Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City (known as Saigon before) is the economic capital of Vietnam.

Geography of Ho Chi Minh city

Ho Chi Minh city is situated by the side of the Saigon River towards the northern part of the Mekong River delta. The city is 1725 km away from the southern Hanoi and 50 km west of the Eastern Sea.

Ho Chi Minh city weather

The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is during the drier months of December to March, when temperatures range between 21°C and 34°C. Many like to visit during the Tet Festival (Vietnamese New Year) in late January or early February. The whole country joins in the festivities and it's a colourful spectacle, but prices are higher and getting around may be difficult due to the large numbers of people travelling.

May to September sees frequent showers with monthly rainfall levels of 200 to 300mm during this period. The rains tend to come in short bursts, so it's possible to still enjoy sunny days during these wet summer months. Just be sure to bring an umbrella to avoid being caught out! The peak period for typhoons to hit Ho Chi Minh City is from July to November.

Ho Chi Minh City transportation

Getting around Ho Chi Minh City is fairly easy, and you have several good options once you’re there.

From The Airport

Arriving at the Ho Chi Minh Airport is not a problem, but getting to the city center is sometimes a problem, especially when arriving at night. Your only option for public transportation at night is taxi. For your own security and safety take the taxi if you have a very late arrival.

Taxi

There are numerous taxi services available in Ho Chi Minh City. One recommended service is Vinasun. They have a number of taxi stands around the city. You will be given a slip with the details of the car you’re taking in case you need to make a complaint. You can also hail them on the street, and riders say they always use their meters. Most of the fleet consists of medium-sized Hondas and Toyotas.

Transport apps

You can use transport apps as Grab, Be, GoViet, it works just fine in Vietnam. With transport apps, it’s impossible for the driver to rip you off since the entire ride is tracked by the apps. Download and set up your account before you leave your home country. You can order the car with your phone if you have inserted a Vietnam sim card or if you have wifi. Transport apps are cheap and reliable but they seem to use small cars which are less comfortable for some.

Bus

If you arrive in the daytime, take the Airport bus number 152. It runs from 6 am until 6 pm. The stop is unmarked, 100 meters to the right from the international airport toward De Than Street.

Cultural Tourism in Ho Chi Minh City

Being a city embracing both traditional and modern beauty, HCMC is an ideal destination of interest for every generations with different characters.

If you are young, active and playful, there are uncountable places of entertainment for you in this fast-growing dynamic city. Dam Sen Water Park is worth your try. Opened in 1999 with new water slides added each year, this water park offers some truly unique water slide experiences (including the amazing "Space Bowl")!

If you like watching films, Galaxy cinema with up-to-date films on big screen would be your premium choice. Though not as huge as that in some other countries, it is one amongst the top places of entertainment in Ho Chi Minh City these days.

If you prefer places of religion and history, here we go! Notre Dame Cathedral (Nhà thờ Đức Bà) is the old architectural monument, which is much enchanting. Incense Thien Hau Pagoda is dedicated to Lady Thien Hau, the sea goddess, who left two giant turtles to keep an eye on things in her absence. A festival is held in her honor on the 23rd day of the March lunar month. Don't miss the gorgeous sculptures in the walls of the courtyard outside the temple! Quan Am Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in town, and Phung Son Tu Pagoda, which is dedicated to the God of happiness and virtue. The pagoda itself is dusty and dwarfed by high-rises under construction nearby, but the small, sculpted grounds are a good place for a rest from the hectic city.

Besides, you should also visit some premium museums of the city, such as the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Museum of Vietnamese History, and Revolutionary Museum and the War Remnants Museum.

Nowaday, Ho Chi Minh City is the big tourism center in Vietnam, attracting a large of visitors to Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City has various attractions as Ho Chi Minh Museum, formerly known as Dragon House Wharf, Cu Chi Tunnels, system of museums, theatres, cultural houses... Recently, many tourist areas are invested such as Thanh Da, Binh Quoi Village, Dam Sen Park, Saigon Water Park, Suoi Tien, Ky Hoa..., which draw numerous tourists

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

Binh Tay Market

Binh Tay Market, constructed by the French in the 1880s, is located in the centre of Vietnam’s largest Chinatown district. Unlike Ben Thanh Market in District 1, this market mainly serves the local population with its extensive range of fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry, meat and seafood from regions across Vietnam. 

Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 17:00
Address: 57A Thap Moui, District 6

War Remnants Museum

The War Remnants Museum is a sobering and unforgettable museum which details the effects of the 30 year long war between America and Vietnam. There are immaculately preserved tanks, planes and other war machines in the outside grounds, but the really hard-hitting information is found inside. Photographs, exhibits and written documentation show the horrific lengths that the American Army lowered themselves to in order to try and defeat the North Vietnamese Army. 

