Saigon with a dynamic lifestyle is voted one of 3rd tourist destinations in Vietnam and attracts both domestic and foreign tourists to visit, entertainment and shopping.
Eviva Tour Vietnam offer info travel guide to Saigon and information on weather, transportation, hotels, attractions, cuisine, travel tips and more.
Being a typical tropical monsoon climate, the weather in Saigon divided into two seasons with high temperatures throughout the year. The dry season (from December to April next year) is the best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City. The rainy season lasts from June to November with sudden rain without warning in a sunny day. However, it is short rains, therefore, remember to bring an umbrella and you can choose Sai Gon as the destination for your vacation during this period.
You can travel to Ho Chi Minh City by various means such as airplanes, cruises, trains or cars.
– Tan Son Nhat airport is the largest international airport in Vietnam in terms of area and passenger capacity, located in Tan Binh district and about 6 kilometers from the city centre. The airport has connection with 18 domestic destinations and 32 international destinations in 19 countries. It is the most convenient, swift, expensive option.
– Another luxury transportation for foreign tourists is international cruise lines from Europe, USA, Australia, etc and landed at Phu My commercial port (Vung Tau). Thereafter, by a short journey by taxi or car, you can reach Ho Chi Minh.
– If you travel to other provinces before visit Ho Chi Minh, you can choose train or cars to enjoy exciting experience. A journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh by train/cars can take you 30-40 hours and by cars
Move around Saigon: You can walk to places near your accommodation or choose reputable taxi companies such as Mai Linh, Vinasun. If you wish to know how complicated traffic in Saigon is, you can rent motorbikes to move with the price of 100.000-150.000 dong per day.
If you are a simple backpacker, you can choose some hostels with budget from 200,000VND (~US$10) per night. In case you can afford budget of around $50, you can stay in a good 3* hotel in the city center such as Nguyen Trai street, Le Thanh Ton Street or Ben Thanh Market area which is so convenient for sightseeing.
You are advised to book hotels in advance through online website such as www.booking.com or www.agoda.com or through travel agencies, especially in high season to make sure that your room is available.
If it is your first visit to Saigon, some well-known attractions like Ben Thanh Market, City Post Office, Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace … are must-see places in your schedule.
1. Central Post Office
This is a famous old architectural building with French architecture features since 1891. Visitors not only enjoy the unique architecture of the post office but also immerse in the ancient world, from mail boxes to the phone call counters. The harmonious combination among this historical building, Notre Dame Cathedral and modern skyscrapers around makes this location to be ancient and modern beautiful place in the city.
2. Reunification Palace
Reunification Palace, also known as Independence Palace, is situated on a large are of 15ha in the heart of the city. It was house and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It is witness history for victory of Independence War of Vietnam 1975. This is not only a unique attractive architecture for tourists but also place for many important historical events of the city in particular and the country in general.
3. Notre Dame
Located in the heart of Saigon, Notre Dame does not have a fence and adjacent campus. Cathedral is a highlight in the urban space, with beautiful views from all sides. The architecture of the church has created fantastic lighting effects in the interior, creating a sense of stillness, holy and solemn. It is said that Notre Dame is a perfect work of architecture, is a typical work emblematic of Saigon. Not only fascinating tourists far away, Notre Dame Cathedral with majestic beauty become famous photographic venue for wedding photography.
4. Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market is seen as a symbol of the city tour. The market was built in the main square with four gates opened four directions east, west, south and north. Shopping at Ben Thanh Market, visitors can buy favorite items for souvenir and enjoy delicious food in the food court. In evening, Ben Thanh night market attracts hundreds of visitors to go shopping and enjoy delicious street food until midnight.
Located right on Le Loi – Dong Khoi Street, the Opera House is also attractions that visitors can hardly miss in Saigon. Although it was built more than a century ago, characteristic of Western architecture has been remained. The Opera House is not only a venue for music events but also the site of the city’s major exhibitions of literature, art or social activities.
Some other attractions such as The War Museum (Vo Van Tan Street, District 3); Ethnographic Museum (Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, District 1); Vietnam History Museum (Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1), Nha Rong Wharf are interesting places that you should consider.
1. Cơm tấm (Broken rice)
Broken rice is a simple dish that you can find easily on all streets in Saigon. If you come here without try this dish, it is regarded as you have not set foot in Saigon. The food is usually served with ingredients such as rib, omelet, pork skin, rolls, etc in addition to a special sweet and sour fish source
2. Hủ Tiếu (a type of rice noodle)
The Hủ Tiếu dish is a typical dish of Ho Chi Minh City’s citizen like Pho in Hanoi. It originated from China and be cooked in a little different way to suit the tastes of Vietnam. In Saigon, there are some well-known brands such as Nam Vang, My Tho, Sa Dec and a simple dish noodles on streets – knocking noodle. A full bowl of Hủ Tiếu normally includes broth, shrimp, pork, minced meat, rice noodles; eat together with lettuce, shallots.
3. Pho (a type of rice noodle)
Pho is a famous dish in Vietnam that you can find in any city, province. From its original place in the north, the cook way is modified cook way to suit with taste of locals. The noodle in Saigon is slender than Hanoi’s Pho, the broth is also sweeter. Besides traditional beef Pho, diners have more variations such as fish noodle, chicken noodle; seafood noodle, etc.
1. Shopping Malls
Saigon is a shopper’s paradise with many well-known shopping centers. At the heart of Saigon, you can visit towers on Nguyen Hue, Le Loi, Ly Tu Trong, Dong Khoi Street… There are full famous international fashion brands in the world for your choice.
2. Fashion Streets
If you prefer to go shopping in fashion shops with reasonable price, you can look to Nguyen Trai Street (District 5), Le Van Sy (Tan Binh District), Vo Van Tan, Nguyen Dinh Chieu (District 3) … and you can easily find yourself a nice dress or a trendy shirt with affordable price. However, apart from some stores with clear listed prices, you need to know how to bargain to avoid buying items overpriced.
3. China town market, An Dong Market
These two markets can be called a paradise of fashion when you can find all kinds of clothing, fabric, bags, cosmetics; might be a brand name or not… The price here is not clear, according to your negotiate ability, you can buy goods with only one-third price in a store in fashion streets.