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5 must-see cultural sites in HCMC

5 must-see cultural sites in HCMC

The ultimate cultural destinations in Ho Chi Minh City shouldn’t be missed out on. You would feel surprised and impressed by the variety of what this city is hiding.  Are you avoiding tourist spots? Check these out!


FiTo Museum (Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine)


The museum is a unique blend of traditional and modern architecture that preserves traditional medical artifacts of Vietnam, includes 18 exhibition rooms of more than almost 3,000 items used in ancient pharmacies and 3000 items displayed. According to historical records, it recreates the ambiance of the typical features of traditional architecture in different regions and illustrates herbal plants, medic cabinets, bulletin boards, handicraft products, 100.000-page-oriental-medicine-chronicle, etc. The most valuable wooden carved picture is named “Viet Nam Bach Gia Y” which was made by 100 royal physicians and Vietnamese traditional medicine authors from XII to the early XX century. At the end of the visiting flow, don’t forget to put on the costume and pose with some ancient teapots for a photograph. Last but not least, enjoy your treat drinks!


Location: 41 Hoang Du Khuong Str., Ward 12, District 10


Opening hours: 8:30AM - 5:00PM


Seeking for the secret bunker in the city


Saigon Commandos Museum was built in 1963 which seems like a regular house in District 1, yet was originally operational activities of the Saigon Commandos’ Security Unit. followed under Mr. Tran Van Lai (i.e. Year Lai). Most of the furniture designs such as tables, chairs, cabinets, etc. are still intact and organized almost the same as before. Walking into the museum, visitors have to use an old elevator made from intricate patterns of iron, wooden crates, etched with many motifs. On the second floor of about 100m2, more than 100 artifacts are decorated with memorabilia of soldiers in the war. All the untold valuable exhibits are living proofs of the history in creating, fighting, remanding of Saigon commandos. Sitting down, discover the feat of battle by watching a documentary short film of the commandos in 3D. The place played a pivotal role in recreating a unique memory lane as a living museum to the Vietnam War. 


Location: 145 Tran Quang Khai Str., District 1


Artinus 3D Art Museum


Artinus 3D Art Gallery brings spiritual and physical values to anyone who loves to experience and explore. You will find your inspiration, positive influence on your sensory impact and perception by unleashing your talents. With 4000m2 in area, 9 illustration zones including: aqua, animal, masterpiece, Vietnam, Egypt, Fantasy, Strange, Giant, Love. From deep seafloor to a high mountain, from giant animals to scary mummies, from Renaissance arts to Vietnam nature vibes, etc. take your vivid experience in different levels of surprise. Fulfill your memory cache by a memorable journey with your team. 


Location: 02-04 Street 9, Him Lam Residential Area, Tan Hung Ward, District 7


Opening Hours: Tue – Fri: 9am – 6pm | Weekend, Holiday: 9am – 7pm


City discovering by Cyclo

Though new means of transport such as 2-wheel & 4-wheel vehicles are dominant, how about getting on a 3-wheel commuter? In Vietnam, Cyclo is called Xich lo - 3 wheeled vehicle with manual shift control. In the past, Cyclo was the luxury and popular transportation in Viet Nam but it became redundant because of the growth of modern vehicles. Nowadays, cyclo becomes a symbol, a must-try in Vietnam. Take an experience to wander around the corners at cheap prices yet comfortable through catching easily on the streets. The driver maintains it at a stably slow pace, from a no-window seat, you can take photos of the roads and see locals’ daily life. A different way to breathe in the local air, have a leisurely bustling ride, presence of narrow streets and rustic architecture in the city. As usual, booking an English-speaking driver will explore city sites by telling stories, and you can learn about Vietnamese people’s etiquette. The weather won’t be a problem either as you would have a cover for the seating area to avoid sunlight and rain drop. Traveling on cyclo, as for us, the old-fashioned Vietnamese is worth trying for.


Institute of Vietnamese Costumes

The Ao Dai Institute has been organizing a series of Vietnamese costume stories throughout centuries. It is located in the city center and was designed by the founder Si Hoang. Ao Dais are displayed in original and restored artifacts. Besides, visitors participate in multiple activities e.g. drawing on fabric, creating their own designed patterns following the guidance of the artists and professional designers. It's not only about the innovative story of Ao Dai through the 17th to 18th Century for the visitors by experiment, but also a preservative museum of the remarkable traditional costumes worn by celebrities. 


Location: 29/9 DEF, Nguyen Binh Khiem Str., District 1