Self-exploring In Ho Chi Minh City
HoChiMinh City (formerly Saigon) is still commonly referred to be the “Pearl of the Orient” and has long been a center of culture, economics, politics of Vietnam. It is a fast-paced center in which the difference street vendors selling fruit and legumes can be seen next to glitzy western-style nightclubs and boutiques. Saigon’s story is more over 300 years old. The city was obtained by the French and converted into the capital of Cochinchina in 1859. Between 1956 and its dramatic demise in April 1975, it was the center of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam. Nowadays, HoChiMinh City is very greatly the core of Vietnamese business, culture, economics, and politics.What’s more, it is spent much time to travel by tourists. This place is also a location of prime tourist attractions, the important sites, galleries and a huge number of cafés, bars, beaneries and luxurious spas.
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HOW ABOUT THE WEATHER IN HO CHI MINH CITY?
The climate of HCMC has been sharply separated into two positively seasons. In particular, the rainy season is from May to November, and the other ones, “the dry season” is occurred between December and May. Coming here in the wet season, you should bring an umbrella or rain jacket because it is for sudden showers that Saigon is famous. Besides, the City is also a home for full of the sunshine. It is expected that there are around 270 hours of the sunlight per month, amounting to at least 27 ° C before peaking up the highest point with 40 ° C.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN SAIGON
One of the most popular vehicles that is recommended mainly for travelers visiting Saigon is motorcycles, followed by cars, bicycles, buses, pedicabs. Bus; however, is the lowest price just under 7.000VND / turn. Currently, the traffic density in the city is quite crowded, so traffic jams always happen at rush hours (7:00 am – 8:00 am and 17:00 pm – 18:00 pm). There are some phone numbers you should acknowledge such that helping from the authority is given on time.
- Medical College Hospital: 08 3855 4269
- Hospital District 1: 08 38,202,060
- Cho Ray Hospital: 08 38554137
- Fire: 114
- Police: 113
- Emergency: 115
THE PRINCIPAL TOURIST AREA IN MODERN HOCHIMINH CITY
With a long history of development, Ho Chi Minh City nowadays has a huge large number of new citizens with more than 8 million people. To clarify it and prevent you from being “overwhelmed” by the middle of this hustle and bustle urban, Greenvisa.io will outline some key areas in Hochiminh City and hope that such this information is beneficial.
ALONG THE SAIGON’S WATERFRONT
There are many beautiful views of the Saigon River. Mainly, it is determined at Ton Duc Thang Street (Along the Saigon River), also meant that the city center. On the road, hotels and upscale restaurants feature pictures of the Saigon River in the poetic afternoon. Furthermore, tourists can book a boat for a trip on Saigon River as well as try to enjoy dinner at the floating restaurant which your memories will never be forgotten.
SAIGON NOTRE-DAME BASILICA – NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
This place offers the perfect overview and introduction to the cultural centers, history and bustling life in Saigon. Perhaps the tourist should take a 1-hour tour here to visit the French colonial construction – the Notre-Dame Basilica. The visitors can begin their tour by Bus number 1 to go to this place. The Notre-Dame Basilica and the old Central Post Office which has maintained their charm even through the War and have become two passionate symbols of Ho Chi Minh can be apparently seen. It features a European architectural style combines Roman and gorgeous Gothic, the largest pair of bells in Vietnam. Notre Dame cathedral is the most beautiful and the most famous of the diocese of Saigon, the pride of the people of the city. From Notre Dame Cathedral, you can visit Independence Palace, Diamond Plaza shopping mall, walk around Dong Khoi, Turtle Lake, drink delicious coffee in Han Thuyen Street. Opening hours:
- Visiting: Morning 8:30 – 10:00; Afternoon 14:30 – 15:30 (Monday – Friday);
- The time of the Mass: Morning 5:30; Afternoon 17:00 (Monday – Sartuday),
- Sunday: 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 9:30 (for foreigners), 16:00, 17:00, 18:30
- Address: No. 1 the Paris Commune, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1.
