• Things to Do & See
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Best Things to Do & See in Ho Chi Minh City Tours

Visiting Traditional Markets

Despite the vibrant city with modern shopping malls and commercial centers, tradition markets still reserve themselves a vital part in the lifestyle of Ho Chi Minh City. Strolling around the markets will help you buy interesting things on one side and learn more about their history as well as culture of Vietnamese on another side.

Binh Tay Market

Constructed by the French in the late 19th century, the market is the melting pot of cultures from Vietnam and China serving the locals and visitors with a wide range of fresh ripe fruits, vegetables, foods together with delicate handicrafts, lacquerware, and textiles. Besides, plenty of food stalls in Binh Tay Market are a great chance for you to experience Vietnamese-Chinese cuisine. The location far from the city center makes the prices in the market quite reasonable. binh tay market ho chi minh city tour Operation time: 8 am – 5 pm daily
Address: No. 57A Thap Muoi St, District 6

Ben Thanh Market

Considered as one of the most important trading centers of the city, everything from clothes, souvenirs to dried foods, spices, tea, and coffee can be found in Ben Thanh market. Moreover, in the evening, roads are closed; vehicles are banned; Ben Thanh night market and walking streets were opened with various types of foods and drink as well as touristy shops. As its location at the heart of Saigon, prices in the market are a little bit higher than usual but can be acceptable. ben thanh market ho chi minh city tour Address: Le Loi St, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1

Learning More about the Past

Saigon used to be the capital of Republic of Vietnam in the period of Vietnam War. After the reunification in 1975, the government decided to maintain the constructions of the old regime, war relics, and build historical museums as the reminders for next generations of the sacrifice of previous ones, the cruelty of wars, the wish of peace and freedom of Vietnamese people, and the attractions in Ho Chi Minh tours.

War Remnants Museum

The museum is absolutely not a fun destination to visit during Ho Chi Minh City Tours. For years, it has documented everything about the Vietnam War – the goriest and most brutal war in Vietnamese history. Graphic photographs and military vehicles and equipment are displayed inside the War Remnants Museum. Every helicopter, rocket, tank, photo, and tools used by both the US and Vietnamese troops tell you stories of soldiers, campaigns, tears, and blood. war remnants museum ho chi minh city tour The museum has another name “Museum of American War Crimes” because it has preserved tiger cases (prisoner rooms), guillotines, or torturing devices which are used by American and Republic of Vietnam government for their POW and the innocents. In addition, you can see grisly photographs which the Vietnamese become the victims of Agent Orange. Nearly 5 million people were exposed by this pesticide and half a million children were born with birth defects.

Operation time: 7.30 am to 12.00 pm & 1.30 pm to 5.00 pm daily
Address: No. 28 Vo Van Tan St, District 3

Reunification Palace

The palace was the working and living places of presidents of Republic of Vietnam from Ngo Dinh Diem to Duong Van Minh. The first owner of the building, Ngo Dinh Diem, named it Reunification because he wished to conquer all Vietnam with the help of the United States. However, the Palace witnessed his death in 1963 and then the destruction of South Vietnam government in 1975. Today, it becomes the historical museum as well as the proud mark of Vietnamese people. reunification palace ho chi minh city tour Reunification Palace was built to mainly serve the war with rooms to plan for the wars, a telecommunication center and a rooftop for a helicopter to land off. Moreover, you can see the tank crashing the main gate of the palace in Ho Chi Minh campaign on April 30th 1975 – the last day of the Vietnam War.

Operation time: 8 am to 11 am & 1 pm to 4 pm daily
Address: No. 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1

Cu Chi Tunnels

It was the defense and transportation system excavated underground by the National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Visiting Cu Chi tunnels, visitors will be told about the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers in the enemy’s capital and its unbelievable existence which surprises all American and South Vietnam government. cu chi tunnels ho chi minh city tour Operation time: 7 am to 5 pm daily
Address: Cu Chi District, 70km northwest from the city center

Exploring the Architecture of Ho Chi Minh City

The diverse cultures bring for Saigon the unique and magnificent architecture. It is such a great mistake to pay a visit to Ho Chi Minh City without spending time sightseeing in well-known constructions around the city.

