Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

  •  Area:                 329,314 sqkm

     Population:     94,5 million

     Capital:              Hanoi

     Language:       Vietnamese

     Currency:         VND

Ho Chi Minh City (still called now common with the old name Saigon) is Vietnam's largest city in terms of population size and level of urbanization, as well as the economic locomotive and is one of the cultural centers, education is important for the whole country. Currently, the city of Ho Chi Minh City is centrally along with the capital Hanoi is a special grade of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City Overview
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon and was named after the greatest President Uncle Ho, is the biggest city in Vietnam.The main ethnic groups populating the area are the Kinh and Hoa. This region is crisscrossed by hundreds of rivers and canals, the largest one being the Saigon River. The Port of Saigon, established in 1862, is accessible to ships weighing up to 30,000 tons, a rare advantage for an inland river port.
Over the past centuries, Saigon, once praised as the "Pearl of the Far East," was well known as an important trading center for Chinese, Japanese, and Western merchants who traveled upstream the Saigon River to Pho Island. As a result, Ho Chi Minh City is the destination which must see if taking a Vietnam classic tour or Vietnam cultural tours.
Ho Chi Minh City History

This city was a bloody battlefield in the 20th century. After becoming the capital of South Vietnam following the country’s division in the wake of the defeat of French colonialists, Saigon was the focus of much attention during America’s fight with Communist North Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s.

It was in Saigon where monk Thich Quang Duc burned himself to death in the protest of war and protect peace in South Vietnam. His actions shone an international light on the country and led to the removal of President Diem. America’s war, however, was only just getting underway.

Throughout the Vietnam War, Saigon was seen as a safe hub for U.S. soldiers and government contractors. But when the city finally fell to the North Vietnamese in 1975, the gates of the Presidential Palace smashed by tanks, residents clamored to leave with the last U.S. residents, many clinging to helicopters taking off from the roof of the American embassy.
There is so much more to Ho Chi Minh City than its place in the heart of the Vietnam War, though. Ruled over by Chinese and Khmer settlers and colonized by the French and Spanish in the 19th century, this is a city now proud of its independence from outside powers.

Ho Chi Minh City climate and best time to visit
The climate is generally hot and humid; it is clearly divided into two seasons, rain season is from May to November, average rainfall about 1,979 mm/year. The dry season is from December to April. Yearly average temperature is 27,55 degree Celsius. Normally, the best time to take a Ho Chi Minh City tour is during the dry season even it is quite hot.
Ho Chi Minh City Transportation

It is a nice destination in Vietnam classic tour, Ho Chi Minh City is an important place connecting point of southern of Vietnam, gathering railways, land routes, air routes.
By Train: Highway No 1, Express trains connect Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi
By Air:  Tan Son Nhat international airport, 7km far from city center; the biggest airport in Vietnam with a lot of domestic and international air routes.
By Ferry: There is a ferry terminal in Vung Tau, where you can catch a ferry to Ho Chi Minh City. The ride takes 1 hour 20 minutes. Departures are every 1 hour or half-hour depending on the time of the day. There are rides between 6 am and 5 pm.

Generally speaking, transportation in Sai Gon is so convenient to make a travel for both inside the city and outside areas; additionally, tourist booth is everywhere, and buying a Mekong Delta package tour is never easier like that.

Things to do and see in Ho Chi Minh City

Beside some Ho Chi Minh City attractions were mentioned below, there are  significant number of activities which keep people always interested in this city, such as take a motorbike tour overnight to discovery Sai Gon, understand culture deeply throught Vietnam  cultural tour, participate a calligraphy class to practice patience and omit anger or learn to draw Mask for traditional art, likely Tuong and Cheo.
Independent hall 
It was designed according to oriental architecture, but very modern. Visiting Independence Hall is to admire firsthand many items from the old regime, as well as evidence that marked the glorious moment of liberation in Ho Chi Minh Spring Campaign in 1975.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Its location in the main street in the city center, Notre Dame is attracting millions of people by European architectural style combine gorgeous Roman and Gothic features as well as the largest pair of a bell in Vietnam.
War Remnants Museum 
It is where all ruins of the fierce war period and damage of a bombardment, to further appreciate what having at present as well as memorialize late generation. The objects such as aircraft, artillery, tanks, guillotine and two "tiger cages" are built similar to size in Con Dao prison. There are also galleries of the South -West border war, the war to protect northern border, the Truong Sa Islands issue, and the plot of the hostile forces.
Ben Thanh Market
The market area is situated at the city center, 4 doors overlooking Quach Thi Trang Square and other major roads of the city such as Phan Boi Chau, Phan Chu
Trinh, and Le Thanh Ton. It displays all kind of traditional and modern items that you can buy as a gift for family and friends. At night, market becomes more bustling with clothing, food shops full of visitors.
Nguyen Hue  Street - District 1 
This is the road in the city center, there are many roadside hotels, high-end shopping malls, several units have existed for hundreds of years, in style of classic European architecture.
China Town 
Chinatown, the busiest shopping center in Saigon, is the living area of the Chinese community in the southern Viet Nam. It is so easy to enjoy delicious cuisine with Chinese food style, but some also have been changed slightly to suit Vietnamese's palate. Around Chinatown are the biggest wholesale and retail markets as Binh Tay Market, Kim Bien market, and Kinh Lam fabric market.
Pham Ngu Lao Street - District 1 
Commonly called “Pho Tay” (street of foreigners), Pham Ngu Lao street seems to be a very convenient place to find cheap accommodation, food, and nightlife. This area is a familiar address for literally everyone from low-budget travelers to locals. The rhythm here is always busy and noisy, especially at night when the streets get insanely crowded.
Cu Chi Tunnels 
Cu Chi Tunnels is 70 kilometers far from Ho Chi Minh City to the northwest. This is also a miniature of heroic battle to defeat enemies of Cu Chi army and countries in the fierce 30 - year - struggle.
Today's generation always admires Cu Chi Tunnels because many soldiers sacrificed their life trying to protect the nation. The construction was built deeply into the ground with many floors, many corners as a cobweb, consists of accommodation, meeting and fighting place with a total length of over 200 km.
Thien Hau Pagoda 
Also known as Chua Ba, this beautiful Saigon pagoda was built by the Chinese in t early 19th century. It is one of the most active temples in Cho Lon and has an otherworldly atmosphere owing to the smoking rings of swirling incense and majestic interior furnishings. It is dedicated to Thien Hau, goddess of the sea and protector of sailors.
Some popular bars include Sahara Bar, 227 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1; Go2 Bar 187 De Tham Street, District 1; Vasco Bar, Cao Ba Quat 16D; Saigon Bar, 19 Lam Son, 224 De Tham, Pham Ngu Lao ward.

Ho Chi Minh Travel Tips
Vietnam has its fair share of pickpockets, especially in large cities like Saigon and Hanoi. Thus, always keep an eye on your valuables or better to leave them at a hotel before going out. Sometimes while traveling, a desperate beggar or street vendor suddenly grabs your arm, and then follow you to ask for money or sell their stuff.
Please do not offer money to them; instead, donate to a local charity. For the traffic, when crossing the road, always keep looking to the left and right and walk slowly.
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