Self-Guided Walking Tour in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

We didn’t want to spend 50 USD on a Saigon city tour however interesting a ride around the city on a Vespa might be, so we opted for a DIY walking tour instead.

We set out at 9 in the morning, and then came back at 3 in the afternoon. Just like our Mekong Delta tour, it was an exhausting walk, but we managed to visit a total of 7 attractions.

Ben Thanh Market

Our first stop was the famous Ben Thanh Market, probably the most complete place in Ho Chi Minh (HCM) to shop for souvenirs to take back home. It was exactly what we were expecting as far as merchandise is concerned. There were stalls upon stalls selling t-shirts, bags, fridge magnets, and other knick-knacks.

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Front of Benh Tanh Market
Suit in a Day Benh Tanh Market Inside Benh Tanh Market
Inside Benh Tanh Market Stalls

Saigon Square

Saigon Square is another shopping spot that’s not very far from Ben Thanh. Head over to this place if you’d like to check out imitations of your favorite brands (e.g., The North Face, Gucci, etc.).

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Saigon Square Front
Inside Saigon Square Saigon Square Stalls
Saigon Square Back

Ho Chi Minh City Hall

After lunch at Lotteria, we headed to the City Hall, a building known for its beautiful French Colonial style. There was nothing to do here other than to marvel at the structure and probably to cool down at a nearby Starbucks.

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Ho Chi Minh City Hall

Ho Chi Minh Statue

In front of City Hall is the statue of Ho Chi Minh, said to be the “Founding Father of the Vietnamese Revolutionary Diplomacy.”

On a side note, don’t forget to check out the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum when in Hanoi. It’s next to the Presidential Palace. Check out these top-rated Hanoi hotels to know where to stay.

Ho Chi Minh Statue

Reunification Palace

We weren’t enthusiastic about paying the entry fee, so we just spent 10 minutes at the benches facing the palace before moving on to the next attraction.

Reunification Palace

Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

One of the most-photographed spots in HCM, the Cathedral is just a stone’s throw away from the Reunification Palace. Of course, we didn’t pass up the opportunity to take a picture with the Virgin Mary statue in front of it.

In the Northern Vietnamese town of Sapa, there’s also a Notre Dame church. Don’t forget to check it out when you spend an afternoon trekking or walking around town.

Notre Dame Cathedral Ho Chi Minh
Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon Notre Dame Basilica HCM

Saigon Central Post Office

Constructed between 1886-1891, the Central Post Office is said to be the “grandest post office in all of Southeast Asia” — at least according to this website.

Saigon Central Post Office
Inside Saigon Central Post Office Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office