Steeped deep in history, Ho Chi Minh City is the financial and business hub of Vietnam. Also known as Saigon, it played a crucial role in the Vietnam War, the remnants of which are still present across the city. Starting from the broad avenues to shiny skyscrapers, luxurious hotels to budget guesthouses, chicest restaurants to street food stalls, the city is always bustling with energy and innovation. A cosmopolitan megapolis, Ho Chi Minh City's vibrant and serene cityscape is filled with elegant structures, representing a unique amalgamation of the past and the future.
Best time to visit: Ho Chi Minh has a tropical climate with two distinctive seasons - dry and wet. The ideal time to visit the city is between December to April, when the weather is dry. Let us take a look at the various seasons round the year to help you plan your trip better.
Most spoken language in Ho Chi Minh City
Visa and Immigration requirement
If you're an Indian passport holder travelling to Ho Chi Minh City, then you are eligible for Vietnamese Visa on Arrival (VOA). For this, you need to apply for the visa online through the official website of Vietnam Visa. This will be followed by an approval letter, issued by the Immigration Department of Vietnam, giving you permission to enter and exit Vietnam for the specified time.
How to reach Ho Chi Minh City
Touted as one of the most popular eateries in Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Hang Ngon is known to serve an array of street food. It is housed inside an attractive French Villa that is well restored and painted in canary yellow. The courtyard is complimented with twinkling fairy lights along with a beautiful lily pond in the middle. The popular dishes on their menu includes, Minced Prawns on Bamboo, a variety of Noodle Soups and Grilled Crab accompanied with a delicious sauce along other Vietnamese dishes.
Situated on the banks of the Siagon river , Deck Saigon is housed in a stunning pavilion. You can plan to relax here all afternoon while sipping wine and munching on some dim-sums. Their three-course lunch is a good pick for lazy afternoons.
This Italian-Japanese fusion restaurant serves some of the best Pizzas in the city. It's not just a restaurant but also an institution which serves the city's expat community an array of stone-baked Pizzas. Remember to make a reservation before heading to Pizza 4P’s, since it is usually gets packed over the weekends.
This place boasts of an elegant design scheme, something that looks straight out of a fairytale. It is an ideal place to try authentic Vietnamese cuisine like, Black Pepper Crab, Spring Rolls, and Hue Noodles. Quan An Ngon is located inside a restored mansion with lotus ponds, intricately carved teak furniture and the staff wearing classic satin attire.
Shopping in Ho Chi Minh is an experience. Boutique fashion is the highlight of Ho Chi Minh City shopping arena, which offers more than malls and boutiques. You will find traditional street markets spread all across the city with local vendors selling Vietnamese coffee beans, household stuff, authentic woodwork, lacquer and ceramics along with quality silks and hand weaved fabrics.
Ky Hoa Hotel It's a three-star luxury hotel that offers a peaceful and convenient stay for its guests. The hotel is in proximity to the Tan Son Nhat International Airport and to the famous tourist spots like the Reunification Palace and Ben Thanh Market along with several shops, restaurants, and bars. The rooms are well-designed, featuring an impressive blend of style with an aesthetic touch.
The Reverie Saigon The Reverie Saigon is situated in the centre of the city, just few steps away from the Saigon River and Saigon Square. The hotel comprises of 15 meeting rooms well-equipped with all amenities, including a business centre, limo/town car service, and wired internet access.
LOTTE Legend Hotel Saigon LOTTE Legend Hotel provides the best of natural beauty coupled with sheer magnificence. This hotel is breathtakingly beautiful, with unique architectural interiors. It is an ideal pick for business travellers as the meeting facilities are well-equipped.
Hotel Nikko Saigon It's a 5-star luxury hotel comprising of 388 rooms, apartments and suites. The rooms are spaciously designed to offer the optimum level of comfort to its guests. The hotel features Ho Chi Minh City's second-largest ballroom, seven meeting rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, spa with a treatment room, a Chinese restaurant, among others.
Here are some of the other places to explore on your trip to Ho Chi Minh City.
Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City varies in different parts of the city. District 1 is all about rooftop bars, smooth jazz bands and happening Casinos, whereas District 3 and Pham Ngu Lao's backpacker street resonates a fun time vibe along with lively street bars. Depending on your plan for an ideal night out, you can choose to spend the night in the city.
If you are a history buff, you must visit the Chu Chi Tunnels to witness remnants of the Vietnamese history. The tunnels are a significant part of the Vietnam War, offering a glimpse of the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers back in 1948. These tunnels were hiding spots for the Viet Cong soldiers and served as hospitals, weapon caches, and supply routes for food and other items. The 121-km extended network of tunnels is preserved by the Vietnamese Government and transformed into a war memorial park consisting of two different display sites - Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc. The Ben Duoc part comprises of the original tunnel system, while the Ben Dinh part has been reconstructed. You can crawl through the narrow routes of the underground tunnel, a one of its kind experience. Although there are emergency exits at every 10 metres, a visit to the tunnel is however not recommended if you have breathing difficulties. The site also hosts a shooting range and a restaurant which serves meals that the soldiers use to have years ago.