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Ho Chi Minh City Travel Tips – The Cool Capital of Vietnam

ho chi minh travel tips
Ho Chi Minh City Travel Tips – The Cool Capital of Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Ho Chi Minh. How to get there and more…

mark ford

Mark Ford

It’s great to have you here looking for Ho Chi Minh travel tips. The city is situated on Vietnam’s southern tip is one of Southeast Asia’s fastest emerging cities. Many still know it as Saigon. It is Vietnam’s largest city and its financial center. Ho Chi Minh City has a strong soul and a driving force which buzzes day and night. Despite almost a hundred years of colonial rule and conflicts the city is known for its warm welcome even against former enemies. Youthful enthusiasm flows in the city like the stream of mopeds motorcycles and cars that never sin in the busy streets. In Ho Chi Minh City, it feels like the future is here but the past is never far away. Wide boulevards were built during the French colonial era. Modern skyscrapers rise along them. Jasmine scented temples stand next door with trendy bars with roof terraces.

To check out the city you can go up 68 floors in Bitexco Financial Tower. Escape the heat and enjoy the panoramic views of Saigon Skydeck. More than nine million people live in Ho Chi Minh City. The constant energy on the streets is part of the charm. The city is divided into a number of numbered districts. In district one you will find almost all of the city’s attractions. Start in the area around Dong Khoi Street. It was called Rue Catinat when Vietnam belonged to French Indochina in the 20th century. It was a masterpiece of his time. Today you will still find some highlights here. See buildings like Saigon Central Post Office … which is still in use. In Saigon’s Notre Dame and at Saigon’s Opera is old music. The old French hotels, like Hotel Continental Saigon are romantic oases in the hectic city. Visit Gia Long Palace and Ho Chi Minh City Museum. Here you will learn about how the city has changed over the years.

Ho Chi Minh Travel Tips – How To Get From The Airport To Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh is served by Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport located around 7 kilometers from the city. When searching for Ho Chi Minh travel tips and how to get from the airport to Ho Chi Minh there are a couple of options that will get you there and some things to have in mind to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Let’s have a look at those options, what they are, how much they cost and how long they take.


ho chi minh city

Ho Chi Minh City

There are three bus options from the airport. The Yellow Airport Bus, Airport Bus #49 and Public Bus #152. Which one to choose? The prices are around the same $0.50-$1.80, but the Yellow Airport Bus is my recommendation because it is modern, has less stops, plenty of space for luggage and the staff speak basic English. The Yellow Airport Bus will get you into the city from the airport in 45 minutes and it will cost $1 (20.000 VND)


In order to not get scammed by taxi drivers, don’t pay with USD and don’t take a fixed fare. Ask for a metered fare and ignore the driver if he asks you if you’ve ordered a Uber/Grab, the old school taxi drivers obviously don’t like the new competition. A ride from the airport will cost around $5 (120.000 VND) and a Grab (Asian Uber) will cost $4.40 (100.000 VND). 

Ho Chi Minh Travel Tips – How To Get Around Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh is a huge city with nearly 6 million people living in the city region. It’s a bursting, chaotic and exciting city that will open your mind to new experiences that you never thought you’d have. When searching for Ho Chi Minh travel tips there are a number of ways to get around the city and that’s why we’ve put together this simple guide so that you can make the most out of your Ho Chi Minh travel experience. Let’s have a look.

xe om

Xe Om

Motorbike taxi

Xe Om is the local name for motorbike taxi, which is one of the most efficient ways of transport in the city because of the ability to cut through traffic jams. While motorbike taxis might seem dangerous the drivers are experienced and they might drive fast, but they know what they’re doing, so just hang tight. The free motorbike taxis are easy to spot, the drivers are actually relaxing on top of their motorbikes waiting for new customers. Simply tap them on their shoulder and ask for a ride. Funny, right? A ride will cost around 20.000-40.000 VND for shorter rides and up to 70.000 VND for longer rides, which is less than $3. 


Buses are an incredibly cheap way of getting around Ho Chi Minh city with fares starting at 5000 VND. It’s a great way to get to further distances, or just a couple of short stops. It can be exhausting waiting for the bus in the heat and since it’s so cheap to get a taxi you may question if getting the public bus is worth it. But it is an option and there are over 100 bus lines in Ho Chi Minh to take advantage of. 

