Skyline of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), VietnamWe were so excited to see a sunny blue sky when we looked out of our hotel window in our first morning in Saigon. We missed the sunshine. We just came from northern Vietnam where the clouds didn’t  allow the sun to peek almost the whole time we were there. We decided to spend the day strolling around the city to take in as much sunshine, while taking in Saigon’s modern and historic architecture and local street scenes.

(Ah yes, we prefer to call the city Saigon, instead of its official name Ho Chi Minh City, because it sounds more romantic and easier on the tongue:) Besides, the locals still prefer to call their city Saigon, so why don’t we.)

Hotel Continental, Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), VietnamWe focused our leisurely stroll in the heart of the District 1 of Saigon, where the modern and the old fuse seamlessly. It is a perfect showcase on how dynamic the city has become.

Shopping Mall, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), Vietnam This is one of the beautiful colonial buildings that has been converted into upscale shopping mall.

Modern Shopping Malll, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), Vietnam.One of the sparkly, new skycrapers housing muti-national offices and high-end designer shops.

Trendy Boutique_Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), VietnamA lot of trendy boutiques lined up the pleasant streets of Dhong Koi area.

Modern Cafe-Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), Vietnam.A lot of modern outdoor cafes lined up the sidewalks.

 Trendy Restaurant, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), Vietnam.A lovely alfresco restaurant.

Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), Vietnam The French established this market building they called Le Halles Centrales in 1870. It was renamed Ben Thanh Market in 1912 and today, it is a bustling marketplace where the locals can shop for all their daily needs. The main entrance with its clock has become the city’s symbol.

Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), VietnamWe walked around Ben Thanh Market a bit. Its sheer size and enormous merchandise were pretty overwhelming.  You can find almost all products you can think of – from the things you wear everyday to the food you have not even heard of.

People Waiting for Bus, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), VietnamLocals waiting for their rides by Ben Thanh Market, It is also a hub for the network of city buses.

Mango Vendor, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), Vietnam

 A mango vendor next to a bus stop.

Buddhist Funeral Procession, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), VietnamA traditional Buddhist funeral possession passing by one of the busy streets.

Fine Art Museum, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), VietnamThe elegant facade of the Museum of Fine Arts. It was built as a private mansion during the colonial time by the city’s wealthiest man and boasted of having the very first elevator in Saigon.

Reunification Place, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), VietnamPeering through the gate of one of the ghosts of Saigon’s past – the Reunification Palace.  It used to be the office of the President of South Vietnam. It was the site of the end of the war during the Fall of Saigon in 1975 when the tanks of North Vietnamese troops stormed the palace.

Coconut Vendor, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), VietnamKeith carrying the yoke of one of the coconut vendors walking around the district.  He had a new found appreciation for the walking vendors after learning how heavy their loads were.

Lady Coconut Vendor, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), VietnamA lady coconut vendor sitting on a street.

Paper Cut Art Vendor, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), VietnamA lady selling fancy paper cut-outs on the back of her motorbike.

Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), Vietnam.

One of the famous and imposing landmark of Saigon, the Notre Dame Cathedral was built by French around mid-1800’s.

Wedding, Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), Vietnam.It was a wedding season in Vietnam and we saw numerous brides and grooms walking the streets and posing for photographs at the parks.

Post Office_Ho Chi Minh, (Saigon), Vietnam. The Central Post Office is no doubt a French colonial building. It was, in fact, designed by Gustave Eiffel in late 1800’s.

Opera House, Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), VietnamThe lovely Saigon Opera House was built by French in 1897. Today, it is unromantically called the Municipal Theater of Ho Chi Minh City.

Opera House, Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), Vietnam

I tried to relive the Opera House’s romantic belle epoque era by walking down its red carpet:)

It was a perfect day for a stroll. Aside from the sunny sky, the temperature was very comfortable (it was early December) and because it was a weekend the streets were devoid of its crazy, notorious traffic. We hope you enjoyed strolling the streets of Saigon with us.

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About Marisol

Taking you on our journey one photo - and footstep - at a time.

11 responses to “A Saturday Stroll in Sunny Saigon

  1. I have been to Saigon 4 times, and if there;s one thing I always do there, it’s to walk around and eat streetfood! I miss it! I had some bad experiences the last time I was there, but it hasn’t stopped me from loving Saigon. Excellent pictures as always!
    Aleah | recently posted..Best Day Trips from ManilaMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Aleah, I know their street food is something else. I just realized that we didn’t see any street food in the District 1 area. It’s good that your experiences didn’t stop you for liking Saigon. Glad you enjo6yed the photos.

  2. Kira

    I agree, Saigon sounds more romantic:) What a very pleasant city. I love all the Frenchie architectures and the photos of people on the streets. Thanks for taking me on the delightful stroll.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hey Kirs, our pleasure. Gald you enjoyed the photos.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hello Sarah, thanks! So glad you enjoyed the tour:)

  3. James

    This post makes me more excited for my short Saigon trip next week! :)

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi James, have wonderful time in Saigon!

  4. Agness

    I lived in Saigon for more than a month and I can recognize most of the places you pictured. I really miss Vietnamese Pho and terrific traffic jam :)
    Agness recently posted..A Mini Guide to KTV in ChinaMy Profile

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Agness, I bet you miss the Pho! We enjoyed our time in Vietnam but the thing we miss most is the food!

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