Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

Located near the Mekong River, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest and most exciting city in Vietnam. The population of around 9 million people makes it one of the densest urban areas in the world and it's common that several families share the same living space together.
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    Most of the tourist attractions including the Museum of Vietnamese History or the famous Ben Thanh Market are located in District 1. Here you will also find a range of gorgeous temples and architectural buildings, as well as the Museum of Vietnamese History which houses 2,000 years of Vietnam’s history and enables you to truly understand the meaning of the temples and buildings around.

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    Top sights in Ho Chi Minh City

    Cu Chi Tunnels

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    Cao Dai Temple

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    Bitexco Financial Tower

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    Bach Dang, Ho Chi Minh

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    Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater

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    Municipal Theatre, Ho Chi Minh City

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    A O Show

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    Can Gio

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    Top things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

    Named after Communist revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, the city formerly known as Saigon has emerged from its darkest days to become one of Asia’s most exciting cities. It boasts vibrant street life, handsome buildings, and warm weather all year round. But what are the best things to do in this interesting city?

    Cu Chi Tunnels
    How did the Americans lose the Vietnam War? Your guide will lead you through hidden trap-doors to explore the Cu Chi tunnels that helped thwart the US army at every turn.

    Saigon Central Post Office
    Saigon Central Post Office still operates, though it also serves as one of the city’s top attractions, having been designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel.

    Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral
    Pilgrims flocked to this beautiful basilica in 2005 when its Virgin Mary statue was reported to have shed tears. We’re skeptical, but there are better reasons to visit the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral, such as its superior architecture!

    Independence Palace (Reunification Palace)
    Originally built to demonstrate Vietnam’s strength in the wake of Independence, it was torn down, replaced, and eventually renamed Reunification Palace after the fall of Saigon

    Pham Ngu Lao Street
    Though known as the backpacker district, the bustling Pham Ngu Lao Street attracts people from all walks of life with its bounty of clothing, war memorabilia, and other merchandise.

    War Remnants Museum
    The War Remnants Museum paints a vivid – and often disturbing – picture of the country’s 20th-century struggles. It’s a must for anyone hoping to understand Vietnam’s complex history.

    Planning Your Ho Chi Minh City Visit

    How to get to Ho Chi Minh City from the airport?

    The cheapest way to get to the city is by taking bus 152 near the arrivals exit. It costs extra if your luggage weighs over 10kg, but will take you all the way downtown to the bus station near Cho (market) Ben Tanh. Taxis are located to the left of the terminal. Make sure you take a metered taxi and do not pay in any currency other than Vietnamese dong or you risk being ripped off.

    Where to eat?

    One of the most charming things about Ho Chi Minh City is how the low-cost street food can so often outperform its best restaurants. You’ll find many good ones on Dong Khoi, the lively stretch of shops and bars between the river and cathedral.

    Where to shop?

    Ho Chi Minh City has several markets worth visiting as well as the aforementioned Pham Ngu Lao Street. The two largest are Cho Ben Tanh and Cho Lon. Cho Lon – the Chinese market – has a dazzling array of goods on offer and is the least touristy of the two. Ben Tanh is also fun to visit, and better regulated, with less knock-off merchandise and fewer pickpockets. That said, you should always be wary of both those things.

    Good to know

    Language

    Vietnamese

    Currency

    Vietnamese Dong (VND)

    Country Code

    +84

    Time Zone

    UTC (+07:00)

    Best time to visit

    Spring

    What people are saying about Ho Chi Minh City

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Fantastic scenery especially along with the villages.
    Our guide Mr.Lan Unicorn was a funny chap. Very informative and attentive to the guests’ needs. The journey was smooth, the bus driver drove well and not recklessly and it even has wifi on board. Mr. Lan shared unique stories about himself, his family and the brief history of Vietnam and its various ethnicity. Our first attraction was a lovely temple with delicious street delicacies offered by the vendors. Bee Farm and a cocoa processing place included. One thing to note: Mr.Lan did mention that tipping the boat rowers is not necessary but is welcomed and many of us voluntarily tipped. The short journey in the delta was very scenic and somewhat chaotic with many other sampans crisscrossing. I’d say lunch could have been better (deep-fried fish as main. Rice, egg, and vegetables also) but it was satisfying. Not much to see when cycling in the neighboring village but give it a go anyway. Boat journey to and from the island absolutely peaceful. Highly recommended! Thank you Mr.Lan!

    Mekong Delta Small-Group W/ Vinh Trang Pagoda & Rowing Boat reviewed by Andrew Philip

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Very enjoyable evening. Too short but sweet!
    My family & I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Attentive staff, fabulous entertainment, and some good food. The magician was especially great with my children. Only downsides were some of the foods running out pretty early into the trip and not being replenished. Also, the included welcome cocktail was a cordial juice…I have been expecting something more substantial. Overall a fabulous trip and highly recommended seeing the beautiful Ho Chi Minh city by night. It would be even more fabulous if at least an hour longer which would enable more sales from the bar and some dancing from the passengers.

    Bonsai Cruise: 2-Hour Dinner Cruise on the Saigon River reviewed by Judy

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Lan was a fun, interesting and engaging guide!
    We were picked up at the hotel by Lan at 8 am and made it to the Cu Chi tunnels by 11.30 am after a rest break and a visit to a craft-making site. Amazing workmanship and creativity by the disabled Vietnamese injured in the war. The Cu Chi tunnel experience was made very interesting through our informative guide Lan. He also had a wicked sense of humor and humility when it came to explaining the war and its atrocities from all sides. I would highly recommend the trip and the insight into just how horrid it would have been during the Vietnam war with such suffering for all – soldiers, children, mothers, families, dogs. Yes, even the dogs had a role to play in the war and suffered tremendously as in other world wars.

    Cu Chi Tunnels: Morning or Afternoon Guided Tour reviewed by Jenny

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ tour guide was great, but drinks in transport limited
    The tour guide was funny – you need thick skin though! Bring a change of clothes if you’re doing the tunnel crawl. The only issues were the stops at the Lacker place – it seems like a bit of a cash grab (same as coconut place, but that one was a bit cooler). The other thing was that the trip includes ~5+ hrs of driving and you don’t drink booze in the limo as the picture would have you assume. However, the tours are really cool and the guide was hilarious!

    From Ho Chi Minh: Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta VIP reviewed by Konrad

    The City Maps

    ⭐⭐⭐ Best Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

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