Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City is the most developed city in Vietnam. With a long history, this place has been attracting many domestic and international tourists to visit. Join VnTraveler.com to discover all about this city!

1. A brief history of Ho Chi Minh City? Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon?

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) is one of the two most developed cities in the country. Located in the middle of the Southern region, bordering the south of the southeast and the north of the southwest. This is the most populous city in the country with people from all parts of the country, thereby forming the typical characteristics of Saigon people: liberal, dynamic, brave,… With a total area is larger than 2,095 km2, currently, Ho Chi Minh city has 19 districts and 5 suburban districts with 32 wards – communes and towns.

Dubbed “the city that never sleeps”, Ho Chi Minh city impresses visitors with its vibrant, bustling, crowded streets until midnight. But behind that youth is a long-standing culture of the river delta, soon reaching the culture of countries in the region and the world.

Coming to Ho Chi Minh city, visitors will be surprised by the architecture that is a bit western because the ancient architecture is still preserved by the city. Visitors will be surprised by the huge, shady, hundreds-year-old trees that are planned to create a beautiful landscape in the heart of the city.

2. Weather in Saigon – Which is a beautiful season to travel to Ho Chi Minh City?

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam

Famous for the intense sun, hot weather, the average temperature in Ho Chi Minh city usually falls around 27°C and the peak temperature can reach over 40°C. Climate has 2 distinct seasons: rainy season and dry season. The rainy season usually lasts from May to November and the dry season starts from December to April next year. Depending on your needs, you can choose the weather to travel to Saigon.

If you want to experience the roads, people, outdoor landscapes, you should choose to travel in Ho Chi Minh in the dry season. Because it will be an ideal time for you to be assured of visiting places, interacting with people without having to worry about the sudden rains that affect your schedule. In the dry season, the weather in Ho Chi Minh is beautiful with the clear blue sky, but you should also remember to cover when outdoors to protect your skin from the intense sun!

If you have traveled on rainy days, you can also choose places to visit indoors such as museums, Independence Palace, cafes,… Sometimes sitting and talking, watching the streets under rainy days also bring a very interesting feeling, right? After the rain has ended, you can continue exploring the city under extremely cool and comfortable weather.

3. The experiences for first-time visitors to Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh city is always a favorite destination for many people. But each place has its own characteristics, so you should note the following:

  • This is the most populous city in the country so transportation is always a concern. To avoid traffic jams, you should go 15 – 30 minutes earlier to make sure your schedule is not late.
  • You should preserve your assets carefully, do not wear too much jewelry or phone calls carefree while on the street. Because robbery often occurs in Ho Chi Minh city.
  • When shopping in markets you should bargain to get the right price because most sellers offer prices much higher than the actual price of the product. So keep this tip in mind to save your costs.

4. The best hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

If you are worried about accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City, then be assured because there are many hotels, motels, homestays with a variety of prices and quality of service. Here, VnTraveler.com will suggest to you some hotels, motels, and homestays that you cannot ignore.

4.1 Hotels you cannot miss in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam

  • Lavender Boutique Hotel (Map): Located in a convenient location, right in the heart of District 1. Guests only take a few minutes to move to places such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification palace, Nguyen Hue walking street, Ben Thanh market,… Lavender is available 24 hours, has an airport shuttle, free wifi, and many other utilities. Address: 200-204 Ly Tu Trong Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam

  • The Reverie Saigon (Map): If you are looking for a hotel with good service and luxury in Ho Chi Minh City, this is the hotel you cannot miss. Each hotel room offers flat-screen TVs, minibars, air-conditioners, and safes. Moreover, guests can enjoy the swimming pool and breakfast available at the hotel. Address: 22-36 Nguyen Hue Boulevard and 57 – 69F Dong Khoi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam

  • Caravelle Hotel Saigon (Map): This is a hotel combining French and Vietnamese architecture. Caravelle is located in a great location in the heart of Saigon with shopping, entertainment, nightlife. This is one of the luxury 5-star hotels in Ho Chi Minh. If you are looking for a place to stop for your vacation, this will be a perfect choice. Address: 19-23 Lam Son Square, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam.

