Ho Chi Minh City Location Map

General Information

With 8.6 million inhabitants in 2017, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is home to over 8% of the country’s total population. As the largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is the center of economy and commerce of our country. Given its geographical advantage, this city serves as a primary trading port which boosts the exchange of commodities between Vietnam and other countries. This city also attracts a large number of FDIs and employees from other regions in Vietnam as well as from overseas to work here.

Considered as ‘the Pearl of the Far East’, this city is noisy and crowded yet sparkling and dynamic. Saigon is originally a part of Cambodia until the 17th century. In 1954, the Geneva Agreement was signed, which marked the involvement of the American colony in Southern Vietnam while the communist Viet Minh took control of Northern Vietnam. This city was the capital of the Republic of Vietnam from 1956 to 1975.

Thanks to its size and history, there is never a lack of fun and attractions for you to enjoy in Ho Chi Minh City. From local markets, pagoda and impressive traffic jams to colonial architecture, culinary specialties and luxurious buildings, you can discover the fusion of modernity and tradition, Western and Oriental aspects in your tour to Ho Chi Minh City.

Ho Chi Minh City Weather

It is hot year-round in Ho Chi Minh, temperatures range between 32 and 35 degrees Celsius. This city experiences an equatorial climate with a rainy season and a dry season. The hottest months are from March to May and the rainy season lasts from May to October. There is no winter in Ho Chi Minh City, however, with the effects of the northeast monsoon that triggers Northern Vietnam in winter, the weather in Saigon may drop to 18 to 20 degrees Celsius in December and January.

Basically, you can visit Ho Chi Minh City anytime a year. The best time to travel to Ho Chi Minh City is from November to February during the dry season because the weather is pleasant and cooler. It is still fine to visit this city from June to August since the rains are short and will not affect your trip.

Weather in Ho Chi Minh City - Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
Weather in Ho Chi Minh City

Getting to Ho Chi Minh City

By plane

There are several daily flights between Ho Chi Minh City and the major cities of Vietnam, such as Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Phu Quoc, etc. You can combine your Ho Chi Minh City trip with other Mekong Delta, Phu Quoc and Vung Tau in your tour to Southern Vietnam.

There are also direct flights between Ho Chi Minh City and major cities in United States, Europe, Australia, Japan and other Southeast Asian countries.

A flight between Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh lasts 2 hours only and the distance between these two cities is 1,141 km.

By train

Every day, trains run between Ho Chi Minh City and other cities in Vietnam (Hanoi, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hue, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, etc.).

Trains are of good quality and you can choose different categories: hard seats or soft seats with or without air conditioners, hard beds or soft beds, with or without air conditioners. The train ride between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City takes between 30 hours and 42 hours.

By road

The road network in Vietnam has improved considerably since 2000. There are buses every day between Ho Chi Minh City and major cities in Vietnam such as Nha Trang, Phan Thiet, and Vung Tau. You can also travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (Cambodia) by road. The journey time from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh takes around 6 to 10 hours.

Getting around Ho Chi Minh City

On foot

Reunification Palace - Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
Reunification Palace

Ho Chi Minh City is a large and bustling city but in the city center, the streets are quite dense so you can explore the city on foot in 2 to 3 days at a relaxed pace. Ben Thanh Market and Chinatown are good places to walk.

However, it is easy for tourists to get panic when crossing our busy streets. There are three things for you to remember when walking across the roads: don’t stop, don’t rush, and don’t step backward. For many travelers, the traffic in Vietnam is one of the most thrilling yet impressive things on their trip.

Cycling

It is not convenient to use public transport in this city. That is why cycling is a good option. You can contact your hotel to rent a bicycle. But consider thoroughly and be careful of the traffic here.

Xe Om (motorcycle taxi)

There are many xe om at every street corner in Ho Chi Minh City. You must always remember that it is fun and a bit adventurous to travel by motorcycle and most importantly, the price must be negotiated before you step on the vehicle.

Taxi

The taxi is a simple and safe way to travel in Ho Chi Minh City. Vinasun is a reputable brand here and you can find their logo almost every street in the city. Their phone number is 028 3827 7178 and you can download their app to book a taxi easier.

Private car

It is more flexible to rent a private car in Vietnam and discover Ho Chi Minh cities and surrounding cities. Ho Chi Minh City is a starting point for an excursion in the Mekong Delta to discover our prosperous ‘Rice Basket’ or for a stay on some paradise beaches of Phu Quoc and Con Dao islands.

Some automobile brands for tourists traveling to Vietnam are the 4-seat Toyota Vios (or Toyota Atlis or Ford Lazer), the 7-seat Toyota Innova (or Ford Everest), the 16-seat Mercedes Sprinter (or Ford Transit), the 24-seat Hyundai County or the 45-seat Hyundai Aero Space.

Our car rental service in Vietnam offers you competitive prices so that you will have comfortable journeys. Our vehicles are all equipped with air conditioners and are always suitable for the number of people and the volume of luggage transported. The 4-seat car is sufficient for one or two people. Choose a 7-seat car for a group of 3 or 4 people, a 16-seat one for a group of 5 to 8 people, and the 24-seat for 9 to 15 people. Finally, for any group of 16 to 30 people, the car with 45 seats will be chosen. Contact us for more information.

Bus

There are 2 bus stations in Ho Chi Minh City: Mien Tay Bus Station (10 km southwest of the downtown) which connects the city to Mekong Delta region and Mien Dong Bus Station (5 km southeast from Ho Chi Minh City) that connects Ho Chi Minh City to the northern and central regions of Vietnam.

Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

There are several hotels and hostels around some districts in the city center. However, it is advisable that you book a hotel in District 1 so that it is more convenient to travel between attractions.

Sofitel Saigon Plaza - Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
Sofitel Saigon Plaza
  • Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon (5-star)

Address: 8-15 Ton Duc Thang Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

  • Sofitel Saigon Plaza (5-star)

Address: 17 Le Duan Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

  • Hotel Continental Saigon (4-star)

Address: 132-134 Dong Khoi Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

  • Lavender Boutique Hotel (3-star)

Address: 200-204 Ly Tu Trong Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

  • Le Duy Hotel (3-star)

Address: 20 Nguyen Thi Nghia Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1

  • Signature Saigon Hotel (3-star)

Address: 65-69 Nguyen Thai Binh Street, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1

What to See in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City main attractions map - Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
Ho Chi Minh City main attractions map

As one of the most stimulating destinations in a trip to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City contains many ancient pagodas, skyscrapers, markets, shopping malls, and museums for you to discover. Most attractions and entertainment in the city concentrate in District 1.

1. Local Markets

Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market - Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market, located in the center of the city, is the place where you can buy lots of souvenirs and go shopping. There are many clothing, handicrafts, jewelry, hats, shoes and food vendors at the market. However, you should bargain hard whenever visiting a local market in Vietnam.

Location: Le Loi Street, District 1

Binh Tay Market

It is not a most popular market compared to Ben Thanh, but it is less invaded by tourists. You can find everything and the prices are really affordable. In addition, you will be overwhelmed by the smells and colors that of various foods and snacks available at the market.

Location: Thap Muoi Street, Binh Tay Ward, District 6

2. Museums

Ho Chi Minh City Museum

Formerly Gia Long Palace (and later the Revolutionary Museum), this museum contains precious information about various wars in Vietnam. Outside the museum are old American planes, a tank and a UH-1 helicopter. Inside the museum is a collection of relics dating from different wars in Vietnam (medals, weapons, maps, etc.). There are also plenty of Buddhist antiques, archaeological artifacts and marriage rituals of various ethnicities in Ho Chi Minh City Museum.

  • Location: 65 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1
  • Opening hours: 08: 00 – 17:00 from Monday to Sunday
  • Entrance fee: VND 15,000 dong
Museum of Vietnam History

Formerly a French consulate in 1928, it was transformed into a museum in 1929. The massive number of antiques is the highlight of this museum. You can discover the whole history of Museum of Vietnam History, from the Prehistoric Period and the Bronze Age to Cham and Khmer civilizations.

  • Location: 25/2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1
  • Opening hours: 08:30 – 11:30 & 13:30 – 16:30. Close on Mondays.
  • Entrance fee: VND 15,000 dong
Museum of Fine Arts

This museum is probably a heaven for art lovers. Museum of Fine Arts Ho Chi Minh City was originally a mansion belonging to a wealthy Chinese merchant – Mr. Hoa during the colonial era. This museum is built based on the rules of Feng Shui which emphasizes the harmony between nature and people.

Museum of Fine Arts Ho Chi Minh City consists of three floors: The first two contains numerous classical and contemporary works of Vietnamese and international artists while you can see art created from the 7th to the early 20th century on the third floor.

  • Location:  97A Pho Duc Chinh Street, District 1
  • Opening hours: 09:00 – 17:00. Close on Mondays.
  • Entrance fee: VND 10,000 dong/adult; 3,000 dong/child
War Remnants Museum (Bao tang Chung tich Chien tranh)
War Remnants Museum - Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
War Remnants Museum

It is hard to ignore the scars of the Vietnam War when visiting this city. Formerly the US Information Service building, this place was established in 1975 after the war. The museum was originally called ‘Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes’, but the name was changed in 1996 for the sake of pacifism.

The museum contains a large number of photos and documents relating to war crimes. In particular, there is a large collection dedicated to the effects of Agent Orange: photos of deformed children, bottles containing chemical substances, etc. The museum’s courtyard is filled with tanks and helicopters used during the war.

  • Location: 28 Vo Van Tan Street, District 3
  • Opening hours: 07:30 – 11:45 & 13:30 – 17:15 from Monday to Sunday
  • Entrance fee: VND 10,000 dong
Southern Women’s Museum

You will not find any country in the world that has two museums dedicated to the contributions of women. There are two women’s museums in Vietnam: one in Hanoi and one in Ho Chi Minh City. Southern Women’s Museum is built to honor our women for their great defense of the nation as well as their contribution to economic development. There are three floors in this museum which showcases photos, antiques, crafts and Southern women’s traditional clothes.

