Bến Thành Market
The grand market in Saigon where you can buy everything from handicrafts, branded goods, and other souvenirs. There is a lively atmosphere of locals and tourists and a great opportunity for you to try out your bargain talent.
In the north section, you will find a food course, so if breakfast wasn’t included with your hotel, it’s an authentic place to try out local specialties such as Phở Bò or Bún Chay.
The market is surrounded by hotels in all prices, so it’s a good place for you to start your day in Saigon.
Hours: 7.00 – 19.00 (7am – 7pm)
Chợ Bến Thành, Đường Lê Lợi, Quận 1, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1
War Remnants Museum
This museum is a must-see if you want to explore the horror of The Vietnam War. Outside the museum, you’ll find full-sized ground and air machinery used during the war at the display. Inside are various interesting exhibitions spread across different floors.
First-floor displays war protesters from across the world, showing what a global impact it had. You might find images from your country.
The exhibition displaying the use and consequences of agent orange is not for the faint-hearted, but I do recommend to spend time here. If this is not for you, it’s not necessary to visit this part of the museum.
Hours: 7.30 – 16.30 (7.30am – 4.30pm)
War Remnants Museum (Bảo tàng Chứng tích Chiến tranh), Phường 6, District 3
Water Puppet Theater
This 900-year-old traditional show is a collection of several short Vietnamese fairy tales. You will experience both traditional music and folklore. Since the show is in Vietnamese the chances are few that you understand the few dialogs. However, you will be given a leaflet and the show is intended for visitors. Humor is very visual in Vietnam.
Unlike other traditional theaters from across the world, the Vietnamese are world-famous for being performed in water. The puppeteers are hidden behind the setting, almost like the puppets are walking on water. There are musicians accompanying the show with traditional instruments.
Effects such as smoke and fireworks will ensure you enjoy this spectacular show.
Show starts at 17.00 a and 18.30 (5pm, 6.30pm) with prices starting from 365.00 VND ($15)
The 1 km long boulevard stretching from the city hall, People’s Committee, to the river is full of outdoor family activities after sunset. It’s a good spot for a walk or sitting on a bench, watching how the locals hang out.
Around this area, you will find many pub-like bars, nightclubs but also relaxing restaurants with a view over the walking street.
If you have been to Phnom Penh, this street can be compared to the riverside there.
A friendly atmosphere of mostly younger crowds enjoying beers on the streets, cars, and motorbikes trying to navigate through the mass and any kind of things for sale.
The party area of Saigon, Bui Vien offers everything from outdoor restaurants to glowing nightclubs. Unlike Nguyễn Huệ, the streets around Bui Vien is for the party-minded. The outer streets will be quieter in case you need a break from the crowds.
It’s important to remember this is an area where you should be careful with your belongings, and not too brave to take narrow shortcuts.
Your Map Guide
I have combined all points of interests in a map, so you can use it as your guide to navigate around.