6 most photogenic spots to discover in D1, HCMC for Backpackers
Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant and dynamic economic hub of Vietnam.
It’s very international and modern compared to other cities, however plenty of old colonial structures remain, adding a beautiful contrast to the everyday life of its residents. If you have just a day exploring HCMC, District 1 maybe a good selection for lots of photogenic spots to go.
Photogenic spot No.1: Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
Built-in the late 1880s by French architects, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the few remaining buildings of Catholicism in Vietnam. Aside from its status as one of Ho Chi Minh City’s most prominent attractions, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral still serves as a religious institution for the locals. The best time to visit it is during Sunday mass at 09:30. It is also an ideal and photogenic destination for discovery. Today the cathedral is being rebuilt, but visitors can take a trip around it as there are many interesting places to explore around such as Nguyen Van Binh book street, Diamond Plaza, Nguyen Hue Walking street, Saigon Central post office….
Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 17:00; on repair construction
Address: 1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Photogenic spot No.2: Central Post Office
Laying near Cathedral of Notre Dame, Central Post Office was constructed in the late 19th century. The post office looks like a giant railway station and still functions today, offers full postal services and also sells an array of postcards and stamps, making excellent souvenirs to bring back home. The ancient construction brings a vibe of old days and retro with charming colonial architecture and ornate decorations forming the backdrop for newlywed photo-shoots, school trips, and city tours. Tourists walking inside the Saigon Central Post Office will feel as though they’ve been temporarily whisked out of Asia and transported to a 20th century European train station.
Open hour: Mon – Sun 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Address: 02 Commune de Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Photogenic spot No.3: Thien Hau Temple
This is one of the most famous pagodas in the city and is located in the middle of Chinatown, or Cho Lon as the locals call it. It’s a Chinese-style temple so you can expect a lot of colors and intricate artwork. It is a very photogenic pagoda but be respectful of the locals as the temple is still an active site of worship today. Formal and respectful dress code is required, ì you want to take a photoshoot, just go for it but keep silent and peaceful so not to disturb the others.
Address: Cho Lon, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City; 20 mins away from District 1
Photogenic spot No.4: Bui Vien Walking Street
Bui Vien is a common destination for backpackers when arrive HCMC. A crowded night with neon lights, sidewalk bars, people dancing in the street, you will catch it all in one shot. Here you find a wide variety of inexpensive restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and hotels/hostels. While being seated at one of the places you can soak up the local lifestyle and culture. Go straight to Bui Vien take one shoot of pictures to remember the featured nightlife of backpackers at Vietnam.
Address: Bui Vien street, Pham Ngu Lao ward, District 1
Photogenic spot No.5: Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Source: Le Tu/ Shutterstock
Nguyen Hue Street is a broad walking street in the middle of District 1 centre. This pedestrian street is flanked by some beautiful French colonial architectural wonders and is very crowned at nights, nevertheless weekend or weekday. It is said to be a symbol of Saigonese young people, as many youth gather here to enjoy some street food, concerts, and even the occasional art exhibition. From Nguyen Hue street other sightseeing places are easily reached, you find the Saigon Opera House and Dong Khoi shopping street only 100 meters away. Besides this, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Reunification Palace are only a five-minute walk.
Address: Nguyen Hue street, Ben Nghe, District 1, HCMC
Photogenic spot No.6: Saigon Opera House
The photogenic spot’s next to Nguyen Hue walking street is City Opera House. The Saigon Opera House is another fine example of exquisite colonial architecture. The structure looks especially beautiful at night when the floodlights come on. The restored three-story 800-seat Opera House was built in 1897 and is used for staging not only opera but also a wide range of performing arts including ballet, musical concerts, Vietnamese traditional dance and plays. Performances are advertised around the building and information can be found in the state-operated tourist information centre close by.
Address: 07 Cong Truong Lam Son, Ben Nghe, District 1, HCMC