There’s a Hop On Hop Off City Tour Bus that stops at 9 famous tourist attractions and historical monuments of the city, which is a great way to take in the city. A bit more pricey, it cost 330.000 VND around $15, but still it’s a great option if you want to sit back and relax while listening to a guided tour. 


The easiest way to get around and also not to get scammed by taxi drives is to use the Grab App, which is basically Asian Uber. By using the app you can not only get access to a car quicker, you can also see the exact price to your destination and have a fixed price paid via your phone. 

Best Places To Stay In Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh has stood the test of time with the Vietnam war happening a generation ago and today it’s a vibrant city with plenty of art, history, great food and nightlife. When searching for Ho Chi Minh travel tips and the best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh it’s not easy to know where to stay in such a large city. And that’s why we’ve put together this simple guide on the best places to stay in Ho Chi Minh. Let’s have a closer look shall we. 

Dong Khoi Street Area is located in the District 1 area in the heart of Ho Chi Minh city. This neighborhood is packed with old colonial buildings, stylish cafés, shops with international brand and local boutiques and world class restaurants. If you want to live in the middle of the city with plenty of history and an authentic vibe, then Dong Khoi Street Area is the best bet.

cholon district

Cholon District

Recommended Hotel: Colonial French Era Loft

Pham Ngu Lao is known as the ‘backpacker district’ located in District 1 and it’s the best place to stay in Ho Chi Minh city on a budget. The streets are filled with restaurants with foods from all over the world and you’ll find a high concentration of street food around here. This is also the best area to stay for nightlife and partying.

Recommended Hotel: Chill Suites

Cholon is located in District 5 and it’s Ho Chi Minh’s Chinatown. Here’s one of the biggest markets in the country, the Binh Tay Market and the chinese influence is apparent with beautiful temples and pagodas throughout the district. Incredible Chinese food and you can find all kinds of dishes at the market where they also sell fresh fruit, vegetables and much more. This is the coolest area to stay in Ho Chi Minh.

Recommended Hotel: Windsor Plaza Hotel

Top 7 Experiences You MUST Have In Ho Chi Minh
  1. Giac Lam Pagoda is the oldest temple in Ho Chi Minh, being completed in 1744. The temple has stunning details and is surrounded by a beautiful garden that you can walk around to take in the peace and admire the architecture. A great historical landmark. 
  2. War Remnants Museum is dedicated to educating the visitors on the atrocities of the Vietnam War. It’s one of the most popular museums in the country with over half a million visitors per year. The museum displays aircrafts, memorabilia and old photographs among much more. 
  3. Bonsai River Cruise is a great way to explore the city by water and take in the beautiful views. The cruise includes dinner and the
    giac lam pagoda

    Giac Lam Pagoda

    boat itself is a traditional dragon boat that dates back to the 19th century and serves a great buffet dinner with local live music.

  4. Central Office is a historical building that dates back 1886 and it was actually designed by Gustave Eiffel, who designed a mildly famous tower in Paris with the same name, can you guess which? The Central Office building is created in Gothic style and is one of the most famous monuments in the city.
  5. Reunification Palace is another historical landmark that used to be the home of the president of South Vietnam during the Vietnam war. The building still looks like it did in 1966 and you can get a free guided tour to learn more about the cultural and historical significance of the monument. 
  6. Pham Ngu Lao Street is the place to visit for nightlife, bars, clubs and a bit of fun during the night. In day time it’s the central hub in the city for cafés and there are restaurants lining up around here. Check out the hotels Rex, Majestic or Caravelle which all have rooftop bars with amazing views of the beautiful city.
  7. Notre Dame Cathedral was built in 1877 and it sits right in the middle of the city. Designed in neo-Romanesque style you can check out the 40 meter towers with its impressive iron spires. The cathedral is a magnificent piece of architecture and a great photo opportunity. You can also get a history tour from the staff working here. 

Ho Chi Minh Travel Tips Video

Accreditation: Mark Wiens

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mark ford

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