HCMC, Vietnam


hori

New Member
Jun 22, 2003
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#1
Hi, I'm heading to HCMC in a few weeks time. This is my first time to Vietnam, so I will like to hear of any must-see sites (in HCMC or outskirts of HCMC) to be photographed?

I've also did my research using lonely planet guidebooks and a couple of websites. So I'm keen to learn more about the experiences of those who have been to Vietnam, particularly HCMC.

Cheers :)
 

Shen siung

Senior Member
May 21, 2008
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#2
Hi, I'm heading to HCMC in a few weeks time. This is my first time to Vietnam, so I will like to hear of any must-see sites (in HCMC or outskirts of HCMC) to be photographed?

I've also did my research using lonely planet guidebooks and a couple of websites. So I'm keen to learn more about the experiences of those who have been to Vietnam, particularly HCMC.

Cheers :)
do you like touristic spot?
Mekong delta, Cu chi tunnel, etc.

Walk around in China town is quite nice.
I like to follow the lonely planet walking tour. You may do so.
 

Jun 14, 2010
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Admiralty
#3
I was there twice last year and i really enjoyed Vietnam.

When you are there, don't be afraid of the traffic. Walk through the road and the scooters will avoid you.

Some of the places there that are a must do and must see is :
Ben Thanh Market
Eating their french baguettes (Priced at 10000 Dong/$1>)
Cu Chi tunnels
Night market @ Outside Ben Thanh.

For the Cu Chi tunnels, you can book through Singh Tours, they are the most reputable tour agency in Vietnam. They have other packages you can look out for too.

May i know how long do you intend to be in Vietnam?
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#4
i can't say i enjoyed HCM city, it's full of motorcycles and people.

i think the main reason is because i'm generally not that interested in photographing people.

you can try, if you are there for a significant amount of time, to get to mui ne. there are beautiful sand dunes and beaches waiting there for you, if you're into landscapes.
 

sethgoh

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Dec 17, 2008
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#5
i agree. mui ne would be a good side to side trip with hcmc.

did not enjoy hcmc as much as hanoi. the only thing i found interesting in hcmc was the cao dai temple. :D
 

hori

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Jun 22, 2003
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#6
do you like touristic spot?
Mekong delta, Cu chi tunnel, etc.

Walk around in China town is quite nice.
I like to follow the lonely planet walking tour. You may do so.
It's my first time there, so I think I'll do the tourist spots too. I'm reading the Lonely Planet guide to plan my main places to visit.

I was there twice last year and i really enjoyed Vietnam.

When you are there, don't be afraid of the traffic. Walk through the road and the scooters will avoid you.

Some of the places there that are a must do and must see is :
Ben Thanh Market
Eating their french baguettes (Priced at 10000 Dong/$1>)
Cu Chi tunnels
Night market @ Outside Ben Thanh.

For the Cu Chi tunnels, you can book through Singh Tours, they are the most reputable tour agency in Vietnam. They have other packages you can look out for too.

May i know how long do you intend to be in Vietnam?
Thanks for your reply. I've stay in Cambodia for 6 months, and the traffic there is as 'fluid' as the Vietnamese version :)

I shall check out the places you recommended. Am likely to visit Cu Chi tunnels since everyone took a shot of them squeezing in the hole, I shall take one too. :bsmilie:

I'll be there for a week.

i can't say i enjoyed HCM city, it's full of motorcycles and people.

i think the main reason is because i'm generally not that interested in photographing people.

you can try, if you are there for a significant amount of time, to get to mui ne. there are beautiful sand dunes and beaches waiting there for you, if you're into landscapes.
I enjoy landscape and cityscape, so it may not be so bad for me. Haha. Mui Ne, you say? I shall find more info on that too. ;)

i agree. mui ne would be a good side to side trip with hcmc.

did not enjoy hcmc as much as hanoi. the only thing i found interesting in hcmc was the cao dai temple. :D
Thanks! My friend who's a regular visitor to Vietnam prefers neither Hanoi nor HCMC; he visits the other smaller cities. Friendlier people and more 'character' in the buildings, he said.
 

ahbian

Senior Member
May 23, 2006
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#8
Actually, the traffic in HCMC is not as bad as I had expected, the pavements are wide enough for walking and the motorists do adhere to the traffic lights at major junctions.

It depends on what you look out for in the trip, for me, I would tend to skip all the touristy stuff (tunnels, mekong delta) and walk around the streets and alleys. But since you have a whole week there, then maybe the side trips will fill up the time nicely.

There is a underrated market called Thai Binh market which I prefer more than Ben Thanh.

1) It is catered for locals
2) Better lighting (open roofs, but not so nice if it rains.)
3) Not as "cleaned up" as Ben Thanh (can be a good point or bad point, depending on how you view it).
4) Much much smaller than Ben Thanh


Go there if you want photo opportunities of the locals in action.
 

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Shen siung

Senior Member
May 21, 2008
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#9
For HCMC, a must will be the reunification palace, the post office, the cathedral, etc. I like the old colonial / French style street and the Chinatown type. A good contrast.
 

hori

New Member
Jun 22, 2003
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#10
yes, cheap too.

you can see my vietnam gallery: http://www.pbase.com/night86mare/vietnam_09

for a better idea of what you can expect in mui ne :)
Thanks night86mare. Your pictures are inspiring to what I can do over there. ;) Checked out Mui Ne through various websites and found it to be quite a nice place to chill out and take landscape pictures. Checked with the missus too and she's keen on a couple of days near the coast. :D

Actually, the traffic in HCMC is not as bad as I had expected, the pavements are wide enough for walking and the motorists do adhere to the traffic lights at major junctions.

It depends on what you look out for in the trip, for me, I would tend to skip all the touristy stuff (tunnels, mekong delta) and walk around the streets and alleys. But since you have a whole week there, then maybe the side trips will fill up the time nicely.

