Eating and Drinking in HCMC
On a recent visit we flew from London with Cathay Pacific to HCMC via Hong Kong. The jetlag was fairly severe so after a short sleep we headed out in search of something to eat in the early evening. On first impression there seemed a wide range of restaurants and places to eat in HCMC ranging from basic joints (boiling pots of noodles on the pavement) to fancy Vietnamese and French eateries. There are so many street cafes that it seems unlikely that anyone actually cooks at home. In general you’ll find a wide range of restaurants in HCMC serving a great selection of dishes at bargain prices as well as upmarket joints offering fine International cuisine.
Although any restaurants frequented by tourists are likely to have menus
a good idea to print out a list of the names of Vietnamese food. This was a great source of fun for the locals when we tried to order dishes in Vietneamese and certainly endeared us to many waiters and waitresses. The level of English spoken always seemed just about sufficient for the job that the person was doing though at times it’s very difficult to understand people who are speaking quite well because their accent is very strong.
Getting Around and Sightseeing
To visit the main tourist attractions you will need at least two full days. The main Ho Chi Minh City Attractions include the Hotel de Ville, the Reunification Palace, the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Jade Emperor Pagoda. If you’re quite adventurous it’s also worthwhile taking a taxi to the Chinese district of Cholon where you can visit a number of busy pagodas and and street markets. Not many tourists head out this way so you may feel a little out of place but it’s worth doing just to observe life on the streets and provided you use your common sense there’s no reason to worry about heading off the beaten track.
Most of these main sights are within easy walking distance but if you want Ho Chi Minh City transport taxis are a great option as they’re metred and cheap. An alternative is to take a cyclo which is quite an experience in the crazy traffic and well worth doing before the
government bans them all.
As you walk the streets you might be surprised at the amount of wealth around as top name international hotels and designer shops selling Rolex and Lacoste, etc. rub shoulders with street sellers offering little more than cigarettes and chewing
shopping in HCMC you can pick up some bargains if you’re interested in good quality branded products. In Ben Thanh Market you’ll find good quality Ralph Lauren polo shirts and Billabong type t-shirts very cheaply as well as excellent North Face rucksacks for a fraction of the price paid in the west. Many of the factories making these products are on the outskirts of HCMC. Nowhere
in Vietnam sells such quality branded goods as here, in fact I bought a bag in Hanoi which a week later I noticed was branded as “The North” (not “The North Face”). Ben Thanh is one of a number of markets in HCMC which is well worth a visit.
Tours From HCMC
Once you’ve seen the main sights you’ll want to consider some Ho Chi Minh City Tours. The most popular is a half day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels where you can see part of the 200km network of tunnels which the Viet Cong used during the American War. You can make this a full day tour by including a visit to the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh on the Cambodian border. This is the home of Caodaism, a Vietnamese religion which is a combination of other major religions. Mekong Delta Tours are also popular though it’s best to go for longer than one day.
If you’re moving on from HCMC within Vietnam there are excellent services by bus, rail and air.
More Information About Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s reputedly worst city for street crime but don’t be paranoid. Our hotel porter warned us to be careful everytime we left the hotel yet we never felt threatened and didn’t see any incidents. It seems that
Vietnam hotel , Excellently situated within easy reach of all Hanoi’s main attractions, Vietnam hotel welcomes you with timeless elegance, warmth and immaculate style. Established in 2010, our hotel quickly has been drawn recognition for its service and we have been very proud to boast one of the highest rates of recurring guests in the city. Combining elegant Vietnamese charm with seductive modern touches, 40 guest rooms offer you great comfort, refined style and a wide range of amenities and services that take care of your daily, recreational and business needs. Vietnam hotel definitely is an oasis for corporate and leisure travelers offering the "True Vietnam Experience.” A hotel is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business center, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms are usually numbered to allow guests to identify their room.
most common crimes are the same as in any large urban area frequented by tourists: bag snatching, pickpocketing and property theft from bars and restaurants. Actual physical harm seems to be unheard of. Just be careful and you’ll be fine.
Traffic is a nightmare all over Ho Chi Minh City and the worst place must be the roundabout outside the Ben Thanh Market. Your lasting memory of this city will be the sheer quantity of motorbikes on the roads and guess what … they never stop at a pedestrian crossing! Watch how the locals cross the road before you even attempt it. It’s simply a question of keeping moving slowly forward without making any sudden rash movements, this way any motorbikes will go around you.
