Ho Chi Minh city, former name Saigon, is the largest and the most bustling city in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh city, known as sleepless city, with variously modern entertainments and relaxation, is without doubt the last flavor for your perfect holiday.
Area: 2,061 km²
Districts: 19 urban districts & 5 rural districts
Population: 8.993 million (Jan 4, 2019)
Area code: 28
Ho Chi Minh City is located in the south-eastern region of Vietnam, 1,760 km (1,090 mi) south of Hanoi. The average elevation is 19 metres (62 ft) above sea level. It borders Tay Ninh Province and Binh Duong Province to the north, Dong Nai Province and Ba Ria–Vung Tau Province to the east, Long An Province to the West and the East Sea to the south with a coast 15 km (9 mi) long. The city covers an area of 2,095 km2 (809 sq mi or 0.63% of the surface of Vietnam), extending up to Cu Chi District (12 mi or 19 km from the Cambodian border) and down to Can Gio on the Eastern Sea.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
On the contrary to Hanoi and some other northern provinces, Ho Chi Minh city has high average temperature all year round with a tropical climate, specifically a tropical savanna climate, with an average humidity of 78–82%. There are only two seasons: Dry and Rainy seasons. The rainy season starts from May to November while the dry season is between December to April. While in rainy season, it is often hot and humid, the weather is quite mild and cool during dry season.
The majority of the population are ethnic Vietnamese (Kinh) at about 93.52%. Ho Chi Minh City's largest minority ethnic group are the Chinese (Hoa) with 5.78%. Cholon – in District 5 and parts of Districts 6, 10 and 11 – is home to the largest Chinese community in Vietnam. Other ethnic minorities include Khmer with 0.34%, and Cham with 0.1%. Also, various other nationalities including Koreans, Japanese, Americans, South Africans, Filipinos and Britons reside in Ho Chi Minh City, particularly in District 2 and District 7 as expatriate workers.
By Air : Tan Son Nhat Airport is the biggest Airport in Vietnam with more than 40 million passengers per years, There are many international flights and domestic flights per day. Long Thanh International Airport in Dong Nai Province and about 40kms far from HCMC Center will be starting construction in April 2021 and will be finished in 2025, This Airport will serve up to 100 million passengers per year.
Railway : From Sai Gon Railway Station, the Reunification Express ( Tau Thong Nhat ) runs daily to Hanoi with many stops on the cities on the way such as : Phan Thiet, Ninh Thuan, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon, Danang, Hue, Vinh ...
Water : Saigon Harbour is the biggest one in Vietnam and is a good harbour for big Cargo Ships to other destinations in Vietnam and International Destinations
The city's location on the Saigon River is also a good place for passenger boats operate regularly between Ho Chi Minh City and various destinations in Southern Vietnam and Cambodia, including Vung Tau, Mekong Delta and Phnom Penh.
SEE & DO
War Remnant Museum: is considered to be the most popular museum in Ho Chi Minh city. With numerous objects and documents, the museum reveal the extreme crimes of US military to the Vietnamese during Vietnam War
Independence Palace: This magnificent building remarks the Independence Day of Ho Chi Minh city as well as South Vietnam Country Fall on 30 April 1975. The relics as well as documents inside the building tell the story about one of the most striking moment of Vietnam’s history.
Notre Dame Cathedral: Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh city centre, the Notre-Dame stands out as a pride of Ho Chi Minh citizens for its timeless beauty and solemn atmostphere.
Duc Ba Cathedral was constructed between 1863-1880 by the French. symbolized the regime's political power in Asia. And five years later, the Duc Ba (Our Lady's) Cathedral was inaugurated, and became the spiritual and cultural crucible of the French presence in the Orient.
Post Office: Just besides the Cathedral, the Post Office is another impressive building of the architect Gustave Eiffel, the vaulted roof and arched windows are reminiscent of early European railway stations. Though it is a working post office, one can still enter even not for sending any post card or letter, just to enjoy the spacious as well as amazing architecture of the Vietnam’s largest post office.
Cu Chi Tunnels : Cu Chi Tunnels were an incredible underground network constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence. The tunnels contained hospitals, plus accommodation and schools, and were used as a military base for the Vietcong in the American war.
Ben Thanh Market: The busiest and most central market, Ben Thanh Market and its surrounding areas make up one of the city’s liveliest areas. Local can find almost everything needed for their daily lives here, no matter what purpose: Food, drinks, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and so on. Tourists also have a wide variety of choice for souvenirs in both day and night markets.
