Ho Chi Minh City Travel Packages

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Ho Chi Minh City Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Best Time: November to April Read More

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Also Refered As:

Saigon, HCMC or Ho CHi Minh

"Where Heritage Inspires Progress"

Ho Chi Minh City Tourism

Popularly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam is the largest city and the financial and cultural capital of the country. Ho Chi Minh City is a fast-paced city deeply rooted in its cultural roots whilst quickly having adapted to the demands of urbanisation. Here you will find ornate temples and olden shrines of various faiths standing side by side alongside towering skyscrapers and shopping malls. Tan Son Nhat International Airport, which is the busiest airport in the country services Ho Chi Minh City.

Overcoming a turbulent period in its past with its peak at the Vietnam War, Ho Chi Minh City has since grown leaps and bounds to become arguably the most iconic tourist destination in the country. There are several historical attractions, such as the Cu Chi and Ben Dinh Tunnels, which are remnants of its war-torn past. Other places of interest include the Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Opera House and Central Post Office which were built during the rule of the French and brilliantly showcase classical French architecture. These prominent tourist spots are located in District 1 of the city, all close to each other.

The city's streets are chaotic yet captivating, where motorbikes weave through the bustling traffic, street vendors offer aromatic delicacies, and hidden alleys lead to vibrant neighborhoods brimming with character. Local markets such as Ben Thanh and Binh Tay offer visitors a wide range of handicrafts, textiles, electronics, and bric-a-brac souvenirs. Catering to more modern and lavish tastes, Ho Chi Minh City is home to many eccentric shopping malls, fine dining restaurants, and glitzy nightclubs as well.

Must Know Before You Travel to Ho Chi Minh City

  • Shuttle Bus from Airport to Downtown: Bus 109 is the most popular which takes around 45 mins while Bus 49 is the fastest taking only 30 mins. Bus 152 is the cheapest but slowest, taking 1.5 hours.
  • District One is the most popular area for tourists to stay in. It can also easily be explored on foot. The budget hotels are centered around Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham and Bui Vien streets.
  • Crossing a street can be very daunting here as the traffic generally doesn't stop. Simply walk into the traffic, and the motorbikes will move swiftly around you
  • While walking on the sidewalk be careful of snatchers on motorbikes. Hold your bags tightly.
  • Avoid pretty girls soliciting for a massage near the Ben Tanh Market area. These are generally scams.

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Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City

The city of Ho Chi Minh has a dazzling nightlife lined with an array of pubs and bars ranging from dingy ones to murky dark places and posh and premium properties.

  • Most of the popular ones are dotted in the Dong Khoi area of District 1.
  • Then there are tearooms and bia hoi (draught beer) vendors that operate until late.
  • If jazz music is your taste, do not miss out on the Sax n' Art at 28 Le Loi Street, where the renowned Vietnamese saxophone artist Tran Manh Tuan frequents.
  • One can also enjoy music shows and other grand events at Lan Anh stadiums. Drinks and alcohol are readily available along with many local drinks, which are relatively cheaper compared to the imported brands.
  • If you are looking for a fantastic experience into the wee hours of the night, Pham Ngu Lao in the district has plenty of cheap beer vendors waiting to quench your thirst.

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Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City

From traditional markets to high-end malls, the city of Ho Chi Minh is a haven for shopaholics. No matter your budget, there is plenty to shop for in the city. Products and handicrafts come to this place from all over the country to be sold at various department stores, shops, stalls and stands. In addition, one can go souvenir shopping for local crafts such as textile, metalwork, and distinct baskets.

  • Dong Khoi area houses many such shops, along with Hai Ba Trung, Le Thanh Ton and Le Loi, which are worth visiting.
  • Try out Khoi Silk at 107 Dong Khoi for silk garments and accessories.
  • The most popular market among tourists and locals is Ben Thanh Market on Le Loi. The place is packed with quality clothes and souvenirs at very cheap prices. Make sure to hone your haggling skills as prices can go down to 50% but keep your cool. Situated in District 1, the place dazzles as the sun sets and the night market opens outside the building. One can enjoy food at dozens of food stalls there.
  • Situated in District 6 is Binh Tay Market in Cholon, flocked with people from early morning until early evening. Crammed in the narrow alleyways, the place is full of fake war souvenirs, Ex-military items and exotic food items, although bargaining is a must.
  • At last, if you are looking for shopping malls, Diamond Plaza on Le Duan and Parkson Saigon tourist Plaza on Le Thanh Ton are among the popular ones.

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Exchanging Money in Ho Chi Minh City

The best place to get currency exchanged in Ho Chi Minh City is the banks; Vietcom bank being quite popular among tourists and is foreigner-friendly. Currency can also be exchanged at the airport; however, the rates are competitive with stiff commission. One will find plenty of ATMs all across the city, in large hotels, shopping malls, markets etc. Make to carry some cash while shopping and for taxis. Traveller's cheques are also accepted at various places including Ho Chi Minh banks, major hotels and restaurants. It is wise to carry US dollars and debit card to access your ATM while in the country.

Daily Budget for Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is the country's largest city with people of various ethnic groups. With dong with its local currency, the city is suitable for all kinds of travellers, be it backpackers, economy or luxury travellers.

Following is the per-day budget (rough estimate) in the country's local currency excluding the accommodation cost (cost includes food, water, local transport, entertainment, communication, tips, souvenirs and alcohol) -

  • Budget travel: VND 1,66,360
  • Economy travel: VND 4,34,190
  • Luxury travel: VND 11,73,494

Ho Chi Minh City Customs

Vietnamese culture is a fusion of Confucianism and communist ideology. Thus the customs in Ho Chi Minh City, like the rest of the country, are primarily influenced by these two factors.

