Ho Chi Minh City was indeed an experience of a lifetime for me!
Honestly, i was a little apprehensive whether or not to fly-off to HCMC until the very last minute, in fact, it was less than a week when i bought my air tickets and book my accommodation. But all in all, i thought this was indeed a very fulfilling trip that i made thus far.
*PS like i’ve mentioned in my previous post to Bangkok, this is gonna be a very Very VERy VERY long post with pictures and contents that you may be
bored reading or looking at, so if you’re out shopping or waiting for your girl/boyfriend, wait till you’re home to read it! haha!
In this post, i will be writing about some of the must visit places and things to look out for!
Packed with our travel suitcase and Billions of DONGS, we were out to HCMC, the place where many seek their fortune, a place that even Keppel laid their foot on. In HCMC, you never feel like you’re out in an outskirt with little or no choices for food or accommodation.
My recommendations: Make friends with a few Vietnamese locals and ask them to settle your accommodations and travel trips for you.
Well… in case you don’t know, what you see on a website for their travel promotions, day trips, or even accommodations are much higher than it really is. An example would be, if you were to purchase a half-day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnel, it’ll cost you approximately USD35 on an online promotion, but if you were to get a local to purchase for you the tickets, it’ll be at least a quarter of the price. I’m not saying how much i got it for because it’ll only spoil the market, but for the fellow TDMers who follows my blog closely, here’s a little money-saving tip for you:)
Enough said, i reckon you would prefer looking at photos, but just give me a little more to explain some of the places to vista in HCMC… Some that i thought would really worth your money.
I’ve compliled a few must-visit places in HCMC, thought there aren’t much, but i thought you would love to visit these places because they’re really value-for-money and worth an experience.
Cu Chi Tunnel
The tunnels were dug with simple tools and bare hands during the French occupation in the 1940s, and further expanded during the Vietnam War in the 1960s to provide refuge and a defensive advantage over the American soldiers. Despite all the bombings in their town, the Cu Chi people were able to continue their lives beneath the soil, where they slept, ate, planned attacks, healed their sick, and taught their young. Some even wed and gave birth underground, but over 10,000 lost their lives here.
*Definitely not a place for people who are claustrophobic and have breathing difficulties, nevertheless, you can still choose to go, but not travel the 250m long tunnel – which we did!
In fact, for the tourists like us who wanna visit the place, they have already widen the space by another 20-30% from the original width and height, but i really did suffer the whole 250m long tunnel that we walked through! I was literally wet after i came out from the tunnel… i wonder how the Vietnamese survived there…
Also, for the aspiring sharpshooters, you can experience shooting the AK47 which Michelle did for just 350,000 Vietnamese Dong (USD 16.45) for 10 rounds – cheap!
Notre Dame Cathedral & Saigon Central Post Office
If you’re planning to go to either one, why not just visit the both of them because they’re just side-by-side!
Peaceful and somber, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City is an easy place to escape the maniacal buzz of motorbikes for a few minutes. Constructed by the French in the 1800s, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City appears strangely out of place with its Gothic and Roman-style architecture. Twin towers reaching to 190 feet capture the interest of people strolling by.
No matter your religious preference, one can’t help but think of how many prayers for peace, victory, and survival were offered inside the cathedral throughout Vietnam’s war-ravaged past.
Next to Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral sits the Saigon Central Post Office. Like the cathedral, located right in the heart of the city, the Central Post Office has long become a prominent feature of the Ho Chi Minh City (old Saigon). Visiting the Post Office building, you will easily find that its architect is very the same as the European railway stations. The modern skylight of this grand old structure resembles the famous European buildings like Paris’ Les Halles or Milan’s Galleria of the late nineteenth century. The central pavilion, with a huge clock and symmetrical extensions on both sides, add to its beauty.
Saigon Opera House & The A O Show
Founded in 1994, the Saigon Opera House hosts one of the cities premiere entertainment companies called the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera, which was formerly known as the Ho Chi Minh City Symphony and Chamber Orchestra. Today, it hosts the A O show, a local production that was founded on the basis of the Vietnamese cultures and tradition. With the complements of circus stunts with locally-made baskets, you’ll be fascinated by what the performers could do with a no-script, no-climax and no-sequence 60minutes performance!
*Thankfully we got to know the Managing Director of the A O Show and we happen to get the VIP seats! Oh yeah! Miss Small Girl also happen to find a promo on Facebook which we managed to get the tickets fro only half the price!! Happy:)
Reunification Palace (or also called Independence Palace)
If you’re in for a little history of HCMC and how it became re-united after the Vietnam War, head down to the Reunification palace, join their FREE guided tour. *Do you believe that one of their Acting President only stayed in the palace for less than 48 hours before he surrendered to the North? Guess who? Visit the place to find out!
Keep a lookout for my next post that will be coming up in the middles of next week, i’ll be sharing some of the must-visit places to have your meals and drinks!!
Meanwhile, enjoy the month of August!
To my dearest Singaporean, Happy National Day & to the Muslim friends all over the World, Selamat Hari Raya!