Ho Chi Minh City: The "Pearl of the Far East"
Being one of the most crowded, busiest, and wealthiest cities of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh city is the place hosting a variety of cultures, lifestyles, and experiences.
Indeed, it is a popular choice of tourists from all over the world who are looking for a dynamic adventure. The place has got so many things to offer, from amazing local restaurants, shopping malls or markets, historical attractions to nightlife activities.
Ho Chi Minh City
Originally, the land was the home of the Khmers people. However, Vietnamese took the place over in the 17th century, naming the place “Saigon”.
For such a financial hub of the nation, Ho Chi Minh ty has a long history. Saigon was the capital of French Indochina from 1887 to 1902, and again from 1945 to 1954. It was then the capital of South Vietnam from 1955 until the Vietnam Communism military won the Vietnam war in 1975. Along with such major changes, Saigon was re-named after Vietnam’s revolutionary leader after merging with Gia Dinh province. Fortunately, the original name Saigon is still popularly used, especially among the nostalgic citizens who love its originality.
Top attractions in Ho Chi Minh City
With a long, painful but brave history through such wars, it would not be completed for tourists without visiting Ho Chi Minh’s historical sites.
- Cu Chi Tunnel: If you are a modern citizen who comes to Vietnam for a new experience backward to the famous Vietnam war, then coming to Cu Chi tunnel will definitely blow your mind. The thrilling tunnels with narrow space, darkness, and complex network design often surprise tourists, knowing the underground network was built only by farmers and soldiers to avoid enemies and war damage.
- War Remnants Museum: Undoubtedly, Vietnam has been well-known across the world for its long history of wars. The Vietnam war created so much impact that leads to the popularity of the Vietnam War Remnants Museum among Western tourists. Formerly called the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes, the War Remnants Museum gives tourists the chance to learn realistically about the brutal effects of war on its civilian victims and the crimes of the Western army during the war.
- Reunification Palace: Being one of the most important historical spots in Ho Chi Minh city, Reunification Palace is a must-visit attraction for tourists who are looking for historical values in such a commercialized city. Surrounded by royal palm trees, Reunification Palace is a 1960s architecture with iconic history value to Vietnamese people.
- Central Post Office: One of the most beautiful preserved remnants of the French since their colonial period. Perhaps, The Central Post Office in Ho Chi Minh city can be considered as the most magnificent post office in Southeast Asia. Visiting the post office, tourists can learn about the historical attraction and also take nice photos in such an attractive French-styled building.
Similar to any other commercial city, Ho Chi Minh is a busy place with dynamic lifestyles of various types of people, coming from all cities of Vietnam. As a multi-culture society, the citizens’ beliefs and religions are plentiful and prosperous. The people are familiar with foreigners coming from around the world, the millennials are supposed to speak English. However, due to the different originality, Ho Chi Minh city people are kind of unpredictable. One day you might catch them saying hi to tourists just to be nice, and also catch them rip your wallet with counterfeits and high price another day. Therefore, tourists should not rely too much on locals, even they seem nice and communicate fluently.
Giac Lam pagoda
While Vietnam has so many destinations which offer amazing experience during Tet holiday – Vietnamese biggest holiday during Lunar New Year, Ho Chi Minh city is completely opposite. Since all the immigrants would come back to their hometown during such a long holiday, and much of the original Saigon people have left the country in 1975, the city is quiet, less busy with traffic, and turns into a peaceful place instead. Hence, if you do want to see the busy city suddenly turns tranquil in just about 3 days, coming to Ho Chi Minh City during the Lunar New Year period would make you surprised.
Weather in Ho Chi Minh City
(How many season - Weather of each season - Which is the best time for traveling)
Ho Chi Minh city is kind of hot throughout the year in comparison with other regions. There are only 2 seasons: the dry and the wet one. The city sees frequent rainfall from May to September. If you are coming for the sunny weather to enjoy the trip conveniently, it is recommended to come from December to March.
Famous for the crazy crowded traffic, you should definitely not riding any bikes, even when you are comfortable with motorbikes. Here is a list of local transportation to get you around.
- Cyclo: A bicycle rickshaw that gives you a full view of the city that you are wandering around. Cyclo riders can usually speak basic English since riding cyclo is only for foreign tourists. Cyclo tours organized by tourism or hotels can give you a more comfortable experience with more fluently English-speaking riders and considerable prices. The only disadvantage is that it is slow, not suitable for a busy day.
- Xe Om: A motorbike taxi that gives you a real Vietnamese local ride. There are many Xe Om around tourist areas, they often ask whether you want a ride even before you recognize them. However, remember to ask for the price (and maybe bargain) before jumping on their bikes. Nevertheless, you can book a Grab bike for transparent cost and clear location pick-up/ drop-down points.
- Taxi: Vinasun and Mai Linh are two nationwide companies with reputations. They also have applications for pick-up/ drop-down points convenience. The fare will not be too different from booking a Grab car.
Ho Chi Minh Transportation
- Watch your belongings: Vietnam is safe with friendly people and a peaceful lifestyle. However, there is still petty theft waiting for your distraction. Always have your belongings in your eyes, keep your backpack in front of your chest when in crowded areas such as the bus, train station, etc.
- Be aware of counterfeits: Not only apply for Branded items, but counterfeit tour agencies would also be the worse thing that can happen to a tourist. Book everything through a worldwide trusted supplier so you won’t have to regret it.
- Don’t rely too much: As mentioned above, Ho Chi Minh City is now the home of a variety of people, even the poorest and fierce ones. Therefore, it is hard to differentiate type by type if you are not Vietnamese. Tourists often get familiar with friendly modern citizens then get suffer from the immigrated people’s behavior.
Top Ho Chi Minh City Destinations - Where to go?
Cu Chi Tunnels Half Day - Small Group8.7Very good - 10 reviewsHo Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels/pax
Ho Chi Minh City Half day - Small GroupHo Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - War Remnants Museum…/pax
Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City Tour Full Day9.2Excellent - 12 reviewsHo Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels - Notre Dame Cathedral - Reunification…/pax