Ho Chi Minh Travel Guide

Ho Chi Minh is originally known as Saigon & it was known as Saigon only until 1976 where it was renamed after famous leader Ho Chi Minh. Since, then the place is known as Ho Chi Minh. This place is one of the cities to enter Vietnam. It is also the largest city by population, it is easy to get the sense of the place while you step on this land. This city was my first stop in this beautiful city. This city still has the wound of war which is still very evident in the museums. The city is constantly bustling with the crowd. A place with lots of people, great night life & beautiful streets. This place should be in your list while traveling to Vietnam.
Street Saigon Mark My Adventure
Ho Chi Minh Mark My Adventure
Walking Street

How To Reach:

Saigon or Ho Chi Minh has an international airport. Thus, one can directly reach this place via flight. Major airports in the world directly connect to this place. I traveled from Hyderabad as the flights were cheaper compared to any other cities in India. A round trip from Hyderabad cost me approx INR 15,000. I booked my flight tickets 3 or 4 months in advance.

Visa:

Vietnam has recently started visa on arrival & evisa services. I chose visa on arrival. I have already written a post on the same. You can view my post by click on following link.


Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh:

After completing initial hustle of boarding a flight & getting visa. It's time to enjoy this fabulous city. Ideally 3 to 4 days are enough to cover this city & its surroundings. So, here are some of the things to do in Ho Chi Minh.
  • Cu Chi Tunnels: Anyone who is visiting is in awe with Cu Chi Tunnels. Located at some 40 odd Kms. This is one of the main touristic destinations for the travelers. The place is famous for its tunnels, which ran across approx 250 Km underground & was a major factor during the war. Out of the total length only 100 mts is open for the crowd & walking in a tunnel is must do activity here. An entrance fee of VND 90,000 needs to be paid. There is one more attraction the shooting range. You can fire guns like M16, AK 47, Machine gun etc in the shooting range. Book your trip by any of the following links.
  • War Ramnant Museum: War ramnant is a museum about the unfortunate war. This museum has everything related to the war. From its beginning to its end, everything is on display. Walking through the different chambers of the building is an emotional journey. The implications of war are hard to believe till you see its sufferers. One needs to pay an entry fee of VND 15,000.
  • Central Post office & Notre Dame Cathedral: The central post office is a historic building, which is still functional & sending a post to someone becomes as essential as anything once you are here. Behind this building, there is a small market of books & souvenirs. In adjacent to the central post office, there is a famous Notre Dame Cathedral; which is another architectural marvel. These two buildings will take you to the past.

  • Independence Palace:Independence palace is also known as Reunification Palace. The building was home to South Vietnam president, during the time of the war. During the time of war, North Vietnamese tank crashed through the gate which resulted in the surrendering of South Vietnamese. The tank is still placed there & is a major tourist attraction.An entry fee of VND 30,000 needs to be paid.

  • Coffees: Vietnam coffees are world famous & one can easily find coffee shops at every corner of the city. The city has an ample number of coffee shops. So, trying coffee is a major thing to do.

  • Ben Thanh Market:Ben Thanh is a major market here. A place having approx 3000 shops is a heaven for shoppers. There are lots of variants that can be found here. The price is usually high for the tourists. Thus, bargaining is important before buying anything. There is a night market as well, which is very famous among the tourists.

  • Street Food: Ben Thanh street food section is a great way to enjoy multi-cuisine food. There are small shops which serve different food. There are so many varieties of food that one often get confused with the options. A nice place to eat some local or international food.

  • Live Music Mark My Adventure
    Post Office Ho Chi Minh
    War Remnant Ho Chi Minh

  • Pham Ngu Lao Street: Often considered as Khao San Road of Ho Chi Minh. If you have visited Khao San Road, you can sense this place. The narrow streets with bars, pubs, restaurants on either side of the road, loud music, vibrant atmosphere; this place certainly take you to some other level. If interested in nightlife, this place should be on your list.

  • Rooftop Bars:The city is best viewed from the top of the buildings. Rooftop bars are very famous in Vietnam & Ho Chi Minh is no different. There are many buildings which offer rooftop bars.

  • Mekong Delta:Mekong Delta is not exactly in the city. It is some 4 or 5 hours drive from the city. This can be called a floating market as most of the things are on boats. The best way to cover the place is via boat. There are many trips available which vary from 1 day to 5 days depending.

  • Fresh Beers:Fresh beers are very famous in Ho Chi Minh. There are many breweries in the city. It is recommended to taste a few unique flavors.
  • Cost:

    Vietnam is one of the least expensive countries. There is hardly any cost of living if you are coming from the western part of the world. Following is the amount you will have to pay for various activities while staying in the city.

  • Accommodation: There are many options available, ranging from hostels to the expensive luxury suits. There is a bit of everything here. If you are young, I would recommend staying at the hostels in district 1. I stayed at The Hideout Hostel & I felt the services, the facilities, the vibe is fantastic here. The hostels will cost 100,000 VND for a night in a decent accommodation. Most of the hostels will have wifi, cafes etc. But, I would recommend staying at the hideout hostel as it has the highest rating for a very cheap price.

  • Food & Alcohol: Food is one of the high points of the city. Vietnam has a special cooking class, so one can understand how tasty the food will be here. Eating on street is pretty inexpensive a bowl of rice or noodles will cost around 20,000 to 25,000 VND. There is a unique taste of Vietnamese food & it is recommended to taste it. To keep the budget on tap, it is recommended to buy grocery from supermarkets. Alcohol is pretty inexpensive here a can of beer will start from 12,000 VND in a supermarket & the same will approx 30,000 VND in good pubs & bars.

  • Transport: The city is not big compared to any other big cities of the world. You can walk to most of the city attractions. However, renting a bike is also an option, per day cost of renting a bike is around 150,000 VND- 180,000 VND which is very cheap. However, the only point worth noting is the driving habits of the people. The driving habits are insane here. So, if you are not at all sure about your driving skills don't take risk. Buses are also an option to travel in the city, the cost varies with the distance. However, it won't pinch much.

  • Site Seeing: There are a few attractions in the city & many outside the city. One of the major tours is Cu Chi Tunnels. Most of the hostel will organize this tour for you. You will have to pay 150,000 VND for the bus & the guide & an additional fee of 90,000 VND for the entry. Apart from the Cu Chi Tunnels, war ramnant entry fee is 15,000 VND. There are also bicycle tours, half day tours etc which are bit costly compared to other activities.
  • Considering you will stay at hostel, eat on street & spend wisely. A budget of 500,000 VND is enouogh for a day. You can do plenty of stuff in this amount. However, if you wish to try more fancy stuff like rooftop bars, fresh beer. Then this budget shall exceed.

    If you like my work. Do comment or subscribe to my blog. Also, you can suggest some changes or improvements.

    All the photos are clicked either by an iphone or GoPro.

    Additional Links:

    It has been an awesome journey so far. If you are looking for a complete Ho Chi Minh Trip. You can use following links to get some information. I hope this will be useful to you.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.