Ho Chi Minh City Video Travel Guides


A taste of Vietnam - enjoy the food and explore one of Asia's fastest developing cities. Visit the city during the Tet festival when it is covered in flowers and garlands. Discover its French Colonial past. Go further a field and take a trip along the Saigon River and investigate the narrow Cu Chi Tunnels.

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Tet Festival

THe Tet festival marks the start of lunar new year.

Tet Festival

Tet Festival

New Year festival – or Festival of the First Day – marks the lunar new year. This spring festival celebrated in end January – February – depending on the lunar cycle, is a celebration of rebirth and renewal.
The time is used to give thanks and pay homage to ones ancestors.

People clean family tombs, visit temples, light candles, make offerings to the Jade Emperor. It is a time of family celebrations, where family members come together and celebrate over spectacular meals. During the festival – businesses, schools and public services close – many take a week long break.

Further Reading on Wikipedia : T& 7871;t

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French Architecture

French influence is still prevalent in the city, particularily in District 1.

French Architecture

French Architecture

Some fine examples of French Colonial Architecture

The following fine examples of French Architecture shouldn’t be missed.

The Municipal Theatre
a neoclassical design, built in 1899. A wide staircase leads up to the entrance which is flanked by two huge columns shaped like Greco Roman goddesses.

City Hall – formerly Hotel de Ville - opened in 1908– now the home of the Peoples Committee of HCM city. It is not open to the public. It is modelled on the city hall in Paris – with two wings and a clock tower. A good viewing point is from the small park in front of the building – here there is a statue of Ho Chi Minh cradling a baby – a symbol of his love for all the people of Vietnam. The park has some beautiful flowering trees

Built during the time of French Rule 1896. A number of famous authors have stayed in the hotel – Graham Greene – who included the hotel in his novel the Quiet American, Somerset Maugham was also a guest.

HCMC General Post Office

French Architecture

The Post Office is arguably the most attractive building in the city – built in 1890. The interior is vaulted and supported by wrought iron pillars.

The Post Office is beside the Cathedral Notre Dame - the largest church in the city. Gustave Eiffel designed the post office - keeping its style in tune with the surrounding area. Portraits on the walls commemorated Ho Chi Minh.

Notre Dame Catherdal ( 1883 ) Situated close to the General Post Office, the cathedral is the largest built in the French Colonies. The faηade is made of red tiles imported form Marseilles France. The original stain glass windows were destroyed in

District 1 HCMC

French Architecture

Downtown HCM city during Lunar New Year

HCM city is the largest in Vietnam and is the countries commercial centre. District 1 – is the most frequented tourist area. This area – concentrated around Dong Khai Street - has fashionable shops, sidewalk cafes, theatre, museums and some fine examples of French colonial architecture

HCMC downtown

French Architecture

Wander about the city, with its mix of French Colonial styles, markets, small traders stalls and work shops all interspesed with the devlopment of modern office blocks.

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Saigon

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Saigon River

The river flows through the centre of the city and is the starting point for trips on tghe Delta

Saigon River

Saigon River

Explore the Saigon River or take a trip deep into the Delta

The population of Vietnam is approx. 85 million and growing rapidly.

The ethnic Viet of Mongolian origin makes up over 80% of the population.

There are approx. 50 other ethnic groups within the country, of which the ethnic Chinese and Khmer are the largest.

Mekong Delta

Saigon River

Flying over the Mekong Delta is a reasonable way to appreciate it's vastness, the delta region, south west of HCM city covers an area of 39,000 KM.

The water levels and the level of flooding depends on the time of year and the season.

The Mekong on its approach to the sea slits into numerous rivers and tributaries forming the delta.

Explore the Mekong Delta

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Mekong delta

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Explore the city on foot.

The central part of the city is easy to explore on foot - though tuk tuk or tricycle trips are worth the bumpy rides.

Jade Emperor Pagoda

Explore the city on foot.

Explore the temples of HCM city - delve into the past as you discover this ancient culture

A very ornate pagoda, built by the Cantonese in 1909.

The roof of the Pagoda is a delicate work of art.

The interior is the home to many brightly coloured images of Buddhist and Taoist divinities.

In the women's room, there are two rows of six female figurines, draped in colourful robes. Each woman represents a lunar year.

The tortoise shelter is a sanctuary to tortoises and turtles which are left by visitors.

They are considered symbols of good luck and fortune.

Ben Thanh Market

Explore the city on foot.

The market houses several hundred stalls providing a huge range of products, ranging from fresh food, leather goods, dry goods, tea, coffee, clothing and wet goods such as fish and meat.

The market is where many locals buy their supplies - both wet and dry.

The currency is the Dong or VD

There are thousands of Dongs to the Euro - a good rule of thumb is that 5 euros is approx. 100,000 Dong.

On the Streets

Explore the city on foot.

Enjoy a stroll about District 1 - visit the market, head down to the river, visit the temples or simply enjoy the splendour of the French Architecture.

Bikes on the Streets

Explore the city on foot.

Bikes , bikes and more bikes - both motorised and pedal varieties. Traffic ignore traffic signals. So when a light turns red, the stream of bikes continue to flow through the junction, until the other road users push their way through the stream. Driving a car can be a nightmare unless you know the system and protocols.

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Jade Emperor Pagoda

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Cu Chi tunnels

Visit the town of Cu Chi about 40km from HCM city and explore its warren of tunnels left from the Vietnam War.

Cu Chi tunnels

Cu Chi tunnels

The town of Cu Chi lies about 40km NW of HCM city.

While it is primarily visit as part of a tour to the tunnels from the Vietnam War, the town has a number of attractions including rifle ranges and Pagodas.

The tunnels which are close by were used extensively throughout the war and in particularly were the base for the Tet Offensive in 1968.

The tunnels housed hospitals, food supplies and weapon stores.

The tunnels are very narrow though they have been widened in places to assist the many tourists who visit.

The chambers deep below ground have been restored to how they looked during the war.

Tunnel Traps

Cu Chi tunnels

The tunnels stretch in a maze for about 75 km under the village at Ben Dinh and towards Cu Chi.

Some lighting has been added to the tunnels to make them more manageable for tourists.

As part of the tour you will see a selection of man traps lined with bamboo and iron stakes, which penetrate the unwary who fell or stumbled into the traps.

While the tunnels were used extensively during the war they have been in use for centuries, during which the tunnel complex continued to be developed by local people using nothing more than small shovels.

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Cu Chi tunnels

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Copyright Trav Vid Mar 22 2018

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