We had one day in Ho Chi Minh & the touts were keen to sell us a tour. Instead I Googled ‘walking tours’ & armed with a map, we set off on our own adventure!
A note before we start!
Traffic in Ho Chi Minh is manic, like Bankok & Phnom Penh but the roads are wider, so there is more of it. To familiarise yourselves, here a clip from YouTube I think you’ll have enough after 2mins rather than the full 6mins the clip provides).
However, if you remember the following ‘rules’ a walking tour is great!
1) Traffic will NEVER give way for pedestrians
2) A one way street does not mean one way
3) Pavements are for motorcyclists NOT pedestrians
4) Even though the lights are red (or the green man is walking) do not expect traffic to stop
5) Look left, look right then look left again … Then close your eyes & go for it! 😉
So now, on with the walking tour. Most of the sights appear to be in District 1 which was where we were staying.
It was the home for the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was the site (at the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975) when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through the gates.
Siagon Opera House
Built in 1897 by French architect Eugène Ferret as the Opėra de Saigon; it has 800 seats.
The building was used as the home of the Lower House assembly of South Vietnam after 1956. It was not used again as a theatre until 1975. It was restored in 1995.
People’s Committee Hall
The building was built in 1898 & opened as a hotel in 1909 (Hôtel de Ville). It was designed by Gardes, a famous French architect.
It is one of the oldest and most beautiful French style buildings in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ben Thanh Market
The market is one of the earliest surviving structures in Saigon. Today it is stacked with tourist gifts, t shirts & local handicrafts,
Tao Dan Park
At the end of our walk we needed a rest & the shade of the park was welcome. It was being prepared with decorations for Tet (Vietnamese New Year) on our visit.