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Top Rated Attractions in Ho Chi Minh

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Củ Chi tunnels

The Cu Chi Tunnels are a vast maze of underground tunnels that were used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. These tunnels were a part of a unique guerrilla military strategy used in several campaigns including the 1968 Tết Offensive. The tunnels made use of the local terrain and maximized the Vietnamese advantage in the war against the better-equipped American Forces. More than merely a hideout, these tunnels spanned several levels underground and housed supplies, communications hubs, living spaces, storage, and emergency care facilities. To fight the Viet Cong's military tactics, the US Forces trained soldiers to infiltrate and destroy the tunnel systems. The tunnels are today part of a larger heritage park and are celebrated as a testament to the Vietnamese persevering spirit.

War Remnants Museum

Housed in a former USIA building, the War Remnants Museum is one of the most popular sights in the city. Complete with a troupe of exhibits and war memorabilia, the museum delineates details of the Vietnam War. In particular, the photographic offering at the museum is a moving property which lends stirring insights into the state the country was in, during the war. Touted to be one of the most popular museums in Vietnam, this stirring museum also harbors an extensive artillery, armor and aircraft collection, left behind in the wake of the war. The museum houses informative exhibitions through historic documents which are a soul-stirring escape into the iconic the Second Indochina War. Beckoning close to 5,00,000 visitors annually, this museum is easily one of the most-visited sites in the city.

Bình Quới Tourist Village

Just 20 minutes east of District 1, traffic gives way to waterside cafes, bars and restaurants. One of the best is the Binh Quoi Village run by Saigon Tourist. Situated at the end of the road just before the ferry jetty, the village is jacketed in coconut trees while the traditional thatched huts will transport visitors to a historical time. The village also has a small pool and tennis courts for hire. The floating restaurant, with set menus featuring crab and snails, makes a great setting to watch boats go by as the sun drops over the Saigon River.

Xá Lợi Pagoda

An architectural jewel dating back to 1956, this varicolored, seven-tiered pagoda is one of the largest in Ho Chi Minh City. Established to enshrine an eternal relic of Buddha, the pagoda is essentially famed for being the historic center of opposition to the Diem regime. In August 1973, approximately 15,000 Buddhist demonstrators crowded the pagoda in protest, resulting in the arrest of around 400 monks and nuns. This ancient pagoda is steeped in dramatic layers of history and is complete with a belltower, ornate sculptures, and a serene, ceremonial hall. Also home to an enormous gilded statue of Sakyamuni (historical Buddha) and elaborate painting of Bodhidharma, this towering pagoda is one of the most revered sites in the whole of the city. Today, the Xa Loi Pagoda is an important historical landmark, a place of worship and a Buddhist publishing center.

Independence Palace

In 1975, a North Vietnamese Army tank struck through the wrought-iron gates of what was then the symbol of the South Vietnamese government, signifying the end of the Vietnam War. Much like that tank, now enshrined by the site's entrance, the Independence Palace is practically frozen in time. Once the workplace and abode of French Governor Cochin-China, this onetime presidential home is where history lingers everywhere, from across the basement and the former command center to the rooftop terrace and its accompanying helipad. Set against a well-preserved backdrop, this palatial edifice is like a canopy of immortal history which is illustrated with the help of opulent rooms laden with vintage furniture, telecommunications equipment and a certain sense of '60s kitsch along the way. Featuring a tapestry of tunnels and other war memorabilia including two original tanks used in the war, the palace is ornamented with lush, vibrant gardens which enliven its otherwise aged persona. Insightful strands from the video presentation of Vietnamese history pervade the palace's crevices which are steeped in profound, long-standing antiquity.

Dong Khoi Street

The Dong Khoi Street formally known as Rue Catinat, is a bustling street, in the heart of the chirpy city. This street is dotted with prominent landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office, which take you back in time of the French colonial era. This street is known for its boutiques, cafes and restaurants making it one of the best go-to spots for food and shopping spree.

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