Ho Chi Minh

30 Best Things To Do in Ho Chi Minh City: The City That Never Sleeps

Come to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnamese spelling: Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh) and you will experience the city that never sleeps. Locals and visitors alike say Saigon (Sài Gòn) lives during the night. 

This vibrant city of 9 million, formerly known as Saigon before reunification, attracts people from all over Vietnam as well as a growing international community. This diversity is one of the key factors that makes for all the amazing things to do in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Ho Chi Minh City provides access to the southern delta regions as well as the popular coastal city of Nha Trang and the hinterland of Dalat (Đà Lạt) city.

Top Things To Do in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is most loved for its delectable variety of local foods, many of which can be enjoyed at roadside stalls or casual sit-down eateries. You can also savor the best of international cuisine from Little Tokyo to Chinatown to Thao Dien Ward. 

The architecture is a blend of traditional places of worship, old colonial structures, and towering modern shopping complexes. There are many exciting things to do in Ho Chi Minh City, and if you’re in for some wild fun, don’t miss out on the liveliest part of this city — its nightlife.

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1. Foodie Venture: The Best Thing to Do in Ho Chi Minh

Foodie Venture: The Best Thing to Do in Ho Chi Minh
[ by Van Thanh from Unsplash ]

Some of the best food in Saigon will be found along the streets. If you enjoy Vietnamese pho, broken rice, banh mi, then you will definitely not want to miss them in their birthplace.

District 1 is a good place to start your foodie venture. A nice place to sit down is the Ben Thanh Street Food Market which is open day and night. There are also great food tours, also for vegans, by foot or by scooter with local guides.

A lot of locals would say popular Vietnamese dishes are breakfast foods, but everybody eats them however and whenever they feel like it. Not to mention, Vietnam’s got a lot more to offer when it comes to food.

More about Saigon Food in Vietnam

2. Lively Vietnamese Coffee Culture

Lively Vietnamese Coffee Culture
[ by Thanh Tuấn Tạ from Pixabay ]

Coffee was introduced to Vietnam during the French Colonial times in the 1880s. It’s now a distinctive and inseparable part of Vietnamese culture. Some of the best coffee you’ll ever taste comes from the tropical highlands of central Vietnam.

Nowadays, the coffee culture of Vietnam consists of 3 main aspects: traditional, themed, and specialty. Traditional Vietnamese coffee uses a tin drip cup, or a handheld net submerged in a kettle of boiling water. 

Themed coffee shops exploit interior design and a specific architectural style to enhance your coffee experience. Specialty coffee haunts are all about skill in selecting and roasting coffee beans, as well as using different brewing and filtering methods.

More about Saigon Coffee

3. A Nation Reunified at Independence Palace 

Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh City
[ image by Alice Hamilton ]

Independence Palace (Dinh Độc Lập) has been a symbol of unification and independence in Vietnam since 1975. Nowadays, it’s a historical monument you can visit and also functions as a ground for national and international affairs.

A separate exhibit, that can be purchased on the same ticket, details the transition from the Norodom Palace, the original building, into the Independence Palace from 1868 to 1966. 

Learn how the design of Independence Palace incorporates the essence of Vietnamese values and chivalry into modern architecture. The palace is featured in many documentaries, and schools as well as educational institutes frequently schedule visits.

More about the Independence Palace

4. A Moving Experience at War Remnants Museum

War Remnants Museum
[ by Phong Vinh from Vnexpress ]

War Remnants Museum (Bảo tàng Chứng tích Chiến tranh) is a confronting photographic story of the Vietnamese war.  It’s consistently voted one of the top interesting museums on Tripadvisor.

Every day, ex-soldiers, reporters, and the younger generations come here to receive a reminder on the horrors of war. There are Vietnamese and English explanations as well as audio guides for the objects on display. The souvenir shop inside sells items made from recycled war material, postcards, and books published by the museum.

