|TRAVEL| Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Jona Shares

|TRAVEL| Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


It's my second time to visit Saigon and I am amazed how it improve. The people are now much more entertaining compared before.

Sharing this quote as it indeed applies to every place that we tend to visit/revisit:

"You can visit the same place over and over again and see it differently each time"

We arrived early in the morning so we managed to sleep for some hours before starting our city tour.

We ate breakfast first then we met our guide in our hotel, before we started off our motorbike city tour, we had a quick briefing about the do's and don'ts while riding the motorbike.

After that, we immediately ride and to start it, we went first at the burning Monk, Thich Quang Duc. We were able to learn about the story while roaming around the place.

Thich Quang Duc Monument


Thich Quang Duc Monument

Thích Quảng Đức was a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy Saigon road intersection on 11 June 1963. Quảng Đức was protesting the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government led by Ngô Đình Diệm.


Thich Quang Duc Monument, the Burning Monk

There are beautiful lotus flowers that are blooming in front so we took advantage of capturing its beauty as well. 

Our next stop is the local Vietnamese Coffee Shop in Saigon, it is also where you can try the Broken Rice. See and experience going down the secret arsenal during the Vietnam War too.


Secret arsenal during the Vietnam War

War Remnants Museum


War Remnants Museum

Next stop is to visit at War Remnants Museum. Here, we explore the place and of course did some picture takings. 

The museum has a vast array of artifacts and photographs which documents the second Indochina war. 

Make sure that you are ready to see some of not so good outcome of the war. Results of the war was really devastating. Couldn't imagine that it did happen. How hard it was for the Vietnamese people during that time, I couldn't bear the results of the Agent orange especially to children who were affected by this. 

The jail, on how they were being treated. It seems that life is so hard during that time.

Afterwards, we went to visit the Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Central Post Office.

Notre Dame Cathedral

This cathedral located in the downtown area of Ho Chi Minh City is currently closed to the public, but is still one of the most popular spots for an iconic Instagram shot from the outside.
Materials were imported exclusively from France to build this cathedral, modeled to look like the Notre Dame in Paris. It was completed in the late 19th century. Standing out front is a statue of the Virgin Mary that became a sensation in 2005, when eyewitnesses claimed to have seen tears being shed from her eyes.

Central Post Office

The Central Post Office is located right next to the Notre Dame Cathedral and this too was constructed in the late 19th century. The name of the architect is Gustave Eiffel. The post office looks like a giant railway station and it is one of the finest examples of classical French colonial architecture. 

It still functions today, so make sure to send some postcards back home to make your loved ones jealous of your adventures. Unluckily it is closed during the time we visited.

We just passed through the Opera House since it is also closed during that time. 

The Opera House

The Saigon Opera House is another fine example of exquisite colonial architecture. The structure looks especially beautiful at night when the floodlights come on.

Reunification Palace

It is a beautifully preserved building that was once home to the President of the Republic of Vietnam. We just drop by and opt not to enter to save for the entrance fee and save our time as well.

We proceed next to the Jade Emperor Pagoda, an ancient temple built in the Chinese mode replete with bright decorative motifs.

Since it was a holiday during our visit, there are a lot of locals and tourist praying at the pagoda. Wishing for good fortune and good health for the rest of the year.

Independence Palace

This stunning building has been converted into a museum that perfectly captures the troubled recent history of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in particular. Visit the bunkers, the ornate state receptions rooms and see tanks and helicopters up close.

The City Hall

The City Hall is an architectural masterpiece completed in 1908 and still functions as a government office, so you cannot go inside. Yet you can appreciate the beauty of the structure from the outside as it looms at the north end of the pedestrian street, Nguyen Hue. The cream and yellow structure gets lit up with floodlights come nighttime and is a spectacular sight.

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market, Vietnam
Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Definitely this market it is one of the perfect place where you can see their local life. During our first day, it is closed and good thing it is only few minutes from our hotel, we can easily go here. You would see many people come and go, the normal daily market scenarios. At night, there are street vendors too. You would see variety of tea and coffee for sale, souvenirs, foods, etc. Here, you can practice your haggling skills while shopping for souvenirs.

