If you are seeking unusual things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, there is an array of unique activities to discover. From exploring the bustling local markets to taking a thrilling motorbike tour through the city's narrow alleys, you will find plenty of offbeat adventures to make your visit to Ho Chi Minh City truly memorable.
1. Visit a restaurant along Saigon Canal for dinner
Indulging yourself at a restaurant along the Nhieu Loc - Thi Nghe Canal, is one of the best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. This is a transformed waterway that was once marred by sewage but now offers a scenic escape from the surrounding urban environment. With a multitude of restaurants, the canal springs to life after sunset, creating a vibrant ambiance.
2. Enjoy the panoramic view from a rooftop bar
Ho Chi Minh City, the bustling metropolis of Vietnam, offers a multitude of skyscrapers and tall buildings, making it an ideal destination to explore the best rooftop bars in town. Immersing yourself in the captivating beauty of the bustling cityscape at a rooftop bar is undoubtedly one of the unusual things to do in Ho Chi Minh City for tourists.
Some prominent rooftop bars you can check out are:
- Chill Skybar
- Social Club Saigon
- Zion Sky Lounge & Dining
3. Take a river bus ride on the Saigon River
Experience the novelty of the water bus, a unique form of public transportation that operates along the scenic Saigon River. Spanning 11 kilometers from Bach Dang Wharf in Ho Chi Minh City to Linh Dong Wharf in Thu Duc City, embarking on a water bus tour promises to be one of the unusual things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. The water bus treats passengers to a luxurious sensation that is reminiscent of riding an elegant cruise.
4. Encounter your ideal cats or dogs at a Pet Cafe
Saigon's pet cafes continue to capture the hearts of many young travelers thanks to their distinctive and intriguing nature, despite the concept's long-standing existence. These cafes offer more than just delicious beverages. Here, visitors can engage with adorable dogs and cats, creating a lively and interactive atmosphere that diverges from the usual quietness.
Some famous pet cafes you can check out are:
- CATFE Coffee
- Hachiko Coffee
- Ken’s House Coffee
5. Indulge in locally-produced craft beer
For enthusiasts of craft beer, Ho Chi Minh City is home to a thriving craft beer culture, ensuring an array of exceptional drinks, both local and international. Whether you opt for a dedicated craft beer tour or a general beer experience in this city, you will discover a plethora of local establishments that offer an incredible selection of craft beers. Don't miss the chance to visit the local “bia hoi” restaurants that serve beer and snacks, adding a touch of authenticity to your beer-tasting adventure in Ho Chi Minh City.
6. Root for the participants at Saigon Dubstep Dance Battle
One of the unusual things to do in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam is to experience the electrifying Saigon Dubstep Dance Battle, a thrilling weekly showdown where the city's most daring and skilled dancers compete for glory. With high-energy performances that ignite the crowd, the victor is determined by applause, creating an exhilarating atmosphere that pulsates with energy. Once a champion is crowned, the festivities continue as a DJ takes the stage, ensuring the fun and excitement never cease.
7. Explore Nguyen Hue Walking Street by taking a leisurely stroll
Nguyen Hue Street is an integral part of Ho Chi Minh City, which is known for its vibrant tourist attractions and lively nightlife. Spanning 670 meters, this picturesque street is adorned with boutique shops, restaurants, bars, and towering buildings, creating a captivating ambiance.
As dusk falls, the street comes alive with a dazzling water fountain that illuminates the surroundings, along with vibrant street performances. Strolling along this street, don’t forget to try some mouth-watering foods such as banh mi (Vietnam baguette), mixed rice paper (banh trang tron), ice cream rolls, etc.
>>> Read more: Bui Vien Street - Saigon nightlife HOT SPOT 2023
8. Immerse yourself in culture at Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts
Visiting Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts is one of the top things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. Situated in the city's bustling heart, this iconic museum is regarded as a remarkable architectural gem. Its allure extends beyond its magnificent design, as it houses a remarkable collection of precious artifacts and artistic masterpieces. This museum has been attracting countless domestic and international tourists captivated by its beauty and the exceptional exhibits it showcases.
9. Visit and take photos at the unique pink Tan Dinh Church
No visit to Ho Chi Minh City would be complete without a visit to the remarkable Tan Dinh Church, a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. This prominent pink Catholic church, the second largest in Ho Chi Minh City after Notre Dame Cathedral, showcases Roman-style design and stands out with its distinctive pink exterior and interior. The church's captivating color scheme has endured over time, adding to its charm and allure.
