Top 5 Instagram-worthy Places in Saigon

1. “The pink church”

Saigon Extravaganza Pink Church

Tan Dinh Parish Church (aka “The Pink Church”), celebrated its inauguration on December 16, 1876 and at that time was lesser known as the big brother of the Notre Dame de Saigon (1880). The church architecture features both the Roman and Baroque style. The most striking feature of the church is that the entire building is painted pink - when highlighted by the blue sky, it creates a very attractive and refreshing beauty. Nowadays, it has become one of the hottest destinations for young millennials and their “check-in” lists.

Saigon Extravaganza Tan Dinh Church 2

How to get here? 

It is located at 289 Hai Ba Trung, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.

Tips:

  1. Best time to go: daytime only 
  2. While you are here, you can either have a look at Tan Dinh market, which is known as one of the oldest and most authentic Vietnamese markets in Saigon or have a taste of the best Goi Du Du Bo (green papaya salad) in town at Le Van Tam park.

2. Hao Si Phuong – an alley with a unique architecture

Hao: Generosity

Si: Literators

Phuong: Small community

Hao Si Phuong refers to a small Chinese community that lives in an alley that is full of people with great generosity and knowledge. Chinese and Vietnamese cultures are very similar in the way that they are both very community-oriented, and this is especially evident here in this small corner of Saigon. The alley is divided into two separate areas: the upper and the lower. The houses on the upper floor are the main highlight of the alley, exhibiting ancient architecture mixed with the modern and flaunting brilliant eye-catching colors. Despite the modern-day hustle and bustle of the city, day-to-day life for the people of the alley is still as carefree and calm as ever.

How to get here?

Get to 206 Tran Hung Dao B, District 5. It is a very dark alley at the entrance. Do not get panic! Just keep walking inside and then walk up to the stair on the right.

Tips:

  1. Best time to go: daytime only
  2. While you are in the China town, you can visit one of the oldest Chinese temples in Saigon here. The temple is called Thien Hau Taoist temple (1760) which is also an Instagram hot spot. 

3. Vietnam Quoc Tu Pagoda (1964)

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With more than half the population following Buddhist-oriented practices, Vietnam is famous for its many pagodas featuring historical architecture. Vietnam Quoc Tu is easily spotted by its colorful, oversized statues of religious figures. If you visit on the first and fifteenth of the month, you will have access to the third and seventh floors. On other days, only the second floor is accessible; which features a shrine made up of miniature Buddhas floating against a cloudy sky mural.

How to get here?

It is located right at the junction of 3 Thang 2 street and Le Hong Phong street.

Tips:

  1. Best time to go: both day and night time
  2. Have a taste of the one and only Banh Canh Ghe – coconut and milk based broth crab noodle soup at 484 Nguyen Tri Phuong, D10.

4. A Hidden Art Alley

This hidden art alley in district 4 always leaves me surprised and intrigued due to its beautiful paintings of different themes. Particularly the countryside scenery shown in spring, summer, autumn and winter. The owner of these paintings is none other than Nguyen Van Minh, a drawing artist now in his late 70's, who lives in the alley and is affectionately known by locals as "Uncle Tu". Uncle Tu used to be an art teacher at a local school for disable kids in Ho Chi Minh City. Due to a change of circumstances in his personal life, he quit teaching and began wandering the alleys to ease his passion for painting. All the paintings in this hidden alley carry a message from Uncle Tu to the local civilians: "This alley back in 2015 was always submerged in rubbish because people here are not highly conscious of it. I hope these paintings will help raise awareness to stop littering”.

How to get here?

64 Nguyen Khoai, District 4.  

Tips:

  1. Best time to go: daytime only
  2. This alley is close to the Eiffel Bridge, which was built during the French colonization of Saigon. It is well worth a visit.

5. “With great wings, we fly”

You can easily find this wings post like our friend – Omar Jaen at Ben Thanh Street Food Market.

How to get here?

26-28-30 Thu Khoa Huan, District 1.  

Tips:

  1. Best time to go: both day and night time
  2. It is right next to the infamous local market – Ben Thanh market, which is worth a wander. 

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HI! I'M JAKE ANH

Special thank to Ben Fisher, Omar Jaen and Ngoc Vien.