JADE EMPEROR PAGODA
It was built in 1909 to praise the highest Taoist god (the Jade Emperor or King of Heaven, Ngoc Hoang). This is one of the spectacularly mysterious pagodas in Ho Chi Minh Center, packed with statues of phantasmal gods as well as grotesque champions. The green smoke of aroma (Huong) fills the atmosphere, obscuring the exquisite woodcarvings. Its rooftop encrusted with sophisticated tile work, the temple’s statues, portraying cases from both Buddhist and Taoist lore, are made from the strengthened paper machine. Inside the main construction, there are two particularly menacing and fierce Taoist characters. On the clockwise (as you face the altar) is a 4m-high statue of the general who conquered the Green Dragon. On the port side is the officer who blocked the White Tiger, which is also being stepped ahead. Worshippers mass before the mysterious Jade Emperor, who manages – draped in sumptuous robes and covered in a dense fog of incense smoke – over the first temple. He is ramparted by his guards, the Four Big Diamonds, so identified as they are told to be as hard-set as diamonds. Out the door on the left side of the Jade Emperor’s Hall is a different opening. Thanh Hoang directs the semi-enclosed place to the right, the Lord of Hades; to the left side is his red horse. Other illustrations here describe the gods dispensing punishments for mischief and rewards for good accomplishments. The space also has the famous Hall of the Ten Hells. The wooden panels were carved to illustrate the various agonies anticipating evil people in each of the Ten Areas of Halifax. Females queue up at the seated effigy of the City God, who wears a hat written with Chinese figures that announce ‘At one glance, money is repaid.’ In a mesmerizing ceremonial, worshippers put cash into a bunker first, then dab a red-paper slice against his hand before turning it around a candle igniter. On the other side of the wall is a captivating little room in which the ceramic bodies of 12 women, overrun with young children and putting on colorful outfits, sitting in two rows of six. Each of the women illustrates a personal characteristic, either great or immoral (as in the case of the lady drinking wine from a jug). Every person draws a year in the 12-year Chinese astrological time. Presiding over the room is Kim Hoa Thanh Mau, the Chief of All Women. A floor is a place of “Phật bà Quan Âm,” the Goddess of Mercy, facing a portraiture of Dat Ma, the bearded Indian originator of Zen Buddhism. The multi-faith nature of the pagoda is echoed in the shrine’s alternative name Phuoc Hai Tu (福海寺; Sea of Blessing Temple), whose information is clearly Buddhist. Likewise, the Chinese signs (佛光普照; Phat Quang Pho Chieu) in the foremost temple chamber mean ‘The light of Buddha shines on all.” Outdoor, a tiny pond seethes with turtles, some of which have shells inscribed with auspicious inscriptions.
NGUYEN HUE – DISTRICT 1
This is the path in the area of the city center, along with the street there are many hotels, senior shopping mall, several units have existed for hundreds of years, brought the appearance of classic European architecture. Go straight ahead to the Nguyen Hue Street from Southeast direction; you will be on Ton Duc Thang street along the Saigon River. More particular, each annual Lunar New Year, Nguyen Hue Street becomes incredibly brilliant, where gathers all blooming flowers to welcome spring. The Street will display many kinds of graceful flowers in about 7-10 days, usually from 28th December to the 5th of Tet (according to Lunar time).
