Once known as the “Paris of the Orient”, Ho Chi Minh City retains a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it perfect for couples. What’s more, the city’s romantic qualities can be sampled via range of attractions. Whether it’s a bracing riverside promenade or an al fresco music performance at the Opera House, the city has several seduction tactics up its sleeve.
Pledge your love at “Rainbow” Bridge
Ho Chi Minh City’s penchant for amour is in full effect at this landmark structure, which links the city’s central District 1 with District 4 on the other side of the Ben Nghe Creek: a tributary of the Saigon River. A favorite destination for young Vietnamese couples, the bridge—known as Mong Bridge in Vietnamese and designed by legendary French architect and engineer Gustave Eiffel—is particularly lively on Saturday evenings. A popular activity is to write down the name of a soulmate on a tiny padlock and affix it to the bridge.
Catch a classical music performance at the Opera House
You don’t need to plan hard to enjoy the cultural offerings available at the Saigon Opera House – the magnificent colonial era centrepiece of Ho Chi Minh City. The venue often hosts open performances so keep an eye on its program. More reliable live entertainment takes place at the entrance to the grand old pile on weekend mornings when local youth orchestras and musical groups set up to play everything from marching band melodies to traditional folk songs.
Send a postcard from Vietnam’s most romantic post office
Few municipal structures on the planet have quite the allure of Ho Chi Minh City’s landmark Central Post Office. Constructed in the late 19th Century and designed by French architect Alfred Foulhoux, the building is distinguished by features such as a gorgeous-pattern-tiled floor, towering ceilings, and beautiful, hand-painted maps on either side of the interior walls that depict Saigon and its surrounding area in 1892 and the former telegraph lines of the region.
Stop for a drink at Anan Saigon rooftop
One of the most exciting dining venues in the city, the Michelin-starred Anan Saigon has been making waves with its elevated take on Vietnamese fusion cuisine. Equally stirring (and lofty), however, is the stunning view from its rooftop bar. From here, the outlook takes in the twinkling skyscrapers of new Saigon and the historic markets in the streets below. The vista is worth fronting a couple of bottles for and an extensive wine list is the perfect excuse to linger for.
Align your energies in Tao Dan Park
While Ho Chi Minh City’s frenetic charisma is largely exhilarating, it can be useful to take some time out to gather your thoughts. And there is no better place in the city to enjoy a breather than in Tao Dan Park: a leafy green lung blessed with 1000 mature trees and numerous quiet spots. The park is a hive of life in the early morning, with locals exercising, jogging, or practicing their tai chi moves. Head down at the crack of dawn to realign your chi the Saigonese way.