January 28, 2016

Top Attractions in Vietnam


Me during our boat trip in Phu Qoc (2009)

First visit: December 2009
Places visited: Hanoi, Saigon, Hue, Hoi An, Phu Qoc, Sapa
Photography by Arthur Jeciel

It was December of 2009 when I first had the chance to visit Vietnam and during this tour, I was with Mike and we spent a few days in Saigon and Phu Qoc. Saigon was a very interesting city for me eventhough it reminded me a lot of my home city, Manila. Phu Qoc on the other hand is famous for its nice beaches and we really enjoyed our time there, not to mention the best seafood meal we have ever tasted in years. Exactly a year after, I was again with Mike visiting Vietnam for the second time although this time, we traveled together with the Singelresor group. It was a very intensive trip as we were able to visit a lot of places including a visit to the minorities in Sapa. In case you will be visiting this beautiful country in Southeast Asia, here are some of my traveltips.



Ho Chi Minh City Hall: This building is not open to public but nevertheless, it is possible to take a picture of this elegant colonial building. The best time to do this is at night when the building is lit up, although unfortunately I was not able to do it myself. I guess that would be on top of my list when I visit Saigon the next time.

Saigon Notre Dame Basilica: Opened in 1880, this beautiful cathedral with its Romanesque architecture is simply not to be missed when in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

Saigon Opera House: Built by French architect Eugene Ferret, this opera house with its French-Colonial architecture is also known as the Municipal Theater of Ho Chi Minh City.

Saigon Central Post Office: Located near the Notre Dame Basilica, this is the largest post office in Vietnam famous for its vaulted roof and arched windows. Simply not to be missed when in Saigon.

Reunification Palace: Formerly known as Independence Palace, the building served as presidential home.

War Remnants Museum: Also known as the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes, visiting this museum felt like I was visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan.

Củ Chi Tunnels: Located in Cu Chi District of Ho Chi Minh City, these tunnels are definitely worth visiting.

Bitexco Financial Tower: This skyscraper which opened in October 2010 will give you really nice views of the city of Saigon so make sure you don't miss it.

The busy streets full of motorbikes: I've never been to a country that has more motorbikes than in Vietnam!

Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh: A very interesting place of worship that is worth a visit.

Mekong Delta Floating Markets: It was my first time to see such floating markets as we don't have them in the Philippines so I was really very fascinated to see how they manage their "trading".

A visit to Halong Bay: Visiting Vietnam is never complete without visiting this wonderful bay and its thousands of towering limestone islands.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum: Located in the center of Ba Dinh Square, this is simply not to be missed when in Hanoi.

Presidential Palace in Hanoi

One Pillar Pagoda: This pagoda in Hanoi is considered as one of Vietnam's most iconic temple.

Quan Thanh Temple in Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh's House

Tran Quoc Pagoda: This is the oldest Buddhist Temple in Hanoi and simply not to be missed.

Thien Mu Pagoda: This pagoda located in the city of Hue is the tallest religious building in Vietnam.

Hue Imperial City (The Citadel): Hue was the former imperial capital of Vietnam and visiting this citadel is simply a must when in Hue. Those walls protected the Nguyen Dynasty between 1802 and 1945.

Hoi An is famous is for tailor made suits so if you need a new suit, this place is perfect for you.

Visiting the minorities in Sapa: It was not easy traveling to this remote place but it was very much worth the experience.

Sung Sot Cave: This cave is located in Halong Bay so you can visit this place while doing your Halong Bay boat tour.

The Island of Phu Qoc: This island is famous for its white-sand beaches and resorts.


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