Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam; Tours to the city are some of the best ways to get to explore the city’s culture, cuisine, historical sites and museums. Situated in the southern part of Vietnam, throughout history Ho Chi Minh City has been called many names, most recently Saigon, which it was known as from the beginning of French colonisation until 1976. As your group wanders along the streets of this expansive and interesting city in Vietnam, tours will often duck into and out of various covered areas as the rain comes and goes.
Vietnam has a tropical climate which lends itself to those sudden down-pourings in the rainy season (spring-summer), but the temperature rarely falls below 20 degrees Celsius, so even if you get soaked, you are still warm as you explore the different culture and exciting areas this city has to offer.
Street food in Ho Chi Minh City
Getting to try the unfamiliar foods is surely one of the most exciting things about exploring this city. Vietnam tours around Ho Chi Minh City will give you plenty of opportunities to taste the popular street food items. If you are a bit wary of the unusual, then try the Banh Mi, which is a more familiar example of street food that blends the light and crispy French style baguette with local fillings. Or, for something a bit more local, try the Pho, or noodle soup. For those of you who are more adventurous with your palates, taste the Banh Khot. To eat these, wrap the fried coconut rice cakes topped with pork or prawn in a lettuce leaf for a fresh crunch. If you have a few minutes to sit down and enjoy a more substantial street food meal, give a Banh Cuon a try. This dish is a rice crepe that is filled with a variety of ingredients, depending what the vendor has cooking, but it is often savoury and served like a burrito with a lashing of sweet fish sauce.
The Ho Chi Minh City Museum
Not too far from the well-known Reunification Palace is the Ho Chi Minh City Museum which is a must see for learning about this interesting and vibrant city in southern Vietnam. Tours to the museum will take you to the building, where you can gawk at the beautiful architecture, designed by French architect Alfred Foulhoux and built in the late 1800s. Inside, there are a variety of artefacts that cover the Communist period, the American resistance and the French Resistance that took place between 1930 and 1954. There are also two thirteenth-century boats that are possibly the highlight of the museum’s collection.
The Reunification Palace
When you are at the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, you should take the time to go see the Reunification Palace, which is located at 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street. It is one of the most interesting historical sites in this part of Vietnam. Tours to the palace will take you by the large tank outside, which is a replica of the one that broke down the gates and ended the war. The building itself was the Presidential Palace until the war ended, and inside it is like a trip into a 1960s time warp, where it seems that everything was left exactly as it was the day before Saigon fell.