BEN THANH MARKET
From the 19th century, Ben Thanh market has been a witness to history through many changes of the times. Located right next to the Quach Thi Trang Plaza and 23/9 Park is the Ben Thanh market which has four ports (South, East, West, and North). Each port has mounted clock and overlooking to the central streets such as Le Thanh Ton Street (The North gate). What’s more, the Le Loi Street is to the South, the East Entrance is surveying Phan Boi Chau Street, and the west door is facing Phan Chu Trinh street, and the main entrance has a high tower viewing the square Quach Thi Trang. Hereabouts, visitors can purchase a lot of souvenir products, textiles, clothing, arts, and crafts. Settled before the French arrived in this land, initially opening markets was located along Ben Nghe River, in an access terminal to Regulation (Gia Dinh). It was named “Ben Thanh” in 1911. The French colonial government decided to move the location of the current market, and then there was a marshy pond. From 1912 to the end of the March in 1914, the new market was built completely before undergoing a remarkable development until now. The market has just over 3,000 stalls, wholesale and retail all kinds of goods, from daily food to luxurious objects. The Ben Thanh market opens for business starting at 4 am at the north gate area with fruit stalls and fresh seafood that are provided for the urban family, great bars, and excellent restaurants in the city. From around 8 – 9 am, the stalls or stands in three doors east, west, and south simultaneously open to visitors flocking from all over the place of the city. From the central area of the entrances to the center of the market, you will see the location of bustling and trading scene, in which the market house with seven large naves and six small space covered on the sides, and these stalls is always crowded and crammed in the aisles. Nowadays, the traders at Ben Thanh market is no longer bear the image of the hardworking, hard, and suffered woman as they were in the past, but the real entrepreneurs are. To be more specific, they are young, beautiful, fashionable dress and fluently speak foreign languages such as English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Germany and even the language of Cambodia. Especially, a story of sellers saying two or three foreign languages in a graceful way is not new at Ben Thanh market. According to a market management staff, there is a huge 90 percentage of sales staff speaking at least two foreign languages or more. One of the reasons why the Ben Thanh Market is always hustle and bustle is due to its central location and the Ben Thanh brand. Visitors, tourists, mainly overseas Vietnamese, foreigners those who are adoring Saigon always visit the Ben Thanh market, because it is a cultural characteristic of Saigon Market. Most tour companies, travel agencies and foreign usually choose Ben Thanh Market as a perfect place in their tour. Besides, The USA Today – newspaper of US News has ranked 45 high culinary markets in the world, including Vietnam’s Ben Thanh Market which stands at No. 15. Such these markets are considered as an icon for the culture of each country.
WESTERN TOWN – Vacationist Attractions
“West Street” composed Pham Ngu Lao, De Tham and surrounding neighborhoods in the heart of District 1, HCMC. This landmark has been a favorite tourist magazine Lonely Planet guide listed for travelers to visit HCMC. West Street in the very near Ben Thanh Market, bus passengers common throughout the city.
Chinatown – DISTRICT 5
Chinatown is a bustling hub of the busiest in Saigon. Here is the living area of the heavily concentrated in the southern States. Hereabouts, you can enjoy a cuisine that is very rich, with the food style Chinese food, but also has been changed slightly to suit the Vietnamese. Around Chinatown is the wholesale and retail markets such as Binh Tay Market, Kim Bien market, Soai Kinh Lam fabric marketplace.
The Tourist Destinations That Visitors Should Not Abstain When Traveling Saigon
Saigon – Ho Chi Minh with 300 years of history has many attractive places in both value and landscape history.
BINH TAY MARKET
Located in Chinatown, Binh Tay market is the wholesale market for the supply of goods in the southern provinces and the country. Products from dry food, cereal, dried seafood to clothes, shoes, toys.
- Opening hours: 7:00 – 18:00 daily
- Address: 57A Reeds, Ward 12, District 6
REUNIFICATION HALL (PALACE OF INDEPENDENCE)
If someone come to the heart of Saigon, just pay a visit at the Independence Palace, also known as the Reunification Palace. The building is located on 15 hectares in the center of the city. After the American occupation of South Vietnam including six provinces, dated 02/23/1868, Cochin governor built the new Governor’s Palace in the south of Saigon. Today, the building is located at the end of Le Duan Street; the 12 hectares campus is surrounded by Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street – Nam Ky Khoi Nghia – Nguyen Du and Huyen Tran Cong Chua, of District 1, Ho Chi Minh. The Palace has many different names over time, such as Norodom Palace (1889 – 1954), Downing (9-1954 – 10-1956), Independence Palace (10-1956 – 10-1976) and today is Reunification Hall. This is not only a unique architecture but also associated with many significant historical events of the country. Most of the buildings are designed according to feng shui and Eastern architecture but very modern. When travelers visit Independence Palace, they can admire many items from the old regime, and the evidence of marked independence day 04/30/1975 moment.
- Opening hours: Breakfast 7:30 – 11:00 and Lunch 13:00 – 16:00 (daily);
- Address: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Road, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
- Ticket prices: Adults: 30,000 / person / times, college students: 15,000 VND / person / times, students: 3.000VND / person / times, visitors in groups will be reduced from 20 1/3 fare;
- Parking at Nguyen Du Street beside Independence Palace Gate, or Tao Dan Park in Huyen Tran Cong Chua Street.