Saigon Cathedral of Notre Dame

Visitors will definitely misunderstand whether they are staying in Paris or Saigon when first seeing the Cathedral. Built in the late 19th century by French, Saigon Cathedral of Notre Dame has the neo-Romanesque characteristics including facades made of Marseille red bricks, windows of stained glass, 6 bells in two towers having been ringing up to now, and a peaceful garden among the hustling and bustling city. Besides the famous Saigon’s attraction for tourists, the Cathedral is also a religious institution for the locals. saigon cathedral of notre dame ho chi minh city tour Operation time: 8 am to 5 pm daily
Address: No. 1 Cong Xa Paris, District 1

Jade Emperor Pagoda

If you only have time to visit a pagoda in your Ho Chi Minh City tour, make it this one. In the 20th century, a community of Cantonese migrating from Guangzhou built this pagoda for worshipping Taoism and Buddhism. jade emperor pagoda ho chi minh city tour Setting foot inside the pagoda, the loudness, and vibrancy of Saigon drifts away, only leaves a sense of calm and solemnness. Halls of worshipping Heaven God, the goddess of fertility Kim Hua and mercy Guan Yin are crowded with offerings, candles, and joss sticks.

Operation time: 8 am to 5 pm daily
Address: No.73 Mai Thi Luu St, District 3

Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office

Considered as one of the grandest post offices in Southeast-Asia, Saigon Central Post Office was first designed by Gustave Eiffel (the designer of Eiffel tower) and then redesigned by two architects Villedieu and Foulhuox. In general, the construction is the perfect combination of classic Western architecture and unique Eastern décor. ho chi minh central post office ho chi minh city tour Tourists visit the Saigon Central Post Office view the unique architecture of this post office on one side and immerse themselves in a world of ancient, from the mailbox to the call counters on another side. They can also rest on the benches polished wooden varnish, which are nearly a hundred years old. Inside the post office, time runs slowly because, in any corners, visitors can also catch a glimpse of old Saigon. Additionally, you should buy a nice postcard, write on it the wonderful marks of your Ho Chi Minh City tour then send it to your friends and family. It will be much more interesting than making a phone call or using the social network.

Operation time: 7 am to 7 pm daily
Address: No. 2 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1 (near Saigon Cathedral of Notre Dame)

Saigon Opera House

The last construction in the triangle French architecture in Ho Chi Minh City is Saigon Opera House. Designed by French architects in 1900, the Opera House has a European style with gigantic iron gate, magnificent crystal candelabrum, glossy granite floor together with delicate stone adornments and statues. Experience the luxury life in European in the 17th century with brilliant performances of immortalized operas and plays in the space of a Palais Garnier in Vietnam will leave you unforgettable memories in your Ho Chi Minh City tours. saigon opera house ho chi minh city tour Address: No. 7 Cong Truong Lam Son, District 1

Landmark 81

These classic and historical constructions above may make you misunderstood Ho Chi Minh City. It has classic constructions and historical places but is still a modern city with Landmark 81 as the representative. The tower is the pride of Vietnam which is designed and constructed by Vietnamese people. Inspired by the image of rising bamboo, Landmark 81 aims to spread a new Vietnam of development and prosperity to the world. The height of 461m helps the building be the tallest skyscraper in Southeast Asia and the top 14 tallest towers in the world. Comprising of the state-of-the-art hotel, restaurants, commercial center and a breathtaking panoramic view of Saigon, visiting Landmark 81 is absolutely a must in your Ho Chi Minh City tours. landmark 81 ho chi minh city tour Address: Vinhomes Central Park, Ward 22, Binh Thanh District

Enjoy the Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City of hustle and bustle at daytime absolutely changes into the new form of an energetic and exciting city after the sunset. Do not waste any minutes in your trip by enjoying a non-stop night in Saigon.

Rooftop Bar

You are in search of luxury space, favorable cocktails, exciting music and dance, then rooftop bars will be worth your expectation. Soaking up the panoramic view of a non-sleeping city with tiny vehicles flowing in the streets and dreaming Saigon River light up by the lights from nearby buildings, you will completely impressed by a garish city among a mysterious dark. rooftop bar ho chi minh city tour Suggestions:
Chill Sky Bar (AB Tower Saigon, 76A Le Lai Street, District 1)
EON Heli Bar (Bitexco Financial Tower, 2 Hai Trieu Street, District 1)

Street Food

Your non-stop night needs supplying by hot foods and cool drinks and street foods is a perfect choice. This type of food here always guarantees 3 criteria: deliciousness, nutrition, and cheapness. What you need to do is find yourself a plastic stool, order your dishes and wait for a minute, they will be served immediately. Street foods such as Pho, Banh mi, Com tam (Broken rice) are chosen as one of the best foods you must try in the world. Never let your stomach be hungry as well as never miss a valuable chance to taste wonderful delicacies in Ho Chi Minh City. street food ho chi minh city tour Suggestions:
Ben Thanh Market
Bui Vien Street

