But first, let's begin with a little bit of useful information...
A Few Tips on Safety
There're always many risks to come with you anywhere. But in Saigon, One of the main safety concerns are thieves swiftly swinging by on motorbikes and grabbing bags or mobile phones or cameras, right out of your hand.
Here are a few things you can do to reduce the risks when travelling to Saigon:
- Phone - Never use your mobile phone while you are standing on the street. When I busted out my phone I usually went to the side of the street, and tried to duck into a business patio and sheltered myself with the wall.
- Camera - You have to use your own discretion of when and when not to be holding your camera out in the open to take photos. Again, try to have your back against a wall or stand to the back of parked motorbikes when you take photos of the open roads to provide a bit of a bunker.
- Wallet - I usually keep some a little money in my left pocket. When I buy something, I just reach into my left pocket to pay, rather then having to take out my entire wallet.
- Crowded areas - The majority of muggings happen in touristy shopping areas, so use extremely caution with your valuables in these areas.
However, just to reassure you, a lo of the people in Saigon are extremely friendly.
When I walking around Saigon, especially in the Park, I was greeted by dozens of friendly students who want to make a conversation with me. So don't be too confused, enjoy and experience as much as you can, but do take some precautions as mentioned above.
How to get arround Saigon?
There are many different ways to get around Saigon, and you may have to take a couple of methods to get somewhere you want to go.
Before travelling to Vietnam, I think you probably read some articles on the internet about how bad the taxis are. Yes, there are some cheating taxis, they do some extra driving to rack up the meter and certainly you shall be overcharged. However, that’s not for all, there’re still some taxi drivers very friendly
Drivers in Vietnam often do not obey traffic laws, for example: talking on the phone while driving. So, remind them if they do that cause they can drive the wrong way and charge higher than the actual, even have an accident. So, How to get a taxi? Just pay attention to realize which one is a good taxi by seeing the brand. In Vietnam, there are 2 biggest traditional taxi firms: Vinasun and Mai Linh and one technology taxi: Grab
Vinasun is one of the most reliable and largest taxi firms in Ho Chi Minh City, You’ll see Vinasun with their green and red stripe, everywhere you go in the city. Just make sure the logo is correct and make sure the hotline is 028 38 27 27 27 - written on the side of the taxi
Mai Linh is the other big taxi company in Ho Chi Minh City. Honestly, I prefer Vinasun than Mai Linh, probably took Vinasun 90% of the time. You can get a taxi by hotline: 028 38 38 38 38
The bus system in Saigon is actually quite good and it’s a very cheap (some buses cost 5,000 VND and others were 6,000 VND per ride) and safe way to get around town.
However, the traffic here is not good in rush hour so it takes quite long time to come your destination, from the airport to center, for example.
The biggest challenge of taking the bus in Saigon is figuring out all the one-way streets, but just study the bus map a bit, and you can easily take it at least up and down the main streets.
From Tan Son Nhat Airport, in order to access center of city (District 1), you can take No.109 Bus as a picture in the airport
Operation Time: 5:30 - 24:00 (daily)
Price Ticket: 12.000 VND/ride (Distances < 5 Km) và 20.000 đồng/lượt (Distances > 5 Km)
By far the most noticeable way everyone that lives in Ho Chi Minh City gets around is by motorbike (also known as the scooter).
Saigon may be the motobike capital of the world. There's an astounding quantity of bikes in the city.
There are two ways to get around by motorbike:
- Rent a motorbike - If you have the confidence to rent and drive a motorbike yourself, there are plenty of rentals agencies, especially located in the Pham Ngu Lao area. You’ll probably pay around $10 per day.
- Motorbike Grab – A private cab service, launched into Ho Chi Minh City several years ago. You just need to download the application and book a grab bike anywhere and payment is handled all online, so you never have to touch cash (but can do if you want). I used Grab quite a lot, and it's almost the same price, but maybe the price will be changed in the future.You can take grab bike anywhere, even in the alley. You can see many drivers who wearing green jacket on the street, these men are motorbike taxi drivers. For a price, they will take you anywhere in the city you want to go, small journeys usually start around 20,000 - 50,000 VND
How to cross the road?
