Ho Chi Minh City is a large place with many things to do, but most people do not ever venture further out from District 1. However, there they are missing so much just outside the usual areas of the downtown district.
You do not have to venture far to see some unseen things this city can offer outside the central regions. Ho Chi Minh City is a great place to find yourself lost in one of the outer areas. As well, since the people here are so friendly, you are never really lost when exploring here. Here are ten places unseen in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ten hidden gems in Ho Chi Minh City
#1. Turtle Lake
Roundabouts are a common thing around the world and here in Vietnam that is no exception. You will find them on many thoroughfares throughout the city. Many of them do have a statue, perfect for getting some holiday pictures and maybe a bit of history.
However, unseen elsewhere in Ho Chi Minh City is the center of the roundabout has a small lake in it. Ho Con Ruy or Turtle Lake. It is a place full of history and a definite stop for anyone that wants to see more of Saigon’s hidden past.
#2. Landmark 81
While this is not so much unseen in much of Ho Chi Minh City. You can see it from just about anywhere in the city, even from the airport. Landmark 81 in Binh Thanh District, it is an excellent place for those seeking modern Vietnam.
Indeed, the massive tower within the Vinhomes complex is a place to have a great view but also a mall with an Ice rink inside. Which is not something you would ever think to see in a tropical climate.
3 – Citadel of Saigon
North of District one, in the Binh Thanh area, is a gate that may seem unassuming to anyone passing by. This unseen place in Ho Chi Minh City is full of the torrid history of Vietnam. Di Tích Cổng Thành Gia Định or the Citadel of Saigon constructed in 1790 has been through much.
Now only the main gate remains due to a bombardment from French Colonists in 1859. However, it’s history of trials goes way before this with its capture in 1833 used in a revolt of the emperor Minh Mang.
Location: Citadel of Saigon – Ward 3, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City
#4. Mausoleum of Jean-Baptiste Petrus Truong Vinh Ky
When visiting Vietnam, the memorials and mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh himself are popular attractions. However, there are other unknown figures in Vietnam’s history worth learning about. One of those would be Jean-Baptiste Petrus Truong Vinh Ky who was a scholar from a rural village in the area now known as Ben Tre Province.
He was a man of extraordinary intellect. Petrus Truong wrote over one-hundred different works of literature and history. Above all, he is a pivotal figure to read for anyone interested in learning about colonial Saigon.
Location: Tomb of Petrus Truong Vinh Ky – Ward 2, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
#5. Secret Weapons Cellar
This next place is definitely unseen in Ho Chi Minh City. On Võ Văn Tần street in District three is a house that seems much like any other in the area. Many have passed by not realizing the hidden secrets this place holds. If you do enter inside you will be guided to a trap door. This door leads into a secret cellar used by the Viet Cong during the war to hide stores of weapons and ammunition. So, if you lucky enough to find this place then give it the free mini-museum a visit. It is right in the alley (Hem) off of the main street. It may take some looking to find especially if you are not used to how alleys work here.
Location: Alley 274 Vo Van Tan, Ward 5, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
#6. Ho Thi Ky Flower Market
Ben Thanh Market in District one is often crowded with tourists. If you are looking for a market that feels like real Vietnam, then this is a great place to venture. This market is mostly unknown to many tourists. Here you can see how a real market works. The look and feel while being one of few if any foreigners even in this area. You may not want to buy flowers. However, there are many vendors around selling Vietnamese coffee and food to enjoy in a more authentic Vietnamese neighborhood.
#7. The Cafe Apartments
You may notice the block of cafés right in plain sight of a typical tourist area on the Nguyen Hue Walking Street. Maybe cafés are not your deal inside is worth the trek up the stairs. The building is a great photo op area for travelers to take.
Whereas the square-shaped structure may seem like just cafés, it also houses many interesting shops to wander through. Here you will see the fashionable independent Saigon.
Location: 42 Nguyen Hue, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
#8. Ben Binh Dong Area
Ho Chi Minh City is a place of rivers and canals. Throughout the city, you will at some point come across a body of water, large and small. One such Canal worth your time is the Ben Binh Dong area between a series of canals. For those wanting to find a real neighborhood to explore this is the place to go for a local feel.
Location: Ben Binh Dong area, Ward 13, District 8, Ho Chi Minh City
#9. Tan Dinh Church
While many will go to the Notre-Dame Cathedral, another church unseen in Ho Chi Minh City by outsiders is Tan Dinh Church. It is the second largest church in the city and built at around the same time in the nineteenth century. However, what makes people flock to this place is the unusually bright pink color of the entire church.
Location: 289 Hai Ba Trung, Ward 8, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
See more on 7 Catholic Churches in Ho Chi Minh City
#10. Tao Dan Park
One thing many people may not consider doing when traveling here in South East Asia is visiting a park. However, this offers a great insight into the daily lives of some locals. This park is known for elderly gentlemen who take their pet birds out to socialize with other songbirds.
Grab a banh mi, or a ca phe sua da and enjoy the sounds of those little birds on a warm Saigon morning.
Location: 57 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Phoung Ben Thanh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
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