Top 6 Best Dishes to Taste in Ho Chi Minh City

Banh Mi (Vietnamese Baguette Sandwich)

One of the most popular dishes in Ho Chi Minh City is “ banh mi ”. Walking around the city you will see dozens of carts with signs selling banh mi. In Vietnamese “ banh mi” actually just means bread but it also refers to any type of the Vietnamese baguette sandwich. The basic sandwich includes a crusty baguette which is sliced in half and stuffed with layers of pork, luncheon meats, shredded cured pork skin, pate, mayonnaise, Vietnamese radish and carrot pickles, a handful of sliced cucumbers, and sprigs of coriander. The perfect combination of those ingredients makes banh mi such a glorious sandwich. banh mi vietnamese baguette sandwich ho chi minh tours Suggestion:
Banh Mi Huynh Hoa
Address: No. 26 Le Thi Rieng St, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1

Banh Mi Ms. Diep
Address: No. 238 Vo Thanh Trang St, Ward 11, Tan Binh District

Ca Kho To (Braised Fish In Clay Pot)

“Ca kho to” - fragrant braised catfish carefully caramelized in a clay pot with a hint of fish sauce is one of the most common dishes in Ho Chi Minh city. It is available at both Vietnamese sit-down restaurants and “com binh dan”- street food buffets. For Vietnamese, this comfort dish offers the flavors of home in each bite. To make this savory fish dish, locals have to cut catfish into steak sliced pieces and braises it in a thick and rich gravy made from soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, shallots, and garlic, among a few other light spices and seasonings for several hours. ca kho to braised fish in clay pot ho chi minh city tours Suggestion
Cuc Gach Quan restaurant
Address: No. 10 Dang Tan St, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1

Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Vegetable Rolls)

Goi Cuon is a perfect choice for a hot summer day because of its fresh and pure flavor. It is a harmonious combination of pork slices, shrimps, basil, vermicelli noodles, lettuce, and spring onion. All of them are rolled in a piece of rice paper. Dip the rolls into bean paste or a mix of freshly ground chili and hoisin-based dipping sauce topped with crushed peanuts…awesome! goi cuon vietnamese vegetable rolls ho chi minh city tours Suggestion
48 Restaurant
Address: No. 48 Ngo Duc Ke St, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

Bo La Lot (Grilled Beef In Piper Lolot)

If you are a lover of stew, grilled beef in piper lolot is the best choice for you. Bo La Lot is little-minced beef roll which is lightly spiced and seasoned before being covered by piper lolot. After that, they are grilled over charcoal. This dish is served with rice paper, a mountain of green vegetables and herbs, and dipping sauce. In some restaurants, when you taste this dish you also got a plate of mỡ chài, another type of Vietnamese sausage, that is so tasty. Each bite is pure joy! bo nuong la lot grilled beef in piper lolot ho chi minh city tours Suggestion
Ms. Lien - Bo La Lot
Address: No. 32 Vo Van Tan St, District 3

Oc (Vietnamese Shellfish)

A night of relaxing on small chair in a roadside stall, sipping cold beers and slurping down snails and shells is one of the most interesting ways to enjoy Saigon. There are typically tons of different raw snails to choose from, as well as other shells like blood cockles, clams, and shrimp and crab as well. You also can choose a method for the snails you would like to eat like grilled, sautéed, coated in salt and chili, steamed, curried, and so on. Make sure that you do not skip grilled mussels with scallion oil and peanuts, blood cockles sautéed in tamarind sauce and clams steamed with lemongrass! They are so tasty! Oc A Soi restaurant is a local hangout spot for this tasty delicacy. oc vietnamese shellfish ho chi minh city tours Suggestion
Oc A Soi Restaurant
Address: No. 237 - 239 Nguyen Thuong Hien St, Ward 4, District 3

Com Tam (Broken Rice Topped With A Grilled Pork Chop)

Available at any small street food stalls and market throughout the Ho Chi Minh City, “Com tam suon nuong” is known as a southern favorite. The most basic version of this special dish includes the broken rice and grilled pork chop served with fish sauce, cucumber pickles, green onion oil, chilies to garnish. You can order a lot of extra things such as a fried egg, Vietnamese meatloaf, pigskin, extra pork, more sausage, etc. Com Tam Ba Ghien is absolutely the most famous place to eat Vietnamese broken rice and grilled pork in all of Saigon. Make sure that as soon as you approach the restaurant – a sweet porky smoky aroma of this dish will immediately make your taste buds begin to water. com tam broken rice topped with a grilled pork chop ho chi minh city tours Suggestion
Com Tam Ba Ghien
Address: No. 84 Dang Van Ngu St, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan District

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Weather in Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon’s weather has the features of tropical climate with high average temperature (27OC) and two distinct seasons: the dry season (from December to April) and the rainy one (from May to November). Ho Chi Minh City is seldom affected by natural disasters such as storms or hurricanes.