Established in 1975, the museum location has its own story to tell. The War Remnants Museum has taken over 45 years to collect and preserve more than 20 000 documents, artifacts, and photographs.

More about the War Remnants Museum

5. Shopping at Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market
[ image by Thomas W. Johnson ]

Ben Thanh Market (chợ Bến Thành) is the iconic symbol of Ho Chi Minh City and a popular destination for many tours. It’s a great place to do some shopping and enjoy the best of Saigon food.

The Day Market is open from 7 AM to 7 PM with different sections selling souvenirs, clothes, and sweet or savory treats. In the evening from 7 PM to 4 AM, the outdoor Night Market opens and you can browse around or get something to eat.

Don’t be afraid to haggle down to half-price by equipping yourself with some simple Vietnamese phrases. A crowded market tends to appeal to pickpockets and snatchers, so be careful of your belongings.

More about the Ben Thanh Market

6. Saigon Notre Dame: A Vatican Basilica

Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral-A Vatican Basilica in Ho Chi Minh City
[ by phminiat from Pixabay ]

Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral (Nhà thờ Đức Bà) is a stronghold of Catholicism in Vietnam where mass is still held every day. In 1962, the Vatican named it Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception (Vương cung thánh đường Chính tòa Đức Mẹ Vô nhiễm Nguyên tội). 

The cathedral has a fascinating history, and most materials were imported from France including the red bricks, tiles, stained glass, and the six bells inside the two towers. The cathedral has one of the two oldest pipe organs in Vietnam, and the giant clock between the bell towers was imported from Sweden in 1887. 

Currently, the cathedral is undergoing its 4th renovation which started in June 2017. During which time, activities like taking photos are not allowed. However, the mass inside the cathedral is still held every day.

More about the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral

7. Architectural Delights at Central Post Office

Saigon Central Post Office
[ image by Alice Hamilton ]

Out of all the old French colonial structures in Saigon, the Central Post Office (Bưu điện thành phố) is by far the most acclaimed. It was designed by Alfred Foulhoux, the chief architect of the time, and built between 1886 and 1891. 

This French colonialist style combines a Renaissance exterior with a cavernous Gothic interior. Ornate fleur-de-lis decorate the pilastras outside, and a typical iconic clock adorns the entrance. Inside, you’ll find classic wood furnishings and painted wall maps.   

The Saigon Central Post Office also has a shop where you can buy souvenirs, traditional toys, and nicely crafted accessories. For those who can still grasp the nostalgia, you can purchase some postcards and snail-mail a couple of travel diary entries. 

More about the Saigon Central Post Office

8. Saigon Opera House: The Municipal Theatre

Saigon Opera House
[ by Thai Airways from Facebook ]

The Saigon Opera House (Nhà hát Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh) is the city’s show stage for classical and ballet favorites, traditional Vietnamese theater, and widely acclaimed contemporary performances. It’s right opposite Nguyen Walking Street surrounded by popular evening hang-out spots.

 The architecture is mainly influenced by the flamboyant style of the French Third Republic. The ornately beautiful facade is also inspired by the Petit Palais of Paris. It was heavily damaged during the war in 1944 but restored after the Reunification in 1975.

More about the Saigon Opera House

9. Ho Chi Minh City Museum Insights

Ho Chi Minh City Museum Insights
[ image from hcmc-museum.edu.vn ]

Ho Chi Minh City Museum (Bảo tàng Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh) is modest yet informative about the history and life of peoples in Saigon and also Vietnam. Formerly the Gia Long Palace (Dinh Gia Long), the museum has exhibitions dating back to the 1600s. 

Exhibits include artifacts and maps of ancient Vietnamese empires. There are also displays on revolutions throughout the country’s history. Everything has English explanations.

During the 2020 pandemic, renovation of the two special exhibition rooms is ongoing. Other exhibits are still open and tickets are down to half-price. Spacious as it is, the museum lacks air-conditioning so you should bring some water.

