Saigon, also known as Ho Chi Minh City, is a vibrant and relevant city in Southern Vietnam. It is a fascinating combination of French colonial architecture, modern skyscrapers and traditional Vietnamese culture. From barely streets to markets, Saigon is a city that will take your breath away. In this Saigon travel guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know before exploring this charming city.
Arrive in Saigon
Before you start planning your trip to Saigon, you need to find out how to get there. The city has an international airport, Tan Son Nhat international airport, just a short distance from the city center. You can easily catch a taxi or bus from the airport to Saigon city center. If you are already in Vietnam, you can take a long-distance bus or train back to Saigon.
Best time to visit Saigon
The best time to visit Saigon is during the dry season, which lasts from December to April. The weather during this time is warm and dry, ideal for exploring the city. However, keep in mind that this is peak tourist season so prices will be higher and it will be more crowded. The rainy season in Saigon lasts from May to November, and although it can be hot and humid, this is a good time to visit if you are on a budget.
Where to Stay in Saigon
There are many accommodation options in Saigon, from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels. If you want to save money, then look for motels or motels in Pham Ngu Lao area. The area is popular with backpackers and has many affordable accommodation options. For those looking for a more upscale experience, there are plenty of luxury hotels in District 1, such as the InterContinental Saigon Hotel or the Caravelle Saigon.
Top things to do in Saigon
Saigon has so much to see and do that it’s impossible to list it all. However, here are some must-see attractions:
Visiting Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels were a network of underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. It’s a fascinating place to visit and gives you insight into the country’s history.
Explore the Vietnam War Remnants Museum
Another must-see attraction for anyone interested in the Vietnam War is the War Remnants Museum. This museum has many artifacts and displays documenting the war from a Vietnamese perspective.
Go on a culinary tour
Vietnamese cuisine is world famous and there is no better way to experience it than taking a food tour. You’ll get to sample a variety of dishes, from fresh spring rolls to salty pho.
Wander through Ben Thanh market
If you’re looking for souvenirs or just want to soak up the local atmosphere, head to Ben Thanh Market. It’s a bustling market with hundreds of stalls selling everything from clothes to crafts.
Walking around Saigon
Saigon is a big city, but fortunately, getting around is very easy. You can take a taxi or motorbike, but the best way to explore the city is on foot. Many of the city’s main attractions are within walking distance, and it’s a great way to discover hidden gems.
Safe in Saigon
Like any big city, Saigon has its fair share of scams and petty crimes. However, if you take some basic precautions, you should be fine. Watch your belongings, avoid displaying valuables, and be wary of strangers offering unsolicited help.
Saigon is a dynamic and exciting city waiting for you to explore. From bustling markets to rich history, there is something for everyone in this fascinating city. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget.