Ho Chi Minh City is the largest center of economy, politics and culture in the Southern Vietnam. Saigon - Ho Chi Minh City is also a major tourist center, with historical sites and museums that marked the war time against the French and Americans colonialist. Typicaly 11- museum-system including the most famous War Remnants Museum. Besides, the unique colonial architecture also attract many travelers come to Saigon, for example Headquarters City People's Committee, Opera House, Central Post Office, Ben Nha Rong Harbour, Ben Thanh Market and the Independence Palace. Recently, new projects such as Diamond Plaza, Bitexco Financial Tower, Saigon Trade Center beautify the city centre's landscape more. On the city outskirts there are also prominent attractions such as the Cu Chi Tunnels, Can Gio mangrove forest and Thu Duc stork Garden.
Best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City
Unlike Hanoi, Saigon's weather is divided into two seasons: rainy season from May to November, the dry season from December to April . But the sunshine of Saigon is not really hard,the rain does not last too long. Therefore, you can come to Saigon in any time of the year since this is a bustling the city all year round. If you come here in the wet season, you should bring an umbrella or rain jacket along when go out because Sai Gon is famous for sudden rain. For a more meaningful and memorable trip, you should go to Sai Gon on occasion after Tet (February, March) to participate in the biggest January full moon festival in Chinatown and lantern festival on the Saigon river.
How to get there
You can go to Saigon by various means such as train, bus, plane:
With the train, you should take the Thong Nhat train start from Hanoi railway station. Because this is the fastest train (30 hours) from Hanoi to Saigon. Fares depend on what type of seat and which compartment you purchase.
With the cars, you should book tickets of Hoang Long, Mai Linh firm because of cheap, good service, big and comfortable car beds.Travel time by car is 30 - 40 hours. Ticket prices usually range from 700,000 or more.
With planes, you should take Jetstar or Vietjet to suit the cheap tourist experience, save money. Travel time is 90 minutes. Round- trip fare is about more than 1500.000VND. However, going by any means, you should also make a phone call to ask the price, as well as book tickets in advance. As for aircraft and trains sometimes devalue. Therefore, according to our experience, if you would like to save up, you should follow and hunt these tickets 1-2 months before going.
Thing to see
After more than 300 years of existence, Sai Gon - Ho Chi Minh city is not only famous for its potential economy but also many historical buildings that why a lot of tourists come from all over the world to visit. If you have chance to come here, spend time visiting once.
• Independence Palace
It was designed according to oriental architecture but very modern. Visiting Independence Palace, visitors can admire firsthand many items from the old regime, as well as evidence that marked the glorious moment of liberation day 30/ 04/1975. It is open daily from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m and from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1; Admission fee: Adults: 50,000 / person / times. With tours in group of 20 or more will be reduced 1/3 fare;
• Notre Dame Cathedral
Located in the main street in the city center, Notre Dame is now becoming a symbol of Sai Gon city. It attracts people by European architectural style combines gorgeous Roman and Gothic features and the largest pair of bell in Vietnam. Notre Dame cathedral is the most beautiful and important church of the Sai Gon diocese, the pride of the city. The area around Notre Dame cathedral has the most beautiful scenery in Saigon. Opening hours: Visiting: Morning: 8h30 - 10h00 Aternoon: 14h30 - 15h30 (Monday - Friday). The time of Masses: 5:30 a.m, 5:00 pm (Monday - Saturday), Sunday : 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 9:30 (for foreigners), 16h00, 17h00, 18h30 Address: 1 the Paris Commune, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1.
• VietNam history museum
Vietnam History Museum was built in 1929, formerly known as the de la Brosse Blanchard Museum. Visiting here, you will have an opportunity to admire and learn about thousands of precious objects. In addition, the museum also has over 25,000 valueale books and documents for the study of archeology, ethnology , history, museology ... Opening hours: 8h00 - 11h30 a.m and 13:30 - 16:30 (Tuesday - Sunday); Admission fee: 2.000VND / adults, 1,000 VND / children (living Vietnam), 15,000 VND / person (foreigners); Address: No. 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1.
• War Remnants Museum
Tourists come here as if they were back the fierce war period and saw the terrible demage of a bombardment, to further appreciate what we have at present as well as memorialize late generation. The objects such as aircraft, artillery, tanks, guillotine and two "tiger cages" are built similar to size in Con Dao prison. There are also galleries of the South -West border war, the war to protect northern border, the Truong Sa Islands issue, the plot of the hostile forces ...