10. Take a fast boat to the mangroves in Can Gio Biosphere Reserve
Embark on an invigorating day trip from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Gio Biosphere Reserve, just a 90-minute journey away by car, and immerse yourself in lush mangrove forests with a thrilling jet boat cruise. While navigating through the dense mangroves here, keep an eye out for unique plants, fish, shellfish, and invertebrates that thrive exclusively in this captivating region. Also, be sure to explore the renowned Monkey Island and Hoa Ca Crocodile Farm to get up close to the fascinating wildlife.
11. Take a motorbike trip and feel like a native
Taking a motorbike trip around the city is undoubtedly one of the most unusual things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. Experienced travelers can opt to navigate the bustling city streets of Saigon by driving themselves, whether on a scooter or a semi-automatic motorbike. However, for first-time visitors to Saigon, it is recommended to embark on a guided motorbike tour.
12. Conquer the exhilarating rides at Dam Sen Water Park
The scorching temperatures in Ho Chi Minh City, particularly during the months of April and May, can be quite daunting. While there are swimming pools available, for a one-of-a-kind experience, it is highly recommended to visit Dam Sen Water Park. Drifting along the Lazy River on an inner tube offers a refreshing retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.
13. Unleash your wild side in lively beer clubs
Foreign visitors to Ho Chi Minh City are captivated by the allure of Vietnamese beers, renowned for their affordable prices and delightful flavors. As the demand for beer continues to rise, the city's vibrant beer clubs have become go-to destinations for individuals seeking refreshing brews to quench their thirst or enjoy a lively time with friends.
Save these top beer clubs in Ho Chi Minh City on your bucket list:
- Vuvuzela Beer Club
- Kingdom Beer Club
- Sahara Beer Club
14. Relax and unwind at the city's finest parks
Ho Chi Minh City is blessed with an array of splendid parks, offering diverse landscapes that range from lush tree-covered areas to urban green spaces.
- One of the city's oldest parks, Tao Dan Park, boasts an impressive collection of over 1,000 trees and is conveniently situated in District 1
- Gia Dinh Park features an excellent play area specially designed for children, with different zones tailored to various age groups, from 3 to 15 years old
- September 23rd Park, characterized by green patches, shaded pathways, and tall trees, provides an ideal setting for a delightful picnic experience
- For those seeking a serene escape amidst vibrant floral displays, Hoang Van Thu Park is a popular spot, especially for exercise enthusiasts and nature lovers
15. Discover a variety of shops located at 14 Ton That Dam
The former apartment block, situated on 14 Ton That Dam in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, has been transformed into a captivating enclave, brimming with trendy cafes, stylish bars, fashion boutiques, and enticing dining establishments. This complex, with its intriguing French colonial-era architecture, holds hidden surprises within every corner.
16 - 25. 10 other unusual things to do in Ho Chi Minh City for tourists
Enhance your Saigon adventure with these other 10 unusual things to do in Ho Chi Minh City that will make your visit truly unforgettable. Engaging in these activities, you can immerse yourself in the city's vibrant atmosphere and uncover its hidden treasures, creating memories that will stay long after your trip has ended.
16. Explore the hidden alleys of Cho Lon (Chinatown)
17. Capture the moment at Saigon Central Post Office
18. Visit and take photos at the Cafe Apartments
19. Indulge in delicious street food at Ben Thanh Street Food Market
20. Embark on a delectable food tour
21. To get a panoramic view of the streets, take a Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
22. Explore the Mekong Delta, a famous region near Saigon
23. Take a stroll through the book streets of Ho Chi Minh City
24. Explore the vibrant Ho Thi Ky Flower Market in its entirety
25. Bask in the sunshine at Van Thanh Pool
In addition to discovering the unusual things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, broaden your Vietnam journey by venturing to other renowned destinations like Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Ha Long.
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Ho Chi Minh City, the vibrant economic and cultural hub of Vietnam, promises to astound tourists with an endless array of exciting activities and unforgettable experiences. This comprehensive guide presents 25 unusual things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, inviting every traveler to prioritize these remarkable adventures for an unparalleled time in the city.