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5 Inspiring historical sites to visit in Ho Chi Minh City

5 Inspiring historical sites to visit in Ho Chi Minh City

Cu Chi Tunnels


The area is preserved as a war memorial, attracting tourists from all over the world, curious to see what underground life was like at the time. You probably knew all about the tunnels from documentaries and films but something about it to see them very first hand. The tunnels were used by Vietnamese soldiers as hiding spots and communication and supply routes during the war against the U.S invaders. Walking through the mine forests where you get to the tunnel premises to experience real insight into guerilla warfare. The tunnels have now been widened for the tourist by 30%, but are still a tight fit and not for the claustrophobic. It shows the Vietnamese perceive the war very differently from the Westerners that you have an insight into how the Viet Cong defended the country and how they lived during this time. It’s tremendously interesting and a very well-organized viewing program and exhibition. This is a highly informative and educational experience part of your HCMC trail.


The area is preserved as a war memorial, attracting tourists from all over the world, curious to see what underground life was like at the time. Kindly prepare for the location with the walking ability and the soaring temperature.


Cu Chi Tunnels, Phu Hiep, Phu My Hung Township, Cu Chi Ward.

Opening Hours: 7:00 – 17:00.



War Remnants Museum

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The War Remnants Museum is not for the faint-hearted as it houses harrowing displays from the American War. Established in 1975, the museum has more than 20,000 documents, artifacts, historical facts, and images evidence of hardship and crimes, 1,500 of which are showcased in eight permanent exhibitions stories of violence had their theme that changed the future of Vietnam. One of the huge pictures on the side of the building - a photo that was used time and again in the newspapers to express the devastating consequences of war – The Napalm girl. Some may remember the picture of a very young, and bewildered, Vietnamese child standing in the mud in the middle of a forest that had been blown apart by bombs. It can be hard for photo-sensitive people because there were strong imagines but sadly all are real. Galleries include newspaper clippings, magazines, and personal stories as well as machinery outside with aircraft, guns, tanks, helicopters, weapons, and even flamethrowers being displayed. There is also the Tiger Cage located outside (this is not an animal cage) which was rebuilt according to the Tiger Cage at Con Dao prison. 


It is a brilliant yet harrowing and emotional showcase of the war from a Vietnamese perspective - which often you don't hear about in the West. You would find it all very interesting but sad at the same time.


War Remnants Museum, 28 Vo Van Tan Street, Ward Vo Thi Sau, District 3.

Opening hours: 7:30 – 16:30.



Independence Palace (Reunification Palace)


This place is like stepping back in time to the war. A historic palace is a place that symbolizes the independence of Vietnam and unified of North & South Vietnam. The rooms and the information boards and photos capture a dark time in the world. There are so numerous with exquisite carpeting and comfortable furniture that worth exploring to find some hidden gems, from the President's private chambers to the basement bunker.


This is very well preserved and maintained, information about each room is provided with photos of relevant people and events that have shaped Vietnam and the Palace. Going in with for the tour of the palace to walk every square inch of it. From the roof to the bunkers underneath. From the private presidential quarters to the public meeting rooms. And a nice garden to walk around also. Today, the Independence Palace is a popular historical site in Ho Chi Minh City with both foreign and domestic visitors. It also continues to be used for Government meetings and receptions.


Dinh Độc Lập, 135 đường Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh.

Thời gian hoạt động (từ Thứ 2 đến Chủ Nhật): 8:00 – 13:00.



Ho Chi Minh Museum – HCMC branch

Ho Chi Minh Museum (or Dragon Wharf) was built in 1863, the former headquarters of French Five Star Vessel Corporate. To celebrate the victory and memorialize his devotion, the Dragon house is used as an exhibition displaying objects belongs to President Ho Chi Minh. The memorial house was renamed Ho Chi Minh Museum, a branch in Ho Chi Minh City that is used as an exhibition displaying revolutionary history and historical information. It is a good place for photographers to capture moments in wide angles and portraits with natural lighting by easy access by foot from District 1 if you like dodging motorbikes.


Ho Chi Minh Museum – HCMC branch, 1 Nguyen Tat Thanh Str., Ward 12, District 4

Opening Hours: Tue – Sun: 8am – 11:30 am | 2pm – 4:30pm.



Temple of the Buddha's Relic (Xa Loi Pagoda)


Xa Loi Pagoda is the largest pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City. The etymology of the temple name points to its significance meaning 'Sarira Temple', from the Sanskrit word for 'Buddhist relic'. This building is most notable for its dramatic history by a series of synchronized attacks on various Buddhist pagodas in the major cities in 1963. It has a long and important history especially about monk Thich Quang Duc who famously self-immolated in protest at the treatment of monks. His photo graces the cover of Rage against the machine's album by Malcolm Browne journalist - photographer.


Note visitors must wear appropriate clothing (no shorts allowed, ladies must cover their knees and shoulders) or you can request from helpful staff who aided in getting on the sarong n shawl for you.


Temple of the Buddha's Relic (Xa Loi Pagoda), 89 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan Str., Ward 7, District 3.

Opening Hours: 7am – 11:30am | 2pm – 9pm.