Often still called Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s largest city, located in the southern part of the country. Found beside the Saigon River and within walking distance to entertainment and shopping districts, the stylish Le Méridien Saigon offers a new way of seeing things in this intriguing locale.
Filled with wide avenues and old French colonial buildings, Ho Chi Minh City is renowned for delectable Vietnamese cuisine and exclusive cultural experiences. For an enriching glimpse into the country’s past, visit one of the city’s unique museums, such as the Revolutionary Museum, the War Remnants Museum, the Vietnam History Museum, and the Fine Arts Museum. Some of the notable pagodas and temples nearby are the 7-storey Quoc Tu Pagoda; the Giac Lam Pagoda, built in 1744 and Ho Chi Minh City’s oldest; the Jade Emperor Pagoda, featuring impressive statues, figures, and wood carvings; and Mariamman Hindu Temple. Also fascinating are the Cù Chi Tunnels. Located about an hour by car from the city, they make up an astounding underground multilevel maze that totals nearly 250 kilometres in length.
For a taste of nature, head to the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, which was built in the 1860s. A top attraction, it is home to more than 100 species of animals, many lovely plants, flowers, and trees, a temple, and a museum. Fantastic shopping opportunities are ubiquitous. Browse the local bamboo ware, ceramics, and lacquerware, or visit some of the local art galleries. Other local goods renowned for their quality are cotton sheets, tabletop linens, silk clothing, household decorative items, woven fabrics, and coffee. Don’t miss the city landmark of Ben Thanh Market. This famous indoor market sells postcards, T-shirts, silk scarves, embroidered bags, satin slippers, throws, carved figurines, and much more. Refined arts and entertainment can be found just 2 kilometres from the hotel at the Saigon Opera House. Also known as the Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theater, the elegantly-restored 1,800-seat, 3-storey city landmark hosts a wide assortment of contemporary art performances including ballet, musical concerts, traditional Vietnamese dance shows, and plays.