Opening Hours: Daily 07.30 - 12.00 & 13:30 – 17:00
Address: 28 Vo Van Tan, District 3

Cu Chi Tunnels

This marvellous tourist attraction lets visitors experience what it must have been like for soldiers who used an extensive network of tunnels to move around undetected by their enemies. There is an informative movie to watch, followed by a guided tour of some mock recreations of daily life for the Viet Cong hiding in the jungle. Burnt out tanks make for a great photo prop and then everyone gets to crawl through a small section of the tunnels which has been widened and supported with concrete.

Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 - 17:00
Location: 70km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City

Cao Dai Temple

Cao Dai Temple is the centre of the Cao Dai faith, a religion that has taken bits of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism and Confucianism. Tourists are welcome to visit the temple and learn more about this faith that is practiced by a few dedicated followers. Each Cao Dai practitioner wears a white robe to enter the temple with an additional sash to signify their previous religion. The temple itself is very bright and colourful with dragons flying up banisters and a cloud mural decorating the ceiling. 

Opening Hours: Daily 06:00 - 17:00
Location: 60 miles northwest of Ho Chi Minh City

Jade Emperor Pagoda

Jade Emperor Pagoda is one of the most revered temples in Ho Chi Minh. Originally built in 1909 by Chinese immigrants this Taoist temple now welcomes Buddhist worshipping and is incredibly atmospheric with incense smoke hanging heavy in the air. Intricate architecture, carvings, statues of Gods and Goddesses and Chinese characters create an exotic and timeless ambiance.

Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 – 17:00
Address: 73 Mai Thi Luu, District 3

Bitexco Tower and Sky Deck 

Bitexco Tower is an ultra modern office tower in Ho Chi Minh, with a characteristic oval extension which acts as a helicopter landing pad. Standing at 262 metres tall, this 68 storey building is the highest in all of Vietnam with a sky deck offering 360 degree views of the city and surrounding area as well as a fantastic sky bar called Alto where you can see all of Ho Chi Minh while enjoying a cocktail and some tapas style international dishes. Head up here for sunset and don’t forget your camera!

Opening Hours: Daily 09:30 - 21:30
Address: 36 Ho Tung Mau Street, District 1

Reunification Palace

The centre of the allied command and the place where the North Vietnamese claimed victory in the American War, Reunification Palace has played its part in some incredible scenes. This ageing palace has essentially been frozen in time since a North Vietnamese Army tank smashed through its gates in 1975. Visitors will get to discover secret rooms, grand reception halls and the command bunker where General Ngo Dinh Diem conducted his war strategies.

Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 - 11:00 & 13:00 - 16:00
Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ben Thanh, District 1

Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office

The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh is a glorious example of French colonial architecture, perfectly preserved with as much style as when it first opened in 1891. The building still functions as the city’s main post office and sending a letter or postcard home is highly recommended for a taste of living history. Beautiful from any angle, this building was designed by Gustave Eiffel, who also designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 - 19:00
Address: 2 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1

Mariamman Hindu Temple

Mariamman Hindu Temple is a beautiful example of the bright and vibrant architecture of Hindu places of worship. As the only active Hindu temple in Ho Chi Minh, it acts as a community base for the small community of Hindus living in the city. Open every day from 07:00 to 19:00, non Hindus are also welcome to visit, just remember to dress conservatively and take off your shoes before entering the inner temple. 

Opening Hours: Daily 07:00 - 19:00
Address: 45 Truong Dinh, Ben Thanh, District 1

Notre Dame Cathedral

Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the late 1880s by French colonists, is one of the few remaining strongholds of Catholicism in the largely Buddhist Vietnam. Located in Paris Square, the name Notre Dame was given after the installation of the statue ‘Peaceful Notre Dame’ in 1959. A Virgin Mary statue also stands in front of Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, which locals claimed to have shed tears in October 2005. While this incident was refuted by the Catholic Church of Vietnam, thousands of visitors still flock to this statue in hopes of witnessing a miracle. 

Opening Hours: Daily 08:00 - 17:00
Address: 1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe, District 1

Learn vocabulary about Ho Chi Minh City

Tower Tháp
Nightclub Câu lạc bộ đêm 
Post office Bưu điện 
Water park Công viên nước 
Museum Bảo tàng 
Palace Dinh 
Cathedral Nhà thờ lớn 
Airport Sân bay 
Economy Kinh tế