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Ho Chi Minh City stands out as Vietnam's premiere commercial metropolitan and is without a doubt the embodiment of big city life in the country. As such, its major attractions include massive markets in the city's Chinese district, the famous nightlife of District One, various museums, French colonial buildings and older remnants of past emperors.

As with Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City offers a blend of traditional, colonial and modern sites. War museums and history museums tell of the recent American invasion and earlier conflicts with European powers, while the Reunification Palace celebrates Vietnam as a nation.

Hidden within this hectic metropolis are temples, secluded gardens and cloisters that offer a brief reprieve from the whirr of activity. Rural Vietnam is also never too far away, so it's easy to leave the city for some fresh air among rice paddies, to visit a small village or retreat to a tiny temple in the surrounding country before plunging into the city once more.

The frantic construction of modern skyscrapers and office blocks is apparent everywhere you go, and the Saigon Skydeck Tower with its 360° viewing deck is the perfect lens through which to view this sprawling city in its entirety. It is this mixture of youthful flair, old-world charm and the ease of escaping to the tranquillity of rural life that makes this destination so unique as a meeting place of history and modernity.

War Remnants Museum

War Remnants Museum

The disturbing War Remnants Museum highlights the horrors of modern combat, and especially portrays the suffering inflicted on the Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War. Its former name, the Museum of American War Crimes, was altered so as not to cause offence to American...  see full details



Binh Tay Market

Cholon

Cholon, the Chinese district of Saigon, is comprised of a dense network of vibrant streets and alleyways. It was first settled by the Chinese Hoa merchants at the end of the 18th century, and is now the home of Vietnam's biggest ethnic minority...  see full details



Pham Lu Ngu

Pham Ngu Lao

This area of Saigon, located in District One, is known as South Vietrnam's backpacker district. Stretching along the streets of De Tham, Pham Ngu Lau and Bui Vien, Pham Ngu Lao is often compared to the more famous Khao San road of Bangkok,...  see full details



Ben Tanh Market

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market, in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1, is one of the cities best known landmarks. It is often crowded, hot and frantic, but it's a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded goods and souvenirs. In fact, almost anything. There...  see full details



Dam Sen Water Park

Dam Sen Water Park

The best way to cool off in the hot dusty city is the Dam Sen Water Park. The water park is set within three hectares of Vietnamese gardens and is the centre of a larger theme park complex. Among all the rides there...  see full details