For expats, crossing the road is difficult experience but it’s very interesting. So first, let try to learn how to cross the street in Ho Chi Minh City.To overcome this challenge, you need to observe carefully , keep your speed stably, do not hesitate, do not stop, do not get the phone or see the map when crossing the street. The vehicle will automatically adjust to you.
How to use 4G internet service?
You can buy a sim card at the airport. There are 3 biggest network service provider as Viettel, Mobi, Vina, you can choise any of them. In my opinion, Viettel is good choice cause their 4G internet service is very good with affordable price. When your card is out of money, you can top-up at any convenience stores such as Circle K, Family Mart, Vinmart…
Alright! That’s what you need to notice before coming to Saigon. And now, it’s time for Top 10 Best Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City, you need to ensure that you don’t miss anything of them
10 Best Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
1. Cu Chi Tunnels
Standing at the first position of 10 interesting places in Ho Chi Minh is Cu Chi Tunnels. It takes you about one hour and a half from Ho Chi Minh City by bus or motorbike. Cu Chi Tunnels attracted a lot of visitors by tunnels network with 250 kilometers long, known as a base for Viet Cong’s military living and fighting during Vietnam war. The outstanding of this underground system is the design with many corners, many floors as the spider webs crossed each other.
Come with Cu Chi Tunnels, visitors can be learn a lot of things about Vietnam history as well as try some special local foods, shooting and learning how to cook during war time. In addition, you can watch history documentaries and hear how soldiers fought and lived in the tunnels during war.
Two girls try to tunneling in Cu Chi Tunnels
Address: Phu My Hung Town, Cu Chi District, HCMC
Open time: 9:00 – 16:00
Ticket Price: 80.000 Vnd/1 slot
2. War Remnants Museum
This is a place which save a lot of historical images, evidence and the most vivid movies of Vietnam War. From outside, you can see some war machines as tanks, planes,etc. But when come inside, many foreigners feel like creepy because of what they see so horrible and painful. Photographs, exhibits and written documentations show that the American Army lowered themselves in order to try and defeat the North Vietnamese Army.
War Remnants Museum
Visitors see some historical images
Come and feel! To Learn more about Vietnam history and how previous generation fought and won peace for the country.
Address: 28 Vo Van Tan, ward 6, District 3, HCMC
Open time: 7:30 – 18:00
Ticket Price: 40.000 Vnd
3. Ho Chi Minh Zoo (Saigon Zoo)
The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens established in 1865, it is Vietnam's largest zoo and botanical garden. Located on Nguyen Binh Khiem Street in District 1, it is home to over a hundred species of mammals, reptiles and birds, as well as many rare orchids and ornamental plants. The grounds also include a monument to Vietnamese people who were killed in World War I. Other parts of the zoo are divided into animal and plant conservation areas, an orchid garden, and an amusement park.
Address: 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem, District 1
Open time: 7:00 – 18:30
Ticket Price: 50,000 VND (100,000 with tour guide)
4. Duc Ba Church
Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon (in Vietnamese: Duc Ba Church) is one of the most featured structures in Saigon, always attracting the attention of domestic and international tourists. The tower has a circumference of 91 x 35.5 metres and a height of 21 metres. There is no enclosure around. The foundation of the church is specially designed, withstand loads of 10 times of entire structure above.
This is a truly great architectural structure, bring a value of historical and architectural art as well as a proof of historical period of Saigon in the past. Although Duc Ba Church has lived for over a hundred years, today it still exists as a living relic of the religious freedom of the country. Both foreign and local visitors must go here one time, especially on Christmas Eve. Absolutely, it won’t make you feel disappointed
Address: 1 Cong Xa Paris, District 1, HCMC
Open time: 8:00 – 111:00, 14:00 – 16:00
5. Saigon Post Office
Saigon Central Post Office is truly a masterpiece in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. It’s not only famous with splendid but still poetic beauty, but also known as with professional working style in post and telecommunication major.Each day, the post office welcomes a large number of Vietnamese and foreign visitors come to send letters and parcels. Although intense work atmosphere, but the staff here is always welcoming guests. Not only that, the post office also has signs in English to serve foreign visitors.
Saigon Post Office from outside
Address: 2 Cong Xa Paris, District 1, HCMC
Open time: 8:00 – 17:00
6. Independence Palace
Independence Palace or called Reunification Palace, located in an area of 12ha, right in the heart of the city. Today, the whole palace is surrounded by four important roads: Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Huyen Tran Cong Chua and Nguyen Du, belongs to District 1. This is historical structure associated with many important historical events of Vietnam
When visiting some areas, rooms, tunnels inside, visitors will discover a lot of interesting things. You will see the layout of the meeting room, bedroom, working room and some valuable historical artifacts still retain. Also, you you will get more knowledge about the history of the Saigon, especially the impression related to the big events of April 30th,1975 - the day Southern completely liberated.
Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Open time: All weeks, 7:30 – 11:00, 13:00 – 16:00
Ticket price: 40.000 Vnd
7. Ben Thanh market
Ben Thanh Market is one of the oldest markets in Ho Chi Minh City and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Vietnam. This is a place you should not miss when coming to the city more than 300 years old. If you are looking for things to buy in Vietnam, please explore Ben Thanh Market with the colorful stalls, buy food, souvenirs and costumes, cloth at the booth in the market.
Address: Phan Boi Chau, Ben Thanh, District 1, HCMC
Open time: 5:00 – 23:00
8. Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre
The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre is a traditional art form which has been performed in Vietnam for more than 1,000 years. The 50-minute show will bring you a window to come into the country's culture. It's presented in Vietnamese, but the strength of the puppet characters, both people and animals, transcends the language barrier. Live music enhances the experience; the talented musicians play traditional instruments such as bamboo flutes and two-stringed violins.
Address: 55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Open time: 17:00 – 17:50, 18:30 – 19:20
Ticket price: 250.000 Vnd
9. Bui Vien Pedestrian Street
Bui Vien Street will ban a car about 500 meters long, from De Tham to Do Quang Dau, from 19:00 pm to 2:00 am of next day for two days to serve outside activities with some street foods, culinary games, folk games, street performances, ... Visitors joins with Bui Vien pedestrian street will enjoy "four free services" including: toilet; WIFI; provide information, support visitors and "free smile”
Many artistic performances attracted a lot of visitors, creating a very exciting atmosphere. Folk games such as jumping rope, ... have received special attention from foreign visitors
Street performances attracted a lot of visitors
Here, you can also enjoy many kind of traditional music and international music scene.
10. Nguyen Hue walking street
Nguyen Hue Walking Street is a destination of all ages, a place for cultural exchanges, community activities or art performances ... Especially, this will be the place to organize many kinds of street art such as painting , photography, sculpture, performance, heritage festival…
At night, view from above, Nguyen Hue walking street is crowded, shimmering in the colors of the lights. People are more excited to enjoy the musical performance combined with sound and laser light art..
[BONUS]: Phu My Hung Urban Area and Starlight Bridge
Phu My Hung is the most development area in District 7. it’s only 6 km from downtown, the area has a completely different feel to it from other parts of the city.It’s more quiet, less traffic, more green spaces. There are a lot of international standard entertainment area such as Crescent Mall, Vivo City, Vietopia,…
In the evening, you can enjoy many interesting activities as well as enjoy local foods around Ban Nguyet Lake. Along with restaurants, modern malls, and the shops that fill Phu My Hung, one of the main draws is the Starlight Bridge, a bridge that spans across the lake, with a waterfall cascading down, illuminated by flashing lights in a rainbow of colors.
Spending time with your darling at Starlight Bridge is one of the most romantic things to do in Saigon.
That’s what I wanna share you about some tourism attractions in Saigon. If you have a plan to Vietnam for holiday or working and you need Saigon flats. Do not hesitate to contact us at hotline: 0902.905.907 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org