Ben Thanh Market is the most famous of all markets in Vietnam, and it is also one of the oldest. It has witnessed all the events that the city has gone through. It serves as a historical site, famous landmark and a nice background for beautiful pictures especially for tourists. Unluckily, there is a nearby construction during our visit.

Nguyen Hue

Nguyen Hue is in the vicinity of other popular sites of Ho Chi Minh City, such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, City Hall and Opera House. This is a pedestrian street that is lively every day. 

Cafe Apartment

The cafe apartment at No.42 certainly stands out as one of the most visited among the many interesting architectural sights on Nguyen Hue. 

There is staircase that will take you to every floor of the building or you can choose to can pay a fee of 3,000 VND in order to use the elevator. This is already for going up and down.

Bitexco Tower, Saigon Sky Deck and Heineken Tour

This is the perfect spot to come and get a bird’s eye view of the city.  We intend to visit the other tower, the tallest one but it is farther that the Bitexco tower plus we want to experience the Heineken tour as well.
The observation deck of the Bitexco Tower, the building will give you a bird’s eye view of the city’s hustle and bustle from fifty-two (52) floors above.

I made a short video of our experience: 

Bui Vien Street

By day this seems like a normal street, but at night it’s wedged full of 1000s of tourists spilling out of bars. Add in street hawkers, insanely loud music and you have one of the most intense streets you’ll ever come across.
Bui Vien is the popular backpacker street and party central of Ho Chi Minh City, similar to Khao San Road of Bangkok, Thailand. Neon lights, sidewalk bars, people dancing in the street. Indeed a lively place to see during the night.

We only have a few days so this is the only place that we were able to visit. It's my second time but definitely not the last! I hope I could explore more of Saigon's hidden gems and it's provinces too in the coming months...

Modes of transportation in Ho Chi Minh City:

In Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, motorbike or the so called scooter is the most commonly used means of transportation. This is what we used during our stay to be able to experience much more of a local, to save time and of course to save money.

Taxis are also available there. We booked on a private transfer since we are four. We used their service to pick us up and drop us off to the airport.

Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City:

We stayed in Akoya Central Hotel which is located few minutes away from Ben Thahn Market. Very accessible to some tourist destinations.

Its a newly built hotel last 2019 so everything is almost new, however there are no window views here. Also, the other amenities are buffet breakfast and complimentary water, beer, soda which can be replenished. They also have two massage chairs that you can use to relax.

I hope this would be a helpful travel guide to those who are planning to visit Saigon. Happy Travels! You can share your experiences in comments too!


  1. Oh wow, what an amazing place to stay. I need to get to Vietnam one day. I've always wanted to go. I know I'd love that market.

  2. You have me sold! These pictures are great and make me hungry to want to travel. And, a neighbor was just talking about retiring to Vietnam as the costs are so low!

  3. This looks like quite an adventure for sure! I wish I could just snap my fingers and be teleported right now!

  4. wow this is amazing- i may need to book a place myself bc this seems like such a gorgeous location to visit.

  5. Your photos are so amazing! They really paint an awesome picture of Vietnam. I'd really like to go there some day!

  6. This looks like such a beautiful place to visit. I love the idea of being able to travel somewhere like this!

  7. I've always known that Vietnam is a beautiful place to visit. I just have to ask my friend to take me along when next she goes home to Vietnam. There's nothing like a local's guide to an area.

  8. Looks like a great place to explore. I'd love to see the Notre Dame Cathedral up close. I bet it looks amazing.


  9. Vietnam is definitely one of my most favorite destinations. There is so much to see and do right over there. That looks like a pretty nice itinerary.

  10. I have heard so much about Vietnam but have yet to visit. I would love to see it all in person, it looks beautiful.

  11. Wow, that looks like such an amazing place. I bet it would be great to be able to see that. I definitely would love to go there someday.

  12. This looks like a great place to visit. I'd love to be able to go here at least once.

  13. One of the countries I'd love to explore and travel to is Vietnam. I've heard so much about it and it seems like a great place to spend your vacation. Love these suggestions, will definitely take note of them all.

  14. Loved this reading this post. We've been to Saigon twice as well and each time we discover new aspects of the diverse city. The War & Remnants museum continues to be one of the highlights of my visit!!

  15. Vietnam is on my bucket list. My niece is there right now and I've been living vicariously through her instagram posts. It's so beautiful.

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