Temples, Pagodas and Other Places of Worship
Giac Lam Pagoda, built around 1744, is the oldest in Ho Chi Minh City and has escaped the renovation work that has transformed many of Vietnam's other structures. Phuoc Hai Tu (Jade Emperor Pagoda) is filled with colourful statues of fantastical divinities and grotesque figures. Many of the temple walls are lined with wood panels depicting the torments awaiting evil people after they die. Notre Dame Cathedral is located in the government sector of District 1. It's two 40 metre high towers dominate the surrounding skyline.
Saigon Water Park
Located on Kha Van Can in the Thu Duc District Saigon Water Parks boasts dozens of pools and water slides, and a wave pool. A taxi ride from the city centre will cost $4 to $5, allow another $5 for the entrance fee. Best time to visit is midweek since it is very popular with Vietnamese at weekends when it can get a little crowded
Binh Quoi Tourist Village
This is more of a park than a village. It includes a swimming pools, boat rides, water puppet shows, tennis courts, river cruises and amusements plus ethnic music and shows. The village also has a guesthouse and bungalows. Ask at your hotel or a travel agent about one of the organized tours to Binh Quoi.
Cu Chi Tunnels
Tom Mangold and John Penycate in their book "The Tunnels of Chu Chi" described this place as 'the most bombed, shelled, gassed, defoliated and generally devastated area in the history of warfare'. Despite all of this the Americans were unable to dislodge the North Vietnamese troops. Both sides suffered an appalling number of casualties in the process. Crawling through the narrow tunnels it's difficult to imagine how anyone could endure months of living beneath the earth. The tunnels are located between 30km and 50km from Ho Chi Minh City centre. Best way to get there is on one of the organized tours (ask at your hotel or a travel agent).
Can Gio Beach
This is not one of the white sand beaches that can be found all along the coastline of Vietnam. It's an island in the Saigon river formed by silt washing down from upstream. The area is a large mangrove swamp that that houses several shrimp farms. You can visit the mangrove park and nearby museum. Can Goi is about 60km from the centre of Ho Chi Minh City and the journey will take about 2½ to 3 hours each way.
Vietnam Golf & Country Club
Located on Nguyen Trai in Thu Duc District around 15km from central Ho Chi Minh City. Expect to
pay around $50 for a round of golf and $10 to use the driving range. There is also tennis courts and a swimming pool.