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“Lunar New Year Celebration”

Ho Chi Minh Squares
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Half-Day Ho Chi Minh City Tour by Jeep
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This historic area is bordered by City Hall, the beautiful Rex Hotel and numerous French and Vietnamese restaurants.
Level Contributor
578 reviews
183 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 176 helpful votes
“Lunar New Year Celebration”
Reviewed March 13, 2014

Not quite knowing what to expect during the Annual TET celebration the end of January & worried that the city would be shut down, we were pleasantly surprised to see that all was alive and happening. Yes, there are some stores shut (for several days in a row) but there are enough others for you to find what you need and restaurants are all open! 2014 was the Year of the Horse and you definitely will see representations of the animal of that year throughout the festival and the city. Go early to see the floral arrangements and displays as the square and nearby street get very, very packed. You will see the most beautifully dressed Vietnamese, with entire families, multi generations, taking family photos.

Visited January 2014
Thank pglaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Quezon City, Philippines
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great place for a photo-op!”
Reviewed March 10, 2014

This is probably the most beautiful part of the city! A well-maintained square surrounded by landscaped gardens and elegant French-styled buildings. A photo-op under Uncle Ho's watchful gaze is a must especially for the first-time visitor!

Visited March 2014
Thank Erik D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
168 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Central Square”
Reviewed March 9, 2014

Well kept gardens with upmarket shops all around the square. Nice for an evening stroll as the area is good with the Opera House close by.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank SunnyKochhar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
546 reviews
99 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
“Ho Chi Minh Trip”
Reviewed March 8, 2014

Heard that Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, was becoming vivacious, so piqued our interest to visit and see for ourselves. Had wondered how this traditional, once too laid-back city has transformed, and to what extent. However, when we stepped off the plane, we saw alot of tall buildings in the distance, and professional-looking executives were all over the place. In fact, it was rather delightful to learn that there were a lot of French Colonial style buildings around the city and also, French restaurants, since they used to be under French control.

I have stayed at the Amara Hotel Saigon and New World Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City before - both recommended, depending on where your preferred location is. The latter hotel has a casino in it, so those seeking to try their luck at winnings may be duly occupied.

Transport-wise, there are plenty of cabs available. The roads are filled with scooters as these are the main mode of transport for their people there - manual workers as well as office workers in executive wear, alike.

For upscale shopping, one may like to check out Thuong Xa Tax (Saigon Tax Trade Center) located at District 1. This is where one could find malls and stores selling clothes, accessories, books and crafts. I did not see anything suitable as I thought the style of the clothes, accessories and crafts were not my kind of style...the designs were stll leaning very heavily on the Vietnamese intricate patterns.

Many tourists and locals love the Ben Thanh Market as well - a large marketplace in central Ho City Minh City (District 1, as well), housed in yet another gorgeous French-styled building, boosting rows of vendors selling foodstuff, souveinirs, textiles and clothes.

One is rather spoilt for choices for food here.

Let's not talk about the pricey ones like Ly Club, Temple Club and Le Jardin etc - there are lists that potential diners could search for, online. Fine dining and French / French-Vietnamese Fusion restaurants are readily available in most areas.

For traditional Vietnamese food, one may like to try the Pho (Vietnamese soup noodles) - two recommended locations would be Pho Hoa and Pho24 - tasty soup noodles, tender beef and healthily infused with an assortment of vegetables such as mint leaves, beansprouts etc. Vietnam is also famous for its Broken Rice dishes - I did not get to try, but heard its crispy and tasty. Finally, the spring rolls - either deep fried ones containing pork, shrimps and vegetables or fresh ones containing just shrimps and vegetables - are equally tasty and healthy food for thought.

It is not recommended to try their curry though - the sweet curry made me feel funny after eating it - not funny due to sickness, but felt kind of nauseous.

My personal favorite was the Cruise Dinner onboard one of the large vessels and dining on the scenic and romantic Saigon River. Different cruises served different cuisines - we went up on all three and finally settled for the one that served Chinese cuisine (craving of the day) along with the best music. There were live performances during dinner comprising of fire-eating shows and dancing. It was very entertaining.

There are also a number of cafes and bars scattered around - it depends on whether one is seeking for refreshers or more hardcore chilling out. Try Windows Cafe (Park View) at District 1 - a lavish, three-storey modern-esque building devoted entirely to serving its patrons - drinks or food, all welcome.

For more detaield information and photos, do check out

Visited September 2013
2 Thank TheArcticStar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
107 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great building architecture”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

The historic buildings have a flair of architecture combined with the new buildings that are very modern

Visited March 2014
Thank thompsv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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