Despite its modernity, Saigon maintains a strong link to the past and our city tour takes in some of Saigon’s most historic landmarks.
Standing magnificently at the heart of Saigon is the Opera House, which is also known as the Municipal Theater, was built in 1898 by the French architect. This is as one of the impressive sight in Saigon – both night and day.
Then to Hôtel De Ville (People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City) – a famous French architecture, Notre Dame Cathedral, a red brick edifice with twin spires constructed from materials imported from France (visit outside until 2019 – it is in the big renovation) and Central Post Office, constructed when Vietnam was part of French Indochina in the late 19th century. A short drive to the former Presidential Palace, built on the site of the former Norodom Palace, a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City.
Drive to District 3, to visit the house where still stands for the 300-years-old city (house of King Gia Long's son). It was built in the traditional architectural style, with three compartments and wooden walls. Renovated many times, it still seems to look ancient and the original structure remains unchanged. Nowadays, it lies behind the massive building of the Bishop’s Palace and considered as the oldest house in Saigon.
Head to join-in Cheo Leo coffee (overshadowed by the Saigon aging apartment complex named Nguyen Thien Thuat), it has indeed been known as the oldest coffee shop in Saigon. Coming there, get to know an another way to make coffee; Not with a coffee machine or with a filter. The essence of Cheo Leo’s lasting charm lies in its old-fashioned, almost extinct, way of brewing coffee with a clay pot and a cloth strainer. This brought me a feeling to be back to Saigon in the early 20th century. Chatting over a good cup of coffee has become a pleasant memory.
Proceed to Cholon – the Vietnam’s largest Chinatown with roots dating back to 1778, it’s also a place of great historical and cultural importance.