More about the Ho Chi Minh City Museum

10. Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens for Families

Saigon Zoo
[ by An Vu from Tripadago ]

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens (Thảo Cầm Viên Sài Gòn), established in 1865, is one of the oldest zoos in the world. Its shade trees provide cover for nice family outings with good photo spots around.

Saigon Zoo currently researches and protects over 125 species of fauna and over 300 species of flora. These include non-native species. There is an animal conservation area, a plant conservation area (Saigon Botanic Garden), an orchid garden, and an amusement park.

Interesting sightings include white Bengal tigers, snow foxes, lemurs, dholes, flamingoes, and more. There are scheduled feeding times and children can feed baby herbivores. The entrance ticket includes the animal circus, magic show, and other stage performances during the weekend.

Protip: Saigon Zoo shares the same address as a Hung Kings Temple built in  1926 and the Museum of Vietnamese History.

11. Museum of Vietnamese History

Museum of Vietnamese History
[ by Lê Huy Khoa Kanata from Museum of Vietnamese History, Facebook ]

The Museum of Vietnamese History (Bảo tàng lịch sử Việt Nam) in Ho Chi Minh City officially opened in 1956.  One of its best-curated collections is the Vietnamese historical exhibits from the primitive era of 2879 BC to 1945.

Exhibits from the first CE millennium detail the cultural genesis of all Vietnamese regions, and are particularly interesting. In the Red Delta of the North, the Dong Son culture (văn hoá Đông Sơn) is attributed to Vietnam’s first ancient kingdoms of Văn Lang and Âu Lạc.

The Sa Huynh culture (văn hoá Sa Huỳnh) shares many connections to the subsequent Cham culture in Central Vietnam. In the South, Oc Eo culture (văn hoá Óc Eo), with influences from India, can still be found in the Mekong Delta.

Not limited by its name, the museum also has collections of Asian ceramics, Buddhist statues, and canons from the 18th – 19th century. In addition, its purposely designed building is an exemplary mix of European and Southeast Asian influences.

12. Cho Lon as Chinatown in Saigon

Cholon in Saigon
[ by Tony Pham from Unsplash ]

Cholon (Chợ Lớn) or Chinatown (Khu phố Hoa) is home to many of Saigon’s ethnic Vietnamese – Chinese residents. The area dates back to the late 17th century when Cholon and Saigon used to be separate cities.

The word Chợ Lớn simply means Big Market but its place in the history of Saigon is much more. This area showcases a fascinating perspective into the ethnic diversity in Vietnam.

Chinatown spans across Districts 5,6, and 11 which are to the west of Ho Chi Minh City center. You can stroll streets with a unique mix of Vietnamese and Chinese architecture, visit pagodas, sample the best Chinese food in Saigon, and shop in its busy markets.

More about the Cholon or Chinatown

13. Cu Chi Tunnels: The Bloodlines of Vietnamese Wars

Cu Chi Tunnels
[ image from diadaocuchi ]

If you are interested in experiencing the extremes of Vietnamese life during times of war, then head to Cu Chi Tunnels (Địa đạo Củ Chi). These tunnels were first dug from 1946 to 1948 during the First Indochina War to gain a strategic defensive foothold. 

They started out as small individual tunnels to communicate between villages and evade scouting French soldiers. The tunnels were then expanded into a network that covered over 250km during the American Vietnam War. They incorporated living areas, kitchens, storerooms, armory, and even schools, hospitals, and command centers. 

There are 2 sets of the Cu Chi Tunnels. Ben Dinh (Bến Đình) is closer to HCMC and best if you’re limited for time. However, Ben Duoc (Bến Dược) is the more authentic experience.  

