Your Vietnam Travel Checklist
Posted on 11 July 2019
Apart from delicious cuisine and cheap goods, Vietnam is home to various ancient landmarks and colonial structures that have survived to this day, making it an ideal holiday destination for thrifty and adventurous travellers alike. As the country’s cities continue to grow, a unique atmosphere is created whereby historical buildings and heritage sites blend perfectly into the urban landscape. Here are 7 beautiful sights in Vietnam you must see on your next visit!
Source: The Prabster / Flickr
This bright yellow building in downtown is not only great for pictures -- it carries a meaningful historical lesson too! Built by French colonisers in the 19th century, the Saigon Central Post Office remains fully functional today, so you’ll find locals lining up for postal services... with a grand French-style interior as the backdrop. However, the mundane of the daily activity doesn’t detract from the building’s historical value. With Gothic, Renaissance and French-influenced architecture, the building features two painted maps of Southern Vietnam and Cambodia, which were created right after the office was built.
Source: Elena Ermakova / Flickr
Source: Eustaquio Santimano / Flickr
Right across the street from the post office is a red brick building known as the Notre Dame Cathedral. While you won’t find Quasimodo here, you will find a statue of Virgin Mary overlooking the garden of the church, where you can enjoy a nice picnic and take stunning photos. Fun fact: the original materials used to build the church were all imported from France!
Source: king jai / Flickr
Source: davidwer / Flickr
Also known as Backpacker Street, Pham Ngu Lao Street is where travellers from all over the world gather to get their fix of Vietnamese street food, coffee shops and affordable backpacker hostels. Other amenities that can be found here include internet cafes, pharmacies, tour companies and souvenir shops. The daily activity creates a lively atmosphere in the streets, especially when night falls and the alleyways become a flash of neon lights and carouses.
Source: Saigonese Photographer / Shutterstock
Located in central Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Thanh Market is a large marketplace selling souvenirs, handicrafts, textiles and local cuisine. An important rule to remember when you shop here is to never settle for the first price! Haggling is part of the fun here as you try to get the tauke to give you the best price -- something we Malaysians are certainly trained in.
Source: Jaimie Ho / Flickr
Source: GoNOMAD Travel
The Cu Chi Tunnels is a massive network of underground tunnels that served as military hiding spots and supply routes during the Vietnam War. Back in the day, this complicated underground maze was also rigged with booby traps - some of which remain on display today. The tunnels are accessible through small and narrow camouflage trap doors, which were what made them so difficult for American troops to detect during the war.
Source: unci_narynin / Flickr
Source: Christopher / Wikimedia
Dating back to 1778, Ho Chi Minh City’s Cholon is Vietnam’s largest Chinatown where you will find traditional Chinese architectures and temples. A major attraction here is Binh Tay Market, a bustling marketplace filled to the roof with colourful goods and aromatic food influenced by Chinese culture. Strolling around Cholon feels like stepping into an ancient city in China itself, where time-honoured traditions remain intact.
Source: Lune Production
Similar to Malaysia’s own Encore Melaka shows, the A O Show is a spectacular 60-minute performance depicting the lives and culture of people in the Vietnamese countryside, as well as the country’s subsequent urbanisation. The cultural performance merges acrobatic acts and contemporary dance with traditional Vietnamese music, props and elements. Fun fact: the show’s name is actually read as Ahhh! Ohhh! as in your reaction when you first experience this dazzling show.
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