Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon, is Vietnam’s largest and most chaotic city. Once dearly described as “the Pearl of the Orient”, Ho Chi Minh City enchants tourists with its Western architecture, impressive landscape, modern shopping malls as well as mouthwatering local dishes. Great for immersing in the local culture, no two districts are the same in Ho Chi Minh City, and there are plenty of ornate pagodas and Buddhist temples to visit and photograph as well. The areas surrounding the city showcases addictively breathtaking landscapes and unique heritages such as the dazzling tropical sea waters off Mui Ne.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the largest airport in Vietnam. It is located 6 km north of the center of Ho Chi Minh City. It is the hub for Jetstar Pacific Airlines, VASCO, VietJet Air and Vietnam Airlines. The airport has one unique terminal building divided into the Domestic and the International terminals, with many airlines, transport access and many other services and facilities for its passengers. There are plenty of transport options from the airport to the city such as busses and taxis which can easily be found outside the Arrivals hall. Bus trips will cost VND10000 one way with the journey taking 45 minutes. While a taxi to the city center will cost around VND130000 with the journey taking as short as 15 minutes if the traffic is smooth.
Traveloka is a travel search engine that makes it easy for travellers to find the cheapest flights to Ho Chi Minh. All you need to do is key in the information in the search box, and the application will recommend the best trip according to your budget. It compares flight prices across some trusted airlines to help you to get the best possible deal. Use Traveloka’s price alert feature to be notified of flights in your desired price range to get the best flight price to Ho Chi Minh.
Ho Chi Minh is blessed with a pleasant climate all year round but has two very distinct seasons in the year. The rainy season usually occurs from May to November while the dry season is from December to April. Temperatures in Ho Chi Minh would be at its highest from March to May. It's suggested that you should pay a visit to Ho Chi Minh City during the dry season as not only you get to avoid the frequent showers of the rainy season but it is also the period when the most colourful festivals begin to take place all over the country, including Christmas, New Year and the “Tet holiday”. In these holidays, streets and hotels in the city center are filled with colorful decorations, firework displays, people hanging out and grand sales happening in all kinds of shops. However, this is also the period when flights and hotel prices will surge.
Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam's commercial hub and largest city, and it's a place where the old and new are placed together in striking contrast. Temples huddle amid skyscrapers and designer shops, locals cast bamboo fishing rods into the languorous Saigon River, and in places, the city feels almost European, with its elegant French colonial architecture and wide, tree-lined avenues.
1. Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre – The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre is perfect for families with young children and anyone who enjoys light-hearted traditional entertainment. Water puppetry originated in rural villages in the Red River Delta and had been performed in Vietnam for more than 1,000 years. The captivating 50-minute show provides a window into the country's culture. It's presented in Vietnamese, but the strength of the puppet characters, both people and animals, transcends the language barrier. Live music enhances the experience; the talented musicians play traditional instruments such as bamboo flutes and two-stringed violins. The theater is air-conditioned, and if you're sitting in the front row, be prepared for some gentle splashes.
2. Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon and the Saigon Central Post Office – The Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, is arguably Ho Chi Minh City’s most famous landmark. The cathedral was originally built between 1863 and 1880 and was constructed on a site where a Vietnamese pagoda once stood. For many years, it was known as the Saigon Church, but then in 1962, the structure was elevated to a basilica. Its name was also changed to Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, and it became the chief cathedral for the country. Next to the cathedral is the Saigon Post Office. The Saigon Central Post Office is not just a stunning building; it is also one of Ho Chi Minh’s oldest structures. The building was designed by Gustave Eiffel the same man who built the Eiffel tower in Paris. The concourse of this grand building features several painted maps, and also a mosaic of the country’s former president, Ho Chi Minh. This building, which features an elegant high vaulted ceiling, a beautiful tiled floor, and old-fashioned phone booths, is an actual working post office and is free to visit.
3. Ben Thanh Market – The Ben Thanh Market is filled with a large number of stalls where visitors can pick up inexpensive souvenirs and local handicrafts. But this bustling market isn’t just for tourists. It is also where the locals shop for their daily needs, including produce, coffee and clothing. For the best deals, though, it is important that visitors compare prices and to also bargain with vendors before purchasing items. The Ben Thanh Market, which was built in 1870, is also an excellent place to enjoy Vietnam’s local street foods. At night, the indoor stalls in the Ben Thanh Market close, but the surrounding area gives way to Ho Chi Minh’s famous night markets.