More about the Cu Chi Tunnels

14. Ngoc Hoang: Jade Emperor Pagoda

Jade Emperor Pagoda
[ image by Roger Shitaki ]

Phuoc Hai Pagoda (Chùa Phước Hải) is known as Jade Emperor Pagoda (Chùa Ngọc Hoàng) by locals. It was built around the beginning of the 20th century by Chinese traders and is a fusion of Taoist and Buddhist beliefs.

The Pagoda exemplifies feng shui design, and inside are ornate wood panelings, statues with incredible detail, and unique paper mache figurines. In 2016, former US president Obama visited this place on his tour of Vietnamese culture. 

People usually come here to pray for success in business, fruitful partnerships, or for children at the shrine of the fertility goddess. You can easily participate in the worship by purchasing oil for the lamps or lighting candles.

More about the Jade Emperor Pagoda

15. Caodai Temples: Unique Religion of Vietnam

Caodai Temples
[ by Duy Nguyễn Đăng from Pixabay ]

Caodaism (đạo Cao Đài) is a uniquely Vietnamese religion established in Tay Ninh Province (tỉnh Tây Ninh) in 1926. It has played a special role in Vietnamese history and has millions of followers worldwide.

Go to a Caodai temple and you will see worshipable figures from all over the world. From religious figures like Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Confucius, to historical ones like Victor Hugo, Louis Pasteur, Joan of Arc, and Shakespeare — all gathered under one roof.

Tours to the Cu Chi Tunnels often include the most popular Caodai temple in Vietnam — Tay Ninh Holy See (Thánh thất Tây Ninh). The main temple is the best representation of Caodai architecture with English explanations for the sacred objects. 

More about Caodaism and the best Caodai temple

16. Giac Lam Pagoda: The Oldest Pagoda in Saigon

Giac Lam Pagoda
[ by katinalynn from VisualHunt / CC BY ]

Giac Lam Pagoda (Chùa Giác Lâm) is the oldest pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City dating back to 1744 during the reign of the Nguyen Lords. It is located about 7km away from the city center in Tan Binh District (quận Tân Bình). 

While most pagodas in Vietnam have typical Chinese architecture, Giac Lam’s architecture is uniquely that of Southern Vietnam. In 1988, it became a National Heritage Site.

After passing through the main gate, you’ll see a statue of Buddha under the bodhi tree and the seven-story stupa. The main building is long and rectangular consisting of 98 ornately carved pillars and over 100 historic statues. 

The Pagoda got its current name in 1772 and since then has gone through many periods of renovation and construction of which records are displayed in the main hall. 

17. Vibrant Buddhist Culture at Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda
[ by trungydang from CC BY ]

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda (Chùa Vĩnh Nghiêm) is one of the biggest and most modern pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City. Located about 3.5 km from the city center, its architecture is mainly of Northern Vietnam with a mix of Japanese Buddhism.

Visitors usually come early in the morning to experience the peaceful atmosphere. Crowds gather here during Lunar New Year, the 15th of every month, and other special occasions when religious activities take place.

The main structures consist of the Grand Entrance, the Main Hall along with the Grand Bell gifted by the Japanese Buddhist Association in 1975. The rest are auxiliary halls and the towers.

The Pagoda was built between 1964 to 1971 based on the design of Nguyễn Bá Lăng. There’s a vegetarian restaurant in this temple and a gift shop. If you walk down or across the road there are numerous shops selling Buddhist artifacts.

18. Stroll Along Nguyen Hue Walking Street

Stroll Along Nguyen Hue Walking Street
[ by Nathan Ergang from Unsplash ]

Nguyen Hue Walking Street (Phố đi bộ Nguyễn Huệ) has become a favorite hang-out spot as it offers many things to do, especially for the younger generations. Nguyen Hue is an excellent spot for an afternoon stroll with drinks and snacks.

On one end of the Street is a giant bronze statue of Ho Chi Minh and the other is the Saigon River. In between are shopping malls, buildings, restaurants, and street vendors. 

Nguyen Hue comes to life as night falls when the fountain show starts, and crowds gather around street performances. You can dine out at many trendy restaurants above the street and enjoy the scenes below.

