Senior Travel in Ho Chi Minh City

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Ho Chi Minh is a nice ‘old-world’ type of city that boasts a distinctly antique identity, and features several museums, temples, cathedrals, palaces and pagodas as part of its tourist attraction profile. Here are some ideas for senior travelers to make the most of this charming vintage city.

Vietnam History Museum

Anyone who has been even remotely familiar with the region’s history will know that it has been quite rich, eventful and dramatic, and the Vietnam History Museum only bolsters the fact by showcasing several memorabilia in a pagoda-like architectural structure. There are ancient ceramics, weapons from the 14th century, costumes belonging to the Nguyen dynasty, prehistoric archeological artifacts, photographs of ethnic minorities and a host of other intriguing exhibits. The museum also houses a 3-row auditorium that stages regular puppet shows. This is the only museum in the city to have background explanations and fact-sharing commentary in English. Senior visitors can also make a trip to the adjoining botanical garden and the Ho Chi Minh City Campaign Museum, which displays a collection of war relics and weapons. The opening hours are from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. The admission fee is 15 VND.

Notre Dame Cathedral

This one’s a classic neo-Romanesque architectural structure built in the late 19th century by using bricks imported from Marseilles and stained glass from Chartres. There are aesthetic cubic patterned tiles and a neon framed Virgin Mary statue that beautifully adorns the main archway. The spiritual and peaceful atmosphere of the monument is worth experiencing. This attraction is located between Dong Khoi Street and Nguyen Street on District 1.

Giac Lam Pagoda

The Giac Lam Pagoda, erected in 1744, is one of the oldest pagodas in the region and features imposing ornate tombs of monks, a bodi tree and a glistening statue of a Vietnamese goddess. There is also a vast chamber full of antique statues and snapshots of Buddhist monks. The huge building at the exit of the pagoda has several aisles and shelves filled with colorful urns, Chinese pots, bright candles and other interesting offerings. Smoking and wearing hats is not permitted in the heritage temple complex.

Emperor Jade Pagoda

This is one of the most interesting and significant pagodas in the city and boasts a nice garden and lovely Cantonese-style interiors, along with an exquisite roof. The Jade Emperor statue and numerous other carved figurines are worth seeing. The spooky King of Hell figure in a corner of the main hall is an unusual and attention grabbing sight. The pagoda is located at District 3 and is open for visitors from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ho Chi Minh City is a quintessential senior travel destination with its ancient pagodas, well-presented museums, classic architecture and Buddhist monuments.

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