If you find yourself wondering why a financial building is on a list of Ho Chi Minh attractions, you would not be alone. It could be that the Bitexco Financial Tower is one of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers.
Maybe it is because it was designed by a famous architect or for its shopping and dining options. Or it could be its striking resemblance to Stark Tower from the Avengers. Any of these might have put another building on the list.
Bitexco Financial Tower makes it for another reason. It’s what is on the 49th and 58th floors. The Skydeck.
Bitexco Financial Tower broke ground in 2005 in District 1 and was completed in late 2010. It stretches to a height of 262 meters into the sky and was the tallest building in Vietnam, but only until the Landmark 72 was completed in Hanoi a year later.
It remained the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City until 2019 when Landmark 81 was finished. Landmark 81 is now the tallest building in Southeast Asia.
The building was designed by the architect Carlos Zapata. He is known for several notable buildings including Soldier Field in Chicago, Concourse J at Miami International Airport, and the Sculptura Ardmore luxury apartments in Singapore.
The design of the building is based on the national flower of Vietnam, the lotus. It emulates a blooming lotus bud. It has a helipad that is cantilevered from the 52nd floor that helps to create the image of the lotus bloom. It is also the reason many people have mentioned that it looks a lot like the Stark Tower building from the Marvel Movies.
While there are some shopping and dining options at the building, they are not necessarily destination stores and restaurants.
The Saigon Skydeck
The real draw of the Bitexco Financial Tower is the observation deck on the 49th floor.
It offers stunning 360-degree views of Ho Chi Minh City and the Saigon River. The windows are floor to ceiling and there are several digital information screens located around the Skydeck that give information on the city below.
If you want a closer look, there are free binoculars distributed around the floor.
You can purchase tickets for the Skydeck from a dedicated shop on the ground floor. It is well marked and the entrance is on the outside of the building.
The World Of Heineken
The other big draw to the Bitexco Tower is the World of Heineken tour. If you are a fan of the Dutch lager or just a fan of beer, this is one not to miss.
The World of Heineken takes up the 58th – 60th floors of the building. You get a short tour where you’ll learn the history of Heineken before ending up in the bar to pour yourself a free beer from the tap. There are games, a DJ station, and of course great views of the city.
At the end of the tour, they give you a commemorative bottle with your name printed on it. You can tour either the Saigon Skydeck or World of Heineken individually, or you can buy a combo ticket that will cover both. Allow 1-2 hours for each of the experiences.