What to do and what to visit in Ho Chi Minh City in 2 days?
- on Dec 11, 2019       By: BN
We will combine our suggestions of activities, according to your tastes, so you can have an unforgettable trip over 2 days in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, the most dynamic city in the country. From historical and contemporary museums, colonial vestiges, to shopping at the local market, or artistic shows... Everything is on the programme to make every moment of your 48 hours unique in the pearl of the Far East.
Saigon day 1: walk in the central district
Start your discovery of Saigon in district 1, its central district, by going to Ben Thanh, its most attractive market for a change of scenery with many stalls full of Asian flavours and smells. In one of its shops, offer yourself without hesitation a breakfast with a bowl of Pho followed by an iced coffee with milk, the famous beverage of the Saigonese. From Ben Thanh, you can easily reach the Museum of Fine Arts located on Pho Duc Chinh Street. Full of charm, this colonial building with beautiful antiques and contemporary collections is worth a visit of about an hour. With a trip both fun and educational, you can admire the works of copper or porcelain as well as illustrations of the revolutionary history of the Vietnamese people.
>> Read more: Two famous markets in Saigon
Iced coffee with milk, the famous drink of Saigonese people
Within a 10-minute walk, a bustling stop awaits you in Bitexco's dominant tower that offers panoramic views of the Saigon River. What a pleasure for the eyes and you can get some great pictures of a city in complete effervescence!
As for your stomach, go to Pasteur Street in the same area, full of restaurants, cafes and breweries for your choice. Whether it's a western-chic ambience or a typically traditional backdrop, or street-side kiosks, Saigon's delicacies are perfect for all tastes and budgets.
The Central Post Office, one of the most beautiful pieces of colonial architecture in Ho Chi Minh City
After a rest, enjoy a stroll in Le Duan Street for a tower of beautiful French architecture, its prestigious colonial heritage, located opposite the Cathedral of Notre Dame and the Central Post Office which are part of the symbols of the city. Then walk along the 30th of April park, a nice place that is sheltered from the hustle and bustle of activities, and you will have the opportunity to try many popular dishes from street cafes. If you feel the soul of a historian, stop by the nearby Reunification Palace to fill your curiosity with a turbulent time known by national history.
Relaxing on the terrace of Majestic
In the evening, get on a motorcycle, as a driver or passenger, to experience the nightlife of Saigon, it's a truly unique experience. For a gourmet visit or relaxation, it is an opportunity to discover the lifestyles of the city that shines in the light of both day and night and also to taste the delicious dishes that are considered kings on the streets. Otherwise, enjoy a cocktail while listening to some music in the Hotel Majestic, one of the oldest buildings in Saigon, infused with the charm of Indochina. It’s perfect for an evening out with friends and offers a nice view of the sparkling Saigon River.
Saigon day 2: exciting neighbourhood tour
If you ever want to change the atmosphere, head to district 5 to taste a Vietnamese dish in the Binh Tay market or Cho Lon market before strolling in the alleys of one of the oldest places in Saigon. You will find a wide range of traditional souvenir choices for your loved ones. Not far away, about half an hour in Lady Thien Hau pagoda reveals an ancient Chinese religious architecture dating from the 18th century that refereed many beautiful sculptures. Another highlight of Chinatown is the Phuoc An House, which, beautiful and colourful, is frequented by many pilgrims and visitors.
Lady Thien Hau Pagoda
For a second unforgettable lunch, go up Han Thuyen street in district 1 which offers you many irresistible culinary surprises.
Complete your knowledge of Vietnam's historic landmarks in the Saigon War Remnants Museum, headquartered in district 3. A sombre place that makes you think through the harrowing events of the atrocities of the war against the Americans between 1955 - 1957. A must-see museum in Ho Chi Minh City, it is better to visit without children because a lot of the images, themes and displays are incredibly graphic and descriptive.
Otherwise, we have an alternative that particularly interests those curious about traditional medicine in Vietnam. Then head to district 10 for the Fito Museum which, while rich in documentary resources, will also delight you with its relaxing and balmy medicinal plants.
The Ao dai Museum, the first of its kind in Vietnam
If you are passionate about the traditional Vietnamese tunic, it's the Ao dai Museum where you have to go to admire the impressive collections from the 17th century and onwards.
Before having a delicious dinner on Pasteur or Vo Van Kiet Street, treat yourself to an hour of immersion in an AO show that combines folk and contemporary performances of excellent quality at the Opera of the city. There are great artists that will make you dream through a breath-taking display of choreography that deploys 17 instruments. Charming and moving, these are the two keywords for an evening not to be missed once you’re in Saigon. Note that, given the importance of its audience, tickets for this service, despite much more expensive than those of state museums, need to be booked days in advance. But for sure, it's well worth it to close out a memorable two-day stopover in Ho Chi Minh City.