19. Dinner Cruise Full of Romance

Dinner Cruise Full of Romance
[ by D Mz from Pixabay ]

Admiring the city lights at night while cruising along the Saigon River (sông Sài Gòn) is a great way to unwind after a busy day. There are many cruise ships that offer this service at the Saigon Harbor near the Dragon Harbor Museum, about 3km from the city center.

Dinner by the candlelight is always a romantic choice for couples, but you can also view the marvels of the towering Landmark 81, or Bitexco Financial Tower while enjoying live music performances.

The service may include hotel pick-ups, a full-course dinner or buffet, traditional live music, and ballroom dancing. Some cruise ships also provide bookings for events like seminars, parties, fashion shows, and ceremonies.

20. Pham Ngu Lao Street: A Go-To for Backpackers

Pham Ngu Lao Street
[ by Van Thanh from Unsplash ]

Pham Ngu Lao street (đường Phạm Ngũ Lão), also known as Foreigners’ Street, is filled with bars, clubs, and places to go grab food and beer on the cheap. If you’re all about exciting nightlife, then this corner of Saigon is for you. 

You can always find something that fits your wallet here, from BBQ skewers, and sandwich vendors to fruit smoothies. There are also Indian and Thai restaurants, or you can splash out at a more fancy place. 

If you’re transiting Ho Chi Minh City for less than a day, this street has excellent things to do from hanging out at a bar, eating some good food, to hunting around for souvenirs. 

21. Ho Thi Ky Market: Flowers and Cambodian Food

Ho Thi Ky Market
[ by Van Thanh from Unsplash ]

Ho Thi Ky Flower Market (chợ hoa Hồ Thị Kỷ) is located 3km away from the city center in District 10. It opens 24/7 and gets busiest around 3 AM to 6 AM. It’s when the flowers get transported, distributed, and early buyers come to handpick the best blooms. 

However, if you’re not shopping for flowers, you can explore this market for mind-blowingly cheap Cambodian street food. For less than 5 USD, you can fill yourself with all kinds of grilled meat skewers, noodle dishes, and sweet treats.

Established in 1987, Ho Thi Ky is one of the biggest flower markets in Ho Chi Minh City. There are also shops selling gardening tools, vases, and baskets. They may overcharge tourists, so remember to bargain in a calm and respectful manner.

22. Little Tokyo in Saigon

Little Tokyo in Saigon
[ by Simon Stanley from stanleywriter ]

If Chinatown is to explore during the day, then Japantown (khu phố Nhật) awaits after sunset.  Starting from 15A and 15B Le Thanh Ton (Lê Thánh Tôn) street to Thai Van Lung (Thái Văn Lung), you can stroll down the road for 2 km and through the alleyways. 

When you’re tired, grab a bowl of hot ramen, some sushi, sashimi, gyoza, or yakiniku. And if you feel like having a drink afterward, head to the Japanese-style bars or lounges.

Little Tokyo was one of the first expat neighborhoods in Ho Chi Minh and mostly settled by Japanese company workers. Gradually Japanese establishments grew to cater to their needs, and it became a popular tourist area. 

In recent times, many original restaurants and bars have relocated to the quieter Japantown along and around Pham Viet Chanh (Phạm Viết Chánh) street in nearby Binh Thanh (Bình Thạnh) District.

23. International Delicacies in Thao Dien Ward

Thao Dien Ward
[ by The Deck Saigon from Facebook ]

Thao Dien Ward (Thảo Điền), District 2, is about 9km from the city center on the other side of the Saigon River. In its narrow side streets and broader leafy avenues, you’ll find some of the most authentic European restaurants, delis, bakeries, and craft beer breweries in Saigon. 

There are also classic American burger joints, bagel shops, diners, and a scattering of good Japanese, Korean, and Indian restaurants, too. One of its riverside bars has achieved international fame and listing.  

