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Ho Chi Minh destinations

Ho Chi Minh destination - Ben thanh market Notre Dame Church in Sai gon Ho Chi Minh - post office Cu chi tunnels

Ho Chi Minh City:

Ho Chi Minh Overview:

Ho Chi Minh City formerly named Saigon is a largest City in Viet Nam located in the Southern. It was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City in 1975.
However, the informal name of Saigon remains in daily speech both domestically and internationally. Saigon nowadays is on strong developing with many international commercial buildings and many industrial Zones around the outskirt areas.
There are 12 districts from number 1 to 12 inside the city and 11 districts in outskirt area they are Tân Bình, Bình Thạnh, Phú Nhuận, Thủ Đức, Gò Vấp, Bình Tân, Tân Phú, Nhà Bè, Cần Giờ, Hóc Môn, Củ Chi, Bình Chánh.
Ho Chi Minh City is the most crowded city in Viet Nam with the estimated population around 10 million in this present time. A big part of them is from other cities and provinces throughout the country specially from the North.
There are millions of motorbikes in this city due to the population density.

Ho Chi Minh geography:

Ho Chi Minh City located in the southeastern region of Viet Nam, around 1750 km from the South from Ha Noi Capital.
The average elevation is 19 metres above sea level. It borders Tay Ninh and Binh Duong provinces to the north, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces to the east, Long An Province to the west and the South China Sea to the south with a coast 15 km long. The city covers an area of 2,095 km2

Transports:

- By Air: - Tan Son Nhat International Airport: Ho Chi Minh City is served by Tan Son Nhat International Airport, located in Tan Binh District. Tan Son Nhat Airport is currently the largest airport in Vietnam in terms of passengers handled (with an estimated number of over 15.5 million passengers per year in 2010, accounting for more than half of Vietnam's air passenger traffic ; it will soon be superseded by Long Thanh International Airport, scheduled to begin operation in 2025. Based in Long Thanh, Dong Nai Province, about 40 km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, Long Thanh Airport will serve international flights, with a maximum traffic capacity of 100 million passengers per year when fully completed;[35] Tan Son Nhat Airport will serve domestic flights.
- By Rail: - Ho Chi Minh City is also a terminal for many Vietnam Railways train routes in the country.
The Reunification Express (tàu Thống Nhất) runs from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi from Saigon Railway Station in District 3, with stops at cities and provinces along the line.
- By Water: - The city's location on the Saigon River makes it a bustling commercial and passenger port; besides a constant stream of cargo ships, passenger boats operate regularly between Ho Chi Minh City and various destinations in Southern Vietnam and Cambodia, including Vung Tau, Can Tho and the Mekong Delta, and Phnom Penh. Traffic between Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam's southern provinces has steadily increased over the years; the Doi and Te Canals, the main routes to the Mekong Delta, receive 100,000 waterway vehicles every year, representing around 13 million tons of cargo. A project to dredge these routes has been approved to facilitate transport, to be implemented in 2011–2014.




Tourist Attractions in Ho Chi Minh

Ben Thanh market

Ben Thanh market

Ben Thanh market is one of the features of Ho Chi Minh City, specially the picture of its South Gate. It located right in the heart of the City in District 1.
There were many discussions about this market and keeping it as a feature of Saigon that is the final decision of the Government. Ben Thanh market had renovated in 1985.
The same as other local markets , the vendors sell foods, flowers, fruits , clothes, handicrafts ....



The Reunification Palace

The Reunification Palace

Reunification Palace (Vietnamese: Dinh Thống Nhất) formerly known as Independence Palace (Dinh Độc Lập), built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, is a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It is a historical witness for many reigns of Government since Viet Nam was under the domination of French colonel, the World War II , Viet Nam War.
Its origin was built in 1868 which replaced for an old building which was built by wood in 1963.
The new complex was cover the area of 12 hectares and was named Norodom Palace.
In 1955, Ngo Dinh Diem , Prime Minister of Viet Nam declared himself President and changed Norodom Palace to Independence Palace.
In 1963, this Palace was bombed by Diem’s Air Force. This Palace was reconstructed and designed by architect Ngô Viết Thụ ( he was the first Asian architect to become an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects) and was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
The Viet Nam War ended on April 30, 1975. The Independence Palace renamed to Reunification Palace. This palace becomes one of the attraction places for Saigon City tour nowadays. Most of the things still remain and preserve inside this palace and open for public.



Notre Dame Church

Notre Dame Church

Notre Dame Church or Notre Dame Basilica is the biggest and the most special Church in Saigon.
All building materials were imported from France. The outside wall of the cathedral was built with bricks from Marseille. Although the contractor did not use coated concrete, these bricks have retained their bright red color until today.
On 7 October 1877, Bishop Isidore Colombert laid the first stone in an inaugural ceremony. The construction of the cathedral took three years. On Easter Day, 11 April 1880, a blessing ceremony and ceremony of completion were solemnly organized in presence of the Governor of Cochinchina Charles Le Myre de Vilers. One can see the granite plate inside the main entry gate commemorating the start and completion dates and designer. The total cost was 2,500,000 French francs (at that time price). At the beginning, the cathedral was called State Cathedral due to source of the construction cost.
In 1895, two bell towers were added to the cathedral, each 57.6 m high with six bronze bells with the total weight of 28.85 metric tonnes. The crosses were installed on the top of each tower of 3.5 m high, 2 m wide, 600 kg in weight. The total height of the cathedral to the top of the Cross is 60.5 m. In the flower garden in front of the cathedral, there was a bronze statue of Pigneau de Behaine (also called Bishop of Adran) leadingPrince Cảnh, the son of Emperor Gia Long by his right hand. The statue was made in France. In 1945, the statue was removed, but the foundation remains.
In 1959, Bishop Joseph Pham Van Thien, whose jurisdiction included Saigon parish, attended the Holy Mother Congress held inVatican and ordered a Peaceful Notre Dame statue made with granite in Rome. When the statue arrived in Saigon on 16 February 1959, Bishop Pham Van Thien held a ceremony to install the statue on the empty base and presented the title of "Regina Pacis". It was the same bishop who wrote the prayers "Notre-Dame bless the peace to Vietnam". The next day, Cardinal Aganianian came from Rome to chair the closing ceremony of the Holy Mother Congress and solemnly chaired the ceremony for the statue, thus the cathedral was then-on called Notre-Dame Cathedral.(Source : Wikipedia )



The main Post office

The main Post office

The main Post Office was built in around 1886 – 1991 under the French Colonel domination by a French Architect . That is one of some special architecture buildings in Saigon which combined the Western and Asian style. Standing beside the Notre Dame Cathedral but the main Post office is standing out with its impressive architecture coordinated with many other buildings around such as Diamond Plaza, the Metropolitan that created a beautiful complex building in that area.



The City Hall

The City Hall

This building was built in 1902-1908 with French colonial style, right in the heart of the City.
Surrounding is the Municipal Theater, Rex Hotel 5*... This can be the best building about architecture. After 1975, this City Hall renamed the People Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.



War Remnant Museum

War Remnant Museum

As any War, world or local war, they will leave a lot of painful behind because of the lost and it will exist for a long time.
The War Remnant Museum located at District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. It primarily contains exhibits relating to the American phase of the Vietnam War. Operated by the Vietnamese government, the museum was opened in September 1975 as "The House for Displaying War Crimes of American Imperialism and the Puppet Government [of South Vietnam]." Later it was known as the Museum of American War Crimes, then as the War Crimes Museum until as recently as 1993. Its current name follows liberalization in Vietnam and the normalization of relations with the United States.
The museum comprises a series of eight themed rooms in several buildings, with period military equipment located within a walled yard. The military equipment include a UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, an F-5A fighter, a BLU-82 "Daisy Cutter" bomb, M48 Patton tank, and an A-1 attack bomber.
One building reproduces the "tiger cages" in which the South Vietnamese government housed political prisoners. Other exhibits include graphic photographs, accompanied by short copy in English, Vietnamese and Japanese, covering the effects of Agent Orange and other chemical defoliant sprays, the use of napalm and phosphorus bombs, and atrocities such as the My Lai massacre. Curiosities include a guillotine used by the French and the South Vietnamese to execute prisoners, last in 1960, and three jars of preserved human fetuses deformed by exposure to dioxin.
There are a number of unexploded ordnance stored in the corner of the yard, seemingly with their charges removed.



History Museum in Ho Chi Minh City

History Museum in Ho Chi Minh City

It located at Nguyen Binh Khiem street , District 1 , Ho Chi Minh City.
Designed by French architect Delaval and established in 1927 under the auspices of the Société des études Indochinoises as the Musée Blanchard de la Brosse, this museum became the Sài Gòn National Museum in 1956. In 1975, after some renovation, it was expanded to become the Hồ Chí Minh City Historical Museum.
The museum’s exhibits are divided according to the following topics: Prehistory; the Rise of the Hưng Kings; the Fight for Independence (1st-10th centuries); the Lý dynasty (11th-13th centuries); the Trần dynasty (13th-14th centuries); the Lê dynasty (15th-18th centuries); the Tây Sơn dynasty (18th-19th centuries); and the Nguyễn dynasty (19th-middle of the 20th centuries). A second part of the museum displays specific characteristics of the southern area of Việt Nam, such as Óc-Eo culture, the ancient culture of the Mekong Delta, Chăm bronze statuettes and sandstone works from Quảng Nam and Binh Đình Provinces, Bến Nghé Sài Gòn art, the Vietnamese ethnic minorities and ancient pottery of various Asian countries. (Source : culturalprofiles.net )