Best Time to Visit Ho Chi Minh City

The Dry Season – the Best Time for a Ho Chi Minh City Tour

At this time, rains rarely occur; blue fills the sky and winds bring the aroma of flowers from the suburb to the city center. March to May is the three hottest months which the temperature can reach 39oC. However, the humidity is about 75% so the weather is quite bearable for outside activities and sightseeing on your Saigon tours. December to February, the weather is less aggressive thanks to cool climate from the North. At night and in the morning, the temperature can even get down 160C which makes you feel the cold of winter in the tropical area. But in the daytime when the sun shines its light and warmth, it is more comfortable for tourists to enjoy their Ho Chi Minh City tours at its best. ho chi minh city in dry season Saigon is a wonderful option for your Christmas and New Year holiday. You will have a chance to see how Vietnamese people celebrate the Western holidays in their unique ways. If your Saigon travel lasts until February, you will have a chance to experience Tet holiday, the biggest holiday in Vietnam. Hundreds of cultural activities, cuisine, art performances and entertainment are organized during Tet will absolutely leave you impressive memories.

The Wet Season – Still an Interesting Time for a Ho Chi Minh City Tour

This season sees higher humidity and more downpours. However, rains stop as quickly as they come and sunshine appears immediately then. It is not also the peak season of Saigon tourism so the prices of accommodation and services tend to be cheaper. ho chi minh city in the wet season It is the time to experience national holidays in Ho Chi Minh City such as Vietnam Reunification Day (30th April), May Day (1st May) and Vietnam National Day (2nd September). A lot of celebrations and activities like art performances, firework and festival are organized those days to serve the locals as well as visitors.

Ho Chi Minh City General Information

Another name: Saigon
Location: Southern Vietnam
Population: Approximately 8.3 million (2016)
Language: Vietnamese
Currency: Vietnam Dong (VND)
Natural Condition: Low terrain, few mountainous areas
Interlaced river and canal system created by Dong Nai River and Saigon River Ho Chi Minh travel map

Ho Chi Minh City People, City & Culture

Ho Chi Minh City People

People in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigonese) have the common characteristics of the Vietnamese which are friendly and hospitable. However, inside the general features, the individual ones still exist and put the Saigonese on map. They highly appreciate the meaningful and helpful actions as well as despise trivial benefits. Moreover, Saigon people never satisfy with what they have achieved but always try their best to perfect themselves and obtain the wonderful things ahead. Therefore, hardly can relaxing moments be seen when Saigon citizens are at work. Nonetheless, when they immerse themselves in entertainment, nowhere in Vietnam is more exciting and energetic than Saigon. While Hanoians are considered as the standard of Vietnamese qualities, Hue people are considered as the standard of Vietnamese beauty, Saigonese are the representatives of an active and modern Vietnam. people in ho chi minh city

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a young city compared to others in Vietnam. The history of Saigon began in 1698 when Nguyen Huu Canh established Gia Dinh with the wish to change this land to become the center of Southern Vietnam. Saigon in those 300 years has witnessed many ups and downs of Vietnamese history. It was the first colonial region of French in the 19th century. It used to be the capital of Republic of Vietnam during the Vietnam War in the 20th century. After being liberated in 1975, Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City and began a new period of independence, freedom, and development. ho chi minh city Ho Chi Minh City after 300 years becomes the biggest city and the most important center of economy, politics, culture, entertainment, and education of Vietnam. Landmark 81 – top 14 highest buildings in the world is the symbol of a prosperous and developing Ho Chi Minh City. With the high-quality infrastructure and advantage geographical location, Saigon takes the lead in many fields in Vietnam such as medical, real estate, oil exploitation, and service.

