Ho Chi Minh city

7/10/2017 8:29:52 AM

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) - Commonly referred to as Saigon, is Vietnam’s largest city and undisputed commerce capital. It is 1,730 km from Hanoi and 50 km from the East Sea. It is a dynamic city that is currently enjoying the fruits of Vietnam’s economic boom – lavish hotels, decadent restaurants and trendy nightspots are continually added to the cityscape. Yet against the backdrop of new-found confidence, frenetic development and urban bustle, the boutique charm of Saigon still lives on amongst the tree-lined boulevards, quaint wooden shops, old temples and colonial architecture. 

Ho Chi Minh City 

 

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) - Commonly referred to as Saigon, is Vietnam’s largest city and undisputed commerce capital. It is 1,730 km from Hanoi and 50 km from the East Sea. It is a dynamic city that is currently enjoying the fruits of Vietnam’s economic boom – lavish hotels, decadent restaurants and trendy nightspots are continually added to the cityscape. Yet against the backdrop of new-found confidence, frenetic development and urban bustle, the boutique charm of Saigon still lives on amongst the tree-lined boulevards, quaint wooden shops, old temples and colonial architecture. The main ethnic groups populating the area are the Kinh and Hoa. The climate is generally hot and humid. The annual average temperature is 27oC. The hottest month is April and the coldest is December.

What to see in Saigon?

Within the city, Saigon has many sights that should not be missed. A city tour of the Opera House, Le Loi Street, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and War Remnants Museum on a classic Citroen or Vespa scooter are nostalgic ways to be introduced to this former colonial city. Ben Thanh Market, a massive old-style market in the central district, is a place to rummage for knock-offs and interesting souvenirs.

Reunification Palace: formerly known as Independence Palace (Dinh Doc Lap) is a historic landmark in Saigon. The Palace was completed in 1966 after three years of construction. The plans were drawn by Mr. Ngo Viet Thu, winner of the architectural excellence prize in Rome.

President Diem commissioned Mr. Thu to design the new palace and supervised its construction. Unfortunately, the president was assassinated shortly after construction started. The Palace became the home of then President of South Vietnam Nguyen Van Thieu until the fall of Saigon in 1975. It is now called the Reunification Hall with all the original furnishings still kept intact.

Notre Dame Cathedral:    The famous church, which was constructed during 1877 and 1833 by the French, serves as the nation's Catholic center. The history of the church says that the materials used in its construction were imported from France- Notre Dame with Virgin Maria. The Archbishop of the Saigon is posted here. Catholic followers of the city attend the services offered in the morning and in the afternoon. The New Year and Christmas celebrations of the Notre Dame Cathedral draw a huge crowd.

War Remnants Museum: Formerly known as Saigon’s Exhibition Hoof American War Crimes, portrays the horrors and details of the Vietnam War. At present it is located within an assemblage of warehouses. This museum standing near the city’s famous Reunification palace, with its halls filled with gruesome photographs and a real guillotine, depicts some of the worst brutality that happened during the Vietnam War.

Tanks, bombs, planes, helicopters used during the Vietnam War are also kept in the Saigon’s War Remnants Museum. Some rooms outside the museum exhibit cultural products, giving you a glimpse of the Vietnamese culture. Since its inception more than six million people have visited this famous museum in Saigon. Among its millions of visitors around one million are foreign tourists.

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda: Located on Cong Ly boulevard (or Nam Ky Khoi Nghia), Vinh Nghiem is South Vietnam's most majestic temple. Construction of the temple was completed in 1971 after the design was drawn by Mr. Nguyen Ba Lang and associates. The ground floor consists of the library, the auditorium, and offices. The temple is located in a large parcel of land. On the left of the upper court yard stands a tower or the seven-level Avalokitesvara Stupa. Next to the tower hangs a large bell given to the temple by the Japanese Buddhists Sangha.

Thien Hau temple: According to the Chinese folk, this site is devoted to the Sea goddess bas. Other gods like Money God, Mother Goddess and Mermaid are also worshipped in this ancient Chinese temple. To offer prayer for good health and business you have to buy an incense coil. It is a common belief that offering money to the Money God brings good luck in business.

China town: It is a densely populated town with almost 5 million Chinese. The Chinese, uprooted from the Ming Dynasty, established the China town in the 18th century. Filled with markets, restaurants, pagodas, shops and family factories, it is one of the most crowded places in the Saigon.

Giac Lam pagoda: Erected long back in 1744 with the fund raised by Ly Thuy Long, a native of Minh Huong village, this is the city's oldest Buddhist pagoda. The interior of this famous pagoda is adorned with a rich collection of statues of old Buddha and Arhat. Ancient furnishings and decorations inside this pagoda are enough to charm the visitors.

Outside of Saigon:

Cu Chi Tunnels: the network of over 200 kilometers of tunnels was used by the Vietcong during the American war and offers a fascinating look into the lives of the inhabitants during the war-time era.

The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. The role of the tunnel systems should not be underestimated in its importance to the Viet Cong in resisting American operations and protracting the war, eventually culminating in an American withdrawal.

Cao Dai Temple in tay Ninh province, home to the intriguing Cao Dai religion.   

In 1926 Cao Dai religious  is the religion's shortened name, the full name is Great Religion of The Third Period of Revelation and Salvation. Figuratively, it means that highest spiritual place where God reigns. Caodaiists often use the term Venerable Cao Dai as the abbreviated name for God, the creator of the universe. According to Caodaiists, the full title was purposefully chosen by God because within it are representations of the Three Teachings: Saint, Sage and Buddha.

Where to stay in HCMC?

A big choice for you from the long list of 5* hotel to the guest houses.

Please see the hotel page to get more information.

What to eat in HCMC?

Street eats can be found in almost every corner of this bustling city. To be inducted into Southern Vietnamese cuisine, opt for Lau (hotpot with cook your own ingredients served on the side), Com Nieu (broken rice served out of a clay pot) and Banh Xeo (pancakes cooked over a flame). To enjoy the clatter of an authentic Vietnamese eatery, Com Nieu will surely leave an impression when the waiters fling claypots across the restaurant. Dong Pho is the best place to enjoy a meal of traditional Hue dishes in Saigon.

Getting there and around

·        By road: Saigon is 100 km from Tay Ninh, 120km from Vung Tau – a beautiful Sea city, 80km from My Tho, 150km from Can Tho, 200km from Phan Thiet – Mui Ne, 300km from Da Lat, 450km from Nha Trang, 980km from Danang, and 1,710km from Hanoi.

·        By air: Tan Son Nhat International Airport is just 10km from the city center, is the biggest airports of the country with various international and domestic routes. There are domestic flights from Saigon to Hanoi, Danang, Hue, Nha Trang and others small cities in Vietnam and international flights to many countries in over the world.

·        By train: The Reunification Express, runs from Saigon to Central Vietnam (Hue and Danang) and then further to Hanoi (more than 30 hours from Saigon)

·        By bus: There are some bus station from that could go to the others cities and provinces around Saigon. For the tourist, it’s better way using the open-tour bus or high quality service bus such as Phuong Trang, Thanh Buoi buses.

 

  • Festivals
  • Entertainment
  • Culture and Arts
  • Đà Nẵng
  • Ha Noi
  • Hoi An

Hotline:

email:

  • email: inbound_en@vinatour.com.vn- inbound_en@vinatouronline.com.vn

    Đt: (84 24) 38 229 988/ 394 23 997