There is a underrated market called Thai Binh market which I prefer more than Ben Thanh.

1) It is catered for locals
2) Better lighting (open roofs, but not so nice if it rains.)
3) Not as "cleaned up" as Ben Thanh (can be a good point or bad point, depending on how you view it).
4) Much much smaller than Ben Thanh


Go there if you want photo opportunities of the locals in action.
As it's my first time there, I will do the touristy thing and also find time to do the non-touristy things and places. Thanks for the heads up on Thai Binh. The cleanliness of the market is not a concern for me. I'm more concerned with opportunities to be upclose to the local culture/way of living as well as photographing.

Do you think it's better to ask them before I take pictures of people in the market?

For HCMC, a must will be the reunification palace, the post office, the cathedral, etc. I like the old colonial / French style street and the Chinatown type. A good contrast.
I like the colonial architecture too. :) Yes I think those places you mentioned are the usual suspects.
 

ahbian

Senior Member
May 23, 2006
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#11
As it's my first time there, I will do the touristy thing and also find time to do the non-touristy things and places. Thanks for the heads up on Thai Binh. The cleanliness of the market is not a concern for me. I'm more concerned with opportunities to be upclose to the local culture/way of living as well as photographing.

Do you think it's better to ask them before I take pictures of people in the market?
No worries, I did a solo trip in Vietnam for 3 weeks, HCM is one of the places that is easiest to move around.

Thai Bihn is more like of a old wet market with local produce, sights and smell included, so you can check and see if your missus would appreciate that. :)

But its pretty small, 15 minutes and you can finish walking all the aisles. The food stalls are catered to the locals and you can find fresh and cheap food there.

I spent about 2 hours there taking photos (without asking), they don't seem to mind. But I'm sure they would also appreciate if you ask beforehand.
 

Jun 14, 2010
973
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Admiralty
#12
If you are staying for a week, go out of HCMC, go to Mui Ne, the beach there is very beautiful.

For the tunnels and colonial architectual buildings, you can book thru Singh Tours.
The package should be 1/2 day city tour.
 

ahbian

Senior Member
May 23, 2006
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#14
For the tunnels and colonial architectual buildings, you can book thru Singh Tours.
The package should be 1/2 day city tour.
Do you mean the Sihn Tourist? If so, TS should be mindful that there are many counterfeit shops bearing the same name and logo (so much for copyright protection there).

The offiginal one has even changed its name due to to many copycats.
http://www.thesinhtourist.vn/
 

hori

New Member
Jun 22, 2003
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Singapore
#15
No worries, I did a solo trip in Vietnam for 3 weeks, HCM is one of the places that is easiest to move around.

Thai Bihn is more like of a old wet market with local produce, sights and smell included, so you can check and see if your missus would appreciate that. :)

But its pretty small, 15 minutes and you can finish walking all the aisles. The food stalls are catered to the locals and you can find fresh and cheap food there.

I spent about 2 hours there taking photos (without asking), they don't seem to mind. But I'm sure they would also appreciate if you ask beforehand.
I may be doing backpacking trip (if budget permits) with my friends to a couple of the ASEAN nations (especially Laos and Myanmar).

Thanks for the tips :)

If you are staying for a week, go out of HCMC, go to Mui Ne, the beach there is very beautiful.

For the tunnels and colonial architectual buildings, you can book thru Singh Tours.
The package should be 1/2 day city tour.
Yes, a couple of replies also suggested Mui Ne. Night86mare even posted his gallery on the place. Thanks :)

Also noted on the Sinh area/Chinatown and the caution.
 

Jul 8, 2010
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#16
Fortunately, I'm Vietnameses person, it means that I will give you another guidelines for your trip to HCMC.
(1) Weather: At the moment, it is so hot (more than 38oC normally)
(2) From my opinion, I suppose that not many interesting places for taking photograph in HCMC. However, if you like to taking landscapes, please go to another places in Vietnam, such as Dalat, Danang, old street in Hanoi, Hoi An, Sapa, or the high mountain in the Western North of Vietnam. I'm sure that you will find a real life of Vietnamese people that are different from another countries.
Namlely,it is more easier to move from City A to City B in Vietnam: by car (you can find more information from Sinhcafe), by train, and by air. But, the most important is that you should have a specific plan with more information of the place that you are coming, or you could by in-a-day tour of travelling agencies in the City you are coming

Have a good trip
 

LOTUSfairy

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 10, 2006
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Serangoon
#17
Been to HCMC once and I love the place.

Never eaten so much veggies in my lifetime. Randomly took any local bus and roamed about. There was once we landed in some outskirt villages and wah la...there is one huge amusement park ... :lovegrin:

My best experience: HOW TO CROSS THE ROAD.. take one step on the road, just look forward and walk at the SAME pace, just glide across the road.. the motorists can gaudge very accurately and auto-siam u safely..:bsmilie:
 

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muzikbug

New Member
Feb 16, 2006
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Singapore
#19
was there abt 2years back.
quite a lot of things to shoot.
near the Opera House area, near the Saigon River (esp in the morning where lots of motorbikes will cross the river by those RPL-type vessels)...
can go up to one of those rooftop cafes of hotels at night and shoot long exposure night shots - the motorbikes light trails are amazing!
 

Shen siung

Senior Member
May 21, 2008
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#20
was there abt 2years back.
quite a lot of things to shoot.
near the Opera House area, near the Saigon River (esp in the morning where lots of motorbikes will cross the river by those RPL-type vessels)...
can go up to one of those rooftop cafes of hotels at night and shoot long exposure night shots - the motorbikes light trails are amazing!
Yes the Saigon river is actually one of the recommendation in Lonely planet. But I didn't make it that time.