Top places to travel in Vietnam (Part 9): Saigon - the Pearl of Far East

Ho Chi Minh City is located in the middle of the Southern region of Vietnam and is the most populous and largest city in Vietnam. Traveling in Saigon is a should-not-miss place when you come Vietnam.

1. General Information about Saigon Tourism

The name of the city is officially Ho Chi Minh City but many people still call this place with the familiar name of Saigon. Saigon is the most populous city in Vietnam with over 8 million inhabitants and 1,730 km from Hanoi by road.

2. Climate and the best time to travel.

Ho Chi Minh City has two distinct seasons:
  • Rainy season: from May to November
  • Dry season: from December to April
If you come here in the rainy season, you should bring umbrella or raincoat when you go out because Saigon is famous for many sudden rains.

3. Transportation
  • Travel by plane: There are many airlines such as Vietnam Airline, Jetstar or Vietjet, ... operating routes from Hanoi to Saigon with travel time of about 2 hours. Besides, there are many international airlines having flights to Saigon.
  • Travel by train: Travel time will take about 30 hours from Hanoi to Saigon.
  • Travel by cars, bus, van: Time to travel by car is 30-40 hours.
Transportation in Saigon area: The main means of transportation for tourists in Saigon are mainly motorbikes, followed by cars, bicycles, buses, cyclos.
Currently, traffic density in Ho Chi Minh City is quite crowded, many roads in the city have traffic congestion: from 7:00 am - 8:00 am and 17:00 - 18:00 pm.

4. Foods
Saigon is famous for its diverse and delicious street food. If visiting Saigon, you should try at least 3 of all mentioned dishes such as Rice Noodle Food (Hu Tieu); Broken rice with grilled pork chop, shredded pork skin, pork pie;
Goby Fish Hot Pot (Lẩu cá kèo); Southern Vietnamese crepe (Bánh xèo); Snail dishes; Southern sweet; Phuc Long tea... 

Click here to know more about Saigon Cuisine.

5. Famous tourist spots in Saigon
Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral has gradually become a symbol of Saigon city. It stands out with European architecture combining beautiful Roman and Gothic styles, and having the largest Vietnamese bells. Notre-Dame Cathedral is the most beautiful and important cathedral of Saigon diocese, the pride of the city people. The area around the Notre-Dame Cathedral has the most beautiful scenery in Saigon.
  • Opening hours: (Monday to Friday)
    • Morning 8.30 AM – 10 AM
    • Afternoon 2.30 PM – 3.30 PM
  • Address: No.1 Paris Commune Street, Ben Nghe Ward, 1 District.
Ben Thanh Market is a symbol of Saigon that everyone must visit when coming here. Ben Thanh Market is the oldest market in Ho Chi Minh City with the shape of a clock tower that has become a symbol of the market. Visit Ben Thanh Market, you will be delighted for shopping or enjoy famous dishes of Saigon.
  • Address: Le Loi Street, Ben Thanh Ward, 1 District.

Independence Palace: The building is designed according to feng shui and Eastern architecture but very modern. Visiting Independence Palace, visitors can explore many items from the old regime as well as the remnants of the Vietnam Independence Day April 30, 1975.
  • Opening hours: Daily
    • Morning 7:30 am - 11:00 am,
    • Afternoon from 13:00 - 16:00
  • Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
  • Ticket:
    • Adults: VND 30,000 / person / time
    • Students: VND 3,000 -15,000 / person / time

Binh Tay Market (Big Market) is the largest and oldest wholesale market in Ho Chi Minh City providing goods to many provinces in the South and the whole country. Products include from dry food, cereals and dried seafood to children's clothes, shoes and toys. Binh Tay Market is built based on the Asian architectural style combined with Western technical applications. It is considered as one of the most beautiful markets in Saigon.
  • Opening hours: 7:00 - 18:00 daily
  • Address: 57A Thap Muoi, Ward 12, District 6

Nguyen Hue Walking Street has become one of the most exciting and bustling entertainment spots in Saigon on weekends.
  • Opening hours: 7:00 - 19:00 daily;
  • Address: Located among Phan Boi Chau - Phan Chu Trinh - Le Thanh Ton streets - Quach Thi Trang Construction Site, Ben Thanh – 1 District

Bui Vien Walking Street: This place has been included in the guide list for tourists when visiting Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Address: in Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Opening hours: from 7 PM - 2 AM in Saturday and Sunday.

The Chinatown is the busiest trading center in Saigon. It is also a densely populated area of Chinese people in the South. Here you can enjoy a very diverse cuisine, there are dishes with Chinese style but there are also dishes that have been changed slightly to suit Vietnamese people.
  • Location: District 5

Suoi Tien Tourist Area is an entertainment destination that attracts many tourists when coming to Saigon.
  • Opening hours:
    • 8:00 - 17:30 (Mon - Fri)
    • 8:00 - 18:00 (Sat and Sun)
    • 6:30 - 22:00 (Tet Holiday)
  • Entrance ticket:
    • Adult: 60,000 VND
    • Child: 30,000 VND  
  • Tickets for games: 5,000 - 40,000 VND/ turn;
  • Address: 120 Xa Lo Ha Noi, Tan Phu Ward, District 9.

War Remnants Museum: Visitors here will feel most authentic about a period of fierce war, to appreciate present live.
  • Opening hours: (Daily)
    • 7:30 AM - 12:00 AM
    • 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Entrance tickets:
    • Foreigner: 15,000 VND / person
    • Vietnamese: 2,000 VND / person
  • Address: No. 28 Vo Van Tan Street, District 3.

The Museum of Vietnamese History was built in 1929, formerly the Blanchard de la Brosse Museum. Visit here, you will learn about tens of thousands of valuable artifacts. In addition, the museum also has over 25,000 books and precious documents for archeological, ethnographic, historical, museum study...
  • Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday
    • Morning 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    • Afternoon 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Entrance ticket:
    • Vietnamese adult: 2,000 VND/ person
    • Vietnamese child: 1,000 VND/ person
    • Foreign adult: 15,000 VND/ perso
  • Address: No. 2, Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1 (next to the Zoo).

Cu Chi Tunnels: This is the place where the Cu Chi army and people in the fierce resistance for 30 years to bring independence and freedom for the nation. Cu Chi Tunnels make the generation today admired by the talent and spirit of local people. There are many floors, many alleys like spider webs, with accommodation, meeting and fighting with a total length of over 200 km.
  • Ticket price:
    • Foreign visitor: 100,000 VND
    • Vietnamese visitor: 20,000 VND.
  • Enter the tunnels, visitors will eat cassava and drink tea for free.
  • Should wear sports shoes for mobility in the tunnels.

6. Saigon Tours

Vietnam Scenery Travel Agency brings many types of Saigon Tours to serve the expectation and requirement of tourists. You can refer:
Thank you so much for reading and hope that you can gain much useful information for your next Saigon trip.


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