HO CHI MINH CITY TRAVEL GUIDE 2023 - All you need to know

HO CHI MINH CITY TRAVEL GUIDE 2023 - All you need to know
HO CHI MINH CITY TRAVEL GUIDE 2023 - All you need to know

Experience the pulsating spirit of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), which comes alive with the vibrant soundscape of local life, fantastic architecture, and amazing street food. This hectic metropolis beckons you to discover. Let Vietravel, Vietnam's Largest Aviation & Tourism Corporation, be your trusted companion as we unveil the secrets in our comprehensive Ho Chi Minh City travel guide. Are you ready to embark on an exhilarating journey to the typical Vietnamese sleepless urban hub?

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I. When is the best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City? – Ho Chi Minh City travel guide

The best time to uncover the enchantment of Ho Chi Minh City is from December to March. When a symphony of perfect temperatures ranging from 20°C to 32°C unfolds, the energetic metropolis reveals its true beauty. Travel between January and February for a traditional holiday experience in Ho Chi Minh City. To avoid frequent tropical storms and high humidity from May - November, it's advisable to plan your visit during the dry season, when Ho Chi Minh City shines with its vibrant energy and captivating attractions.

Also read: Hoi An Travel Guide

II. Where are the best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City?

Nestled in the heart of southern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City beckons with its appealing fusion of warm hospitality. Without a doubt, this hectic destination pulsates with an exhilarating spirit, where history intertwines with cultural richness and a thriving economy. For more ideas on the best places to visit, scroll down our apprehensive Ho Chi Minh City travel guide. Let your extraordinary journey commence!

1. War Remnants Museum

To begin with, step into the profound history of Vietnam at the War Remnants Museum. Primary artifacts focus on the Vietnam War and glimpses into the first Indochina War. Therefore, this enthralling museum will invite you to contemplate the enduring lessons of humanity, fostering empathy, understanding, and a collective vision for a brighter future.

War Remnants Museum
Ho Chi Minh City travel guide - War Remnants Museum

2. Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral

Then, enjoy the timeless elegance of the Neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon, an iconic symbol nestled in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. This late-19-century architectural marvel exemplifies the fusion of French colonial influence and local craftsmanship. Encounter a mysterious world where divine beauty intertwines with human artistry, allowing you to awaken the spirit with its ethereal charm.

HO CHI MINH TRAVEL GUIDE- Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral
Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral

Please note: The Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon is currently undergoing renovations and is temporarily closed until 2023.

3. Saigon Central Post Office

Additionally, whether you're a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply seeking a unique experience, Saigon Central Post Office promises to ignite your imagination. Marvel at its magnificent neoclassical facade, adorned with intricate details and crowned by a soaring arched ceiling. Are you ready to explore this artistic site, where the harmonious fusion of French-influenced charm and Vietnamese cultural heritage awaits?

HO CHI MINH TRAVEL GUIDE - Saigon Central Post Office
Saigon Central Post Office

Click here for more hot Southern travel deals

4. Ben Thanh Market

Being a timeless market, Ben Thanh is well-known as a bustling oasis in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. Bright colors, enticing aromas, and lively sounds envelop you in a sensory feast. Explore a treasure trove of local craftsmanship, and delectable street food, and immerse yourself in the vibrant essence of the city's energy.

5. Reunification Palace

Originally known as Norodom Palace, the Reunification Palace holds a fascinating history. With its 1960s architectural charm, open-air design, as well as vintage furnishings, the palace showcases the essence of the era. From its impressive meeting rooms to the stylish bar on the second floor and the fortified basement, this emblematic landmark is a piece of evidence of the tumultuous times of the past.

HO CHI MINH TRAVEL GUIDE - Reunification Palace
Reunification Palace

6. Cu Chi Tunnels

Furthermore, uncover the secrets of these hallowed underground passages at the Cu Chi Tunnels for a thrilling experience. The decades-old tunnel complex resembles a sophisticated hidden maze, where visitors can glimpse the turbulent Vietnamese history as if they are transported back to wartime. This remarkable testament to resilience must be at the top of your bucket list when exploring the energetic land.

Cu Chi Tunnels
Ho Chi Minh City travel guide - Cu Chi Tunnels

7. Saigon Opera House

Welcome to the magnificent Saigon Opera House, an elegant gem that stands proudly at the beginning of the renowned Le Loi Avenue. Also known as The Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City, this enthralling site is a delightful treat for art buffs. Be amazed as step into its majestic halls, adorned with ornate architecture, and approach the pure magic of opera, ballet, and theater performances.

8. Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Moreover, right in the heart of HCMC lies an oasis teeming with exotic flora and fauna. Behold the Zoo and Botanical Gardens, an earthly paradise bursting with wondrous delights for families to explore. You can roam among the green tapestry, as majestic creatures paint vivid strokes of life, inviting young and old to dance with delight. Escape the urban hustle and embark on a magical journey, where time slows to a playful rhythm and hearts beat as one with nature's bewitching melody.

9. Thien Hau Temple

Finally, unveil the hidden gem of Thien Hau Temple, a mesmerizing world where history and spirituality intertwine. This sacred haven exudes historical charm and cultural significance, inviting you to explore its intricate architecture. Stepping inside Thien Hau Pagoda provides a unique opportunity to delve into the deep-rooted traditions of the country's Chinese community.

Vietravel is your reliable travel companion; do not hesitate to book your Ho Chi Minh City day trip here and discover the wonders of this never-sleeping city.

Also read: Da Nang Travel Guide

III. How to travel to Ho Chi Minh City? – Ho Chi Minh City travel guide

Getting to this energetic city is easier than expected. On Vietravel's Ho Chi Minh City travel guide, you'll find everything you need to know to get here and start your incredible adventure.

1. By Air

To begin with, flying to this dynamic city is the most convenient and efficient mode of transportation. Tan Son Nhat International Airport, located just 6 kilometers from the urban center, stands ready to welcome both domestic and international with open arms. From teeming metropolises to far-flung corners of the world, airlines connect you to this captivating destination. Upon touchdown, let Vietravel's private airport transfer whisk you seamlessly into the city's warm embrace. So buckle up, and let the excitement take flight!

Vietravel Airlines
Vietravel Airlines

Check out Vietravel Airlines’s flight ticket here

2. By Train

Second, traveling by rail to Ho Chi Minh City offers an amazing experience, allowing you to witness the ever-changing landscapes and local life along the way. Board the train and be transported through Vietnam's scenic beauty, fostering a sense of adventure and anticipation as you approach the bustling metropolis. Visitors can board trains from various locations, including Hanoi, Da Nang, and Nha Trang, among others. Ensure a pleasant railroad adventure by obtaining your train tickets through trusted tour operators, or travel companies, or by conveniently booking online via the official Vietnam Railway website.

3. By Bus or Vietravel’s private car/coach

Third, traveling by bus to this lively destination from other cities in Vietnam is a comfy and cost-effective option. There are several reputable bus companies that operate regular routes connecting HCMC to major cities such as Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and more. This choice is an exclusive opportunity to witness the country's beauty up close. Enhance your travel experience with Vietravel's private car or coach services, offering comfort and customization to your journey.

Check for: Ha Noi Travel Guide

IV. How to get around Ho Chi Minh City? – Ho Chi Minh City travel guide

Unleash the full potential of your adventure with our immersive Ho Chi Minh City travel guide, a treasure trove of valuable insights and expert tips to unlock the secrets of this hectic destination. Exploring one of the most populous cities in the country is an epic trip through its crowded streets, where every corner reveals a mesmerizing tale waiting to be discovered.

1. Walking/ Bicycle

The best way to truly experience the captivating HCMC is on foot or by bicycle. Wander through the charming alleys and witness the city's dynamic energy at your own pace. Experience the ease and convenience of renting the TNGO public bicycle rental application, the latest trend in transportation for both locals and tourists. With affordable rates of just 5,000 VND per 30 minutes or 50,000 VND for a full day, you can effortlessly rent a bike and pay electronically.

Renting the TNGO public bicycle. Photo by @ Hoang An / Tuoi Tre
Renting the TNGO public bicycle. Photo by @ Hoang An / Tuoi Tre

2. Cyclo

Following that, hopping on a cyclo is a leisurely way to explore Ho Chi Minh's cityscape. Cyclos are a unique and traditional mode of transportation for short distances or sightseeing tours. Before you begin your ride, negotiate and agree on a fare with the driver. Riding a cyclo allows you to get up close and personal with the city's spirited energy, and engage with the local culture.

3. Vietravel's private car/bus

Furthermore, as you travel through the enchanting city of Ho Chi Minh, experience the pinnacle of convenience and customization with Vietravel's private car or bus services. Allow our knowledgeable drivers and passionate guides to whisk you away to renowned landmarks as well as mysterious gems, revealing the city's lively culture and storied history.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide - Vietravel's private bus
Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide - Vietravel's private bus

4. Motorbike/ Scooter

Similarly, as you ride a motorbike or scooter through the busy streets of HCMC, you can fully experience the exhilarating vitality of the metropolis. Embrace the freedom of two wheels and explore the city's hidden gems and iconic attractions at your own pace.

5. Waterbus

Moreover, board the waterbus on the picturesque Saigon River for a refreshing means of transportation in HCMC. While this transport type is still relatively new, its potential to alleviate the city's notorious traffic congestion is undeniable. The Saigon Waterbus currently has a single route that connects Bach Dang Station in District 1 to Linh Dong Station in Thu Duc City. Don't pass up the opportunity to experience this relaxing and convenient option.