  • There are no handshakes or physical contact between elders in the city while greeting each other, only a slight bow indicating the greeting.
  • Pointing toward anyone with a finger is considered disrespectful.
  • Also, please do not leave your chopsticks in the dish when you are done with your meal. It is considered insulting.
  • Slurping loudly while eating rice or noodles is a sign that you enjoyed your food, and it pleases the chef.
  • Make sure to dress appropriately while visiting a temple, and cover your arms, legs and shoulders. Otherwise, the dressing style in most of Vietnam is quite liberal.
  • Tipping is usually practised at big restaurants and hotels but is not mandatory.

History of Ho Chi Minh City

Once known as a Khmer fishing village of Prey Nokor, current Ho Chi Minh City was based on swampland under Khmer (Cambodians) rule until 1623, when the place was flocked with immigrants from Vietnam after the flood. In 1689, the Prey Nokor, along with the entire Mekong River delta, was legally taken under by the Vietnamese, and the place came to be known as Saigon. After being under the rule of Vietnam for a century and a half, the city became a colony of French Indochina after the invasion of French and Spanish forces in 1859. Even today, one can witness the French colonial effect in the city with beautiful French architecture and villas. By 1929, there was about 10 per cent of French immigrants in Saigon.

Once again, the city saw a shift in power when France lost to Nazi Germany in 1940 and came under the combined rule of Japanese and Vichy France, although it was Japan with primary control. Soon, Vietnam was declared independent in 1945 by Ho Chi Minh, who commenced a guerrilla war against the French colonial government. With an on and off change of powers between the French and Capitalist Vietnamese, Viet Minh took Saigon in 1976, renaming it Ho Chi Minh City. Today, the city caters to many tourists, especially appreciating the French District, museums, and plenty of its cinemas.

Best Time to Visit Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City Photos

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Dong Khoi Street

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FAQs on Ho Chi Minh City

What are the places near Ho chi minh city?

The top places near to Ho chi minh city are Nha trang which is 321 km from Ho chi minh city, Bien hoa which is located 27 km from Ho chi minh city, Ben tre which is located 71 km from Ho chi minh city, My tho which is located 58 km from Ho chi minh city, Hoi an which is located 592 km from Ho chi minh city

What are the things to do in Ho chi minh city?

The top things to do in Ho chi minh city are War Remnants Museum, Saigon Central Post Office, Reunification Palace, Cu Chi Tunnels, Saigon Opera House, Bitexco Financial Tower (Saigon Skydeck). You can see all the places to visit in Ho chi minh city here

What are the top hotels in Ho chi minh city?

There are 3534 in Ho chi minh city which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Ho chi minh city are Vinhomes Central Park-GEM Penthouse, Vinhomes Service Apartment - Central 3 - 2015, Linda Apartment, Vinhomes Luxury Condo Park 6B-3401, Vic Vinhomes Central Park, Sakura Hotel. You can see all the hotels in Ho chi minh city here

How much does a package cost for Ho chi minh city?

The packages for Ho chi minh city start at INR 13727 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What is the local food in Ho chi minh city?

If you are visiting to Ho Chi Minh City, the last thing you should be worried about is food. It is everywhere, in wide range of cuisines and of every budget. One will find from authentic Vietnamese food to various other cuisines including French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese and Thai food etc. There are plethora of small food stall, mid range eating joints to high-end restaurants, bars and pubs. However, you will notice a great influence of French in local food. Pham Ngu Lao Street and De Tham Street are perfect places to check out the wholesome and inexpensive food. Bakeries are common sight in the city serving fresh baguettes and plenty of other products. Banh Mi Thit (pork sandwiches), "bun bo hue" or Hue beef soup, Vietnamese omelettes, Com tam, a plate of rice with grilled pork, Muoi Xiem (Egg Pan Cake) and Rice cake are some of the popular dishes of the city. The city also has a strong coffee culture, which one can see through various cafes spread all across the city.
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What is the best time to visit Ho chi minh city?

The city of Ho Chi Minh has tropical climate type with two main season i.e. dry season and rainy season. The monsoon starts in May and falls until November while dry season falls between December and April. During this time, the city is also prone to typhoons. The weather conditions remain unpredictable during change of season. The best time to explore Saigon to its best is during dry season when humidity is low, mornings are pleasant and night is cool and windy. December is the coolest month with temperature remaining in the twenties during the day. Nguyn _ˆn Festival, which takes place in January or February, depending on the Vietnamese Lunar Calendar is a perfect time to visit.
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Ho Chi Minh City Reviews

Your rating

Antara Mandal

6 years ago
The greatest thing about this city is how "walkable" it is. I roamed around the city and explored many great places. I was living in District 1, which is a busy place. The first night, I went to Bui (Read More)Vien street. It is packed with young people because of its great nightlife. I discovered many Vietnamese restaurants.I had pho (a type of noodle) and Saigon Special beer (a must try!) in a restaurant called Propaganda. However, later I discovered there are cheaper places to experience their local food. Vietnam has a high inflation rate, so try finding cheaper places to eat (small restaurants) and buy your souvenirs from local night markets like Ben Thanh market where you can bargain. Transportation is quite convenient as well. To go to faraway places, I took the bus (tip: carry your student ID all the time, you might get some discounts) for 2000 VND (Around INR 6). I also downloaded an app called Grab which works like Uber. This is also a cheap mode of transportation because you get promo codes everyday. Places I went to in HCMC are War Museum, Independence Palace, Cu Chi Tunnels, Pink Church, Ben Thanh Market, and many more!
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