Ho Chi Minh City Culture

Ho Chi Minh City’s culture is the melting pot of Western and Eastern ones. Before Gia Dinh was established, it was affected by two ancient cultures: Oc Eo and Phu Nam. Besides, cultures from India, Thailand, and Indonesia had also some effects on this land. With the establishment and development of Gia Dinh from the late 17th century to the late 19th century, cultures of Northern Vietnam and China following the immigrants became widespread in the city. In the 20th century, under the control of French and American, Western cultures appeared and developed rapidly in Saigon. Due to own such a diverse culture, Ho Chi Minh City has a modern Western lifestyle, Vietnamese traditional costumes, delicious Chinese cuisine in Chinese streets and classic European architecture (Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral). ho chi minh culture

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guides

Where to Stay during Your Ho Chi Minh City Tours

Dong Khoi Street is considered one of the most prestigious areas in Saigon with five-star hotels such as Hotel Majestic Saigon or Continental Saigon Hotel. If you need softer prices for accommodation, Pham Ngu Lao Street will give you a wide range of choices from very budget to mid-range cost. The area near Ben Thanh Market is also an option with prices varying from mid-range to upper level. The central location of this area will help you reach attractions in Saigon easily.

Transportation in Ho Chi Minh City

Walk

Amazing walking streets of beautiful decorations and traffic jams in rush hours in Saigon are two main reasons for your Ho Chi Minh tours on foot. You can stop at any attractions without worrying about parking (a challenging thing in Saigon).

Motorbike

Provided that walking makes you exhausted or the distance is too far, a motorbike will make your trip easier. There are two options with motorbikes: Rent a motorbike: If you are confident enough to rent and ride a motorcycle yourself to join the army of motorbikes on the streets, there are a lot of agencies for renting this vehicle in Pham Ngu Lao Street or just ask the hotel staff for nearby one. Motor taxi: Unless you have the confidence to drive yourself, book a Grabbike and simply hire a motor taxi on the streets. They will help you reach every corner of Saigon. The average price for a short journey is about 20.000 VND to 40.000 VND (about $1 or $2).

Bus

If you prefer a public transportation with low cost and safety, then a bus is what you need. With thousands of bus-stops in Saigon, you can reach the attractions in the city with $1 or $2 for transportation fee (only 6.000 VND to 7.000 VND a single bus ticket). With standard furniture and air-conditional system, you do not worry about the steaming weather during your Saigon tours. bus ho chi minh city tours

Taxi

This mean of transportation will reduce your travel time and guarantee your safety. You can book a Grabcar or Grabtaxi through your smartphone. If your phone does not have internet access, just take a left and a taxi will stop before you immediately. Although the price is higher than other vehicles, it is still acceptable for a safe and comfortable journey. taxi ho chi minh city tours Some recommended taxi brands
Mai Linh Taxi: 028 38 38 38 38
Vinasun Taxi: 028 38 27 27 27

Mobile and Internet Access

You are needless to worry about the quality of mobile connection and internet access in such a big city like Saigon. Just notice that you have to apply your information to Vietnamese mobile operators such as Viettel, Vinaphone, or Mobifone for SIM card purchase, international roaming service, and others. Their agencies can be found in every street in Ho Chi Minh City.

Useful Information for a Perfect Ho Chi Minh City Tour

Do's:

In the dry season, always keep yourself hydrated by drink enough mineral water. Select cool and comfortable outfits for outdoor activities in the hot weather
In the wet season, wear clothes which are easy to dry and fold. Dress elegantly when visiting religious places in Ho Chi Minh City.
Bargaining before using the services in the streets or in the shops or restaurants without prices clearly indicated.
If you join a long excursion, it is always a good idea to carry with you a roll of toilet paper. You never know when you need it because public toilets in Saigon are quite rare.
It had better leave valuable things such as airline tickets or passports with at your hotel.
You should ask people’s permission before taking a photo of them. In case they refuse, do not push the issue or offer money.
When crossing a road, keep calm, walk slowly, concentrate on the distance between you and the vehicles to decide whether to keep moving or stop. If it seems too difficult, just wait for a local crossing the road and follow him.

Don't:

Avoid strolling into unfamiliar areas at night in Ho Chi Minh City such as Dong Khoi district and along the Saigon River.
There are many pickpockets or drive-by bag snatchers in the streets. Keep your belongings carefully so as not to make yourself a target for them
Except for the museum, do not try and to approach and take photographs of military installations or anything to do near the military places. It can be seen as a breach of national security.
Do not try to estimate the weather in Saigon, especially in the wet season. Update the weather forecast regularly and prepare a plan B in your Ho Chi Minh tour in case plan A is canceled.