Rich culture and history. Healthy and Gastronomically Appealing Food Options. Exquisite Contemporary and Ancient Fine and Visual Arts and Crafts. Eye-catching Skyscrapers of French-Colonial Design. Bustling City of Motorcycles. A Shopping Hub.  Friendly and Accommodating People.

This is Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam.

For a number of times, I have been coming back to Ho Chi Minh City.  With a laid back lifestyle apart from the neighboring countries of Thailand and Singapore, the charm and mystery of Vietnam has enticed me to be a "regular" traveler of the country.

Unusual as it may seem, but every travel I make to this charming country also means the same routine and places to visit.  With an adventurous soul and a wandering pair of slippers (lakwatserong tsinelas) and enthusiastic heart and mind, a number of places of interest can be discovered with its culture unveiled even for just a day or two.

Rich History and Culture

Weird as it may sound, when travelers want a feast of culture and history, this is the country to be.  Almost all still imagine the country in the verge of war and chaos.  However, the same proves to be a fallacy, as the Vietnamese people has already progressed and put into oblivion the misfortunes of the past.

Vietnam's culture and history is visualized and displayed on the number of museums that they have, to serve as a reminder and an inspiration for the new generation of Vietnamese and the generations to come, that patriotism and quest for peace and unity shall be instilled in each and every one of them.  This has been my realization due to the countless visits I had with the various museums in the city, mainly on themes of Vietnam War.  

86 Lê Thánh Tôn, Bến Nghé, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Travel Date:  September 2011 

Travel Date:  September 2012

Healthy and Gastronomically Appealing Food Options

I am not a fan of vegetables.  However, with the way these raw vegetables were presented and cooked in this country, I was enticed to have a taste of it and it pleased me a lot.  Adding on the list  of my favorite dishes are the prawns and spring rolls of Ben Than Market and the night market.

December 2011: in a fancy restaurant where elephant ears and frog legs were served without me knowing I was chewing and enjoying it

Contemporary and Ancient Fine and Visual Arts and Crafts

One of the most visited site I had in Ho Chi Minh City is the Fine Arts Museum.  For every travel companion who's new in the country, I always see to it that they pay a visit to this classic yellow and white building. that houses the best collection of contemporary and ancient fine and visual arts and crafts of Vietnam.  Through the years, the facade of the building has remain unchanged.  Interestingly, the sculptures that greet each visitor from the entrance varies from time to time. 


Travel Date:  July 2012 (closed on Monday- just took pictures at the entrance)

Travel Date:  September 2011

Travel Date:  September 2012

The arts and crafts of Vietnam is not only housed within this building but is likewise visible even on sidewalks and other unexpected places.


Most of the notable landmarks of Ho Chi Minh City insofar as District 1 is concerned is of french-colonial design.  Remarkable as it is, this is largely influenced and attributable to the rich history of Vietnam as well.

Wandering through an endless walk in the city would unveil the different skyscrapers before our lenses.

Travel Date:  September 2011

Travel Date:  September 2012

Bustling City of Motorcycles

Everywhere in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, the sounds of the motorcycles envelope the hustle and bustle of the city.  Of all my travels, it is only in this city where the motorcycles are a part of their daily routine and a sight to behold.  Dangerous as it may sound but it adds up to the charm and mystery that this city offers to its visitors.

A Shopping Hub

For shoppers of branded merchandise, most are aware that the tags of the merchandise they purchase here in the Philippines are labeled as "made in Vietnam".  These brands ranges from Mango, Northface, Deuter, Zara and the likes.  The good news is you can all purchase them directly from Vietnam at a very very low cost, which is not even a quarter of the price offered in major department stores here in the Philippines.

The Ben Thanh Market is popular for tourists.  Learning the art of haggling is a must in this city.  The Ben Thanh Market is situated right at the center of the city and is considered as my starting point when visiting the various attractions of the city.

owned by a very good Vietnamese friend - wise options for varied merchandise (please do try to visit)

The Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The People

I wouldn't be going back to Vietnam for a number of times if not for the people whose greetings make you feel welcome and a family at that.  Hardworking as they are, they possess the friendly and accommodating personalities which definitely adds to the charm of Vietnam.

This post is just mainly for the experience in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh and there are still a lot of adventures and attractions to explore outside of said District.

With all these memories of Vietnam that will truly last for a lifetime, I can truly say that Vietnam's charm is timeless.

You May Also Like