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International > The picture of the week > Tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City

Picture of the week (No.34): Tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).                                      ShareShare

Periodically (previously every week), Willgoto selects here a nice picture. The tourist attractions of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam and, in particular, those of Cholon - the city's Chinatown quarter - are the theme of the thirty-fourth picture of this series. Ho Chi Minh City is indeed a major tourist destination in Vietnam.

Ba Thien Hau Pagoda in Cholon, Chinatown quarter of Ho Chi Minh City
Porcelain figurines decorating the exterior of the Ba Thien Hau Pagoda in Cholon (Chinatown quarter of Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam.

The country. Vietnam is located on the eastern side of the Indochinese Peninsula. It has, as neighbors, Laos and Cambodia to the west and China to the north. It is a country whose geographical shape is very stretched since its coastline from north to south extends over 3,300 km while the total area of the country is 331,000 km².

Since the end of the Vietnam War and the reunification of the northern and southern parts of the country in 1976, Vietnam has been entirely under communist rule. At the end of the 20th century, the country's economy was gradually liberalized with the adoption of a "Renovation" program ("Doi Moi") in 1986. Since then, it has enjoyed a remarkable expansion. Political liberalization, on the other hand, remains limited. In recent decades, the country's population has grown dramatically. Today, with 96 million people, Vietnam is the fifteenth most populous country in the world.

Tourism in Vietnam is growing fast. The tourist destinations in Vietnam are numerous and varied: historic places, cultural sites, seaside resorts, natural wonders, large cities, and more.

-- In the north of the country: Hanoi (Temple of Literature - the country's first university -, Museum of Ethnography, Ngoc Son Temple, One Pillar Pagoda, the Imperial City of Thang Long, the lakes,...), Sapa (trekking), Halong Bay (World Heritage), Trang An Landscape Complex (World Heritage, the so-called "Terrestrial Halong Bay"), ethnic minorities and local markets.
-- In the center: the monuments of Hue, My Son Sanctuary, Hoi An Ancient Town, and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park (all of them are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites) as well as Danang.
-- In the south: Ho Chi Minh City, the very wide Mekong Delta, the seaside resort Nha Trang and the Vinpearl leisure park.

To this non-exhaustive list, you must still add seaside stays in the islands of the Gulf of Thailand (Phu Quoc, Hon Khoai) and the sites related to the political or military history of the country such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi and the Cu Chi tunnels near Saigon. The pleasures of the Vietnamese table are an additional asset of the country.

You may want also to see these beautiful pictures from Ho Chi Minh City:

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City
Ba Thien Hau

Ho Chi Minh City
Presidential Palace

Ho Chi Minh City
Markets and Museums

Holidays in Ho Chi Minh City
. While Hanoi in the north is the political capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, the former capital of the south, is the largest city and the economic and financial capital of the country. Actually, the current city is the result of the merger of two neighboring cities - Saigon and Cholon, the latter having a strong Chinese presence - in the first half of the 20th century. The name of Saigon was given to the ensemble. It is still widely used although it has been officially replaced by that of Ho Chi Minh City since the country's reunification in 1976. 

Saigon that the French called the "Pearl of the Far East" in colonial times, is home to several iconic buildings: ancient buildings such as Notre-Dame Cathedral (which dates from the 1860s - 1880s), the Municipal Opera of Saïgon (1900) or the Central Post Office (1886-1891), more recent buildings such as the Presidential Palace (palace completed in 1966: it served as the residence of the Presidents of South Vietnam and has been converted into a museum/historical building since 1976 under the name of Reunification Palace), skyscrapers such as Bitexco Tower (2010) or Shopping Centers (Diamond Plaza,1999).

Saïgon has several interesting museums, in particular the Museum of Fine Arts and a few others dedicated to the history of the city (such as the Ho Chi Minh City Museum) or the Vietnam War. 

In Saigon, you will find several notable Buddhist, Taoist or Hindu temples such as Nam Thien Nhat Tru Pagoda (a pagoda of a single pillar like that of Hanoi), Vinh Nghiem Pagoda (the largest pagoda in Ho-Chi-Minh City), the Pagoda of the Emperor of Jade (also known as Turtle Pagoda), Ba Thien Hau Pagoda (temple dedicated to Mazu, goddess of the sea, in Cholon), Quan Am Pagoda (also located in Cholon), Giac Lam Pagoda (the oldest pagoda in Ho-Chi-Minh City since it dates back to 1744; however, it was rebuilt in the early 1900s) and the Mariamman Temple (Tamil Temple).

Ho-Chi-Minh City has several large markets. Ben Thanh Market (located in the city center and frequented for this reason by foreign tourists) and Binh Tay Market (which is located in Cholon) are the two emblematic markets of the city. Ben Thanh Market is the largest covered market in Ho-Chi Minh City. It is also an important public transport hub in the city. 

More than the aforementioned sites and places, the bustling activity of the city at all hours will impress foreign tourists. The abundance of motorcycles in the streets and boulevards of the city remain in the memory of all visitors.

How to get there. Vietnam has implemented an electronic visa system. 

Tan Son Nhat International Airport, which serves Ho-Chi Minh City, is the busiest airport in the country. It is connected by direct flights to several European cities, such as Paris, London, Frankfurt or Moscow, as well as to many cities in Asia, Australia and the Middle East. Foreign travelers can also travel to Saïgon after a stopover in Bangkok international airport or easily combine a trip to Vietnam with a stay in Cambodia or Laos.

In the north of the country, Hanoi International Airport is also connected by direct flights to a large number of Asian and other cities, including Paris, London and Moscow in Europe and Sydney in Australia.

Given the size of the Vietnamese territory, several other Vietnamese cities have an airport that has flights from/to Hanoi, Ho-Chi-Minh City and, for some of them, to a few foreign cities. 

The author of the pictures. The above pictures belong to Willgoto.

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Ho Chi Minh City is a major tourist destination in Vietnam. It is home to numerous and varied tourist attractions. Here are some pictures of them.