Off-the-Beaten-Path Attractions in Saigon
Saigon, known officially as Ho Chi Minh City, is a vibrant metropolis that blends old and new. The action never stops in this bustling city!
This destination is alive with countless motorbikes, lively marketplaces, and stunning temples. Impressive skyscrapers tower over the city.
As you explore Saigon, you'll likely notice some exquisite French colonial architecture at places like the Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, and National Theater. In between these monuments are numerous markets selling clothing, food, and produce. The aromas of delicious street food will tantalize your senses and feed your soul.
Saigon is a profoundly historical city with an intriguing past. You can learn about this at the Museum of Vietnamese History, the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, and the War Remnants Museum.
At sunset, the best place to see the incredible skyline is from the Bixteco Financial Tower.
Bitexco Financial TowerTòa nhà tài chính Bitexco, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
However, if you’re looking for more than just the top tourist attractions, stay tuned. These are the best off-the-beaten-path attractions Saigon has to offer.
Tan Dinh Market
The Tan Dinh Market is similar to some of the more famous markets like Ben Thanh but more manageable. It's an excellent alternative for people who want to experience local life and grab some fresh produce and tasty food.
However, the market isn't this place's main draw. What is most interesting for tourists is its outstanding selection of local food.
Here you can find exquisite local delicacies, including soups, century eggs, and banh xeo (crispy rice pancake).
It's a spot that you can't miss if you want a slice of local life and some delicious street food.
Tan Dinh Market314, 336 Hai Bà Trưng, Tân Định, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Tan Dinh Church
One of the more unique and picture-worthy spots in Saigon is the Tan Dinh Church. It's an excellent place to visit after spending some time at the nearby Tan Dinh Market.
There are many churches in the city, but this one stands out because of its bubble gum pink façade and interior. Its altars consist of precious stones from Italy. This church is the second-largest in Saigon after the Notre Dame Cathedral.
If you are Catholic, you can enter and join the mass. Non-worshipers can grab a coffee from one of the cafés across the street and take in the mesmerizing exterior.
Tan Dinh Church289 Hai Bà Trưng, Phường 8, Quận 3, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Binh Thanh is a vibrant part of town that is popular amongst locals. This community is multicultural, drawing in people from all over Vietnam and Asia.
Since it is a cultural melting pot, you'll find diverse food options here.
Saigon has a sizable Japanese population, and Binh Thanh has one of two of this city's Japan towns. This one is the newer of the two. What is unique about this district is that it fuses Vietnamese and Japanese cultures.
This area is a pleasant place to take a walk at night, and enjoy the canals while having a riverside meal.
Bình ThạnhBình Thạnh, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Chung Cư Tôn Thất Thiệp
One of the trendiest places to shop in Saigon is at the Chung Cu 42 Ton That Thiep. This destination is a particularly fashionable shopping center among local youth.
The compound is a partially converted apartment building with boutique shops selling affordable but stylish clothing.
Most people only visit the front of the building where the shops are, but there are hidden gems to discover in the back.
There are restaurants at this building serving delicious food geared towards working people. All of the food is inexpensive but very fresh and tasty. It is worth a visit if you want a local shopping and dining experience.
42 Tôn Thất Thiệp42 Tôn Thất Thiệp, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Chùa Vạn Phật (Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas)
In a city full of temples and pagodas, Chua Van Phat is a unique temple that stands out. It is a bit off-the-beaten-path because it is in a residential neighbourhood, but it is worth the trek.
The outside may lead you to think that there is nothing special on the inside. Never judge a book by its cover! This remarkable place of worship, located in district five, is a place that embodies Vietnamese culture, religion, and customs. While we're not sure if the temple has ten thousand buddhas or not, it sure seems like it does.
This place will take your breath away with its beauty and intricate details.
Ten Thousand Buddha Buddhist Temple66/14 Nghĩa Thục, Phường 5, Quận 5, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 70000, Vietnam
Bửu Long Pagoda
Buu Long Pagoda is an unexpected find amongst Saigon's urban sprawl that National Geographic considers one of the world's most stunning pagodas. It's about an hour outside the city center by taxi, but you won't be disappointed when you visit.
Visiting its compound is rejuvenating and peaceful. Travelers find themselves immediately impressed by the emerald green pond at its entrance. Throughout its grounds are a beautiful golden pagoda, perfectly manicured gardens, and a reclining Buddha statue.
Visitors can enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal while exploring the pagoda.
It's not on most Saigon tourist lists, but it should be on yours!