Ho Chi Minh City, normally called by locals as Saigon, is the largest city of Vietnam which plays an important role in the economic development of the country. Besides being a business hub, Saigon is known as a popular tourist attraction thanks to its uniquely exciting and energetic vibe.
The city is located in the Central of the southern region in Vietnam, 1760 km far from Hanoi the Capital. Dating back to around 150 years ago, Saigon was the commercial center of Indochina under the domination of French Colony. Known as “Little Paris in the Far East” or “Pearl of the Far East”, the city had a number of buildings, French-style villas and other kinds of architectural works some of which remained till nowadays. In the 1940s and 1950s, Ngo Dinh Diem – the President of the Republic of Vietnam which fought against the Commune North Vietnam during Vietnam War, chose Saigon to be the capital, called as “National Capital Saigon” or “Capital City Saigon”. With a great deal of support from the Government of United States of America, Saigon became the center of politics, economy, culture and entertainment in Southern Vietnam.
The lifestyle of the “Saigonese” was under a lot of influence from Western culture by being exposed to its newspaper, music, clothes and of course the US troops. Nowadays, you can still find those liberal traits in the daily life of people living in this city which are in the opposite of that of their fellows from the North who are more conservative and discreet. At the end of Vietnam War, the city went under the control of the communist Socialist Republic of Vietnam and renamed after the leader Ho Chi Minh. Throughout hundreds years, history had already gone by but Saigon kept all those charm, energy end even pain and sorrow from the past. Surroundings and people together create the one-and-only Saigon with the dynamic yet somehow nostalgic ambience which can hardly be found anywhere else.
Ho Chi Minh City has tropical climate theme of weather which is divided into 2 distinct seasons. These two seasons differentiates from each other by the amount of rainfall. The average temperature is 28 Celsius degree with almost no fluctuations around 12 months therefore it can be said that Ho Chi Minh City is to be visited in anytime of the year. However, it is recommended that visitors come to Ho Chi Minh City in the dry season starting from December to April because it could help tourists avoid the sticky weather of the city.
Being known as one of the most eventful city in the region of South East Asia, Ho Chi Minh City offers its guests with a wide range of entertainment whatever kind it is. Night life in this city would satisfy the giddiest people. Every night on Bui Vien Street, bars open almost all night long which also vary in a number of style. In addition, there are many pubs, live acoustics bars in District 1 and District 3 which performances from both Vietnamese and foreign artists. If you are into Vietnamese street food, Ho Chi Minh City must be a paradise with tons of dishes in various flavors. Most entertaining hubs are in District 1 which is easily accessed by buses, taxis or “xe om” at cheap price. Once visitors have reached the center of the district, they can go around with a map under long line of big green trees lining up every streets and pavements. Ho Chi Minh City also welcomes nostalgic souls which want to discover the history of this city with a lot of historical monuments such as Independence Palace, Jade Emperor Pagoda, Vinh Nghiem Pagoda, Notre Dame Cathedral, etc. Another way to see the old Saigon is by simply walking around the streets, wandering in a small but timeless alley before randomly going by an old house in French architecture style.
These places would take you to another time to see how this city has changed till now.
If these things mentioned above are charming above for you, then there may come up an obvious questions about accommodation in this city. Ho Chi Minh City, again, would make you content with a number of hotels, hostels, homestays, motels, guesthouses diversifying in styles, prices for you to choose from. In order to get around the city, visitors can get taxis, buses or cyclos to enjoy the vibrant surroundings. Hiring motorbike is another option but only suitable for bold hearts since traffic in Ho Chi Minh City might be too chaotic and fearful to foreigners.
Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City is unlike any other city you have ever been to with the colorful and exciting atmosphere with fast-moving life of people here yet still remain there some ancient strokes somewhere around the city.