Saigon discovery - Ten “must see” attractions
Saigon discovery - Reunification palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Nha Rong harbor are very
attractive to tourists not only for their histories but also for their impressive and old
1. Reunification palace
Reunification palace was named Norodom palace and built on February 23rd 1868 by architect
Hermite; it was completed in 1871. The work is located on the area of 12 hectares, including a
large palace with the front of 80 meters. There are a guest room with 800 seats and a yard
with green trees and grass cover. Almost every material was imported from France. In 1962,
after the overthrow, a new palace was built on the old ground according to the design of
architect Ngo Viet Thu. Now, Reunification is the attractive destination of many domestic and
2. The opera house
Opera house is located on Dong Khoi street in District 1 which is considered as the central
and multipurpose opera house and is used to organize the art shows and big events.
Completed on January 1st 1990, the opera house is famous with its European architecture and
considered as an attraction of the city.
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3. Notre Dame Cathedral
This is the large and unique Roman Catholic Cathedral of Ho Chi Minh archdiocese. The
cathedral was built by architect J. Bourard in August 1876 and completed on Octobor 7th
1877. The cathedral is an attraction to both domestic and foreign tourists.
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4. Vietnam Quoc Tu (Quoc Tu national pagoda)
On April 26th 1964, the pagoda was constructed and monitored by architect Ngo Viet Thu.
Quoc Tu national pagoda was built with a 7 floors tower which have curve roofs, unique
carve and are located in the large natural space with harmony scene and Vietnamese
architecture. Until now, Quoc Tu National pagoda has still been a destination of Buddhism
believers everywhere and tourists visiting Ho Chi Minh city.
5. Central post office
Saigon central post office is situated in the No 2, Cong Xa Paris street, District 1. This
building was built by French with eclectic style from 1886 to 1891 according to the design of
architect Villedieu and his assistant Foulhoux. This building has European style combined
with Asian decoration. Located next to Notre Dame cathedral and Diamond Plaza shopping
center, the building embellishes the vividness, spectacular and is the center of Saigon now.
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6. Ben Thanh market.
Ben Thanh market is considered as the symbol of city. After some location and name changes,
in 1912 the market was constructed and completed in March 1914 with the name of Ben
Thanh. Ben Thanh market has 4 entry gates and 4 tower gateways attached to clocks facing 4
streets in the center of District 1 in which face Le Loi street to the North, Phan Boi Chau to
the South, Phan Chu Trinh to the East and the main gate with the highest tower faces the
Quach Thi Trang square.
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7. Head office of Ho Chi Minh people’s committee
The head office is located in Nguyen Hue avenue, district 1 which was constructed from 1898
to 1909 by architect Gardes. The head office has a similar form with the bell-towers in the
Northern France. The headquarter named Dinh Xa Tay, Do Chanh Saigon palace before being
changed to Ho Chi Minh people’s committee. This is considered one of the most building in
Ho Chi Minh.
8. Vietnam history museum
Vietnam history museum in Ho Chi Minh city is conserving and keeping thousands of
precious items which are collected from domestic and abroad. On November 28th 1927, the
museum was officially built by architect Delaval with the style of “Indo-renovation”. After
August 26th 1979, the museum was taken over by revolution government. On August 26 1979,
the authority changed the name to Ho Chi Minh history museum, and before naming Vietnam
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9. Saigon river tunnel
Saigon river tunnel (Thu Thiem tunnel) is the most modern underground road tunnel in
Southeast Asia. After 7 years of construction, on November 21st 2011, the tunnel was
officially opened for traffic. The construction of tunnel supports to connect two river banks
and reduce load for Saigon bridge and promote the development of the city.
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10. Nha Rong wharf (Dragon House)
Nha Rong wharf was constructed on March 4th 1863 used for accommodation of General
manager and ticket station. Right here on June 5th 1911, Nguyen Tat Thanh (another name of
Ho Chi Minh president) took Amiral Latouche Treville cruise for finding ways to save the
country. Nha Rong wharf now is Ho Chi Minh Museum which is one of branches of the
museum and keep commemorative items of Ho Chi Minh over the country.
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