Introducing the city

£1.00 | 28,929.9 ₫

GBP | VND

Gasoline £0.60 | 17,376.2 ₫

One-way ticket £0.17 | 5,000.0 ₫

Beer £0.69 | 20,000.0 ₫

Main Course £1.38 | 40,000.0 ₫

About Ho Chi Minh City

Located in south Vietnam and previously referred to as Saigon, the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam is a city of commerce, culture and energy.

With more energy than a kid in a candy shop, Ho Chi Minh City is a buzzing metropolis, the economic hub of Vietnam that carries a fascinating history to match. It's also the most populated city in the country with with over eight million citizens and pulls in Vietnam's second highest number of tourists behind Hanoi.

On the one hand you'll discover budget accommodation, shops selling cheap souvenirs and a number of market stalls that infuse the air with the smell of fresh produce. On the other hand you'll find luxury hotels among fine dining restaurants, lavish rooftop bars and expensive boutiques; this is a city with something for every budget. Add French colonial architecture, historic attractions and a vibrant nightlife scene and you end up with all the culture and entertainment a budding traveller looks for. If you can be sure of anything it's that there's no escaping the sugar rush of Ho Chi Minh.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

The dry season is the best time to visit between December and April. Opt for the beginning of the dry season (December or January) when temperatures are slightly more bearable.

Ho Chi Minh City experiences warm weather all year round with the average temperature of every month at 27 degrees Celsius or above. April is the hottest month with an average temperature of 30 and December is the coldest. Dry season is between December and April and monsoon season falls between May and November. The wettest month is July.

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Travioor top tips

Street Food
Nightlife
Scooters

Insider Info

  • Make sure you experience the street food in Ho Chi Minh City as it may be some of the best you'll taste in Vietnam. Fresh ingredients are prepared in front of you, a bonus not available in restaurants, plus it's incredibly cheap.
  • Ho Chi Minh City is arguably the nightlife hub of Vietnam and you'll find a particularly lively scene at the backpacker's area around Pham Ngu Lao. Official local drinking laws are lenient and you'll find nightclubs open until 3 a.m.
  • Much like Hanoi, the city is heavily populated with scooters and motorbikes, the quickest way to get around. You should avoid renting one if you are inexperienced or don't feel confident.

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Food and drink

Main Course £1.38 | 40,000.0 ₫

3-Course Meal £15.55 | 450,000.0 ₫

Cappuccino £1.44 | 41,575.7 ₫

Beer £0.69 | 20,000.0 ₫

The Scene

Where as Hanoi may be seen as the cultural hub of Vietnam in terms of its cuisine, Ho Chi Minh City also packs a punch. Here you'll find everything from budget street food stalls and fast food chains, to world class eateries and international cuisine. French restaurants are abundant, with other popular cuisines ranging from Indian to Japanese. For some cheap market grub head for Ben Thanh's night market where some tasty regional fare pulls in the crowds. Typically, many dishes are rice, noodle or soup based with chicken and pork also common. Some specialties to look out for in the city are banh mi (a baguette sandwich with a choice of fillings), pho (noodle soup) and com tam ('broken rice' usually served with meat).

If you love your coffee, make sure you check out one of the many excellent coffee shops that you'll find here, including Trung Nguyen which is the largest coffee chain in Vietnam. For something a little stronger, beer gardens are just as popular selling a range of beverages including local beers Bia Saigon and 333. A lively nightlife scene can also be found here with a range of venues to suit all budgets from nightclubs open until 3 a.m. to lavish rooftop lounges.

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History

Ho Chi Minh City’s Story

Once part of the kingdom of Cambodia, Ho Chi Minh City has arguably the most interesting history of all the cities in Vietnam. Many still refer to it as Saigon, a name it officially shod in the late 20th century. It has been ruled by Chinese and Khmer settlers as well as the French and Spanish in the 19th century. A strong French influence can be seen throughout the city today, stemming from their period of rule after capturing it in 1859.

However, much of Ho Chi Minh's history is overshadowed by 20th century events. Between 1956 and 1975, the then capital of the Republic of Vietnam, was taken by the communist north and renamed. US soldiers were based in Ho Chi Minh during the Vietnam war.

In more recent years, Ho Chi Minh City has experienced an economic boom with many developments made, although there has been an increase in traffic and pollution due to its rising population.

Language

Chào anh (M)/Chào chị (F) | Hello
Xin cảm ơn | Thank you

Vietnamese

Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam and unsurprisingly the main language of use in Ho Chi Minh City. In the main tourist areas a basic level of English is spoken by those who work in shops, restaurants and hotels. In other areas you will come across people who don't understand English so a basic level of Vietnamese is considered polite and respectful for the culture you are in. Try some of these examples below:

  • Goodbye: Tạm biệt
  • My name is: Tôi tên là
  • I'm from: Tôi đến từ...

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Need to know

+84 Dialling Code
113 | 115 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Be aware of traffic and don't hesitate or step back when crossing roads when surrounded by bikes.
  • Keep your valuables safe and close. People may come past on bikes and try to snatch them.
  • Cover yourself appropriately, especially when visiting religious or cultural monuments and attractions.
  • Pointing in temples and pagodas is considered disrespectful.
  • Arrange your visa before arriving in Vietnam.

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for Vietnam here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. War Museum

Learn all about the 30 year long war between Vietnam and America at the War Remnants Museum.

2. Cu Chi Tunnels

Tour this fascinating tourist attraction just outside Ho Chi Minh City where you can get an insight into the Vietnamese way of life during the war.

3. Thiên Hậu Temple

This 19th century temple is located in Chinatown and is one of the city's top cultural attractions.

4. Ben Thanh Market

Head for the hectic and busy Ben Thanh Market where you'll find an array of local delicacies, souvenirs, clothes, shoes and more.

5. Bitexo Tower

Take in the breath-taking 360 degree views from the Sky Deck of the tallest building in Vietnam and enjoy a cocktail at its sky bar - Alto.


See What's On In Ho Chi Minh City  


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