Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, has a rich and tumultuous history. It was originally a small fishing village inhabited by the Khmer people. In the 17th century, the area came under Vietnamese control and began to flourish as a trading port.
During the French colonial period, Saigon became the capital of French Indochina. The city experienced rapid urbanization and modernization, with the construction of grand boulevards, elegant buildings, and iconic landmarks such as the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office.
After the end of the French rule, Saigon became the capital of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The city witnessed intense fighting and was heavily bombed. In 1975, the city fell to the North Vietnamese forces, and Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in honor of the communist leader.
Since then, Ho Chi Minh City has undergone significant development and has become the economic and cultural hub of Vietnam. It is known for its bustling streets, vibrant markets, delicious street food, and a blend of traditional and modern architecture.
FAQ for Ho Chi Minh City
What is the best way to get there?
By air: Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the main gateway to Ho Chi Minh City.
By train: There are train connections from various cities in Vietnam.
By bus: Buses connect Ho Chi Minh City with neighboring cities and countries.
What is this Ho Chi Minh City famous for?
War Remnants Museum
Ben Thanh Market
Cu Chi Tunnels
Bitexco Financial Tower
What are five interesting facts about Ho Chi Minh City?
Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam.
Motorbikes are the primary mode of transportation.
The city has a vibrant nightlife scene.
Ho Chi Minh City has a tropical climate.
It is home to a diverse culinary scene.
How did Ho Chi Minh City get its name?
Ho Chi Minh City was named after the Vietnamese communist leader Ho Chi Minh, who played a crucial role in the country's struggle for independence.
What are some travel tips for Ho Chi Minh City?
Try the local street food, but be cautious of hygiene.
Wear lightweight and comfortable clothing.
Carry small change for taxi fares and market purchases.
Be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas.
Learn a few basic Vietnamese phrases.
Do I need a visa?
Yes, most visitors to Vietnam require a visa. Check with the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country for specific requirements.
When is the best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City?
The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is during the dry season from December to April when the weather is pleasant and rainfall is minimal.
Are there local customs I should know for i.e. Drinking, Greetings, Public transit?
When drinking, it is customary to toast before taking a sip. Vietnamese people greet each other with a slight bow or a handshake. Public transit includes buses and taxis, and it is polite to give up your seat to the elderly or disabled.
What is the time zone for Ho Chi Minh City?
Ho Chi Minh City follows Indochina Time (ICT), which is UTC+7.
What are the voltage/plug types?
The voltage in Ho Chi Minh City is 220V, and the plug type is mainly Type A, C, and D. It is advisable to bring a universal adapter.
What is the currency?
The currency used in Ho Chi Minh City is the Vietnamese Dong (VND).
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Yes, ATMs are readily available throughout the city, especially in tourist areas.
Are credit cards widely accepted in Ho Chi Minh City?
Credit cards are accepted in many hotels, restaurants, and shops in Ho Chi Minh City, but it is advisable to carry cash for smaller establishments and street vendors.
Can you use ApplePay and Google Pay?
ApplePay and Google Pay are not widely accepted in Ho Chi Minh City. It is best to carry cash or use credit cards.
How much do I tip in Restaurants/bars, Hotels, Taxis, Tour guides, etc.?
Tipping is not mandatory in Vietnam, but it is appreciated. In restaurants/bars, a 5-10% tip is customary. For hotels, taxis, and tour guides, a small tip is also appreciated for good service.