I did a walking tour of Ho Chi Minh by myself. I used the 2006 Lonely Planet walking tour map (old, I know!) as my guide:
(1) Pham Ngu Lao St
(2) Pho 2000
(3) Ben Thanh Market
(4) Tran Nguyen Hai
(5) Fine Arts Museum
(6) Street market
(7) Municipal Theatre
(8) Rex Hotel
(9) Hotel de Ville
(10) Museum of Ho Chi Minh City
(11) War Remnants Museum
(12) Reunification Palace
(13) Notre Dame Cathedral
(14) Central Post Office
(15) History Museum
(16) Jade Emperor Pagoda
It was Easter Sunday so first stop was at the Notre Dame Cathedral [ (13) in the map ] for the 9:30 AM English mass. Taxi from Pham Ngu Lao St to the Cathedral was VND 40,000, or around Php80.
Right beside the Cathedral is the city’s Central Post Office [ (14) in the map ].
Trivia: The Central Post Office was designed and constructed by Gustave Eiffel. Yes, THAT Eiffel.
I then went to the park, where I saw teenagers having picnic or playing board games, their motorcycles in tow. There were also a few vendors roaming around with their goods.
In a few minutes I found myself in front of the Reunification Palace [ (12) in the map ]. Sadly, it was already around 12 noon and they were closed for lunch.
I got lost for a while. I may have gotten to the History Museum… so I started asking my way to the War Remnants Museum [ (11) in the map ]. The language was a real barrier, but thanks to charades, I found it! But like the Reunification Palace, it was closed. Good thing the war vehicles were outside for everyone to ogle at. Teehee.
Following my map, I headed to Rex Hotel [ (8) in the map ]. Good thing I saw some interesting things along the way because Rex Hotel alone is so not worth the walk!
I love seeing whatever French they have left.
eeek.. you can skip the “Street Market“! [ (6) in the map ]
At around 2:30 PM, I can no longer ignore the cries of my intestines. Good thing I found Ha Noi Quan. Only a few options but VERY delicious! My bill was only VND 85,000 or around Php 175, and I had two glasses of carrot shake at that!
Finally, I went to the famous Ben Thanh market [ (3) in the map ], where getting past the roundabout with a statue of Tran Nguyen Hai [ (4) in the map ] is such a “buwis buhay” moment! I swear!
I was back at the hotel at 4:30. Tiiiiiiirrreeeeed!
Another, less-tiring option (and very cheap too!) is to simply book with Sinh Tourist. My friends had the CuChi Tunnel tour in the morning and City Tour in the afternoon, all for less than Php500!
To check the rest of our itinerary and budget/expenses, click here.