It’s an area favored by many expat Europeans with international schools, luxury residences, tower blocks, and gated estates mixed in with the quirkiness of a Vietnamese village atmosphere.

24. Fito Museum of Traditional Medicine and Pharmacy

Fito Museum Saigon
[ image from Fitomuseum.com.vn ]

Fito Museum of Traditional Medicine and Pharmacy are actually two private museums. These museums are the first of their kind with nearly 3 000 objects relating to traditional Vietnamese medicine. The Medicine Museum is in District 10, while the Pharmacy Museum is in Binh Duong Province outside of Ho Chi Minh City.

The Fito Museum of Traditional Medicine (District 10) has 6 floors and 18 exhibition rooms. Exhibits include preparation utensils for traditional medicine like jars, pots, knives, grinders, pestles, and mortars.

You’ll also see common items in a traditional pharmacy like cabinets, advertising signs, scales, stamps, and tea sets among other pottery. Some other unique displays include books and scrolls of past medicinal knowledge and history.

Objects on display have Vietnamese and English explanations, including the documentary ‘A Century of Health Care Experiences’. Besides selling herbal teas and medicinal books, they also have a footbath treatment that comes with a nice cuppa.

25. Hanh Thong Tay Night Market and Clothes for Cheap

Hanh Thong Tay Night Market and Clothes for Cheap
[ by Chợ đêm Hạnh Thông Tây from Facebook ]

Hanh Thong Tay Night Market (chợ đêm Hạnh Thông Tây) is the go-to for locals when it comes to buying casual clothing for cheap. Located 11km away from the city center, Hanh Thong Tay is like every other local market during day time, but at night it gets extra lively and crowded. 

The reason why the clothes here are cheap is they are mostly factory rejects from local export manufacturers. Even though the clothes may be a little out of fashion, they still look as good as new. 

Protip: Find parking outside the market area to avoid getting packed in. Take time to check out different stalls for the best deals, and bargain in a calm and respectful manner.

26. Mariamman Hindu Temple 

Mariamman Hindu Temple
[ image from vovdulich.vn ]

Mariamman Temple (Chùa Bà Ấn Độ) was originally built by Indian traders from Tamil Naidoo in 1885 and is in the typical colorful South Indian style. The inner sanctum is for worshipping the Hindu Goddess Mariamman who bestows wealth, good health, and gives protection to those traveling abroad. 

Nowadays, both religious and non-religious visitors can come and experience the sacred atmosphere, worship the deities, and give offerings. One ritual visitors usually perform is to gently press their face and palms against the stone walls beneath the deities, then whisper their prayers and their inner thoughts.

27. Jamia Al Muslimin Mosque

Jamia Al Muslimin Mosque
[ by knittymarie from VisualHunt / CC BY-SA ]

There are about 12 mosques in Ho Chi Minh city and the Jamia Al Musulman Mosque (Nhà thờ Hồi Giáo Musulman) is the biggest. Built in 1935, this is one of the  places of worship for Islam practitioners residing in and visiting the city. 

Otherwise known as Central Mosque, non-Muslim visitors can also come and experience aspects of Muslim culture, especially Halal food from inside the Mosque and surrounding diners.

Even though Islam entered Vietnam as early as the 10th century, less than 0.1% of the Vietnamese population practice this religion. However, that doesn’t mean Islam in Vietnam is inactive.

28. Buu Long Pagoda: Theravada Buddhism Architecture

Buu Long Pagoda
[ by Thutruongvn from Pixabay ]

Buu Long Pagoda (chùa Bửu Long) strictly follows Theravada Buddhism from India as opposed to the more common Mahayana Tibetan school. Its architecture is also a nice mix of Vietnamese dragons and Southeast Asian pagodas. Along with Tran Quoc Pagoda in Hanoi, it made the world’s top 20 beautiful pagodas by National Geographic.

