Architecture

Three Hindu Temples in Saigon

Although the merest sliver of Vietnam’s population practices the faith, a number of prominent Hindu temples are located right in the middle of Saigon. We visited three in a single morning, all of them a short distance from each other in District 1.


Can Tho’s Ben Thuy House and Bui Huu Nghia Street

The colonial house of Ben Thuy looks like it hasn’t changed a bit since the 19th century. After checking out the property and its garden of orchids, we walked toward the river along the entertaining street of Bui Huu Nghia.


The House of Huynh Thuy Le

The most stunning residence in Sadec is the former house of Huynh Thuy Le, made famous by Maugerite Duras’ semi-autobiographical novel, The Lover. Today, the house is open for tours, and also operates as a guesthouse. It’s impossible to imagine a more atmospheric place to stay while in Sadec, and we were unable to resist.


The Sights of Saigon’s District 3, Ward 7

On a whim, we decided to check out District 3’s seventh ward, and uncover its secrets. Because, it must have secrets… I doubt there’s a neighborhood in this city which isn’t hiding something of interest. And Phường 7, Quận 3 did not disappoint.


The Starlight Bridge

If you find yourself in District 7 around sunset, you might want to head over to the Starlight Bridge in front of the Crescent Mall. As the sky turns dark, this pedestrian bridge is illuminated with a colorful water show.


The Great Divine Temple of Cao Dai

The city of Tay Ninh is probably known best as the birthplace of Caodaism, a modern religion which has millions of adherents in Vietnam and around the world. We were able to attend a bizarre and beautiful worship ceremony in Cao Dai’s Holy See, at the Great Divine Temple.


The Palace of the Reunification

The most significant event in the history of Saigon’s Presidential Palace was also the moment that it permanently lost its political relevance. On April 30th, 1975, a Viet Cong tank plowed through the gates, putting an end to the two-decade war which had torn Vietnam apart. The south had fallen, and the Presidential Palace was suddenly a relic.


The Giác Lâm Pagoda

Constructed in 1744, the Giác Lâm Pagoda is one of the oldest temples in Saigon. It’s found on the western side of the city, and is most recognizable for its seven-story stupa.


The Saigon Central Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral

Two of Saigon’s most picturesque colonial buildings are found right next to each other, in the center of the city. The Central Post Office (Bưu điện) and the Notre-Dame Cathedral were constructed by the French in the late 19th century, and a visit to both is obligatory during any tour of Saigon.