BEN THANH MARKET
Ben Thanh Market is placed in the center of the city, four doors overlooking Quach Thi Trang Square and other major roads of the city like Phan Chu Trinh, Phan Boi Chau, and Le Thanh Ton. Items sold inside the market are traditional and modern enough so visitors can buy them as a souvenir for their family and friends. At night, the area around the market becomes more busy with clothing and food stalls. Opening hours: 7:00 – 19:00 daily Address: Located between Phan Boi Chau – Phan Chu Trinh – Le Thanh Ton – Quach Thi Trang Square, Ben Thanh Ward – District 1.
About 50 km from Ho Chi Minh City, Can Gio has a sea so fresh seafood is available all year round. There are also many fantastic sites such as mangrove Vam Sac, Monkey Island, and the beach resorts April 30, Marine Gen. Nam Hai Lang He. Every year on 16/8, the local people hold a very solemn festival here with hundreds of boats participated.
SUOI TIEN RESORT
Located at the gateway to the North-East of Saigon, around 19km from the city center, Suoi Tien is full of entertainment that attracts many tourists coming to HCMC. Suoi Tien is a place of cultural education through historical sightseeing destinations based on the idea of the legend, the area of the ethnic and ideological direction of the east.
- Opening hours: 8:00 – 17:30 (Mon- Fri), 8:00 – 18:00 (Sat and Sun), 6:30 – 22:00 (Tet Holiday).
- Admission: 60.000 VND / adults, 30.000 VND / children;
- Ticket games: 5000 – 40.000 VND / turn;
- Address: 120 Highway Hanoi, Tan Phu Ward, District 9
- Moving from Ben Thanh Market: by bus number 19 or by motorbike through Thu Thiem tunnel, straight highway to Hanoi.
VIETNAM HISTORY MUSEUM
The Vietnam History Museum was established in 1929, previously known as “the Museum de la Brosse Blanchard.” Visit here; you will admire, learn about tens of thousands of valuable artifacts a decent history, museology.
- Opening hours: Morning 8:00 – 11:30; Afternoon 13:30 – 16:30 (Tue – Sun)
- Admission: 2,000VND / adults, 1,000 VND / children (living in Vietnam), 15,000 VND / person (foreigners)
- Address: No. 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1.
SAIGON RIVER CRUISE
The winding flow of the Saigon River in the city through the 37km long space is a breathtaking landscape. Try to experience the river cruise once, and you will notice the exclusive features of Saigon with rural scenery, vague of water among bustle place. The visit types include: Canoes go to Lai Thieu; excursions on the river boat to Nha Be and Can Gio; sightseeing attached restaurant for meal on the cruise. Determined by the quality of services, the cost of a journey alongside the Saigon River has a price from 80,000 VND / person or more. Address: Multiple excursions on Saigon river starting from Bach Dang port on Ton Duc Thang Street (District 1, HCMC) or the port of Saigon in No. 3 Nguyen Tat Thanh, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City. You can contact directly with the cruise Saigon: 083 8230 393, Ben Nghe cruise ship: 08 8231 475, 168 cruise ships: 083 820 8296, US cruise ship Scene: 083 299 8223.
THU THIEM TUNNEL
The largest tunnel in Southeast Asia crossing river and the entire East-West Highway City route was inaugurated on 20/11. Thu Thiem Bridge With a prime location situated astride the Saigon river winding through beautiful downtown Ho Chi Minh City, Thu Thiem Bridge has increasingly enriched the preferred destination of Saigon’s young now, is not inferior to “Coffee bệt” at Notre Dame. After a day of hard work, Thu Thiem Bridge is a great place to meet among numerous chic cafes. Standing on the bridge, just watch the sparkle lights of the city at night and welcome refreshing breeze inshore. It truly is one of the enjoyable experiences that tourists should not ignore.
The beauty of Vietnam through the beautiful lanscapes, the tasteful, delicious and special cuisines through out the whole country plus the diversity of cultures in different parts of Vietnam have long been the apple of near and far tourist all over the globe. Check out other tips here: Vietnam Travel Experience