Buu Long Pagoda is in District 9, 25 km away on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. It was built in 1942 and went through a major restoration from 2007 to 2011. The most intricate structure is the main stupa Gotama Cetiya with a capacity of 2000 people.

Buu Long Pagoda only worships GautamaBuddha and doesn’t allow the burning of incense or candles. Owing to the recent bloom of interest in all things Thailand, many locals call it the Thai Pagoda.

29. Vung Tau: Summer Beach Getaway

Vung Tau
[ by trinhkien91 from Pixabay ]

Vung Tau city (thành phố Vũng Tàu) is a favorite beach getaway for people of Ho Chi Minh City. The scenery is always a treat, especially if you drive along the shoreline to its unique tall vantage viewpoints.

While breezing, you can visit some interesting local religious sites, including seaside pagodas and the famous Jesus Christ statue. The waters of Vung Tau beach are good for beginner surfers and, of course, there’s great fresh seafood.

If you fancy a boat trip from Ho Chi Minh City, take a hydrofoil ferry from Bach Dang Harbor. The same harbor you arrive in Vung Tau can also take you further to Con Dao Island (Côn Đảo). It’s an island retreat in paradise with a heavy history behind it.

Discover more about Vung Tau

30. Mekong Delta For a Southern Adventure

Mekong Delta For a Southern Adventure
[ by bruce lam from Pixabay ]

The Mekong Delta in Vietnam (Đồng bằng sông Cửu Long) includes many provinces in the southern region of the country. Tours to the Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Minh City include a wide variety of destinations and activities along the way. 

Key things to do may include: riding a boat to local specialty shops, enjoying the cuisine and traditional music, visiting temples, exploring farms, canoeing, and Cai Be floating market (chợ nổi Cái Bè) to shop for fruits, sweet treats, and dried goods. 

Tours may last half a day, one day, overnight, or even over two to four nights. Some Mekong Delta tours also include Cu Chi Tunnels.

More about the Mekong Delta

Getting Around Ho Chi Minh City

You can walk from place to place within a district, otherwise, Grab Bike or Car, a taxi, or local buses are convenient choices.

Transportation Services

Grab: This is the equivalent of Uber in Vietnam. Using Grab Car is cheaper than taxi, and it’s even cheaper for a single person bike ride. All you need is an Internet connection and a phone number to receive SMS. You can browse their English language homepage for more information. 

Bus: Using Google Maps, it’s fairly easier to go places by bus. Just choose the Public Transportation tab, then enter your location and destination. Each bus has a number representing its course, and Google Maps will show you which bus to take, where to get off, and the extra distance to walk. One-stop tickets usually cost around 7 000 VND.

Taxi: Taxis are easy to stop along the street or you can call one from your hotel front desk. Alternatively, major taxi companies also have English language smart apps for your phone, so you can book a taxi from wherever you are. Search your app store for Vinasun or Mai Linh taxi companies.

Private Motorbike Tour: This form of tour has become popular among visitors for all the right reasons. For a reasonable price, you’ll have a personal tour guide who can also take you to friendly local places.

By Yourself

On Foot: Walking short distances, exploring your hotel locale, or in the downtown is generally fine. It can get hot walking long distances, and sidewalks in many locations are often narrow or taken over by motorbikes.

Motorbike Rentals: You can find many of these services online. They will require you to bring your passport along with your international and national driving license. You may also choose to purchase insurance.

Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City

Visitors staying for more than a couple of days can save money by picking hotels around District 10 and Phu Nhuan District. They are only about 10-20 minutes away from the city center in District 1 and rates are usually half.

Travel Tips for Ho Chi Minh City

Best Time to Visit: January to March when it’s quite cool and doesn’t have a lot of rain.

Food: Street food vendors and local diners are places you can get cheaper and more authentic Vietnamese food.Culture: Important buildings, especially religious structures and museums, require visitors to wear clothes covering knees and shoulders.

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