Saigon Waterbus
Saigon Waterbus

6. Taxis

Last of all, a comfy way to get around Ho Chi Minh City is by taxi. It is readily available throughout the city, offering a hassle-free way to navigate its bustling streets. The dynamic destination has a variety of taxi companies, including reputable ones like Mai Linh and Vinasun. Taxis can be easily hailed on the streets or found at designated taxi stands.

Use the helpful advice in our Ho Chi Minh City travel guide to get around this impressive city. Find its hidden treasures and move through its streets like a seasoned traveler.

V. What to eat in Ho Chi Minh City? – Ho Chi Minh City travel guide

Welcome to the culinary paradise, where the cuisine flourishes. As you explore the buzzing streets of this food haven, you'll be immersed in a world of mouthwatering flavors and enticing aromas. Here are some must-try dishes from our comprehensive Ho Chi Minh City travel guide. Be sure to click through to the complete guide for more pictures and information.

1. Banh Mi – Vietnamese baguette

Firstly, prepare to be tantalized by the culinary masterpiece that is Banh Mi. Each bite is a harmonious blend of textures and tastes, from a crusty baguette to succulent Vietnamese pork sausage or tender char siu. Besides, the fried egg and pickled vegetables add a delightful tang, resulting in a truly unforgettable culinary experience.

Ho Chi Minh City travel guide - Banh mi
Ho Chi Minh City travel guide - Banh mi

Don't miss Banh Mi Huynh Hoa (26 Le Thi Rieng Street) or Banh Mi Hong Hoa (54 Nguyen Van Trang Street) for an authentic and affordable experience.

2. Goi Cuon - Spring rolls

Secondly, enjoy the appetizing Goi Cuon (fresh spring rolls), a delectable combination of vegetables, rice noodles, and succulent pork and shrimp. Dip these rolls into the tangy peanut sauce for a flavor explosion. Don't miss Saigon Goi Roll Restaurant, where you can relish the amazing taste of this tasty snack for just 5,000 VND - 7,000 VND per roll.

3. Com Tam Sai Gon – Sai Gon-style broken rice

Thirdly, for a culinary adventure, savor the quintessential Com Tam Sai Gon - a plate of fragrant broken rice paired with succulent grilled meats, pickled vegetables, and a drizzle of flavorful fish sauce. Head to Tan Thuan Bridge's broken rice restaurant, a popular spot among locals, to enjoy the essence of Southern cuisine at prices ranging from 35,000 VND to 50,000 VND. Additionally, you can try Com Tam Bui Saigon or Com Tam Moc for a delicious plate of Com Tam at reasonable prices.

4. Bun Bo Hue - Beef Noodle Soup

Similarly, indulge in the flavors of Ho Chi Minh City with a bowl of Bun Bo Hue, a must-try dish that traces its roots back to the ancient capital of Hue, but it’s widespread and highly enjoyed in this Southern metropolis. A harmonious symphony of tastes is created by thick and cylindrical rice noodles, tender beef, aromatic herbs, and a savory broth. Discover regional specialties such as Bun Bo Ganh and Bun Bo Hue 3A3, where each bowl is a culinary masterpiece. Take in the vigorous street food scene while enjoying every delicious bite of Bun Bo.

Bun Bo Hue
Bun Bo Hue

5. Xoi Sai Gon – Steamed Sticky Rice

Finally, you shouldn’t miss trying Steamed Sticky Rice (Xoi), a beloved culinary gem in Vietnam known for its affordability, delectable flavors, and ease of preparation. Ho Chi Minh City has a plethora of Xoi stalls strewn about its streets. These time-honored establishments, some of which have been in operation for over 50 years, provide a nostalgic taste of tradition. Among them is the iconic Tam Cau stall, which has served steamed sticky rice wrapped in odorous banana leaves and topped with mouthwatering ingredients and a special black sauce for over six decades.

These are just a few of the enticing dishes available in our extensive Ho Chi Minh City travel guide. Set out on a culinary adventure in the “Ancient Pearl of the Far East” with Vietravel today and discover a world of tantalizing delights and unforgettable culinary experiences.

In conclusion, don't let any apprehension hold you back from discovering the marvels of HCMC. As your trusted local companion, Vietravel provides warm companionship, well-informed guides, first-rate transportation, and meticulously planned itineraries, ensuring a journey that is not only hassle-free but memorable.

Plan your Ho Chi Minh City adventure here.

As the Largest Aviation-Tourism corporation in the country, Vietravel consistently provides high-standard services at the most competitive prices so that you can discover the beauty of not only Vietnam but all of Southeast Asia.

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