Most journeys through Vietnam start or end in Ho Chi Minh City. The largest city in Vietnam (formerly named and still referred to as Saigon) is located in the south of the country. It is a city of commerce and culture, driving the whole country forward with its energy. From posh hotels to small guesthouses, classy restaurants to tasty street food, modern boutiques and buzzing traditional markets HCMC is a place of contrasts and discovery. You can easily get hauled into the chaotic whirl of the city and its life and vitality. Just lean back and enjoy the ride.
How to get there?
The city can easily be reached by flying to Tan Son Nhat International Airport. Good bus and train connections are also available.
We did not have a lot of time in Ho Chi Minh, but we enjoyed a long walk through the city passing Ben Thanh Market, the Opera, the Cathedral Notre-Dame, the Independence Palace and Tao Dan Park. We also stopped at the Saigon River for a short break and were amazed by the traffic within the city. We could watch this spectacle all day long and somehow think it is a tourist attraction itself.
How long to stay?
We decided to stay for 2 nights. This gave us enough time to explore the city and take care of organizing our further travels to the Mekong Delta and Cambodia. If you are into sightseeing and museums you should consider to stay a couple of nights longer as the city has a lot to offer. It also is a good starting/ending point for day trips to the Mekong Delta or to travel to the wonderful island Phu Quoc. Also consider visiting the Cu Chi tunnels.
Where to stay?
We stayed at the Kien Hotel in district 1 for 20 EUR per night/double room. The hotel is located quite convenient in a smaller street which can only be passed by foot or on two wheels. There is a good Indian restaurant on the ground floor. The rooms are nice and clean and we also had a small balcony. The staff is friendly and very helpful. Several restaurants, bars, shops and travel agencies are within easy reach as well as the main tourist attractions.