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Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide & Things To Do (Updated 2021)

All Things Need To Know Before Travelling To Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh city is not the capital one but it plays an important role in the country and is the busiest city in Vietnam. It is a vibrant mix of old and new cities with the good preservation of colonial structures. Therefore, visitors can see French colonial constructions around the city.

Moreover, it is the economic city of the country; therefore, you can see most of the people all around the country as well as international living and working here. It is great for immersing in the local culture mixing here. There are a lot of ornate pagodas and Buddhist temples to visit and discover as well. Being one of the main destinations for tourism in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is also fitted with a wide array of accommodations. There are different options of varying price ranges and styles for travelers to choose. Ho Chi Minh city welcome millions of tourist come to Vietnam each year and most domestic and international airlines have a flight in and out Ho Chi Minh.

Factually, Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant and charming city. It converges all the conveniences of a modern metropolis. Ho Chi Minh City becomes the economic, cultural, scientific, and technological hub of the country thanks to the rising economy and modern facilities as well as location.

What Make Ho Chi Minh Special?

Ho Chi Minh City is the busiest one in Vietnam. Therefore, it has the name the un-sleep city. That is always correct because all activities last throughout the night. This makes the city special in the country. Travel to Ho Chi Minh City and enjoy as well as experience the nightlife is the highlights and special of this city. Here is some special nights in this city.


The Khmers originally settled the region, with the Vietnamese taking over in the 17th century. In 1859, the French conquered Saigon. Then it made the capital of Cochin China in 1862. As a result, there is much elegant architecture and broad boulevards still remain today. In 1969, the city had 4.5 million citizens who were all evacuated when Saigon and the rest of the South fell to North Vietnam in 1975. After 30 years of recovery, the city has a current population at over 7 million. The name Ho Chi Minh City was called after the spiritual leader of Vietnamese Communism. However, the old name Saigon is still well-known by residents as well as people in the country.

Tops 10 Attractions In Ho Chi Minh City

Travel to Ho Chi Minh City nowadays is much easier. But where is the most highlights of the city? After years of experience in the travel line, we would like to suggest the top 10 places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City.

1: War Museum

It has the name the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes formerly. The War Remnants Museum is popular with Western Tourists The museum attracts a large number of visitors to present authentic, vivid, real-life material, images of Vietnam’s wars of aggression.

Located on the grounds of the former USSR administration building, the War Remnants Museum displays material, artifacts, and images that highlight the aftermath of the wars that the invading forces have caused out for the people of Vietnam. The museum opened only a few months after the peace day, with the original name of the US-Wei exhibition. Although there are a number of topics on the war against the United States, the main objective of the museum is to emphasize the cruelty of war.

2: Reunification Palace

The Reunification Palace was designed by Ngo Viet Thu and completed in 1966. From 1967 to 1975 Independence Hall was the home and headquarters of General Nguyen Van Thieu of the National Leadership Committee. In 1975 a North Vietnamese tank crashed through the palace gates and leading to the Fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War. Vietnam got the freedom completely. Nowadays, it is one of the most attractions for tourists in Ho Chi Minh city.

3: Ben Thanh Market

The Ben Thanh Traditional Market (Cho Ben Thanh) is the symbol of Ho Chi Minh City. It is the most famous shopping destination in the city. It has a good reputation, a central location and a history although it is not the cheapest market in the city. Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1 is a great place to buy local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs. Visitors can find eating stalls inside the market as well as taste Vietnamese cuisines. When the night falls, restaurants around the market open their doors which creates a vibrant street-side scene. Ben Thanh offers a great atmosphere that is absolutely authentically Vietnamese.

4: Notre Dame Cathedral

Ho Chi Minh City has quite a large Catholic community who worship at this historic cathedral. It was built between 1863 and 1880 under the French colonists. They used only building materials imported from France. It has a red brick exterior that came from Marseilles.

Notre Dame Cathedral is a cathedral of the archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City. It is one of the unique architectural works of Saigon.

5: Central Post Office

The Central Post Office has become a tourist attraction because of its beautiful architecture and history. It is the largest post office in Vietnam and should not miss once visiting Ho Chi Minh City. Built-in 1891 when the Vietnam war a part of French Indochina.

It features by wooden shutters, arched windows, a marble floor, old-fashioned phone boxes and a large portrait of Ho Chi Minh. Once reaching the post office visitor can see the large clock hanging above the entrance. It was there since first open and still works now. It is opposite Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral which makes the most impressive. The post office now still the post office for sending letter, buy stamps, and phone call.

6: Bitexco Financial Tower – Saigon Sky Deck

Bitexco Tower is 262 meters high with 68 floors and the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City. Designed by American architect Carlos Zapata; this construction began in 2007 and was completed in 2010. It has a unique design by the distinctive helipad perched on the edge of the roof. In addition, it is more unique for the 6,000 glass panels forming the exterior curtain wall in each floor.

There are six floors for stores. Furthermore, there is a cinema complex and restaurants from the 50th to 51st floors. It offers amazing views, a food court and the Helio Bar on the 52nd floor. The Saigon SkyDeck is an observation deck on the 49th floor.

