Relics of the Vietnam War can be seen throughout the city. We first went to a monument of Thich Quang Duc, a monk who set himself on fire in protest of the war. The carvings behind the statue show what happened in realistic detail.
We then went to a local flower market. In addition to the wholesale flower sellers, there were a lot of street food vendors. Surprisingly, most of the stores are located on the first floor of a very tiny house, presumably where the owners live.
In the middle of the flower market, we saw people practicing for a cockfight. Our guide told us that although gambling is against the law, these cockfights can bring in thousands of dollars for the winner.
We passed by Binh Tay Market, the biggest market in Chinatown. Apparently the shopping is much better than its better known cousin, Ben Thanh Market, although unfortunately I did not get to go shopping in either!
We went to a local temple, which had a giant buddha sitting on a lotus. The amazing part was that there were tiny buddhas in each of the lotus petals!
HCMC was obviously under lots of development. We also passed through the “expat area”, with very expensive housing and lots of security – no street food vendors here!
Back in District 1, we saw two of the most famous buildings in the city – the Saigon Central Post Office (which is really a post office, in addition to selling a lot of souvenirs), and the Saigon Notre Dame Basilica.
Our guide told us that the bricks used to build this church were brought all the way from France, as well as all of the other original building materials!
Hope you enjoyed my trip to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam!