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herobanner Nhà Thờ Đức Bà - Hồ Chí Minh

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Ho Chi Minh City – The city that never sleeps

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest metropolis of Vietnam, a political, economic and cultural hub of the south. It is called “The city that never sleeps” because of  its bustling lifestyle and colorful charm of well-lit neon lights at night. This glamorous city attracts visitors by quintessentially Western architecture dating back to the 19th century and a variety of local cultural and historical sites, as well as its enviable culinary diversity.

Palace of Independence: Palace of Independence is a historical landmark that is tied to  various milestones  of the nation. On the 15th of November, 1975, there was a Political Consultative Conference featuring delegates from North and South Vietnam to discuss the reunification of Vietnam, hence its name the Palace of Unification.
Notre Dame de Saigon: Ho Chi Minh City is famous for French colonial buildings, including the People’s Committee City Hall, Notre Dame, the Municipal Theater and the Central Post Office…  Notre Dame is defined by its hybrid Roman and Gothic architecture, most notably red brick walls and two towering steeples. 
Buu Long Pagoda: In addition to traditional pagodas, Buu Long pagoda is a unique religious place. It perfectly blends Thai, Indian and Vietnamese influences, with white as the primary tone  and golden top designed in a royal manner. 
Can Gio Mangrove Forests: An escape from the urban hustle and bustle leads you to Can Gio, a biosphere that excellently preserves the flora and fauna of mangrove forests. From the observatory deck, one one can see  bushes of Rhizophora, melaleuca and water coconuts racing to green infinity, and busy storks and birds flying home off yonder.
Cu Chi Tunnel: Discover local history  by visiting Cu Chi Tunnel, a deep underground matrix. It was the military base of Cu Chi soldiers  during the Vietnam War. It has a network of tunnels that stretches for 200km, looking like a gigantic underground spider web with moats, barracks and functional cells.


Ho Chi Minh City is a food haven of countless treats that reflect  the cultural diversity of Vietnam. Some recommended dishes are  Saigonese steamed broken rice, Phnom Penh kuy teav and Cu Chi calves.
Simple as it is, steamed broken rice incorporates all culinary essence here. The rice is broken, which once cooked yields the sweet, flaky and aromatic flavors, served  with grilled pork ribs, grated pork skin, pork terrine, omelets and several slices of tomato and cucumber. Pork ribs are so tender that their sour and sweet taste keeps us going again and again.
A stroll around the city inevitably leads you to various rice crepes, rice sheets, steamed snail and grilled cheesy quail egg vendors. The typical southern rice crepes are bright yellow, crunchy and generously stuffed with minced pork, prawns and cool bean sprouts, which are collectively bundled with corianders and dipped in fish sauce. Their meaty and fresh raw taste goes well with mild corianders and a bit of spicy and sweet dipping sauce.

Activities

A Ho Chi Minh City trip definitely should involve a cruise trip on Saigon River for you to watch the bustling city at night filled with glittering skyscrapers.
A stroll around the Turtle Lake, along Nguyen Hue Pedestrians’ Street or Bui Vien Road on weekends means you are surrounded by  many folk games, including skipping, Mandarin square counting and a mix of folk performances: singing, tuồng theater or chèo singing… The streets are also filled with busy restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels, souvenir shops and venues of major cultural and sporting events of Ho Chi Minh City.
One can also drop in Dam Sen Park, Saigon Botanical Garden or Suoi Tien Recreational Area and Vam Sat Reserve. Head to Dam Sen and get goosebumps from its extreme sports (roller coaster, thunderous waterfall, etc.) and watch endangered animal species such as Sumatra orangutans, yellow cheeked langurs, painted storks or pirarucus… At Vam Sat ecotourism area, visitors can get on a boat through the mangrove forest, visit its bat reserve, fish crabs and crocodiles, to name a few.



Transportation

Flights to Ho Chi Minh City arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, around 8km from the city center and taking 20 to 30 minutes to commute.
Passengers may catch a bus at Milestone 12 (International terminal) or Milestone 18 (Domestic terminal), every 20 to 30 minute. There are 4 bus routes: Route 152 (Tan Son Nhat Airport – Ben Thanh Market – Trung Son Residential Area, from 5.45am to 6.15pm, VND6,000/passenger), Route 109 (Tan Son Nhat Airport – September 23 Park, from 5.30am to 0.30pm, VND12,000 &VND20,000/passenger), Route 119 (Tan Son Nhat Airport – Southwest Bus Station, 4am to 9pm, VND12,000 &VND20,000/passenger) and Route 49 (Tan Son Nhat – City Center (District 1, District 2), 5.30am – 1.30am, VND40,000/passenger).
Taxis are available at the exit of the terminal hall, charging from VND100,000 to 200,000/ride. Passengers can walk out of the airport across Truong Son Road to hail a motorbike or cycle for VND40,000 to 50,000/ride.



Useful tips

  • Travel time December to April

  • Wi-fi 3G/4G

  • Visa Visa exemption for temporary residence of maximum 15 days from the date of entry

  • Contact information

  • Language Vietnamese and English

Flight information

Vietnam Airlines operate a variety of flights to Ho Chi Minh City at different frequencies and competitive fares to meet both business and leisurely travel demands. Flights arrive at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at a frequency of 20 flights/day from Hanoi, from 4 flights/day from Haiphong, 3 flights/day from Vinh and 5 flights/day from Thanh Hoa. Interested passengers should directly search for best fares here.

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