Opening hours: 7h30 - 12h00, 13h30 - 17:00 (daily) Admission fee: 15,000 VND / time / person (foreigners), 2.000VND /time/person (Vietnamese) Address: No. 28 Vo Van Tan Sreet, District 3.
• Ben Thanh Market
Market area is situated at the city center, 4 door overlooking Quach Thi Trang Square and other major roads of the city such as Phan Boi Chau, Phan Chu Trinh and Le Thanh Ton. Inside market displaying all kind of traditional and modern items that you can buy as a gift for family and friends. At night, market become more bustling with clothing, food shops full of visitors. Opening hours: 7h00 - 19h00 daily Address: Located between Phan Boi Chau - Phan Chu Trinh - Le Thanh Ton Street - Quach Thi Trang Square, Ben Thanh Ward - District 1
• Hue Nguyen street – District1
This is the road in the area of the city center, there are many roadside hotels, high-end shopping malls, several units have existed for hundreds of years, in style of classic European architecture. Go straight Nguyen Hue Street to Southeast direction are Ton Duc Thang Street along the Saigon River. In particular, on annual Lunar New Year occasion, Nguyen Hue Street becomes extremely brilliant, where gather all blooming flowers welcome spring. Flowers Street on display in about 7-10 days, usually from 28 December to 5th Tet.
• Binh Tay Market (Big market)
Located in Chinatown, it is the wholesale market for the supply of goods in the southern provinces and all over the country. Goods include dry food, cereal, dried seafood, clothes, shoes, toys. Because there are many China people living here, all activities in Binh Tay market is affected. Opening hours: 7:00 - 18:00 daily Address: 57A Thap Muoi, Ward 12, District 6.
• Chinatown - District 5
Chinatown is the busiest shopping center in Saigon. This is the living area of Chinese community in the southern Viet Nam. Here you can enjoy delicious cuisine with Chinese food style, but some also have been changed slightly to suit Vietnamese's palate. Around Chinatown are the biggest wholesale and retail markets as Binh Tay Market, Kim Bien market, Soai Kinh Lam fabric market.
• Cu Chi Tunnels
Cu Chi Tunnels is far from Ho Chi Minh City 70 kilometers to the northwest. This is also a miniature of heroic battle to defeat enemies of Cu Chi army and countries in the fierce 30 - year - struggle. Today's generation always admire Cu Chi Tunnels because many sodiers sacrificed their life trying to protect nation. The construction was built deeply in the ground with many floors, many corners as cobweb, consists of accommodation, meeting and fighting place with a total length of over 200 km. Cu Chi Tunnels comprises two sections: Ben Duoc Tunnels: Pursuant & Military Region Regional Committee of Saigon - Gia Dinh is protected in Phu Hiep hamlet, Phu My Hung commune, Cu Chi district. Way: Route 13 and 79, take the bus number 13 from Ben Thanh Cu Chi bus station , then get on the 79 Bus from Cu Chi to Ben Duoc bus station. Ben Dinh Tunnels: base in Cu Chi District Party Committee was conserved in Ben Dinh hamlet, Nhuan Duc commune, Cu Chi district. Way: get on the bus route 4 from Ben Thanh to An Suong station, then continue to pick up Bus route 122 from An Suong An Nhon Tay and get off.
- The total time to visit and move: Half day
- Fares: 100,000VND / foreigners,. free for drinking tea and eating cassava
- Other Vehicles: If traveling by motorcycle you just take the bus route, if you find it hard, you can ask for directions. Hiring a taxi from the city center to tunnel about 600,000 - 700.000VND. Renting package cars is a bit cheaper than taxis.
- Remember to bring your sneakers to travel easily in tunnels.
• Western quarter
"West Street" West quarter composes Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham Street and surrounding neighborhoods in the heart of District 1, HMC. This landmark has been recommended in guide list of a popular tourist magazine - Lonely Planet for travelers to visit HCMC. West Street is very near Ben Thanh Market, bus station that pick up and take passengers to throughout the city.
