Lying along the Saigon River near the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City was formerly known as Saigon and served as the capital of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Today, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city of the reunified country, offering plenty of reasons to visit, from its blend of historic and modern attractions to vibrant shopping, dining and nightlife.
Ho Chi Minh City is most commonly explored by motorbike taxis, but buses and car taxis are also plentiful. Sightseeing the city’s center awards elegant boulevards lined with French colonial architecture, beautiful churches, pagodas and prominent landmarks like the Reunification Palace, City Hall, the Opera House and Notre-Dame Cathedral. A number of museums exhibit war history and local culture.
The city’s business and entertainment district offer modern attractions like the Bitexco Financial Tower skyscraper and the Dai Nam Tourist Park, which features a man-made mountain range, zoo, temples, hotels, shops and restaurants. The Night Market and the Ben Thanh Market are lively places to buy food, handicrafts, souvenirs and experience local food and culture. Outside the city, jungle and river tours are available to see bamboo villages and floating temples.
From market stalls to street vendors, cafes, coffee shops and international restaurants, Ho Chi Minh City offers the largest variety of dining choices in Vietnam. Local cuisine consists of traditional dishes like Pho beef and chicken noodle soups and Com tam, a plate of rice, grilled pork and vegetables. Nightlife in Ho Chi Min City buzzes with a wide selection of bars, lounges, nightclubs and theaters.