Ho Chi Minh City
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Plan Your Trip to Ho Chi Minh City: Best of Ho Chi Minh City Tourism

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Explore Ho Chi Minh City

As a major modern hub of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City offers a glimpse into both the future of the country and its past. Skyscrapers tower over French colonial buildings and ancient pagodas, while the streets buzz with the hustle of daily life. There are pieces of Vietnam’s history everywhere, from the architecture and culture to historic landmarks—head to the Independence Palace or the War Remnants Museum for a deep dive into the Vietnam War. Cruise down the Mekong Delta past the rows of houseboats and paddy fields for a true look at local life. By night, you’ll find one of the main draws of the city: the nightlife. Hit Bui Vien Street for cheap beer and all-night-long parties. Get even more recs and traveller faves below.

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Essential Ho Chi Minh City

How to do Ho Chi Minh City in 2 days

Colonial mansions, calming cafés, and fascinating history
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The best markets in Ho Chi Minh City

Coming on strong with so many sights, smells, and tastes, Ho Chi Minh City makes an unforgettable first impression. And the best places to experience the city’s unique brand of sensory overload are its markets, of course. A few are geared toward travellers, but most are filled with locals buying spices, handicrafts, textiles, and more. These are my favourites.
Chawadee N, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Ben Thanh Market
    More than 1,500 vendors set up shop at Ben Thanh, making it by far the area’s largest market. But it’s more than just a huge shopping centre—locals consider it the soul of the city. Its detractors deride it as too touristy and say that its vendors can be rude, but I reply that it has the widest range of goods to be found anywhere, some fakes, some the real deal. Haggling is a must.
  • Saigon Square Shopping Mall
    In a city where most of the markets are swelteringly hot, I love that Saigon Square lets you browse in air-cooled comfort. Another big plus: This upscale market has an unbeatable selection of designer knockoffs of the latest fashions. The quality of the items varies from vendor to vendor, so I recommend that you explore both floors before you decide. Bargaining is expected here. Don’t forget to bring cash, preferably Vietnamese dong.
  • Binh Tay Market
    A fixture in Cho Lon—Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown—Bihn Tay Market has stood on this spot since the late 19th century. Vendors here sell everything from spices and produce to handicrafts and lacquerware. There are definitely bargains to be had at this wholesale market, especially if you’re buying in bulk. I’d say it’s more of a place for soaking up the atmosphere. It’s close to landmarks like the Quan Am Pagoda and many Chinese restaurants.
  • Ho Thi Ky Flower Market
    Like a character in a superhero film, Ho Thi Ky Flower Market starts out by showing its mild-mannered side. By day, it’s a quiet place where you’ll find orchids and other blooms on display in simple bouquets or spectacular arrangements. But by night, it transforms into a bustling destination for fans of street food. The market is close to the Independence Palace, making this a good stop for first-time visitors to Ho Chi Minh City.
  • An Dong Market
    Not as well known as Ben Thanh or Binh Tay, Chinatown’s An Dong Market has an impressive range of textiles and handicrafts, with prices typically lower than those at larger markets. Even better, I heard a rumor that air-conditioning has been installed up to the second floor. If you only have time for one market and want to rub shoulders with the locals, this is the place to go.
  • Dan Sinh Market
    History buffs should head over to Dan Sinh Market, known as the “American market” for its huge stash of Vietnam War memorabilia. After the end of that war, Dan Sinh became a hub for selling military supplies—uniforms, helmets, and other equipment—left behind by the U.S. I know that a lot of the goods sold here today are replicas, but I still think Dan Sinh is a fascinating glimpse into the past.