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Ho Chi Minh City

4.1 /5 29 votes


Best Time: November - April Read More

Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Nearest Airport: Ho Chi Minh Check Flights

Ho Chi Minh City Tourism

Commonly referred as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is all about dynamism, crowded streets, skyscrapers and urbanization fusing well with culture side including Oriental style pagodas, ancient temples and traditional markets. With a sudden bout of economic uprising, the city offers something for everyone and thus serving as a destination worth visiting.

The largest city of Vietnam and a former capital of the Republic of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is a city buzzing with frantic energy all the time. Once tagged as the Pearl of the Orient by French, today it is a great blend of little chaos and peace, crowded streets and tiny hidden alleyways, sky touching office buildings and ancient structures. Nestled on the banks of Saigon River, the place is thriving as to-be metropolis serving as countyês major commerce hub. One can witness the success story of the city through its posh restaurants, luxury hotels, numerous bars and clubs and showrooms selling premium goods. The lifestyle of Ho Chi Minh is on open display all the time with most of the living rooms opening on to the street, people zooming around on motorcycles, and chatting and napping in the parks. The cosmopolitan city is vibrant, rich in food, fast paced and with a dash of romance displayed in French architecture. The city also offers a wide range of tourist attraction from historic buildings such as war-related museums and elegant pagodas defining their history to beautiful shopping malls.

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Currency in Ho Chi Minh City

Almost all the major cards are accepted in Ho Chi Minh City including MasterCard and Visa. Carry US dollars as they are widely accepted and exchange rates are quite good.

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 largest city of the country with people of various ethnic groups. With dong with its local currency, the city is suitable for all kind of travelers be its backpackers, mid-range and splurging types. Following is the per day budget in the countryês local currency for each type of traveler mentioned above excluding the accommodation cost (include food, water, local transport, entertainment, communication, tips, souvenirs and alcohol): Budget travel: VND 1,66,360 approximately Comfortable travel: VND 4,34,190 approximately Luxury travel: VND 11,73,494 approximately

Religion of Ho Chi Minh City

Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Muslim, Caodaism and Hoa Hao Buddhism are the six major religions followed in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ho Chi Minh City Customs

Vietnam and so Ho Chi Minh City is a fusion of Confucianism and communist ideology and thus the customs of the city are much influenced by them. There are no handshakes or any physical contact between elders in the city while greeting each other, only a slight bow indicated the greeting. Pointing towards anyone with a finger is considered disrespectful. Also, do not leave your chopsticks in the dish when you are done with your meal, it considered insulting. Although slurping loud while eating rice or noodles is sign that you enjoyed your food and it pleases the chef. Make sure to dress properly while visiting a temple, cover your arms, legs and shoulders. Otherwise, the dressing style in H Chi Minh City and Vietnam is quite liberal. Tipping is usually practiced 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 the rule of Khmer (Cambodians) until 1623 when the place was flocked with immigrants from Vietnam after flood. In 1689, the Prey Nokor along with the entire Mekong River delta was legally taken under by Vietnamese and the place came to known as Saigon. The city after being under the rule of Vietnam for century and half became 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 architectures and villas. By 1929, there were about 10 per cent of French immigrants in the Saigon. Once again, the city saw 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 main control. Soon, Vietnam was declared independent in 1945 by Ho Chi Minh who commenced a guerrilla war against the French colonial government. With on and off change of powers between French and Capitalist Vietnamese, Viet Minh took Saigon in 1976, renaming it Ho Chi Minh City. Today, the city caters to large number of tourists especially appreciating the French District, museums and plenty of its cinemas.

Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City

The city of Ho Chi Minh has most dazzling nightlife in Vietnam lined with array of pubs, bars ranging from dingy ones to the murky dark place sand posh and premium properties. Most of the popular ones are dotted in District 1 area. Then there are tearooms and bia hoi vendors that operate unit late hours. One can begin with the exuberant nightlife of the city from Dong Khoi area, Cafe Latin and Top of 23 being the big names. If jazz music is your taste, do not miss out the Saxnêart at 28 Le Loi Street, where the renowned Vietnamese saxophone artist Tran Manh Tuan frequents. One can also enjoy music shows and many other grand events at Lan Anh stadiums. Drinks and alcohol are readily available along with many local drinks, which are quite cheaper compared to the imported brands. Dress code is very liberal, one can wear trainer and jeans and no one will care. As the sunsets in Ho Chi Minh City, the place comes alive with pulsating music and plenty of other entertainments.

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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 heaven for shopaholic. No matter what your budget is, there is plenty to shop 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. One can go for souvenir shopping for local crafts such as textile, metalwork, and distinct baskets. Dong Khoi area houses many such shop along with Hai Ba Trung, Le Thanh Ton and Le Loi, which are worth visit. Try out Khoi Silk at 107 Dong Khoi for silk garments and accessories. However, the most popular market among both 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 up your haggling skills as price can go down to 50% but keep your cool. Situated in District 1, the place dazzles as the sun set and 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, which is 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.

Restaurants and 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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Ho Chi Minh City Reviews

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Antara Mandal 1 year 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 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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