Spotlight On Ho Chi Minh City
The largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is a destination abuzz with life, from the raucous sounds of a night market to the delicious smells of food stalls lining the streets. This city is also a popular stop for both river and ocean cruises, wowing passengers who are lucky enough to disembark here for a day or more.
Between December and April, Ho Chi Minh City experiences its dry season, with low humidity and hot temperatures (generally peaking at 39 degrees Celsius). The months of May to November bring the wet season to the city, meaning higher rates of humidity and more rainfall. Despite this, there is still plenty of sunshine in between showers.
Ho Chi Minh City has a rich and vibrant history, which is celebrated by a range of museums and historical sites. The Museum of Vietnamese History provides fascinating insight into the country’s past, including the many dynasties that have ruled supreme. The Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of underground channels that were used for Viet Kong operations during the Vietnam War, are now a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can enter the tunnels and crawl around, gaining some understanding of what life was like for the Viet Kong soliders who rested, hid and lived there, sometimes for days at a time. The War Remnants Museum is another important establishment, enlightening approximately 500,000 visitors each year about the horrific effects of war on Vietnam. Thousands of documents, artefacts, and films present a sometimes-confronting depiction of the atrocities that have been committed over the years.
Vietnam’s most populated city is unsurprisingly a hub of vibrant culture, from temples to theatres. Built by the French between 1863 and 1880, the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is a testament to the city’s French influence and towers over the enchanting Notre Dame Square. For some unique entertainment, the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre is a great option. Experienced and talented puppeteers showcase their skills, providing a funny and engaging performance that’s suitable for all ages. Visually dazzling, the Artinus 3D Art Museum is another must-see tourist attraction. Filled with stunning artworks by Vietnamese artists, guests can pose and take photos that will act as amazing souvenirs.
Eating on a budget has never been easier than when you’re travelling in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City’s street food stalls and markets, including the Benthanh Street Food Market, are the place to go for some authentic local fare at incredibly low prices. Must-eats include pho beef noodle soup, banh mi (the Vietnamese baguette) and bun moc (a dish comprised of rice vermicelli noodles and pork broth). Keep an open mind and let your stomach embark on a journey of discovery!