HO CHI MINH CITY – “THE PEARL OF THE FAR EAST”
Ho Chi Minh City Destinaton
“Saigon” (also commonly known by its former name Ho Chi Minh City) is the largest city as well as one of the most critical economic, political, cultural and educational centers in Vietnam. Once the capital of Vietnam for an extended period, today, it still bears two paradoxical beauties. The former is the faded look of a European city with many buildings of French colonial architecture. The latter, however, appears to be a grand modern metropolis with a vibrant lifestyle and a rapidly flourishing economy. With numerous other peculiar charms, the city will never cease to fascinate tourists, making it one of the top must-visit destinations of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City (also commonly known by its former name “Saigon”) is the largest city as well as one of the most critical economic, political, cultural and educational centers in Vietnam.
How to get to Ho Chi Minh City and transportation within the city
Being the largest city in the country, you can travel to Saigon by all means. For faraway travelers, you can choose to go by plane or train. For those who depart from the nearer provinces, you should want a bus to save up more costs.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the biggest airport in Vietnam, a frequent stop for flights from all over the world. Just a while ago, on February 2nd, it breaks its record with approximately 1000 trips/day.
A flight from Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City, takes more than 2 hours with the fares ranging from 900,000 – 2,000,000 VND/one way.
A flight from Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh City, takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes with the fares ranging from 550,000 – 1,700,000 VND/one way.
Another advantage is that the airport is less than 10 km away from the center. After landing, you can quickly leave for District 1 with two main types of vehicles: taxi and bus.
If you have plenty of time, you can experience traveling to Ho Chi Minh City by train and leisurely enjoy the stunning scenery on the road. Saigon is the stop of many train routes: those from the North to the South, those running from Nha Trang, Da Nang, etc. Train fares fluctuate from 200,000 – 1,000,000 VND/trip.
By passenger car
There are two major bus stations in Ho Chi Minh City: the Eastern Bus Station and the Western Bus Station. Traveling by passenger car is a relatively economical option for visitors departing from the provinces in the Central or the Southern part of Vietnam. Tickets to go from the Central to Ho Chi Minh City cost from only 200,000 VND/trip, plus the running time is quite fast approximately about 8-9 hours. You will have reached the destination after a good sleep!
The first time is setting foot in Saigon; you can be stunned by the massive traffic level here. Vehicles with many types such as motorbikes, buses, cars, taxis, etc. keep running, the streets are always crammed with automobiles. To move around the city, you can take a bus, a taxi, etc. If you find it difficult to decide, let the travel agency take care of it for you!
Explore Saigon 1 Day Tour with aa vietnam travel!
The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City
In Saigon, the weather is almost hot all year round with an average temperature of 27°C, and at peak time, it can even reach over 40°C. As Ho Chi Minh City is located in the monsoon tropics, there are two distinct seasons: the rainy season and the dry season.
The rainy season starts in May and ends in November. It is highly recommended that if you come here during this time, never forget to bring umbrellas because the deluges always come unexpectedly.
The dry season usually lasts from December to April. Throughout this period, every day stays radiant and bathed with sunshine. The temperature may sometimes become blazingly hot so you’d better equip yourself with necessities such as sunscreen, mini hand-held fans, and umbrellas.
Like AA Vietnam Travel fanpage for interesting tips and news.
There is nothing easier than finding accommodation when traveling to Ho Chi Minh City. Along with the rapid development of tourism, Saigon hotels are also becoming increasingly diversified, and the quality is continually improving so that visitors will have the best experience during their stay here.
Ho Chi Minh City Hotels
Being the biggest city in the country, of course, the hotels in Saigon have all the segments for you to choose depending on your economic conditions and your preferences. The city is home to all of the famous names and world-class luxury hotel chains such as Park Hyatt Saigon, Hotel Des Arts Saigon Mgallery Collection, Pullman Saigon Center, Le Meridien Saigon,…
A more budget-friendly option for you is the 2 to 3-star hotels with affordable prices and convenient locations: situated in the center and close to the tourist attractions. They will make the tourists as much satisfied.
Ho Chi Minh City Resorts
Ho Chi Minh City residents, who are constantly busy with the rhythm of the city, always look for a place to sit back and unwind themselves. But what if there’s not much time to go away? There are many beautiful resorts around the city perfect for a relaxing “escape” trip. The much preferable resorts as voted by a vast number of people are Thao Dien Village, An Lam Saigon River Resort, Villa Song Saigon, etc.
Ho Chi Minh City Homestays and Hostels
As a dynamic young city, of course, Saigon can not overlook the accelerating hostel and homestay trend, which is gradually gaining the love of many visitors. Choosing this option, you can not only save money, but you can also appreciate a place that is carefully designed and perfectly suitable to make new friends.
Must-visit destinations in Ho Chi Minh City
Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market is one of the supreme symbols of the city. Built in the late 19th century, it is among the oldest markets, as well as one of the busiest markets of the present day.
Ben Thanh Market has both a daily market and a night market. During the day, the market is full of goods of all types from food to clothes and souvenirs for tourists. At night, the market settles on two sides of the road, selling mainly food and souvenirs.