There are English-speaking guides at the Sky deck. The interactive touch screen fact boxes and maps to explain the sites you see below. From here visitors can have 360° views of the city and Saigon River. Usually, it has art exhibitions on the Sky deck.

7: Saigon Opera House

The Opera House is also called the Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City. The theatre can hold 500 audiences.

The only way to see inside is by attending a show. The building was designed by Eugene Ferret and built in 1898 in the French colonial style.

The Opera House is currently home to the AO Show Saigon; an extravaganza that combines traditional Vietnamese music and dance with Cirque du Soleil-style performances.

Address: 7 Cong Truong Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Opening Hours: AO Show Tues-Fri 6pm; Sat-Mon 8pm

8: Emperor Jade Pagoda

Emperor Jade Pagoda also knows as Tortoise Pagoda. It is one of the five most important shrines in Ho Chi Minh City. A community of Cantonese who migrated from Guangzhou province in Southwest China built in 1909. This pagoda is a fine representation of the Mahayanist branch of Buddhism widely in Vietnam. The temple is still in use and visited by followers of the Taoist faith.

9: Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi tunnel is about 40km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City. During the Vietnam War of the 1960s to American, the local people lived in the tunnels, conducting their normal everyday lives underground. In 1968 the tunnels acted as the Viet Cong base during the Tet Offensive, a major military campaign.

During that time the Viet Cong used the tunnels to store weapons and food, as a hospital and as a hiding place and living quarters for Viet Cong soldiers.

There are two parts of the tunnels where visitors can enter from Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc. The tunnels have been widened and lit. Once coming tour to Cu Chi tunnel, there is an introductory film and on display are war era booby traps, the underground conference room. Even there is a place where you can try the tapioca Viet Cong would have eaten here.

10: Museum Of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine (Fito Museum)

The Fito Museum in Saigon is the first museum of traditional Vietnamese medicine. On the display at this museum are nearly 3,000 items since the Stone Age. The exhibits have tools for prepare medicine, knives, mortars and pestles, documents, and objects from a traditional pharmacy. It usually has a screen for a documentary about this medicine’s history.

Visit The Fito Museum visitor can see many documents and books. All of them are on display that deals with traditional Vietnamese medicine.

In addition, the museum is an interesting building for combines both modern and traditional architecture.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Ho Chi Minh City?

Ho Chi Minh City is in South Vietnam, therefore, it has a pleasant climate all year round.

And it has two distinct seasons. December to April is the Dry Season –with hot, dry, and low humidity

While March to May, the temperatures are at their hottest, reaching as high as 39°C (102°F)

And May to November is the rainy season in Ho Chi Minh. Rainy has on few hours and then stops. It doesn’t last long as in North Vietnam for many days. There’s still sunshine

Nightlife In Ho Chi Minh

Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh means that there are different things for you to enjoy when you are in any area in the city. The main District 1 is known as the western places because most foreign tourists stay here. There are rooftop bars, high rolling casinos as well as jazz bands for entertainment in this area.

Moreover, travel few kilometers to District 3 and the backpacker street in Pham Ngu Lao street, there are many street bars, cheap restaurants which is an enjoyable place for nigh falls.

Dinner Cruise down the Saigon River

A dinner cruise tour along the Saigon River is the perfect time for escaping the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City. It will give the impression of nightlight along the riverbank and harmony for the scenery on the cruise while dining with local food.

How To Travel To Ho Chi Minh City?

Ho Chi Minh is the biggest city in Vietnam. Most of the domestic and international flights land in this city. Furthermore, there are many transportations have in this city for the traveler to choose.

1: By plane:

There are a lot of flights in and out of Ho Chi Minh city from early morning till the end of the date. So there are many choices for airlines to reach this city and travel in Vietnam. All flights have a schedule to Vietnam land at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City.

Because it is the biggest airport in Vietnam and Indochina, so there are two separate airports: domestic and international one with a distance of 1km by car. However, it has a hallway to connect between two airports for walking now. When traveling to Ho Chi Minh, a visitor should take note of this so that avoids reaching the wrong airport area.

2: By Sea cruise

There is some sea cruises to reach Vung Tau port so visitors can move from Vung Tau to reach Ho Chi Minh City for visiting. There are two choices to reach from Ho Chi Minh from Vung Tau is by car or speed boat along the river.

3: By bus

Most public bus or open bus companies for tourists have offices in Ho Chi Minh City. As a result, visitors have many choices to travel in and out of the city. And the bus always stops in the main cities along with the country.

Bus companies: Hanh Cafe, The SinhTourist, Phuong Trang (Futabus), Kumho Samco, Mekong Express, etc.

Some bus company has scheduled for overland from Cambodia through Tay Ninh border.

4: By train

Play the main point in Vietnam Railway. Most trains are in and out from Ho Chi Minh city. There are many trains daily in and leave Ho Chi Minh city for choice.

Trains from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

Train No
Reunification Express Train SE2
Reunification Express Train SE4
Reunification Express Train SE6
Reunification Express Train SE8

Train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City

Train No
Reunification Express Train SE1
Reunification Express Train SE3
Reunification Express Train SE5
Reunification Express Train SE7

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