Ho Chi Minh city airport transfer
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Airport lies 7km northwest of the city.
Arriving in Asia can be quite a culture shock for travelers who haven’t visited the region before. However, on arriving at Ho Chi Minh City Airport for the first time be pleasantly surprised at how modern the airport terminal is and how the ground vehicles all look new and efficient.
A Vietnam Visa is required to land in Vietnam (available through embassies abroad) or a “letter of introduction” from a tour agent, however, at the time of writing it is also necessary to fill in an arrivals-departure card. On some incoming flights this card is distributed on board otherwise you’ll need to get hold of one in the arrivals lounge before joining the queue to pass through immigration.
The staff are quite meticulous in checking your paperwork so make sure you’ve filled in the arrival-departure card correctly. If everything is in order they’ll stamp your passport and you can then proceed to collect your luggage. Any mistakes and they’ll send you back to correct them.
Hanoi Transfer Service offers a/c cars and friendly licensed drivers for transfers from the airport to your hotel, and from your hotel back to the airport at the best prices.
Usually, there are 3 kinds of vehicles: 4-seater cars for maximum 3 passengers, 7-seater for maximum 5 passengers and 16-seater for maximum 11 passengers. ( this to allow room for your luggage ).
Ho Chi Minh City Airport Transfers
Tan Son Nhat International airport is Vietnam's largest international airport, both by area and number of passengers and is located in the city of Ho Chi Minh. If you are planning a trip to Vietnam, then you are, no doubt, aware of the large amount of scams you will need to watch out for whilst on your travels. Many of the scams operating in Vietnam are associated with taxi cabs, with many bewildered tourists being robbed, overcharged or otherwise harmed simply in the process of getting from A to B.
Get your Vietnam trip off to a safe and reliable start by pre-booking an affordable, trustworthy airport taxi with HolidayTaxis.com. One of our friendly, professional drivers will be waiting at the airport to take you directly to your hotel with zero stress and zero worry. And, I'm sure you'll agree, that's what you'll be hoping for, after a long flight!
Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam, as well as being the country's former capital. With everything from touristy, westernised bars and clubs, to buzzing street markets selling everything from souvenirs to delicious, freshly-made street food, Saigon really is an awesome city to visit. Along with Hanoi, the capital city, with its temples, museums and parks, there is a completely unique and eye-opening city break experience on offer in Vietnam.
However, if the bustling, crazy vibes of the city are a little too much, there is also the seaside resort of Na Trang, which not only offers superb Vietnamese beaches, but also a lively, urban atmosphere and some incredible scuba diving experiences. Then, there are the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Hoi An to enjoy, just south of Da Nang. And if you're seeking deeply authentic Vietnamese culture and heritage, head to Hue, where the weather might not be up to much, but the fascinating historical sites and beautiful sights, will!
Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is home to some 6 million people, most of whom you will see at some point during your stay as they whiz around town on their motorbikes. The city’s Tan Son Nhat Airport lies 7km north west of the city centre and is the most popular arrival point in Vietnam for international travellers. As well as long haul arrivals there are many flights to HCMC from within Asia, especially from Bangkok and Hong Kong.
Ho Chi Minh City Airport Transfers and Accommodation
Getting from Ho Chi Minh City Airport into the city couldn’t be easier thanks to the official taxi service operating from a desk straight ahead of you as you enter the arrivals area. Simply pay for a ticket at the desk and you’ll be lead to a waiting taxi outside.
Ho Chi Minh City VietnamMost hotels will send a driver to collect you if you contact them in advance. This offers peace of mind during a long haul flight knowing that life will be easy on arrival. On our last visit the promised driver wasn’t there so we used the above taxi service for a mere $5US rather than the $14US quoted by the hotel. If you’re looking for a cheaper option there’s a regular airport bus into the city.
In spite of the city’s size it’s fairly straightforward deciding which part of the city to stay in. Travellers will most likely go to one of two areas: Dong Khoi which has mid-range accommodation or Pham Ngu Lao where you’ll find most of the budget accommodation in HCMC. There are Ho Chi Minh City Hotels to suit the requirements of all visitors ranging from backpacker hostels to 5-star hotels.