The second symbol of the city is the Independence Palace, also known as the Reunification Palace. This was the workplace of the Governor – General of Indochina and President Ngo Dinh Diem before April 30, 1975. Until this day, the Independence Palace is still one of the most typical architectural works of Southern Vietnam in the 1960s.
Notre Dame Cathedral
One of the “historical witnesses” for French influence in Saigon is the Notre Dame Cathedral. Having been in the city since the 17th century, its French architectural features are still intact with red tiles and two large bell towers. In front of the church, there is a small park, where the statue of the Holy Mother of Peace is placed.
From July 2017, due to a significant restoration, the Notre Dame Cathedral is no longer open to visitors, only during Masses. The remodeling process is expected to be completed by 2019 and visitors can then enter inside as usual.
City Post Office
Right next to the Notre Dame Cathedral stands the city post office. Contemplating this work, you can admire the Western and Asian cultural intercourse in each design line and sculptural pattern.
Discover Ho Chi Minh City culture
If you are a culture enthusiast who wants to observe the exclusive things found only in Ho Chi Minh City, let AA Vietnam Travel take you places that you cannot miss!
Ho Chi Minh City Museum
Reused from a building built by the French in the 19th century, the City Museum remains as a delicate combination of Asian and European architectures. Coming to the museum, you will learn the history of the formation of this city from time to time.
War Remnants Museum
As the city’s most famous museum, the War Remnants Museum is currently storing thousands of artifacts and documents about the Vietnam War and the massive consequences that it leaves behind. Also, the museum regularly organizes various exhibitions with the desire to innovate and attract more visitors annually.
Fine Arts Museum
If you are an art lover, you won’t want to miss the City Art Museum. In addition to the valuable artifacts, the museum itself carries equally exciting stories. The building used to be the mansion of Uncle Hoa – Hua Bon Hoa, the “king of the land” of Saigon in the last century.
Chinatown – Big Market
Like many other big cities in the world, Ho Chi Minh City also has its own “Chinatown” area, called the Big Market. Spreading across districts 5, 6, 10 and 11, Chinese people make up 15% of the population, carrying distinct cultural characteristics.
Going to Chinatown, you will be captivated by the bustling markets like Binh Tay market or Soai Kinh Lam market; ancient temples and pagodas like Ba Thien Hau temple; and hundreds of delicious dishes like sausages, wonton, noodles, Chinese tea, roasted duck, etc.
New playgrounds in Ho Chi Minh City
The Factory Contemporary Art Center
As a new rendezvous for art lovers, The Factory Contemporary Art Center offers a multi-style art space, an ideal place of inspiration and interaction for young people in the city.
Nguyen Van Binh Book Street
The Nguyen Van Binh book street was born with the desire to encourage reading culture. There are more than 20 booths of publishers, cafés, old books selling areas and exhibits on the small roadside of the city post office. Since the operation, the book street has been both a spot for entertainment and a venue for the launch and exchange of books.
Nguyen Hue Walking Street
When the night falls, one of the busiest locations in Saigon is the Nguyen Hue pedestrian street. The long road is exclusive to pedestrians and on the sides, there are shops, cafes, and entertainment centers that are phenomenally popular among young people. The pedestrian street is also the spot where the art groups perform freely with improvisation, bringing a bustling atmosphere to this young city.
Some exciting places around walking streets: Saigon Garden, café condominium 42 Nguyen Hue, famous milk tea brands on both sides of the road, Zone 87, etc.
It is not exaggerated at all to say that the shopping centers in Ho Chi Minh City have everything you need. If you are still puzzled over where to go, these places are worth a try! Visit a commercial center and spend time discovering, from diverse cuisines to indulging shopping!
Some popular commercial centers in Ho Chi Minh City: Takashimaya – Saigon Centre, Vincom, Parkson, SC Vivo City, Crescent Mall, The Garden Mall, etc.
One of the most charming things about traveling to Ho Chi Minh City is a diverse cuisine. It is a melting pot of cookeries of numerous cultures in the world, which, however, still carries a particular Saigon flavor that is nowhere else to be found.
Broken rice – Cơm tấm
The answer to the question “What is the specialty dish of Ho Chi Minh City?” is broken the rice. This dish may seem simple, but it has by far become entirely familiar with the Saigonese, whether it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The most well-known version of broken rice is served with ribs, along with dried shallots, pickles and a cup of sweet fish sauce.
Vietnamese sandwich – Bánh mì
The sandwich is a must-try food regardless of whatever destination in Vietnam you are visiting. Saigon sandwich has many versions: meatloaf, fish balls bread, roast pork bread, grilled bread, dumpling bread, etc.
Rice noodles – Hủ tiếu
Hủ tiếu is also a “signature” dish of Ho Chi Minh City. Whether you step into a luxurious restaurant or a small food stall, this dish will still undoubtedly please your taste buds with all kinds of versions: rice noodles with beef, Phnom Penh noodles soup, rice noodles satay, etc.
Pho is the “soul” of Vietnamese cuisine but not everywhere does pho stay the same. During your stay here, don’t forget to try a bowl of pho and figure out what makes the Saigonese pho different from others in other regions.
For all of the factors above, Ho Chi Minh City will always be one of the top dream destinations for all the globetrotters out there. Without further ado, contact AA Vietnam Travel immediately and let us craft a perfect Ho Chi Minh City travel plan for you!