While District 3 may only be a stone’s throw from central District 1, it can often feel remarkably different, with a far slower pace, smaller crowds, and a more relaxed atmosphere. Stunning colonial architecture, temples, and parks are placed sporadically throughout the neighborhood, along with a range of shopping options.
If you’re in the area, be sure to check out The Chopsticks, Home Finest, or Ngon Villa Saigon for a taste of the city’s well-preserved colonial architecture and traditional cuisine.
Public space is something of a rarity in Saigon and while it might be a little bit of an exaggeration to claim that Turtle Lake is actually a lake, it is, at least, a moderately green, moderately watery area in which to rest. You’ll find this public area to be a melting pot of youth culture in Saigon. Young people park their bikes here and hang around for dates, meet their friends, and play games. All you’ll need to do is sit around and watch the interesting scenes unfold.
Tan Dinh Church
Not only is Tan Dinh Saigon’s largest church, it is also, undoubtedly, its pinkest. Built in 1876, Tan Dinh is a Romanian-style church that reaches 60 metres in height. It has two massive bell towers to ogle, along with Italian marble altars. For anyone that might be curious, the answer is yes. It’s pink on the inside, too.
Temple of the Buddha’s Relic
Temple of the Buddha’s Relic, also known as Xa Loi pagoda, is Buddhism HQ in southern Vietnam, making it a little bit more than your average pagoda. The area itself contains a library, bell tower, a shrine, a room selling Buddhist books, and other rooms with monks. A lot of monks. The pagoda officially opened in 1958.
War Remnants Museum
Much of Vietnam’s history has been strikingly violent, as highlighted by Saigon’s War Remnants Museum. As you might have guessed by the title, the museum is made up of leftover parts from different wars. There are the ‘tiger cages’, used by the South Vietnam government to keep their political prisoners; a guillotine, used by the French and South Vietnam government until 1960; a helicopter, a tank and plenty of ghastly photos of those who suffered by the hand of ‘Agent Orange’. Not for the feint-hearted.
Southern Women’s Museum
The role women have played throughout Vietnam’s history is prominent and obvious. From a matriarch grandma at a family gathering to the significance women played during the wars, the important role of women in Vietnam is undeniable. Learn about all that and more at the Southern Women’s Museum.