if you're not hopping on a two-wheeler, you're missing the real pulse of this city.

Ho Chi Minh City bike tour

That's why a bike tour is a must-do, no questions asked.

You're a pro rider? Great, rent a bike and blaze your own trail. But if you want the ultimate experience, you gotta check out the Easy Rider tours. Trust me, it's the highlight of any Vietnam trip.

Not a biker? No sweat. Vietnam Vespa Adventures has got you covered. Just hop on the back and let them do the driving.

They've got everything from a Saigon craft beer tour to an After Dark Tour loaded with street food. You can even opt for a Half Day Trip to see the city's top sites.

So, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not revving a motorbike, you're not really living. Get on a bike tour and feel the adrenaline.

13. Sip On Rooftop Cocktails

You've conquered Ho Chi Minh City by day, now it's time to own the night. And what better way to do it than sipping cocktails on a rooftop bar, overlooking the city like the boss you are?

This city's skyline is a playground for the elite, and the rooftop bars are where the action's at. First up, Air 360 Sky Lounge.

This place is the real deal—panoramic views, live music, and craft cocktails that'll make you forget all about your local dive bar.

But if you're looking for that beach vibe in the heart of the city, hit up Glow Sky Bar. Located on top of the President Place building, this tropical oasis is the perfect spot to unwind.

And get this, they've got a Happy Hour from 5-8PM where drinks are 50% off. You're welcome.

So, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not toasting to your victories on a rooftop, you're doing it wrong. Cheers, champs!

14. Have Fun On The River

You're in Ho Chi Minh City and you haven't hit the Saigon River yet? You're missing out on the high seas of luxury.

Whether it's a dinner cruise or a full-blown Mekong Delta adventure, if you're not on the water, you're not really experiencing Saigon.

Let's talk dinner cruises. For around $40-45 a pop, you're cruising the Saigon River like a mogul, feasting your eyes on the city's glittering skyline while you dine in style. Live entertainment? You bet.

But if you're looking to go big, set sail for the Mekong Delta. Prices range from $70-75 for a full day to $170 for a 3-day extravaganza.

Floating markets, exotic landscapes—this is Vietnam at its most Instagrammable.

So, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not making waves on the Saigon River, you're not living your best life. Get on board, sailor!

15. See A Show At The Saigon Opera House

You've conquered the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, now it's time to class it up at the Saigon Opera House.

This isn't your grandma's theater; this is a French colonial masterpiece with a history as rich as your future bank account.

Built in the 1900s, this place has seen it all. From a theater to Southern Vietnam's Assembly House, and back to a theater again after the war.

They even gave it a facelift in '98 for the city's 300th anniversary. Talk about a glow-up.

Now, let's talk shows. They've got a rotation that includes the A O Show, The Mist, and Teh Dar. And listen, there's not a bad seat in this house. The acoustics? Top-notch.

Tickets? You're looking at 700,000 dong ($30) to 1.6 million dong (around $70).

So, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not soaking up some culture at the Saigon Opera House, you're missing out on the finer things in life.

16. Eat Street Food

You're in Ho Chi Minh City, and if you're not feasting on the street food, you're missing out on life's greatest pleasures.

Ho Chi Minh City food

I'm talking about pho that'll change your life and banh mi sandwiches that are a flavor explosion.

You want a hotspot? Hit up Ben Thanh Market. When the sun goes down, the street outside turns into a culinary battlefield, and the only winners are your taste buds. Local classics? They've got 'em by the dozen.

But if you're the type who likes a guided experience, you're in luck. Check out Street Food Man. This isn't just a food tour; it's a culinary adventure.

You'll cover ground and taste the best this city has to offer. Click here if you're ready to elevate your food game.

So, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not diving into the street food scene, you're not just missing meals—you're missing experiences.

17. Visit The Museum of Vietnamese History

If you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not hitting up the Museum of Vietnamese History, you're missing out on leveling up your brain.

This isn't just a museum; it's a time machine that takes you from Vietnam's prehistoric days right up to its fight for independence.

The captions? Yeah, they could be better. Do some homework before you go, and you'll get more out of it.

And while you're there, throw a few extra bucks for the water puppet show. Trust me, it's worth it.

After you've soaked up all that history, head over to the botanical gardens next door. But skip the zoo. We're all about freedom and living life on our terms, and we don't support animal captivity.

So, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City, make the Museum of Vietnamese History a must-see. Your brain will thank you.