China Town

China Town

Cho Lon in Ho Chi Minh City is the largest China Town in Viet Nam. It covers a large area of District 5, 10, 6 and 11. Residence here is Chinese – Vietnamese people who were stayed in Viet Nam and developed in 18th & 19thcentury.
According to some sources, In 1778, the Hoa (Chinese minority of Vietnam) living in Bien Hoa had to take refuge in what is now Cholon because they were retaliated against by the Tây Sơn forces for their support of the Nguyễn Lords. In 1782, they were again massacred by the Tây Sơn and had to rebuild. They built high embankments against the flows of the river, and called their new settlement Tai-Ngon (meaning "embankment" in Cantonese.
Incorporated in 1879 as a city 11 km from Saigon; by the 1930s, it had expanded to the city limit of Saigon. On April 27, 1931, the two cities were merged to form Saigon-Cholon. In 1956, "Cholon" was dropped from the name and the city became known as Saigon.
Local Chinese -Vietnamese in Cho Lon can speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Phuc Kien…and Vietnamese languages but they keep the Chinese cultures. There are many Chinese Pagodas in Cho Lon and many big markets as Binh Tay, Kim Bien , An Dong where they do the whole sales and supply goods for the South included Mekong Delta.



Thien Hau Pagoda

Thien Hau Pagoda

The Thien Hau Pagoda is a Chinese style Pagoda in China Town.
Thiên Hậu is a deity of traditional Chinese religion, who is revered in the southern maritime provinces of China and in overseas Chinese communities. Thiên Hậu is worshipped in the seafaring Chinese communities of Fukien, Canton, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. She is not specifically a deity of Taoism or of Buddhism, though she has been brought into connection with figures and themes from Taoism and Buddhism.
The special feature of this Pagoda is its decoration. Across the front courtyard, there is the big contain incense burners, and open the view to the remarkable porcelain dioramas that decorate the roof. The dioramas show scenes from a 19th century Chinese city, and include such colorful figures as actors, demons, animals, and Persian and European sailors and traders. In one scene, actors depict a duel on horseback battle between the revered halberd-wielding general Guan Yu of the novel Three Kingdoms and another fighter. Another scene depicts the three Taoist sages representing longevity, fecundity and prosperity.



Cu chi tunnels

Cu chi tunnels

The system of Cu Chi Tunnels is around 75 km far from the North –West of Ho Chi Minh city. Those are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City.
The Cu Chi Tunnels were made by the Cu Chi’s guerillas and local people and were used during 30 years of Viet Nam War. The complex tunnels about 200km were serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, foods …for numerous guerilla fighters.
Cu Chi tunnels were opened to public for local and international tourists to visit. A small part of them was made wider and taller that tourist can easier to go down and feel how hard the guerillas were living in during Vietnamese – American War. They were face with many difficulty such as air, foods, water scarce and the tunnels were infested with ants, poisonous centipedes, scorpions, spiders and vermin.There are many gates to get into the tunnels but two official gates were opened for tourists they are at Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc. Not too far from each other.
At Cu Chi, Tourists can fire a variety of Vietnam War era weapons at the shooting range.



Tay Ninh Cao Dai Temple

Tay Ninh Cao Dai Temple

Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh situated in a large area where is a nice place with full of big trees, around 100km from Ho Chi Minh City to the West.
Cao Dai is a syncretistic, monotheistic religion, officially established in the city of Tây Ninh, southern Vietnam, in 1926. Đạo Cao Đài is the religion's shortened name, the full name is Đại Đạo Tam Kỳ Phổ Độ (Great Religion [of The] Third Period [of] Revelation [and] Salvation). Concerning the term Cao Đài, literally, Cao means "high" and Đài means "dais, as in a platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it." Figuratively, it means that highest spiritual place where God reigns. Caodaiists often use the term Đức Cao Đài (Venerable Cao Dai) as the abbreviated name for God, the creator of the universe, whose full title is Cao Đài Tiên Ông Đại Bồ Tát Ma-ha-tát (translation: Cao Dai [the] Ancient Sage [and] Great Bodhisattva Mahasattva). According to Caodaiists, the full title was purposefully chosen by God because within it are representations of the Three Teachings: Saint, Sage and Buddha.
Tourists often go to Cao Dai Temple at the noon time for seeing the noon- mass. Members of Cao Dai religion will gather at the Temple every noon for praying.



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