4.2 Favorite hostels and homestays

  • Diamond Suite Parkview Hostel (Map): This hostel with 2-star standard, designed in a youthful and modern style. The rooms are also equipped with facilities such as television, cafe, free tea,… This will be the appropriate destination for you to save money on your trip. Average room price: 560,000 VND. Address: 217 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • The Common Room Project (Map): If you love nature, plants, this is the homestay you are looking for. Designed between classic and modern style with deep tones, this homestay has attracted a lot of tourists. The kitchen here is also very convenient, guests can also organize an outdoor barbecue with the old appliances that have been fully prepared. The average price here is only from 330,000 VND / 1 person. Address: 80/8 Nguyen Trai, District 5, Ho Chi Minh.
  • Chy Chy Saigon Hostel (Map): Chy Chy has an extremely cool and comfortable space. Guests can choose single rooms for couples or dorm rooms for groups of friends. Each room has a large balcony overlooking the city. The terrace is also beautifully decorated by Chy Chy, visitors can watch the city from above, holding a coffee cup to talk together. Price only from: 280,000 – 600,000/room/night. Address: 48 Co Bac, Ong Cao Lanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh.

5. Transportation in Ho Chi Minh city

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon VietnamAt Ho Chi Minh, travelers will have many options for transportation, let‘s explore together some of the following vehicles!

  • Transport from the airport to district 1: To move from the airport to the city center, visitors can choose from traditional taxis, technology-based taxis or bus routes 49 (from the airport to district 1, district 3), bus number 152 (from the airport to Ben Thanh market, Trung Son residential area).
  • Rent a motorbike: If you love the freedom and desire to experience your own way, renting a motorbike is a very interesting option. From only 100,000 a day, you can rent a motorbike to explore all the places.
  • Bus: Bus is the cheapest public transport that you should experience if possible because it will surely bring a new feeling. With the bus, you can leisurely admire the view of the city, people. Remember to download the app “Bus Map” so you can easily look up information on distance, time of the car!
  • Taxi and technological taxi: Technology is growing, leading to the appearance of the technology-based taxi. In Ho Chi Minh, besides traditional taxi companies that appear on the roads, technology-based motorbikes such as Grab, GoViet, Bee,… are also gradually becoming popular. With a technology-based taxi, visitors can choose a motorbike or car and can know the length and cost of the distance.
  • Cyclo: Perhaps many people do not think about using this vehicle when traveling in Ho Chi Minh. However, cyclo is still the preferred means of both domestic and foreign tourists. Cyclo travel experience is a very unique feature of this city. You can easily find this vehicle throughout the street.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam

  • Water bus (Map): Water bus is also called the river bus. In Vietnam, this type of migration is quite new and is enjoyed by many interested people. For only VND 15,000, guests can enjoy the beauty of Saigon from another interesting perspective. Tourists can visit Bach Dang wharf – the largest bus station of the Water Bus to see the map and the ticket price directly. There is also a small cafe with a very nice view so you can have very beautiful photos of your trip. Address: 10B Ton Duc Thang, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh.
  • Discover Saigon with Vespa (Map) car tour: This model is run by many large and small companies, of which the top is Vietnam Vespa Adventures, XO Tours. This type of travel brings a lot of new experiences as guides are both drivers and companions to explain to tourists more about the city, its people, and its history. Address: 169A De Tham, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

6. The most beautiful places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City

6.1 In City Center

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam
Notre Dame Cathedral

In the center of the city, there are many famous and historical tourist destinations that foreign tourists often visit such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Independence Palace, Vietnamese History Museum, Saigon 3D Painting Museum, Ben Thanh Market, Bitexco, Saigon Square, Bui Vien Walking Street, Ao Dai Museum, Botanical Gardens, Nha Rong Wharf, Lego Water Park,…

6.2 In the suburbs

If you are familiar with the tourist destinations in the city center and are looking for new places to experience, there are still attractive places to visit in the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. Some places you can visit such as Cu Chi Tunnels – a military construction of great significance.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam
Cu Chi Tunnel

Coming here, you will see firsthand the unique military architecture, experience the actual movement inside the tunnel, hear about the history of Cu Chi tunnels and join activities and games here. In addition, another place that attracts a lot of tourists is Can Gio.

