As Vietnam's former capital city, Ho Chi Minh hosts 11 most significant activities in Vietnam. Discover these amazing activities around Ho Chi Minh City Hotels!
If you plan to travel to Vietnam, you really can’t miss Ho Chi Minh City, lor. This city, formerly known as Saigon and the old capital city of Vietnam, plays a major role in shaping Vietnam’s culture. Because of that, there are many exciting activities to do and ancient landmarks to visit in Ho Chi Minh. And if you plan to travel here, it’s recommended to stay at Ho Chi Minh City hotels for more than 3 days.
Why do you need more than 3 days-stay in Ho Chi Minh? Because there are 11 exciting things to do in this hectic-yet-gorgeous city. Here are those amazing things you should do:
1. Travel through Chu Chi Tunnels
Do you dare to enter a very deep and historical tunnel? If you do, then you should visit Chu Chi Tunnels, a 1 hour 13 minute-drive (46.7km) drive away from many Ho Chi Minh City hotels. Here, you have the opportunity to explore over 120 kilometres worth of tunnels, and trace the routes of former Viet Cong soldiers during the Cold War. Additionally, military rations are also available to be sampled for those who are curious about how the soldiers satiated their hunger.
Address: Tỉnh lộ 15, Phú Hiệp, Phú Mỹ Hưng, Củ Chi, Ho Chi Minh City
2. Have a motorcycle tour around Ho Chi Minh City
Despite being the busiest city in Vietnam, you can still book a motorcycle and have a tour around Ho Chi Minh City. Cholon, Saigon Opera House, and many Buddhist pagodas and temples are several key landmarks you can visit with a bike. But if you don’t like touring alone, you can join “Saigon City Sights and China Town by Back of the Bike Tour.” This tour package costs you S$67, including stays at Ho Chi Minh City hotels, lunch, drinks, and tour guide.
Address: 3189 Pham The Hien Street, District 8, Ho Chi Minh City
3. Take a cruise to Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta Day Cruise is a staple activity among tourists who wish to enjoy an eight-hour journey across the Mekong Delta. In the boat, you’ll witness Ho Chi Minh’s traditional cultures such as colonial buildings, riverside markets, pagodas, and ancient villages.
The journey, including a romantic Vietnamese breakfast and lunch, Ho Chi Minh City hotels transfer, and workshops entrance fees will cost you S$149. That’s a very sensible price for a full immersion tour experience you can’t experience anywhere else in Vietnam. To put it simply, you can't miss out visiting the Mekong Delta!
Address: Vuon Kieng Pier, Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
4. Study Vietnamese cuisines through local cooking classes
One of the best things about Vietnam is its extremely delicious street food, particularly pho, banh xeo, and goi cuon. To enhance your culinary experience, you can join local cooking classes scattered around many Ho Chi Minh City hotels.
One of the most recommended classes is Saigon Cooking Class by Hoa Tuc Restaurant. Here, you can learn how to make authentic Vietnamese cuisine using local and fresh ingredients. Then, you can savour the homemade dishes with pride and joy, unlike any other Vietnamese cuisine outside of Vietnam. All those excitement costs you S$57, still a bang for the buck considering the learning experience and skills you get.
Address: 74/7 Hai Ba Trung, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
5. Watch the authentic cultural A O Show
Saigon Opera House features a plethora of marvellous Vietnamese cultural shows, including A O Show by Lune Production. It features professional acrobatic talents and mesmerising optical illusions by Cirque du Soleil of Vietnam, a group of local professional artists. The live show tells the tale of Vietnam’s cultural transformation decades by decades, using domestic tools like ropes, bamboo canes, and woven baskets.
However, the fun doesn’t stop there. Outside, you can explore the magnificent French-designed Saigon Opera House building. While you’re at it, local musicians and dancers will accompany your stay in the building. Overall, the experience and enjoyment of watching the show will be a unique experience.
Address: Saigon Opera House, 7 Cong Truong Lam Son, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
6. Witness the unique Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre
If you prefer a more traditional cultural show, then the Vietnamese water puppet show might be your cup of tea. The Golden Dragon Water Puppetry Theatre is where you want to be, very close to several Ho Chi Minh City hotels. Here, you’ll be entertained by adorable dancing puppets on a stage full of water, accompanied by traditional Vietnamese music.
Address: 55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
7. Enjoy Vietnamese Authentic Cultural Show
For a wholesome cultural experience, you must visit The Touch of Masters’ Hands, located around many Ho Chi Minh City hotels. This authentic cultural show exhibits every part of Vietnamese culture, ranging from the history, music genres, instruments, to the cuisine. The best thing about the show is that the sound amplifiers can produce a loud and clear voice; it’s all authentic.
During the show, you’re served with many Vietnamese snacks and three premium types of Vietnamese tea. Then, after you enjoy eating the snacks and watch the show, you may learn how to play the traditional instruments.
Address: Phuong Bao Music Centre, 11 Bis Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
8. Have dinner in the middle of Saigon River
What could be more romantic than a dinner in the middle of the beautiful Saigon River? Many tour operators provide a cruise around Saigon River, either for private charters, full-day tours, group tours, or dinner cruises. The dining experience is simply marvellous as you savour the luxurious Vietnamese buffet cuisine with fire dancers accompanying you. All those experiences, in addition to the complimentary massage, cost you about S$37.
On a side note, cruising on Saigon River also gives you easy access to many obscured canals, Chu Chi Tunnels, and Mekong Delta. So, if you prefer a full-day tour, Saigon River is the best place to start.
Address: Saigon Port, 05 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City
9. Pay respect at Thien Hau Pagoda
Thien Hau Pagoda temple is just minutes away from a lot of Ho Chi Minh City hotels. From the outside, the building looks ancient and rather ordinary for a Buddhist temple. But once you’re inside, you’ll be surprised by the decoration and designs. There are sculpture reliefs on the ceiling that depict the old domestic lives and giant incense coils hanging from the same location.
The temple is built and dedicated to the Lady of the Sea, known as Thien Hau, hence the temple’s name. Knowing that you can’t help but think that the ancient and weathered atmosphere surrounding the temple might be intentional—and that is exactly what makes it even more charming than the other temples.
Address: Thiên Hậu Temple, 710 Nguyễn Trãi, phường 11, Quận 5, Hồ Chí Minh
10. Go shopping at Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market is like a two-sided coin. During the daytime, the indoor part of the market becomes full of life, with merchants selling merchandise and daily needs. Everything that Vietnamese people sell can be found in this market, and you can bargain the price. Ergo, if you love shopping, this will be your personal haven.
Then, when night time comes, the indoor market closes down, and the outdoor market opens. Here, the night market emphasises a more leisure experience for tourists as they sell street food, clothes, and souvenirs. And because it’s so close to a lot of Ho Chi Minh City hotels, you can easily enjoy a lively nightlife there.
Address: Lê Lợi, Bến Thành, Hồ Chí Minh
11. Savour the nightlife at Turtle Lake
Sure, Ben Thanh Market offers a decent and lively nightlife, but what if you prefer a more focused nightlife instead? Then, Turtle Lake is the place to be, located right in the middle of Saigon. Easily accessible from many Ho Chi Minh City hotels, you can find an old-school park with water and fountains scattered around it. In the middle of the fountains lies a large sculpture that looks like a strange tree.
During night time, you can enjoy a more private nightlife either with your friends or your loved one. And while you’re at it, you should try two amazing Vietnamese snacks: Banh trang tron and banh trang nuong.
Address: Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
But which Ho Chi Minh City hotels are the best?
Because Saigon attracts tons of tourists, there are many Ho Chi Minh City hotels to find, based on your budget and preferences. But since Ho Chi Minh seems to offer a more personal experience, you might want to enjoy travelling here with your loved one. And if that’s the case, then you need to stay at the best romantic Ho Chi Minh hotels. Here are the recommended hotels:
1. Villa Song Saigon
On the side of Saigon River lies the luxurious Villa Song Saigon with French Colonial architecture in mind. The ambience feels ethereal despite being in the middle of Saigon, packed with gorgeous sceneries and amazing facilities. You’ll also find a massive outdoor saltwater pool, spa, fitness centre, and a private shuttle service by a speed boat.
As for the room, there are four types of room: Imperial Suite, Deluxe Garden, Deluxe River View, and Art Suite River. The cheapest one costs you S$200, equipped with modern amenities and a bathtub or shower depending on your preference. Regardless of choice, this is one of the best Ho Chi Minh City hotels for a romantic trip.
Address: Nguyễn Văn Hưởng, Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City
Distance from Tan Son Nhat International Airport: Around 13km or 30 minutes drive
2. Eastin Grand Hotel Saigon
Everything about Eastin Grand Hotel screams luxurious and romance. The room is fitted with modern amenities, including a hairdryer, a minibar, and a safe. As for the facilities, you have Café Saigon, Cay Da Café, an outdoor pool, a fitness centre, and free airport shuttle. All those facilities make the S$123 price tag a bang for the buck. It’s clearly one of the best romantic Ho Chi Minh hotels.
Address: 253 Nguyễn Văn Trỗi, Phường 10, Phú Nhuận, Hồ Chí Minh
Distance from Tan Son Nhat International Airport: Around 4km or 10 minutes drive
3. The Reverie Saigon
It is arguably the most expensive hotel on this list, and one of the most expensive Ho Chi Minh City hotels. But for the price of S$332, you get to stay at a very dramatic and gorgeous hotel with luxurious services. Each room is equipped with a spa bathtub, shower, and modern amenities. Outside the room, there are spa & wellness centres, outdoor pools, bar, and a fitness centre.
All of those, topped with its strategic location in the middle of Saigon, makes it one of the best romantic Ho Chi Minh hotels around.
Address: 22-36 Nguyen Hue Boulevard, Ben Nghe Ward, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Distance from Tan Son Nhat International Airport: Around 8km or 30 minutes drive
Ho Chi Minh is a must-visit place in Vietnam, along with Hanoi. There are so many exciting things to do in Saigon, with many Ho Chi Minh City hotels ready to accommodate you. Plus, since this city seems to emphasise a more romantic trip, it’s also one of the best locations for couples. Therefore, if you plan to travel overseas soon, it’s time to make a trip plan to Ho Chi Minh.