If you are planning to celebrate the end of the pandemic with a holiday in Vietnam, you simply must include at least a few days in Saigon, which is the largest city that is situated in the south of the country. Of course, you will be spending some time at one of the premier beach resorts and when in Saigon, here are a few must-see places to add to your list.
- The War Remnants Museum – The 30-year war with America took its toll on both sides and while the locals might not wish to talk about the conflict, you can visit the War Remnants Museum, where you can see amazing exhibits that demonstrate the sacrifices the local Vietnamese people made to rid the country of the foreign army. Like it or not, the war is a big part of their history and a visit to this museum will certainly enlighten you regarding the conflict. Staying in a boutique hotel in Saigon is the best accommodation, as prices are reasonable.
- Cu Chi Tunnels – These complex networks of underground tunnels enabled the Vietcong to wage an effective war against the enemy. Located about 70km north of Saigon, the Cu Chi tunnels offer a valuable insight into how the war was fought on the local front. As the evening arrived, the soldiers would dismantle field guns stored underground, set them up, fore at the US bases all night long, then dismantle and hide them in the tunnels before sunrise.
- Jade Emperor Pagoda – This was built in 1909 by Chinese immigrants and the Taoist temple is a splendid structure and one you should visit. Open daily from 08:00 to 17:00, the aroma of Buddhist incense sticks hangs heavy in the air, as many Buddhists choose to worship at the famous temple.
- Reunification Palace – This was the scene of many important events and a lot has happened since the North Vietnam tanks came crashing through the gates in 1975. When you visit, you can experience the war command centre, where the generals planned their strategies. The state rooms are amazing and this building is still used to host APEC summits. The architecture is French colonial, as France colonised the country for many years, and the original décor is preserved where possible.
- Mariamamm Hindu Temple – This is a classic example of the colourful Hindu temples and must be seen to be really appreciated. Open daily from 7am to 7pm, you can visit, just remember to dress politely and leave your shoes outside.
Saigon is an amazing city and there is much to see and do for the visitor.