18. See The Bitexco Financial Tower

You're in Ho Chi Minh City, and if you're not checking out the Bitexco Financial Tower, you're missing the ultimate view.

This isn't just a building; it's an architectural marvel that dominates the city's skyline.

Standing at a whopping 262.5 meters—that's 861 feet for those who skipped math class—this tower is designed to resemble a lotus, Vietnam's national flower.

And get this: the bud of the flower? It's a helipad. Yeah, you heard me right.

Now, if you want to feel like a king overlooking his kingdom, head up to the Saigon Skydeck on the 49th floor. For less than $10, you get 360-degree panoramic views that'll make your Instagram followers green with envy.

So, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not hitting up the Bitexco Financial Tower, you're not just missing a building—you're missing an experience.

19. Visit a Theme Park

Listen, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not hitting up Dam Sen Park, you're basically leaving money on the table.

This isn't your grandma's park; it's a full-blown theme park with over 30 areas to explore. Yeah, you heard me—30!

You want to go boating? They've got a lake. You're into bird-watching? Check out their tropical garden.

And if you're a fan of monorails, well, they've got that too. This place is so packed with activities, you could spend the whole day here and still have stuff left to do.

Now, let's talk about the heat. Ho Chi Minh can get hot—like, melt-your-face-off hot.

So what's the solution? Dam Sen's got a water park that's cooler than a polar bear in Ray-Bans. We're talking water slides, wave pools, and water games that'll make you forget about the scorching sun.

Adult tickets are just 170,000 dong—that's 7 bucks. Kids get in for 130,000 dong, or $5.50.

So, if you're in Ho Chi Minh and you're not making a beeline for Dam Sen Park, you're missing out on the ultimate family fun day. Period.

20. Take a Cooking Class

Listen up, foodies! You're in Ho Chi Minh City, a culinary paradise. But let's level up—why just eat the food when you can master the art of making it?

Ho Chi Minh City cooking class

That's right, we're talking cooking classes, and not just any cooking class, but the kind that turns you into a Vietnamese cuisine wizard.

First off, you're not just going to some sterile kitchen. Most of these classes kick off with a trip to a local market.

You'll handpick the freshest ingredients like a pro, and then it's game time.

You'll be whipping up classic Vietnamese dishes that'll make you the star of your next dinner party. And the best part? You get to devour your creations at the end. It's a win-win.

Now, if you're looking for the crème de la crème of cooking classes, hit up HCM Cooking Class. This isn't your average cooking class; it's set in an agricultural village.

You'll be cooking with vegetables so fresh, they're practically still in the ground. They offer a variety of classes, so check their website for the full rundown on schedules and prices.

So, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not taking a cooking class, you're not just missing out—you're neglecting a golden opportunity to become a culinary legend. Don't sleep on it.

21. Experience the Nightlife

Listen, if you're in Ho Chi Minh City and you're not hitting the nightlife, you're doing it all wrong. This city doesn't sleep, and neither should you.

Let's start with Bui Vien Street, the mecca for party animals and budget travelers. They call it "Backpacker Street," but don't let that fool you—this place is electric.

Sit your ass down on a plastic stool, order a bia hoi for a measly 25 cents, and get some meat sticks on the grill.

You're not just here for the booze and food; you're here for the experience. The people-watching is next level, and you never know who you'll end up talking to. It's a melting pot of chaos, and it's glorious.

But hey, I get it. Bui Vien can be a bit much, even for a seasoned party-goer like me. If you're looking to elevate your night, Ho Chi Minh City has got you covered.

There are plenty of upscale joints where you can sip your drink in peace, away from the relentless hustle of street vendors and performers.

So, whether you're a wild party animal or a sophisticated sipper, HCMC's nightlife has something for everyone. Don't miss out; get out there and own the night.


Alright, listen up. You might be overwhelmed by the madness of Ho Chi Minh City's traffic and its ever-changing skyline, but don't let that scare you off.

This city is a goldmine of experiences, and if you're not diving in, you're missing out—big time.

I've laid it all out for you, from the high-octane nightlife to the hidden gems that'll make your Instagram explode.

This isn't just another city; it's a playground for the ambitious, the adventurous, and the downright audacious. So, stop reading and start doing.

Get out there and conquer Ho Chi Minh City like the boss you are.

And hey, once you've dominated HCMC, don't think you're done with Vietnam. This country is packed with insane spots that'll blow your mind. Want to know where to hit next?

Stay tuned, because I've got the ultimate guide on where to go in Vietnam coming your way.


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