The whirlwind formally known as Saigon is a hot, noisy, dynamic city that rarely sleeps, with a complex history and plenty of culture to soak up. Here are 10 ways to make the most of a visit, according to The Independent:
Hit the spa: Ho Chi Minh City is awash with spas, offering the chance to relax and unwind far from the madding crowd while still being slap bang in the city centre.
Get haggling: The biggest and best of Ho Chi Minh City’s markets is Ben Thanh. Head over there to grab cheap street food and pick up a range of souvenirs.
Head underground: An excursion to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels makes for an eye-opening afternoon. Used by the Vietnamese during the war with America, these immense networks of underground tunnels enabled whole villages to stay safe, plus meant Vietnamese guerrilla fighters could take the enemy by surprise.
Take in a show: Enter into a magical world of wooden puppets diving and splashing across a water stage at the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre.
Go for a scoot: Ho Chi Minh City is a city of mopeds – they’re everywhere. And one of the most enjoyable experiences is hopping onto one, which is by far the best way to see the city.
Change your caffeine fix: If there’s one thing the Vietnamese have indisputably nailed, it’s coffee. You can pick up a Vietnamese coffee – white or black, hot or cold – in pretty much every Ho Chi Minh City restaurant or café.
Buff up on your history: A visit to the War Remnants Museum is a sobering experience – but an important one. Containing exhibits relating to the Vietnam War and the first Indochina War with the French colonialists, it features photographs, military vehicles, and various weapons.
Eat with locals: Com Nieu Sai Gon in District 3 dishes up a range of great-value Vietnamese dishes.
Get high: For unrivalled views of the city, head to Bitexco Financial Tower, otherwise known as the Saigon Skydeck in District 1. Opt to enjoy the 360 degree views at 230m from the bar on the 50th floor – it’s free, and you can grab a drink for roughly the same price as entry to the Skydeck.
Experience a touch of Paris: Perhaps the most stand-out of the many traces left by French colonialists in the 1880s is the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral.