Famed for its role in the Vietnam war, it’s also know for the colonial French landmarks such as the Notre-dame cathedral made for material solely from France. It’s also famed for the street markets lining the streets and the famous Ben Then Market.

Mekong Delta, about an hour from Ho Chi Minh City, you can visit the villages that still rely heavily on the vast river network.

Ho Chi Minh City

 

How to get to Ho Chi Minh City also known as Saigon

  • Bus – The number 152 bus is an air-conditioned bus that takes you to the centre. It leaves the airport every 15 minutes.

  • Taxi – You can get a taxi from the main taxi queue. They taxi driver will try to fix the price. Always switch the meter on. It will work out cheaper. Do not get into a taxi where the person approaches you at the terminal offering a cheap price. There are also private taxi companies in the terminal you can pre-pay and they will take you to a waiting car.

  • Hotel Transfer – Contact your hotel prior to arriving and they will arrange a pickup with I driver holding your name, his option is more expensive, but at least you know where the driver will be taking you.

  • Grab – This is Asia’s version of Uber, you can book cars or Motorbike pickups. You can book on behalf of other people and make payment in cash.

  • Uber – There is a very good uber network here. Uber allows you to pay via your Uber account so you don’t have to worry about getting your money out. Uber also gives you an estimate on the fare and it’s pretty accurate.

  • Car Rental – There a rental car companies in the arrivals terminal. Be sure to check if you can drive here prior to booking. You can also reserve a car online via Rentalcars.

 

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon

 

There are plenty of places to stay in Ho Chi Minh, it just depends on what you like. Whether it’s the nightlife and more raw experience, or a more laid back western feel.

It’s easy to get around in Ho Chi Minh,

  • Walking

  • Grab

  • Buses

  • Scooter

Areas in Ho Chi Minh are split into districts. There are many to choose from but these are the most popular.

  • Disctric1 – This is where the main hustle and bustle of the city is. From night markets, to lively bars. There is accommodation to suit all. 5* hotels along Donh Khoi Street or down back packers street Pham Ngu Lao. In District 1 you can walk to all of the major sites like the war museum, BenTahn Market.

 

  • District 2 – This is a more upscale neighbourhood, with international restaurants, and large 4 and 5* hotels.

 

  • District 5 – Also known as Chinatown, you can find here loads of restaurants, and budget hotels. There is a lot more culture here with the Buddhist culture. The hotels here are midrange.

 

What to do in Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon with children

 

Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon, has a lot of history and culture in it if you can see past the cheap shopping, hour long massages and cheap beer.

Here are some things to do:

  • Notre-Dame Cathedral – This cathedral is entirely made for material imported from France. You can enter but be sure to be wearing long sleeves and shorts that come past your knees.

 

  • Independence Palace – Enter the palace that marked the end of the Vietnam War. Go back in tome as see the tanks parked on the grounds of the palace

 

  • War Museum – You can see the history of the Vietnam War in this museum, as soon as you enter the gates you can see the old tanks and aircraft that have been restored for the museum. Inside is a timeline of the events that took place.

 

  • Cu-chi Tunnels – Chu chi tunnels are a vast network of tunnels that were built during the war. You can get down in to the tunnels to see how they navigated through them, not for people who are afraid of the dark or claustrophobic.

 

  • Ben Tahn Market – This I located in the heart of district 1, it’s a big tourist attraction so the prices are a little higher and negation skills are needed.

 

  • Mekong Delta tour – Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam is a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands, home to floating markets, Khmer pagodas and villages surrounded by rice paddies. Boats are the main means of transportation. There a hundred of tour agencies trying to sell you this tour. Make sure you negotiate on this price.

 

  • Pham Ngu Lao street – This is the livelier part of the city, where the bars and restaurants are open throughout the night. Dubbed as the back packer area you will see a much younger crowd here. But still more than welcoming for families.

 

  • Massages – Treat yourself to one of the many massages either on the street or in a nice air-conditioned building. Massages are very cheap here for an hour. For example and hours foot massage will cost around £3.50

 

  • Saigon Zoo - Visit the zoo to see many of the world animals. It gets really hot in Vietnam so make sure you avoid the mid-day heat.

 

  • Water Parks -  There are 2 water parks in the city

    • Dam Sen

    • Suoi Tien

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