Right within the same park that contains the History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, you can visit the City Zoo. The Ho Chi Minh City Zoo features a wide array of animals of all types. You can find elephants, camels and hippos in the main part of the zoo, as well as a few reptile houses and aviaries (these latter two come highly recommended) and an aquarium which costs just fifty cents extra to enter.
Besides the animals, the Ho Chi Minh City Zoo also features beautiful gardens full of rare (and not so rare) flowers and foliage. Admission is almost unbelievably low, at just fifty cents a person. The museum is open a full twelve hours every single day from nine in the morning to nine at night, so a quick stop here can be made whenever you’re in the neighborhood, and shouldn’t be hard to fit into the schedule.