• Sailing yacht along the Saigon River
Winding flow of the Saigon River through the city with 37km length creative a very beautiful landscape. Try once to experience take a yacht on the river, you will discover the unique features of Saigon with rustic scenery among bustle urban place. The visit forms include: excursions by boat on the river to Nha Be and Can Gio; sightseeing on Lai Thieu canoe; sightseeing attached to dinner on the train. Depending on the quality of services, the cost of a trip along the Saigon River in price from 80,000 VND / person or more. Address: Many excursions on the Saigon River begins from Bach Dang port on Ton Duc Thang street (District 1, Ho Chi Minh City) or the Saigon port in No. 3 Nguyen Tat Thanh, District 4, HCM City. You can contact directly with the cruise : Saigon cruise ship: 083 8230 393 Ben Nghe cruise ship: 08 8231 475 168 cruise ships: 083 820 8296 My Canh cruise ship : 083 299 8223.
A trip to Saigon City will be more interesting if you visit the city in the evening . In Saigon there are many attractive entertainment, bustling activity when the city lights up.
Some popular bars include: Sahara Bar, 227 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1; Go2 Bar 187 De Tham Street, District 1; Vasco Bar, Cao Ba Quat 16D; Saigon Saigon Bar, 19 Lam Son, 224 De Tham, Pham Ngu Lao ward ...
Watch movie at Hung Vuong Megastar 126 Hung Vuong Street, District 5; Galaxy Cinema 116 Nguyen Du, District 1; Diamond Cinema, 13th Floor of Diamond Plaza, 34 Le Duan, District 1; Cinebox 212, 212 Ly Chinh Thang, District 3. The address often has theater: Hong Van theatre, 70-72 Nguyen Van Troi Street, Phu Nhuan District; Idecaf stage, 7 Tran Cao Van Street, Da Kao Ward, District 1; Thai Thanh Hoang stage, 36 Le Quy Don Street, Ward 7, District 1; stage 5B, 5B Vo Van Tan, District 3.
Shopping In Saigon
There are many busy markets and shopping centers. The slaves of shopping will be certainly "bumper" in this city because of its diverse goods, all kinds from luxury to affordable
• Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh market sold many handicraft items, clothing, textiles, footwear. Outside of Saigon Co-op sales, price listed there, you remember to see the price carefully before buying.
• SaiGon Square 1&2, Taka plaza
This is a favorite shopping addresses of a lot of female citizens in Saigon. With the advantage of clothes, shoes, handbags, casual and intermediate goods, Saigon Square is regularily crowded with customers, especially on weekends. Shopping here should also be careful to price, somewhere said very high price (twice).Saigon Square 1: Nam Ky Khoi Nghia - Le Loi Crossroad (near Hoang Thanh restaurant), District 1 Saigon Square 2: 7-9 Ton Duc Thang, Address: Ben Nghe Ward District 1.
Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
In this part" Things to do in Ho Chi Minh city", we would like to suggest you all activities that you can do during your Vietnam tour. With our guide to the Top the best things in Ho Chi Minh you can get all of the information you need to ensure you don’t miss anything this fascinating city has to offer.
• Cyclo tour in Saigon
A cyclo in Saigon can be hired for 50,000 to 100,000 VND an hour. This is a great way to tour the city’s sites, as well as letting you enjoy the everyday sights of the Saigon streets that normally go unnoticed on the back of a motorbike — they’re particularly great for exploring pagoda-filled Cholon, or Chinatown. The best driver/guides will just let you sit back and listen as they tell you the history of city.
• Saigon Vespa tour
Many companies offer short tours of the city, including Vietnam Vespa Adventures, which takes guests off the beaten path and shows them, I think, a more authentic side of the city with their Saigon After Dark tour. And with Vespa Adventures you get to see Saigon in style. Experience the buzz of Saigon’s nightlife from the back of a vintage Vespa on a 4.5-hour evening tour.
• Cooking Class
Saigon Culinary Art Centre runs quite a packaged product, where customers are met at their hotel by a SCAC chef who leads an ingredients buying tour to Ben Thanh market.
Customers then travel to a villa on the city outskirts where classes take place. Participants receive a certificate of merit and a handbook with the recipes of the day.
Vietnam Cookery Centre runs small group classes as well as having a special focus on intensive classes. Their eight-day course costs $160. Half-day courses run in the morning or afternoon cost $33 per person.
• Dinner Cruise on Saigon River
Enjoy your evening while cruising along the Saigon River with variety of traditional performances aboard the ship. Unique music program combination between Western & Eastern style.
Best Spa and Massage in Ho Chi Minh City
Increasing numbers of high-end luxury spas are opening up in Ho Chi Minh City. The therapists have good knowledge of massage and other treatments, mixing eastern philosophy, knowledge and techniques with some western practices.
A long-time favourite among Japanese and European expatriates, Jasmine is famous for its cellulite treament package using seaweed and its cavier facial treatment.
