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City Guide Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Visiting Ho Chi Minh

With a population of 5½ million people Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam, although it isn’t the capital. Unofficially still known as ‘Saigon’, it is also sometimes referred to as HCMC. While it is the country’s busiest city, the tree-lined streets are wide and you can walk around the city for hours looking at life go by.

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Ho Chi Minh City Reviews

  • 80%

    Anonymous

    a great starting point for a tour in Southeast Asia

    Ho Chi Minh has many sites (historical buildings, museums) that will offer the visitor cultural opportunities that will help him understand the history of Vietnam. I found Vietnamese people very hard working and friendly in general. Given that tourism is relatively new to Vietnamese, in my view, they are doing a pretty good job in this area. Ho Chi Minh City is a great starting point for those interested in Southeast Asia.

    Insider Tip:I would suggest a tour of at least five days, to cover the most important cultural and historical sites.

  • 90%

    Anonymous

    Ho Chi Minh: City of the Vespas

    City was very interesting, especially from an American perspective. I was very worried about going there due to the war and wasn't sure how the locals felt about Americans. Overall, however, I felt safe and all of the war sites and memorials I visited were historically accurate- only a few bits of propoganda. The tours dedicate themselves to understanding the truth of the war from both country's perspectives. Overall, it was an opportunity to learn and grow and I really enjoyed it. Not to mention t

    Insider Tip:Ask your hotel/hostel receptionist if it's safe, but there are men in the hostel area that are willing to take you on vespa tours of the city at relatively cheap costs. The hostels/hotels offer great tours through them- don't both booking online where it's more expensive!

  • 100%

    Matt0604

    HCMC for 5 Days

    Unfortunately I didn't budget enough time to visit more of Vietnam so my trip was just to HCMC but during this time I have seen so much and met some great people. The city is steeped in culture and history and everyone is happy to help you navigate your way round.

    Insider Tip:Hot Spots! CuChi Tunnels, Mekong Delta (1 Day), War Remnant Museum, Independence Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Ben Thanh Market, Bitexco Tower Sky Deck/Cafe for sunset and evening drinks. Walking alone at Night! Guys if someone comes up to you after getting off a moped and grabs for you DON'T try and push them away. Grab your pockets and walk through them. They want to empty your pockets and run. I managed to save my wallet but I lost my phone.

  • 90%

    Anonymous

    Saigon

    Absolutely bustling city. Chaotic motorcycles. Great food. Check out the tunnels, but bring some money because you can shoot an AK-47 or machine gun, but it's $20.

    Insider Tip:If you're buying something from somebody who speaks English well at all, you're probably paying 2 - 8x the price, so HAGGLE.

  • 70%

    xkzonstr

    Ho Chi Mind Your Wallet.

    I think as a tourist destination, HCMC needs to learn the difference between making money from the tourism sector and just plain scamming. Cyclo and taxi drivers to simple restaurant two-menu scams can break a traveler into never coming back. Whether or not it's intentional shouldn't even be up for speculation. Aside from that, HCMC is a bustling and growing city that has much to offer; the culture is brimming with promise and I expect good things to develop in the years to come.

    Insider Tip:If you end up on a Cyclo, pay the agreed price and never fall for the 2nd pamphlet scam. Walk away after paying and never feel intimidated. Vietnamese can smell fear, so enter the country fearless. Ask to see the Vietnamese menu at restaurants, and if they refuse- walk out. Aforementioned applies. Be friendly because most Vietnamese are friendly and don't fall into the typical scammer stereotype. Be courteous when applicable and be open to new things.

Vietnam: Itinerary

Northern Vietnam presents visitors a sharp contrast of things to do. Hanoi, the capital, is a lake-filled city, Haiphong is a smaller, more industrial version and Halong Bay, one of the most beautiful and tranquil bays in the world. As Hanoi is the transportation hub of the country, you are bound to visit here if you are going to Vietnam.

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