IL TakeCare app – For all your insurance & wellness needs

Policy purchase, claims, renewal & more


Best Places to Visit in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly referred to as Saigon, is Vietnam’s largest city. Let’s explore Ho Chi Minh places to visit in 2023.

  • 15 Jun 2023
  • 2 min read

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly referred to as Saigon, is Vietnam’s largest city. The city is home to numerous architectural gems that reflect its diverse history. Not just that, Ho Chi Minh City is a food lover’s paradise, renowned for its varied and delicious cuisine. The city offers various culinary experiences, from street food stalls to upscale restaurants. Let’s explore Ho Chi Minh places to visit in 2023.

Top Places to Visit in Ho Chi Minh City

  • War Remnants Museum
  • Thien Hau Temple
  • Jade Emperor Pagoda
  • Mariamman Temple
  • Saigon River

1. War Remnants Museum

This one is among the iconic places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City. Formerly known as the “Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes”, the museum focuses on the Vietnam War and its devastating impact on the Vietnamese people. 

The museum’s history dates back to 1975, when Vietnam reunified after the war ended. Initially, it showcased artefacts and photographs documenting the war crimes the United States and its allies committed during the conflict. Over time, the museum evolved to present a broader narrative, emphasising the brutality of war and the lasting effects of chemical warfare, particularly Agent Orange.

Things to do in War Remnants Museum

  • Some areas of the museum, particularly those depicting the suffering and atrocities of war, can be emotionally challenging. Take a moment to reflect and pay your respects to those affected by the conflict.
  • Step outside to explore the outdoor area, where you will find various military vehicles, tanks, and aircraft used during the war.
  • There is also a gift shop where you can find books, posters, and other items related to the Vietnam War.

2. Thien Hau Temple

Thien Hau Temple is in Chinatown (Cholon). Dedicated to Mazu, a Chinese sea goddess, the temple holds historical and cultural significance for the Chinese-Vietnamese community in the city.

One can trace the temple’s history back to 1760, when immigrants from Guangzhou, China, settled there. According to popular belief, the Thien Hau was majorly built in the 1820s or 1830s, though its exact date is yet to be determined. Over the years, it underwent several renovations and expansions to its current form.

Thien Hau Temple is an architectural masterpiece reflecting the distinctive style of Southern Chinese temples. Its exterior features intricate woodwork, vibrant colours, and ornate details, while the interior has statues, altars, and plaques dedicated to various deities.

Things to do in Thien Hau Temple

  • Engage with the temple staff or fellow visitors to learn more about the Chinese-Vietnamese community and their cultural practices. 
  • Take some time to explore the neighbourhood, visit other temples, browse through local markets, and sample Chinese-Vietnamese cuisine.
  • If your visit coincides with a festival or celebration, witness the colourful processions, cultural performances, and traditional rituals that take place during these special occasions.

3. Jade Emperor Pagoda

The Jade Emperor Pagoda is a Taoist temple. Historians trace the pagoda's origin to the early 20th century. The temple was constructed by the Chinese community in the area, primarily from Cantonese and Hakka origins. 


The temple, initially dedicated to the Jade Emperor, the supreme deity in Taoism, also incorporates elements of Buddhism and Confucianism. The architecture of the pagoda reflects a blend of Chinese and Vietnamese styles. Its exterior features traditional Chinese temple motifs, such as the ornate roof with dragon sculptures, while the interior has intricate woodwork, statues, and altars dedicated to various deities.

Things to do in Jade Emperor Pagoda

  • If you are a book lover, head to Nguyen Van Binh Book Street, within walking distance from the Jade Emperor Pagoda. 
  • Located a bit further away, Giac Lam Pagoda is one of the oldest Buddhist pagodas here. It features beautiful architecture, serene gardens, and historical relics. 
  • Explore Binh Tay Market and browse various goods, including clothing, souvenirs, fresh produce, and local street food.

4. Mariamman Temple

Dedicated to the Hindu goddess Mariamman, this temple, established by the Tamil community of Indian origin in Ho Chi Minh City, dates back to the late 19th century. The temple’s architecture showcases a unique blend of Dravidian and South Indian architectural styles. The colourful and ornate facade features intricate carvings of deities and mythical creatures. At the same time, the interior has vibrant paintings and statues representing various gods and goddesses from Hindu mythology.

Things to do in Mariamman Temple

  • Admire the black-painted statues made of stone of Mariamman and other two other deities.
  • Pay obeisance at the Praying Stone Wall and admire the statues of 18 deities adorning the walls.
  • Participate in the Consecrating Fire Ritual that takes place at 10 am and 7 pm.

5. Saigon River

The Saigon River in southern Vietnam is a significant waterway flowing through Ho Chi Minh City. It stretches over 225 kilometres (140 miles) and plays a crucial role in the city’s history, economy, and daily life.

The river has a rich historical significance, serving as a vital transportation route during the French colonial era and the Vietnam War. It witnessed critical military operations and played a role in supplying goods and troops. It continues to be an economic artery for the region, supporting industries such as shipping, fishing, tourism, and agriculture.

Things to do at Saigon River

  • Explore Binh Quoi, a tourist village along the Saigon River, and enjoy the local cuisine.
  • Enjoy a trip to explore the underwater Saigon River Tunnel or the Thu Thiem Tunnel.
  • Explore the Saigon River by taking a scenic river cruise.

Best Time to Visit Ho Chi Minh City

As you look for places to visit in Ho Chi Minh, do keep in mind that the optimal time to visit is during the dry season, from December to March. This period provides delightful weather characterised by minimal rainfall and reduced humidity levels.

Travel Insurance for Ho Chi Minh City

Investing in travel insurance is essential not just for Ho Chi Minh City but for other places as well. Medical emergencies are unpredictable, and having travel insurance ensures you get quality medical care without incurring substantial expenses. Additionally, travel insurance offers coverage for trip cancellation or interruption due to unforeseen events like personal emergencies, natural disasters, or political unrest.

Also read:

  • Looking for tailored advice?

    Schedule a call with our insurance advisors

  • OR
  • Call us:

    1800 2666
Please enter valid name
Please enter a valid mobile number
Please select the Category

Subscribe to our newsletter

Understand insurance better by reading our helpful guides, articles, blogs and other information.

Please enter valid name
Please enter valid Email