A medley of tradition and modern prosperity, color and concrete, and there is no surprise that there are many new photo opportunities for you around almost every corner of Ho Chi Minh City. If you have chosen Ho Chi Minh City for your next destination during Tet holiday then don’t miss out the top 8 most Instagrammable spots to celebrate the Lunar New Year in this fantastic city.
Ever wonder about how photo-worthy Ho Chi Minh City is? From the majesty of historic sites, the sacredness of places of worship to the glamour of high-rise buildings, Ho Chi Minh City has all to offer a perfect backdrop for your Insta-shots. Visiting these places during Tet holiday will enhance your full day Ho Chi Minh City tour just as much as they will enhance your Instagram profile. Let’s see these stunning places right down below!
1. Pham Ngoc Thach Street
Pham Ngoc Thach Street is always among the very first places that signal the coming spring, making itself a nickname “Street of Calligraphers” (Pho Ong Do). The whole area adorns the quintessence of Vietnamese culture with calligraphy and mini-scenes of Tet in the countryside. Locals believe that calligraphy written on red canvas symbolizes happiness, good luck, health and success for the whole new year.
Corners decorated with traditional Tet motifs have become the desired backdrop for those who look for festive snapshots. A picture with a calligrapher absolutely sums up all memorable moments during your trip in Ho Chi Minh City. If you really want to be a part of exciting vibes on these days, why not rent the Ao dai and shoot hundreds of lovely photos?
2. Nguyen Hue Flower Street
The sleepless Nguyen Hue Walking Street is magically transformed into a wonderland of charming flowers and mini-scenes that highlight the symbolic zodiac of the year. Nguyen Hue Flower Street is often decorated to welcome visitors from the 28th of December in the lunar calendar until the 4th of January.
Visiting Nguyen Hue Flower Street has become an indispensable part of celebrating the Tet holiday to Saigonese. Back in the past, in the late 20th century, Nguyen Hue Street used to serve as a place for trading flowers during Tet. In modern days, you can see different kinds of flowers blooming to beautify the heart of Nguyen Hue Street. Just keep in mind that the light will be far better for photos during the golden hours of the morning and afternoon!
Discover another walking street in Ho Chi Minh City: Bui Vien Street
3. Tet Flower Markets
Tet in Saigon has long been synonymous with flower markets. Yet, the markets at this time of the year are still crowded, noisy and chaotic, but if you are not a trader then just enjoy the wonderful backdrop the flowers have to offer. Flowers come from different regions of Vietnam, and even from other countries.
Tet Flower Markets are usually held at grand parks, Instagrammable spots such as 23/9 Park, Gia Dinh Park, Le Van Tam Park or Dam Sen Park. People flock to adore the grace of flowers such as orchids, lilies, daisies, roses or buy some big trees for decoration such as kumquat trees, apricot trees, pomelo trees, bonsais, etc. It’s quite hard to find a quiet corner to make you at the center of focus, but anyway, a busy scenery is not always a bad idea!
On the prowl for some colorful, sweet-scented flowers? You can also visit Ho Thi Ky Flower Market: The Langbiang Heart In Saigon
4. Vinh Nghiem Pagoda
Ho Chi Minh City hides its secret spots of calm where many pagodas and temples sit quietly. Wonderfully located on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 3, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda is a must-see tourist site in Ho Chi Minh City and one of the best Instagrammable spots in the city, luring travelers thanks to one-of-a-kind Japanese and Vietnamese architecture. To fancy a view of people praying for luck, you should choose the time Lunar New Year and be a part of celebrations and festivals.
Vinh Nghiem Pagoda often gets quite busy during the day, so if you want to get some cool shots you should aim to get there early in the morning. The solemnity of the pagoda and its magnificent architecture would certainly enchant you and your Instagram followers.
5. Ben Binh Dong Flower Floating Market
For a local taste of Tet in Saigon, you should head to Ben Binh Dong Flower Floating Market in District 8. Just another flower market but the one held in Ben Binh Dong Pier sets itself apart from the others. While locals usually wait until the 28th or 29th day of the 12th lunar month streaming there to buy the flowers, tourists can make the most of the photo opportunities in the earlier days.
Ben Binh Dong Flower Market is just like a mini-scene of Mekong Delta in Saigon, featuring floating life on the river and locals’ hospitality. If you regretfully miss a Mekong Delta tour then don’t miss this Instagrammable spot in Saigon. You’ll find dozens of traditional wooden cargo boats with cumquat trees and apricot trees in the spotlight of traditional Tet celebration. The yellow color of apricot flowers are believed to bring good fortune, and it also makes your photos look fabulous enough to get more Likes on Instagram.
6. Saigon Center Takashimaya
Arguably this Instagrammable spot never lets aesthetes down thanks to alluring decorations and amusing activities. Right entering the lavish building, you will get lost in the world of colorful flowers and zodiac models that are changed on a yearly basis. More than just an ordinary shopping mall, Saigon Center also knows how to hypnotize people who have a thirst for shooting, so it’s no wonder Saigon Center is always on the list of Instagram hotspots.
For the sake of the center position, from Saigon Center you can reach many other fantastic tourist attractions in District 1 and find some of the best luxury hotels in Ho Chi Minh City to stay. That’s to say when visiting the center of Ho Chi Minh City, you have no reason to worry about what to see and do.
7. Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street
You’re missing on a big part if not taking a stroll around Saigon’s Chinatown and one of its main streets, Hai Thuong Lan Ong. Not a lot of tourist know but this street is absolutely an Instagrammable spot. Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street is proudly associated with Chinese Vietnamese’s quintessence in Saigon, showcasing in trading and cultural activities. Apart from traditional medicine herbs, Hai Thuong Lan Ong Street is best known for selling colorful decorative items.
The street is notably crowded during the Mid-Autumn Festival and Lunar New Year. You can find the hectic area is an ideal photo backdrop with red envelopes, peach trees, carps, gold coins, lights, lanterns, parallel sentences, etc. Maybe you bring home tons of photos and adornments as well.
8. Notre Dame Cathedral
As one of the most ancient Catholic churches in Ho Chi Minh City, Notre Dame Cathedral or Duc Ba Church is the most iconic spot that you should never miss at any time of the year. This fabulous Catholic Church is a true masterpiece blending French architectural elite with Vietnamese values. “What a place!”, you may say when seeing this church for the first time, second time and many times later.
Once you’re done with taking photos of the colorful buildings and bustling flower markets, find a quiet spot to get a photo in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral. As always, your best bet is to reach the church early in the morning to avoid harsh shadows in the building.
Saigon magically transforms into a dazzling festive wonderland with countless Instagrammable spots dotted almost every corner of the city. Sightseeing, discovering unique Saigon street food, hopping on a cyclo ride then next should it be updating your Instagram story?
Trinh Tran written for Maika Tours
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