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.

Read Ho Chi Minh Guide»

Hostelworld Podcasts

Check out our city guide podcasts to get the lowdown on cities all over the world in terms of what to see and do.<

View All Podcasts »

Hostelworld Videos

Watch our travel videos from around the world with tips on what not to miss and much more.

View All Videos »

Hostelworld Pocket Guides

Hostelworld Pocket Guides

Download our free pocket guides for cities all over the world that are packed with money-saving tips and more.

View all guides »

Ho Chi Minh City Reviews

  • 90%



    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%


    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.

  • 70%


    Better than Hanoi, a western-like city in Viet Nam

    Being the capital of South Viet Nam it was westernised. There are sky scrapers, an opera, theatres. Don't believe in all what is being presented in War Remnants Museum (aka American War Crimes Museum). Lot's of it are indeed true (like agent orange story) but many things presented are clearly lies. And even more are non-verifiable for me.

    Insider Tip:Try Pho soup and lots of other Vietnamese food. Don't plan more than 2-3 days there unless you came for partying.

  • 70%


    Ho Chi Minh, city of scammers

    I like the place for its artistic look and its food, but there are so many scammers! From airport down to street food vendors! I'm from the Philippines and I know that there are also scammers here, bur I haven't experienced that much in other countries. If you really want to enjoy Saigon, join a Cu Chi tunnel tour.

  • 80%


    That fake taxi driver

    out of the airport. a guy approached us and showed his ID saying hes a driver of vinasun. however he wants to charge us $25 for the trip. then a 2nd guy approached us with same ID. but this time i said, $10 and the guy said okay. nearing the car, we noticed that its a private car. upon going out of the parking he asked for $5, thats to pay the parking fee. that stupid guy, he even grabbed my wallet and looked for money of course i said i dont have that money. kinda nervous but still dominant.

    Insider Tip:i guess you have to ask the airport people for the authorized drivers of vinasun taxi company.

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.

Read More »

View All Vietnam Itineraries »

Please give us your feedback