Location: 45 Ton That Thiep, District 1
Tel: +848 3827 2737
SEN Spa offers body massage, facial care, Jacuzzi and herbal steam room. It is on the 10th floor of Miss Aodai Building in District 1, just minutes from the Saigon River.
Location: 10th floor of Miss Aodai Building in District 1
Tel: +848 3910 2174
L'APOTHIQUAIRE SPA & RETREAT
L' Apothiquaire is in a colonial mansion with beautiful surroundings dating back to 1959. Services include facials, body treatment and fitness programs such as yoga and T’ai chi. There are a few branches spread out over the city.
63 Le Thanh Ton St, District 1, Tel: +848 3822 1218
64A Truong Dinh, District 3, Tel: +848 3932 5181
GLOW SPA IN SAI GON
This is a day spa where you receive massage therapy, facial care, hair spa, hand and foot care services while enjoying views of the lush, tropical garden. It is situated right in the city centre.
Location: 129A Nguyen Hue, District 1
Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City restaurants cater to a wide range of budget, ranging from decades-old food stalls by the roadside to sophisticated restaurants with picturesque surroundings for affluent diners. Inexpensive, hearty and enjoyable at any time of the day, Vietnamese dishes such as banh mi (French baguette) pho noodles, spring rolls, and banh xeo (savoury rice-flour crepe) are must-tries for any first-time visitor to Ho Chi Minh City.
Catering to travellers worldwide, Ho Chi Minh City’s constantly evolving culinary scene has also resulted in stylish dining venues all over the city, with menus that encompass not only delicious Vietnamese cuisine but also international flavours including French, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Thai and Chinese. Read on for our comprehensive guide on where and what to eat in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ngon restaurant: is a delight, skilfully combining a comprehensive menu of classic Vietnamese dishes, English speaking waiters and beautiful surroundings. Located on Pasteur Street in the tourist centre of District 1, Nha Hang Ngon is a 10 minute walk from the Ho Chi Minh Opera House, along Le Loi and right at the Pasteur Street intersection. The menu is full of all the staples of Vietnamese cooking.
Address: 160 Pasteur, Bến Nghé Quận 1 Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Phone: +84 8 3827 7131
Hours: Open today • 7:30AM–10:30PM
Lemongrass restaurant is a fine dining restaurant located in a narrow shophouse in District 1. Serving delectable Vietnamese dishes presented with French flair and providing guests with diligent service, this three floor restaurant is certainly one of Ho Chi Minh’s top restaurants. Choose from the sizeable range of meat, fish and vegetarian dishes on the a la carte menu or trust the chef and choose one of four set menus available at Lemongrass. Soft candlelight adds a touch of romance to proceedings, enhanced by the live music playing in the background.
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 22:30
Address: 4 Nguyen Thiep St., District 1.
La Cuisine restaurant is unashamedly classic French cuisine, serving many traditional dishes such as steak tartare, foie gras with Provence figs, and pan seared duck with Béarnaise sauce. Plating and execution is stylish and modern, just like the white-washed, bare brick walls, and chunky wooden tables. The owner and head chef is French and has worked all over the world before settling in Ho Chi Minh to open La Cuisine. Look out for the set lunch menu which offers two or three courses for significantly reduced rates for a taste of something fancy at a great value price.
Opening Hours: 11:00 to 14:00 and 17:00 to 22:00 (Close on Sunday)
Address: 48 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1.
Moonsoon Restaurant : With a chic, minimalist dining room and impressive menu spanning the best dishes from Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, Monsoon Restaurant is the best choice for a spicy regional dishes like tom yam kung soup and pad Thai, red curry and pork cooked in clay pot. Prices are very reasonable for what is widely considered the finest Southeast Asian restaurant in Saigon.
Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 23:00
Address: No.1, Cao Ba Nha, District 1.
Camargue restaurant : is a refined French restaurant within the courtyard of an old colonial-era opium factory in downtown Saigon. The two-storey establishment is set along Hai Ba Trung Street, one of the most fashionable streets in the city.
The service here is also professional with a team of attentive yet unobtrusive staff on hand – perfect for an intimate evening with loved ones.
When you travel to Saigon, a crowded and noisy city, you should be careful of your baggage. Make sure that property like wallets, cameras, phones always kept carefully. And although any quite good service or discrimination with tourists, but when shopping at the market, you should also pay the price down a bit, if you do not want to buy an item priceily.
Read more: Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh city