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World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > Vietnam > Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City Weather

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Local time Ho Chi Minh City

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Things to see in Ho Chi Minh City

Tourist Offices

Tourist Information Center

Address: District 1, 188 Phạm Ngũ Lão, Ho Chi Minh City, 710100
Telephone: +84 28 3920 3040
Opening times:

Daily 0800-2030.

Website: http://visithochiminhcity.vn/

The HCMC Visitor Information and Support Centre has plenty of leaflets for hotels, restaurants and individuals, plus helpful and informative staff.

Attractions

Saigon Skydeck

A recent attraction in the city is Saigon Skydeck, an observation platform on the Bitexco Financial Tower, which at a height of 262m (860ft), was the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City. That was until it was surpassed by Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower in 2011. Inspired by the shape of a lotus bud (the Vietnamese national flower), the glass and steel building symbolises the new Vietnam. The observation deck on the 49th floor offers stunning views of the city and Saigon River. Helpful information boards pinpoint landmarks around the city and the views at night are particularly romantic with all the lights of the city twinkling.

Address: District 1, 36 Ho Tung Mau, Ben Nghe Ward, Ho Chi Minh City,
Telephone: +84 28 3915 6156
Opening times:

Daily 0930-2130 (last entry 2045).

Website: http://www.saigonskydeck.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Chua Ngoc Hoang (Jade Emperor Pagoda)

The Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the most attractive pagodas in the city and was built in 1909 by the Cantonese community. Dedicated to various Chinese-Vietnamese divinities, in a mixture of Taoist and Buddhist styles, the pagoda houses numerous statues and delicate woodcarvings with intricate tiles on the roof. A statue of the Jade Emperor himself dominates the proceedings from his position on the pagoda’s main altar. The interior is full of the smells from incense spirals hanging down from the ceiling and the altars are richly decorated. There is a pleasant courtyard with a pond full of tortoises.

Address: District 1, 73 Mai Thi Luu Street, Ho Chi Minh City,
Telephone: +84 28 3820 3102.
Opening times:

Daily 0700-1800.

Website: http://daophatngaynay.com/
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Giac Lam Pagoda

Located 3km (2 miles) from Cholon, the Giac Lam Pagoda is a place of calm in this often hectic metropolis. Built in 1744 by Lý Thụy Long, it is believed to be the oldest pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City. The pagoda is surrounded by a tranquil walled garden and there is a seven-storey stupa storing relics of the Buddha. Families of the old and sick regularly go to the pagoda to pin supplications to the large bronze bell, in the belief that when it is rung, the messages will be sent to the heavens above. Time your visit right and you may find yourself witnessing the monks chanting. Remember to always dress respectfully with shoulders covered.

Address: Tan Binh District, 565 Lac Long Quan, Ho Chi Minh City,
Telephone: +84 28 3865 3933.
Opening times:

Daily 0600-1145 and 1315-1900.

Website: http://www.chuagiaclam.org
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Dinh Thong Nhat (Reunification Palace)

There’s a certain beauty in the simplicity of The Reunification Palace - a building designed in the 1960s with the help of Soviet architects. Most people will remember the image of a North Vietnamese tank crashing through the gates on 30 April 1975, signifying the fall of Saigon. Rooms open to the public remain exactly as they were in 1975, showing where important meetings were held during the war, as well as some of the private quarters of the president and his family. Most fascinating are a series of underground tunnels housing a telecommunications centre as well as a video about the history of the palace.

Address: District 1, 135 Nam Ky Khoi Ngia, Ho Chi Minh City,
Telephone: +84 28 3822 3652
Opening times:

Daily 0730-1100 and 1300-1600.

Website: http://www.dinhdoclap.gov.vn
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

War Remnants Museum

This is not a museum for the sensitive as it houses instruments of torture and hundreds of photographs of atrocities committed during the 20th century and, in particular, the Vietnam War. Visitors cannot fail to be moved as the exhibits provide a context for a period of history many only know from old newsreels and Hollywood movies, including the My Lai massacre. At the front of the museum is a small collection of military hardware including tanks and aircrafts and, most interestingly, the mobile guillotine used by the French colonists to dispense justice throughout the country before WWII.

Address: District 3, 28 Vo Van Tan, Ho Chi Minh City, 700000
Telephone: +84 28 3930 5587.
Opening times:

Daily 0730-1800.

Website: http://warremnantsmuseum.com
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Notre Dame Cathedral

The twin towers of the stunning, red-brick Notre Dame Cathedral have been a familiar landmark in Ho Chi Minh City since the 1880s. In a small garden in front of the cathedral lies a delicate statue of the Virgin Mary. Unlike most French cathedrals, the interior of the cathedral is rather plain, with no stained glass, but it offers a cool respite from the heat outside. It is also an oasis of calm from the incessant traffic that circles the cathedral. There is still a significant Christian community in the south of Vietnam and church services are well attended.

Address: District 1, 1 Cong Xa Paris, Ho Chi Minh City,
Telephone: +84 3822 0477.
Opening times:

Daily 0530-1700.

Website: http://giothanhle.net/gio-le/nha-tho-duc-ba-sai-gon
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Buu Dien Trung Tam (Post Office)

Across from the Notre Dame Cathedral, the vast Post Office was built in the late 19th century in a European style. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, it is often likened to a railway station in appearance, but the elegant, high-ceilinged interior has hardly been touched since it was erected and is dominated by a huge portrait of Ho Chi Minh. Even its original phone booths still remain in place. Also of interest are two maps on the walls dating from 1892, one depicting Saigon and the surrounding areas. The building always seems busy but most people are visitors rather than customers. Fascinating collections of colourful stamps can be purchased here too.

Address: District 1, 2 Cong Xa Paris, Ho Chi Minh City,
Telephone: +84 28 3822 1677
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0700-1900; Sat 0700-1800; Sun 0800-1800.

Website: http://hcmpost.vn/Main1/Default.aspx
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Ho Chi Minh City Museum

Housed in the former building of the Government of Cochinchina, the Ho Chi Minh City Museum (formerly the Revolutionary Museum) contains artefacts such as weapons, uniforms, medals and old photos, from the period of Communist struggle against the French and the Americans. Unfortunately, the exhibits are only labelled in Vietnamese but some are self-explanatory. Outside the museum is a collection of military hardware including a tank and a helicopter. Built in a classical style in the late 1880s, the museum building itself is of interest as it was formerly the palace of the governor of Cochinchina and the Supreme Court.

Address: District 1, 65 Ly Tu Trong, Ho Chi Minh City,
Telephone: +84 28 3829 9741.
Opening times:

Daily 0730-1800.

Website: http://www.hcmc-museum.edu.vn
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Vien Bao Tang Lich Su (Historical Museum)

Located just inside the entrance to the Botanical Gardens and Zoo, the Historical Museum houses a collection of artefacts covering the last 2,000 years of Vietnamese history, including items belonging to ancient cultures such as Dong Son, Oc Eo and Cham. Collections run right up until 1945 and include ceramics, weapons and Cham sculptures as well as a wing devoted to ethnic minorities. The museum was originally an archaeological research institution by the École Française d'Extrême Orient of 1910. It is worth hiring a guide with you around the museum as the labelling is poor and it can be a little difficult to understand the significance of the exhibits.

Address: District 1, 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem, Ho Chi Minh City,
Telephone: +84 28 3829 8146
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 0800-1130 and 1330-1700.

Website: http://www.baotanglichsuvn.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Thao Cam Vien (Zoo and Botanical Gardens)

The Botanical Gardens were established by the French in 1864 and once had the reputation of being some of the finest in Asia. The area is still pleasant for a stroll in the heart of the city, thanks to its fine collection of tropical plants and trees, and is particularly popular with Vietnamese families. It often has entertainment at the weekend. The zoo is not up to Western standards, but many of the animals and birds are housed in better enclosures than they once were. The zoo also now has its own conservation programme. Visit in the afternoon to watch the animals being fed.

Address: District 1, 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem, Ho Chi Minh City,
Telephone: +84 28 3829 1425
Opening times:

Daily 0700-1700.

Website: http://www.saigonzoo.net
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No