If you love the hustle and bustle, street food, the crazy chaos of city life, you’ll love Ho Chi Minh City. Located in Southern Vietnam, HCMC is an invigorating city whose beauty lies in its delicious local food, colourful markets, and rich history.
There are lots to discover and experience in HCMC (read: our guide to celebrating the thriving nightlife), but that doesn’t mean you can’t cover it in three days! If you have a tight budget and you’re thinking of having a short weekend getaway, HCMC could be the ideal place for you to visit.
Since the flight from Singapore to HCMC is just slightly more than two hours, you can start exploring the city right off the bat! Tip: Book an early flight and land in HCMC in the morning so you can maximise your experiences in the city.
Most attractions in HCMC are located in the city centre, which makes it easy to tick off must-visit places of your itinerary. From museums, heritage sites, shopping centres, and markets to visit, it might be difficult to cover each and every single site. Since it’s quite overwhelming to cover so many places in such a short time, here are the must-visit spots to visit:
Get souvenirs from Ben Thanh Market
The market is vibrant, full of vitality, and sells all kinds of goods at ridiculously affordable prices. Whether it’s clothing, handicraft, fresh produce, you’ll find something you’re after here. It’s also a great place to buy Vietnamese coffee which could make great gifts for your friends and family back home.
Drop by iconic landmarks
Built by the French during the colonial era, the Notre Dame Cathedral has been standing for more than 100 years. Intricate crownings lace the cathedral, making it stand out amongst other architectures in its surroundings.
The Saigon Central Post Office is also a site of deep historical value. Like the Cathedral, it has intricate crownings and a colonial-style architecture. The post office was built in the 1880s and is still running till today, which is an impressive feat in itself.
Go on a mini food trail (between destinations)
Along the way, you’ll pass by lots of street food stalls selling treats, pancakes, and sandwiches. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try out a few street stalls along the way while you travel from place to place? It’s a great way to experience HCMC’s city life and have a taste of authentic local flavours.
End off the day with outdoor BBQ
After travelling and doing lots of walking, you’ll probably be tired out by the end of the day. A great way to end off a full day with a bang is having a delicious BBQ dinner! 5KU Station is a popular BBQ restaurant serving affordable and sizeable sharing portions. From beef, chicken, seafood, there are lots to choose from in its menu. Wash it all down with a pint of beer for maximum satisfaction.
Set aside at least half a day exploring Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels is a complex network of underground tunnels that were used in guerrilla warfare during the Vietnam war. It’s a site of deep historical significance as it played a key strategic role and was also Viet Cong’s (a political organisation) base of operations. Crawling through the narrow tunnels will give you an eye-opening experience of what the Vietnam war was like for the soldiers. Also: We’ve got a half-day tour and full-day tour for you to pick from.
Just so you know, the Cu Chi Tunnels are located farther away from HCMC’s city centre so you’ll want to set aside a full day to visit this site.
Indulge in relaxing activities
If you have some time left to spare before your flight, you’d probably want to get some last minute shopping done. It’s best to just take it easy on the last day and go for some massages, or get your nails done at a medi-pedi salon! To make the most of your third day, it’s probably best to book a late afternoon flight back so you can have some time to enjoy the last moments of your trip.
HCMC’s bustles with excitement and makes for an exciting weekend getaway. While there are lots to explore in HCMC, it’s not impossible to have an immersive experience of this unique city in just three days. With lots of heritage sites, lively markets, and delicious food, it’s perfect for those who enjoy the crazy chaos of city life.
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