There are many tourist destinations with beautiful scenery in Can Gio such as Thanh An Island, Phuong Nam marine ecotourism area, Monkey Island, Vam Sat tourist area,… These will be new places for you to enjoy, relax and explore the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam
Monkey Island in Can Gio

7. The best food in Ho Chi Minh – Where to eat? Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh city

  • Ho Chi Minh is famous for its diverse cuisine with a multitude of delicious and unique dishes such as: pancake, pha lau, Nam Vang rice noodles, broken rice, spring rolls, Hue beef noodles, spring rolls, young rice cake, spring rolls, stuffed pancake …
  • Some famous restaurants in the city center you can visit to enjoy the cuisine of Saigon such as: Tan Hoa Cau restaurant, Com Que Muoi Kho, Hoang Yen Buffet restaurant, Homeland Food Chain , Rice restaurant, …
Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide: Review everything about Saigon Vietnam
Hue beef noodles

8. Where to go at night in Ho Chi Minh?

  • Admire the beautiful view at the top of Thu Thiem tunnel: Once a deserted place, deserted by a few people, the roof of Thu Thiem tunnel has become a bustling fun place every evening. Here, you can see the city center from the banks of the Saigon river with a very beautiful view which will surely please anyone who comes here.
  • Famous bars, pub: If you want to enjoy the nightlife space from above, you can refer to bars, pub rooftop. Here are the most popular bars in Saigon: Chill Sky Bar Rooftop, Not A Joke Bar Rooftop, Glow Skybar Rooftop, Saigon Rooftop Bar, Wine Bar Sheraton Saigon, …
  • Nguyen Hue Walking Street (Map): This is one of the most crowded and bustling places at night. On evenings and weekends, this walking street will be the most suitable place for visitors to integrate into the life of people here. Address: 22 Nguyen Hue, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Besides, visitors should check-in Bui Vien walking street, ….
Bui Vien walking street

9. Souvenirs that visitors should buy in Ho Chi Minh

If you want to buy souvenirs to give to friends and relatives, pottery will be a unique and meaningful gift. In Ho Chi Minh City, there are some famous brands such as: Minh Long ceramics (Map) 42 Bui Thi Xuan, Tan Binh district; Japanese ceramics Sei Chi (Map) 63 Bis Mac Dinh Chi, District 1; Yen Lam ceramics (Map) 9A Nguyen Huu Canh, 19 Ward, Binh Thanh District.

Besides, a gift that you can give to your loved ones is Ao Dai – Vietnam’s National Dress, a very meaningful and courteous gift. Some places selling beautiful ao dai in Ho Chi Minh City such as Ao Dai Hanh (Map) 6/3 Cach Mang Thang Tam, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh; Ao Dai Minh Thu (Map) 129 De Tham , Co Giang Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh, …

Ao Dai Vietnam

10. Tour schedule of Ho Chi Minh City visitors should have a look

If you want to visit the city on the tour without having to worry about the location, the weather, you should check out the suggestions below!

10.1 1-day-tour schedule

  • 8am – 9am: Pick up guests.
  • 9 am – 9:45 am: Visit the Museum of Vietnamese History.
  • 9:45 am – 10:45am: Visit Ben Thanh market.
  • 10:45am – 11:45am: Visit the Xa Loi Pagoda.
  • 11:45am – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Hoang Yen Buffet restaurant.
  • 1pm – 2pm: Visit Independence Palace.
  • 2pm – 3pm: Visit Notre Dame Cathedral.
  • 3pm – 4pm: Visit the City Post Office. Back to the original pick.
Independence Palace

10.2 2-day-tour schedule

The first day:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up guests
  • 9 am – 9:45 am: Visit the City Fine Arts Museum.
  • 9:45 am – 10:45: Visit Nha Rong Wharf.
  • 10:45 am – 11:45 am: Visit Cha Tam church.
  • 11:45 – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Hoi Ngo restaurant.
  • 1 pm – 2pm: Visit Independence Palace.
  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Visit Notre Dame Cathedral.
  • 3 pm – 4pm: Visit the City Post Office. Back to the original pick.

The second day:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up guests.
  • 9 am – 9:45 am: Visit the Botanical Gardens.
  • 9:45 am – 10:45: Visit the War Remnants Museum.
  • 10:45 am – 11:45 am: Visit Ben Thanh market.
  • 11:45 – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Pachi Pachi.
  • 1 pm – 2pm: Visit Tan Dinh church.
  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Visit Saigon Square.
  • 3 pm – 4pm: Visit Binh Tay market. Back to the original pick.
Nha Rong Wharf

10.3 3-day-tour schedule

The first day:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up guests.
  • 9 am – 9:45 am: Visit the Independence Palace.
  • 9:45 am – 10:45: Visit Ben Thanh market.
  • 10:45 am – 11:45 am: Visit Tan Dinh Pagoda.
  • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch at home-cooked restaurant.
  • 1 pm – 2pm: Visit the Botanical Gardens.
  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Visit Notre Dame Cathedral.
  • 3 pm – 4pm: Visit the City Post Office. Back to the original pick.

Review 15 cheapest and best shopping in Ho Chi Minh city - Saigon

The second day:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up guests.
  • 9 am – 9:45 am: Visit the Museum of Vietnamese History.
  • 9:45 am – 10:45: Visit Binh Tay market.
  • 10:45 am – 11:45 am: Visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda.
  • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Bach Restaurant.
  • 1 pm – 2pm: Visit Tan Dinh church.
  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Visit Hanh Thong Tay market.
  • 3 pm – 4pm: Visit the Saigon 3D painting museum. Back to the original pick.

The third day:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up guests.
  • 9 am – 9:45 am: Move to Cu Chi Tunnels.
  • 9:45 am – 11:45: Visit Cu Chi Tunnels.
  • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Cu Chi Tunnels.
  • 1 pm – 2pm: Move back to the city center.
  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Visit Nha Rong Wharf.
  • 3 pm – 4pm: Visit Giac Lam Pagoda. Back to the original pick.
Cu Chi Tunnel
Cu Chi Tunnel

10.4 7-day-tour schedule

The first day:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up guests.
  • 9 am – 9:45 am: Visit the Museum of Vietnamese History.
  • 9:45 am – 10:45 am: Visit Saigon Square.
  • 10:45 am – 11:45 am: Visit the Xa Loi Pagoda.
  • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Hoang Yen Buffet restaurant.
  • 1 pm – 2pm: Visit Independence Palace.
  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Visit Notre Dame Cathedral.
  • 3 pm – 4pm: Visit the City Post Office. Back to the original pick.

Day 2:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up guests.
  • 9 am – 9:45 am: Visit the Museum of Vietnamese History.
  • 9:45 am – 10:45 am: Visit the Binh Tay Market.
  • 10:45 am – 11:45 am: Visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda.
  • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Bach Restaurant.
  • 1 pm – 2pm: Visit Tan Dinh church.
  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Visit Ben Thanh market.

3 pm – 4pm: Visit the Saigon 3D painting museum. Back to the original pick.

The third day:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up guests.
  • 9 am – 9:45 am: Move to Cu Chi Tunnels.
  • 9:45 am – 11:45 am: Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels.
  • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Cu Chi Tunnels.
  • 1 pm – 2pm: Move back to the city center.
  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Visit Nha Rong Wharf.
  • 3 pm – 4pm: Visit Giac Lam Pagoda. Back to the original pick.

The fourth day:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up guests.
  • 9 am – 9:45 am: Visit the Botanical Gardens.
  • 9:45 am – 11:45 am: Visit Van Thanh tourist area.
  • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Spice Temple restaurant.
  • 1 pm – 2pm: Visit the Southern Women’s Museum.
  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Visit Cay Go market.
  • 3 pm – 4pm: Visit the City Theater. Back to the original pick.

The fifth day:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up and transfer to Suoi Mo resort.
  • 9 am – 11:45 am: Have fun at Suoi Mo resort.
  • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Suoi Mo resort.
  • 1 pm – 2pm: Move back to the city center.
  • 2 pm – 3 pm: Visit Cha Tam Church.
  • 3 pm – 4pm: Visit Hanh Thong Tay market. Back to the original pick..

The sixth day:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up guests.
  • 9 am – 10:30 am: Move to Can Gio beach.
  • 10:30 am – 11:45 am: Have fun at Can Gio beach.
  • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Can Gio beach.
  • 12:45 pm – 1:30 pm: Continue having fun at Can Gio beach.
  • 1:30 pm -3 pm: Move back to the city center.
  • 3 pm – 4pm: Visit An Dong market. Back to the original pick.

The seventh day:

  • 8 am – 9 am: Pick up guests.
  • 9 am – 11:45 am: Visit Dam Sen cultural park.
  • 11:45 am – 12:45 pm: Lunch at Red House restaurant.
  • 1 pm – 3 pm: Visit Bitexco.
  • 3 pm – 4pm: Visit Rinrin Park. Back to the original pick.

After reading this article, you understood more about the history of the city and people of Saigon as well as knew more attractive tourist destinations. VnTraveler.com wishes you a great experience in Saigon!

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