Suoi Tien Theme Park is located in District 9, Thu Duc City in the area of 105 ha.The park includes several entertainment areas. The landscaping and attractions in the park illustrate Vietnam's history and legends, such as Âu Cơ and Lạc Long Quân as well as the Battle of Son Tinh and Thuy Tinh. which is the first artificial beach in Vietnam. The water park is divided into two sections, one is kid-friendly and the other one is not safe.
Dam Sen Water Park is located in District 11, Ho Chi Minh City. The park's infrastructure is divided into 30 parts and features several activities, restaurants, and shows, including a smaller reproduction of the Giac Vien Pagoda, the Thuy Ta floating restaurant, a lake similar to West Lake in Hanoi where one can fish, a puppet show, a bird garden, a water park, a sports center, and the Nam Tu Royal Garden. This is a very famous place for families with kids.
Vinh Nghiem Pagoda was built in 1964 in the area of 6000 square meters at Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Str, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. It was named after Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Yen Dung Dist, Bac Giang Province in the North of Vietnam - one of the oldest pagoda built by Ly Dynasty in 1010. The pagoda is divided into three main sections: the Shanman gate (three-archway gate), the Grand Hall, and the surrounding towers.
China Town is located mainly in Districts 5, Districts 11, and Districts 6. Chinese have lived in the China Town area of District 5 from 1770s to the present. it is an unique mixture of Chinese and Vietnamese influences.. In the 1950s, 90% of the population was Chinese. Up to now, only about 30% of Chinese people continue to settle here. There are some attractive places you can visit here: Binh Tay Market, Thien Hau Pagoda, Cha Tam Church, Lantern Streets and Tam Son Hoi Quan. You can also taste many kinds of Chinese foods in this area.
Mekong Delta: Mekong Delta is one of the most engrossing tours in Vietnam. Besides the interminable fruit gardens, rowing the bamboo boat on the immense Mekong River, enjoying Don Ca Tai Tu folk songs while having fruit specialty of South Vietnam, don’t forget to embark a motor boat and join one of the typical floating markets with myriad canals and boats of goods, which create a unique lively feature of the watery Mekong Delta.
EAT & DRINK
The populous city is indisputable one of the most various cuisine centres of the country.
“Bún Thang”: grilled marinated pork with rice vermicelli noodles. A typical dish of Saigoners. Luscious from its appearance to the real taste.
Add: 195 Co Giang, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh city
Pho Hoa (Soup noodles): any city has its own special "Pho". If you already had "Pho" in other regions of Vietnam, try "Pho Hoa" to feel the difference.
Add: 260 Pasteur str., Dist. 3, Ho Chi Minh city
Dong Hoa Xuan restaurant: located in a laidback area of Ho Chi Minh city, some may feel Dong Hoa Xuan a bit challenging to reach amidst crazy traffic in the city. However, after passing all those little obstacles, this is where all your senses are satisfied to the utmost.
Add: 49 No Trang Long, Binh Thanh dist., Ho Chi Minh city
“Banh canh cua”: Noodles with crab meat. This is what you are seeking for after long day travelling. A hot and nutritious bowl of "Banh canh cua" values much more than ten energy drinks!
Add: 87 Tran Khat Chan, Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh city
“Banh trang tron”: Mixed beef with vegetables rolled in rice paper, the favorite and typical snacks of Saigon teenagers. Let join them at a street corner and enjoy the youthful as well as merry atmosphere around you.
Add: "Bánh tráng trộn Chú Viên"
38 Nguyễn Thượng Hiền, Dist. 5, Ho Chi Minh city
"Barbecue Garden Restaurant": Enjoy a relaxing night with friends with tasty barbecue and some local beers under the starring sky at Barbecue Garden Restaurant.
Add: 135A Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city.
"Dinner Cruise on Saigon River": This is no doubt one of the most memorable time on your trip. Try a romantic night with haute Asian and European cuisine while leaving the chaotic and jostling life behind the flow of Saigon River.
Add: Nha Rong Pier, 5 Nguyen Tat Thanh Str., District 4, Ho Chi Minh city
Please click this link for the list of restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City
NIGHTLIFE - Bars and cafes
As a sleepless city, nightlife in Ho Chi Minh city has never been less hectic and energetic than any elsewhere in the world.
"Chill Sky Bar": Located at the 26th floor of AB Tower, this is the first Sky Bar in Ho Chi Minh City. Chill Skybar boasts spectacular views of the Saigon skyline accompanied by a high-class dining restaurant, private rooftop dining, and indoor VIP lounge area.
Add: AB Tower, 76 Le Lai, Ben Thanh, Ho Chi Minh city
Eon Heli Bar : is located on the 52th floor of Bitexco Financial Tower, It can be noticeable from almost anywhere in Saigon, EON Heli Bar is more than simply the highest local bar; this cosmopolitan nightspot is an ideal venue for a vibrant night out with live acoustic performances and DJ’s spinning nightly, not to mention a wide range of innovative drinks.
Add : 52th Floor Bitexco Financial Tower, 2 Hai Trieu Street, Dist 1, HCMC
"2 Lam Son" : Park Hyatt Saigon features a stylish, contemporary bar that adds to the vibrant nightlife of Ho Chi Minh City. The martini bar, 2 Lam Son is modern in design with a Vietnamese influence.
Add : 2 Lam Son Square, Ho Chi Minh City
Apocalypse Now Bar is not only the oldest bar in Saigon but also a safe and famous destination for tourists for 28 years. People come to Apo, not to drink, but to meet and enjoy the warm and open atmosphere without any Saigon bars. The tourist often say to each other: "Not to come to Saigon but to Apo, it seems that they have not come to Saigon.
Add: 2F Thi Sach Str, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City
The Elixir Lounge is an exquisite bar in the centre of Saigon near the Japanese district (Le Thanh Ton Area). We offer a wide variety of beverages, shisha, balloons and fun games like darts. Elixir opens Monday to Saturday from 5pm - 4am. Come over and join us for a couple of drinks, our awesome staff will give you a good time. Whether it’s old friends or new fellas, we are looking forward to see you guys.
Add: 28B Ngo Van Nam Str, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City
"Carmen Bar": a typical bar for local Saigon and Asian travellers, with fabulous live music and dancing stage. Gripping venue for a night chilling out with fiends.
Add: 8 Ly Tu Trong, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city
Dollhouse bar was opened in 2018 Located in the heart of Japan town,mixing the hospitality of Japanese culture and a bit of madness of Saigon nightlife,with friendly and energetic girls,we will bring you a memorable night and you’ll surely forget the way home. Join us, more than 10 girls can speak English fluently, good looks and very reasonable drink prices.
Add: 8a/11d1 Thai Van Lung Str, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Rex Hotel Rooftop Bar : Overlooking the very heart of the city, the Rooftop Garden is the place that the memories still remain, of which it recalls the world to its past famous calling “Five O’clock Follies”, where international correspondents covered the Vietnam war, U.S officers and GIs had their drinking niche during the 60s.
Add : 5th Floor, Rex Hotel, 141 Nguyen Hue Blvd, District 1 - Ho Chi Minh City
"Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar": Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar on the top floor of Caravelle hotel is one of the few remaining bars in our rapidly-developing city with such a long and colourful history to tell. Way before sky bars, craft beer and social media became ‘things’, drinks flowed uninterrupted at Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar from the very first moment the hotel opened way back in 1959. Not even a war could prevent thirsty politicians, journalists and soldiers from risking a sneaky happy hour beer on the patio and balconies that overlook the city and along one of its most famous and historical streets.
Add: 9th floor, Caravelle Hotel, 19 Lam Son Square, District 1, Ho Chi Minh city
"Tinh Tra Quan: (Tinh Tea cafe): The quintessence of Vietnamese Tea combined with green and intimate space bring this cafe a rarely seen tranquility within the bustling Saigon.
Add: 44, Road no. 8, Linh Trung commune, Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh city
Hair of the Dog : awesomeness on 2 floors! Live dj's every night, drink promotions in the heart of the backpacker community
Add : 194 Bui Vien Street, Dist 1 , Ho Chi Minh City
Pub Crawl Saigon is located at Bui Vien Street - one of the busiest streets for the nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City, this is a fun and inexpensive way to experience with people from all over the world in the coolest places in town.
Add: 2 Bui Vien Str, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City
The Lighthouse is located right in the heart of District 1, HCMC . Enjoy a few relaxing cocktails on the amazing rooftop or dance the night away to the underground sounds of deep & soulful house music, four on the floor techno and funky disco beats, as you look down over the Saigon city. With a steady variety of domestic / international DJ's & Recording Artists every week. Such names as: 1DAN, Amin K, André Hommen, Ben Kaczor, Birth of Frequency, Dan Lo, Datodeo, DJ Ouch!, Djuma Soundsystem, Exos (Trip), Hibiya Line (The Observatory), MAQman, Marcus Henriksson (Minilogue), Nic Ford, Nina Nova, Paramida, Peanuts, Raysoo, Shhhhh, Stefan Goldmann, Steve Bicknell, Sunju Hargun, Tristyan (Vitamin D), VOISKI, Yoshi Nori, Yung Bae and more
Add: 104 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Str, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Book a day tour of the local travel agency, you will know more about this city