There is this little discreet stall just across the War Remnant Museum, selling Viet Pho (glass noodles). Give it a try. A bowl of pork noodles, with yoghurt does not cost you more than 5000dongs (about US$0.40) Delicious!
Note: The stall owners do not really speak English, so try your luck! This is real Vietnamese street fare.
This extremely colorful Hindu temple is the only active one in Saigon and even amongst non-Hindu Vietnamese; it is revered as having miraculous powers. Built in the late 19th century and set just south of an area known as Little India, it is an interesting departure from the rest of Saigon. Once inside, you will soon feel worlds away from the modern city surrounding it. It is a very busy place of worship so please dress appropriately and keep your voice at a reasonable level. There is the familiar smell of joss sticks and lots of floral offerings. The figures adorning the top of the inner courtyard walls are particularly intriguing. It is easy to find 45 D Tuong Dinh, close to Ben Tanh Market and between the Pham Ngu Lao and Dong Khoi areas.
In 1963, after four years of increased oppression by the Diem government towards Buddhist priests and the Buddhist community, a monk by the name of Thich Quang Duc perfomed an act to highlight Buddhist demands for religious equality in South Vietnam that was flashed around the world by television. At midday, on June 11, 1963, he took a ride to the corner of Phan Dinh Phung and Le Van Duyet in central Saigon (now Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Cach Mang Thang Tam Street). Pouring petrol over himself, he sat in the middle of the corner, struck a match, and immolated himself. His body was consumed, and all that remained was his heart. Later when his later when the Buddhist community tried to cremate his heart it remained intact.
A memorial to this act is located where the immolation occurred, at the corner of Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Cach Mang Thang Tam Street.
The beach at Can Gio is the only beach within the city limits of Ho Chi Minh City. The beach is comprised of hard-packed mud so it is not one of the best in Vietnam. However, it is a good place to mingle with the locals and you will most certainly be free of the western tourists. This is a good place to buy fresh seafood from the vendors on the beach.
To get to Can Gio you head 60 km SE from downtown HCMC. Travel time is about 3 hours. Two ferry crossings need to be taken to reach the island that it sits on (around $0.20 per ferry).
Just across D Nguyen Binh Khiem, at 2 DL Le Duan stands this military museum. The inside details the liberation of the South. Outside stands a bunch of military equipment from both sides. Moderately interesting if you are a military buff but not an essential stop. You could make it a stop on the way to the History Museum and/or the zoo.
It is open Tuesday-Saturday, 8-11:30 am and 1:30-4 pm.
Well, if you are sick with all the motorcycle people trace at you for a ride, or the people ask you for foot massage. You can choose the garden to go. That is the most relax place I found ( except my hotel swimmming pool ) in HCM City. Entry fee is 8000 local dollar, which is about USD4. Normally, the park is quiet, and very relax to walk around. Lots of animals and green that you can see. I enjoy it very much. You need to call a taxi to go there, cost about 2500 local currency. History museum and HTV Tower is beside the park. You can spend up 2 hours here.
Followers of Buddhism anywhere in the world are bound by duty to save any animal in captivity . So it's no surprise to find out that the Chinese Vietnamese have adopted this practice of buying, then freeing fish, birds and turtles in the belief it can bring good fortune.
You can buy yourself some fortune in the Pagoda of the Jade Emperor. Rows of caged birds and turtles wait by the side of temple, waiting to be freed...
For more stories and pictures, visit b'packer's hcmc page
Out of the center of the city you will often see contrasts like this between a tall modern building and the small houses that have shops on the first floor. This was taken in the neighborhood near our hotel.
Part of our trip was to talk with students and faculty at various universities throughout SE Asia. This was the university we visited in Saigon. One of the things that emerged was that they would not have been able to meet with us without an official from Hanoi being present as recently as the previous year.
While Ben Thanh market is the standard tourist stop for shopping, not far away is a mecca of local vendors at Cho Binh Tay.
It has a wide array of products just like Ben Thanh (kitchenware, baskets, barrettes, magnets, toys, shopping bags, wigs, hats, shoes, food, etc.) but if you go here, you'll be one of the few tourists cruising up and down the isles and therefore able to strike some much better deals.
I also find this market interesting because it is much more geared toward locals, not visitors. You will attract some attention (because not many visitors come here) but it's well worth it to go as long as that doesn't bother you.
If you do any touring at all, or catch a taxi to the Ben Thanh Market, you cannot miss the large traffic circle across the street from the Ben Thanh market. In the middle of the circle is a large statue of Tran Ngyuen Ha - whom I have no information about at all. Several large boulevards converge at this spot and there is much activity here, at least during the day. Buses, cars, taxis, motorbikes, bicycles, carts, etc. all whiz past the market using the traffic circle to their advantage as they go about their daily lives.
At Me Linh Square, by the river bank you will find this little nice bonsai garden. I found it by chance, was taking a walk along the river when I came across it. Not really outstanding, but nice and free!
U can't get lost, face the river as U are in the square and there U R!!
Omni Saigon Hotel 251 Nguyen Van Troi Street,, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Tel: +84 8 844 9222; Fax: +84 8 844 9198; E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org.
I asked the motorbike driver to take me to the animal market. But I guess he didn't take me to the worst one,because this wasn't that bad. It was bad,but not awful. Then he said that there was at least 3 more markets in Saigon,but he didn't want to take me there.
On the way out or in of HCMC, there are lots of coffee villas where you can rest on a hammock while drinking vietnamese coffee or soda. Nice shade, nice coffee, nice chat and nice way to rest.
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