  • Location: 202 Vo Thi Sau Street, Ward 7, District 3
  • Opening hours: 9:00 – 18:00. Close on Thursdays
  • Entrance fee: Free
Ho Chi Minh Museum (Dragon House Wharf or Ben Nha Rong)

Nicknamed as ‘The Dragon House Wharf’ (Nha Rong), the museum is located in a colonial building which was built in 1863. The museum takes its name from the fact that Nguyen Tat Thanh (former name of Ho Chi Minh), at the age of 21, left Vietnam in 1911 and set sail on the French ship named Admiral Latouche Treville from this wharf.

The museum contains many of his personal belongings, such as clothes, shoes, a radio, etc. You can see many pictures dedicated to his 30-year journey around the world.

  • Location: 1 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Ward 12, District 4
  • Opening hours: 7:30 – 11:30 & 13:30 – 17:00 from Monday to Sunday
  • Entrance fee: VND 2,000 dong
Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine

This museum is filled with pleasant smells from numerous traditional Vietnamese herbs and medicine which is heavily influenced by Chinese philosophy. Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine is divided into 16 rooms with different themes. You can discover different tools, herbs, containers, books and paintings here.

  • Location: 41 Hoang Du Khuong, Ward 12, District 10
  • Opening hours: 9:00 -17: 30 from Monday to Sunday
  • Entrance fee: VND 50,000 dong for adults and VND 20,000 dong for children

3. Pagodas and Temples

Jade Emperor Pagoda - Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
Jade Emperor Pagoda

Ho Chi Minh City has many beautiful pagodas, temples, churches and mosques. Most pagodas and temples are influenced by the Chinese, dedicated to the Taoism. A walk in these old buildings scented with incense is mesmerizing and will make you feel peaceful.

Jade Emperor Pagoda

Built in 1909, Jade Emperor Pagoda is a beautiful Chinese temple. The subtlety of its architecture and the imposing size of its Buddhist and Taoist statues make it one of the must-see pagodas of Ho Chi Minh City.

Location: 73 Mai Thi Luu Street, Da Kao Ward, District 1

Giac Vien Pagoda

The pagoda was built at the end of the 16th century by Hai Tinh Giac Vien. It is said that Emperor Gia Long used to come here to pray on special occasions.

Location: 161/85/20 Lac Long Quan Street, District 11

Giac Lam Pagoda

The pagoda was built in 1744 by Ly Thuy Long. This is a gathering place of pilgrims in Ho Chi Minh City during the Lunar New Year (Tet holiday)

Location: 565 Lac Long Quan Street, Ward 10, Tan Binh District

Tran Hung Dao Temple

This temple is dedicated to Tran Hung Dao, our national hero under the Tran Dynasty. He successfully led our army to defeat the Mongol invasion during the battle of Bach Dang (near Halong Bay) in 1288.

Location: 174/51/17 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street, Ward 3, District 3

4. Colonial Buildings

Former the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina, and then the independent republic of Southern Vietnam during 1955-1975, and finally headquarters of the US command during the Vietnam War, Ho Chi Minh City contains many historic relics and buildings for history buffs to discover. Its buildings are highly influenced by Western architecture in harmony with the traditional Vietnamese style.

Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral - Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral
Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral

Built in 1880 by the French, the cathedral is located in the center of Ho Chi Minh City. It includes two high towers of 55 meters and six bronze bells. All materials were imported from France, including red bricks from Toulouse, giving the cathedral a brilliant color.

Location:  1 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

Saigon Opera House (Municipal Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City)

Saigon Opera House, like the Hanoi Opera House, is largely inspired by the Opera Garnier in Paris. Built in 1897, the opera contains 1800 seats and offers a wide variety of shows and concerts.

Location: 7 Lam Son Square Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

Saigon Central Post Office

Located next to Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Saigon Central Post Office was built at the beginning of the 20th century. The connoisseur’s eye will immediately recognize the style of the metal frame which was designed by Gustave Eiffel when visiting this site.

Location: 125 Cong Xa Paris, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

Cho Quan Church

French-built Cho Quan Church is one of the largest churches in Ho Chi Minh City. The bell tower offers a panoramic view of the city.

Location: 120 Tran Binh Trong Street, Ward 2, District 5

Reunification Palace (or Independence Palace)

The former Independence Palace was built in 1973 by a Vietnamese architect called Ngo Viet Thu. Formerly the Norodom Palace, it was then used by the Governors-General of French Indochina. Ngo Dinh Diem used it from 1956 as a presidential palace.

During the Vietnam War, the palace was damaged by bombing. Ngo Dinh Diem then decided to demolish it and built the current building. Today, the palace remains as it was during the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, when the tanks of North Vietnamese army destroyed the entrance gate and forced the president of Southern Vietnam to surrender.

Location: 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1

What to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

Com Tam - Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
Com Tam

1. Glutinous rice donut (Banh ran)

These sticky rice donuts are usually filled with ground pork and carrots. They are crispy on the outside and melting on the inside. A really good treat!

2. Caramelized pork salad

Pieces of marinated pork are grilled and caramelized, and then mixed with salad, garlic, shallot, lemongrass, and honey.

3. Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo, or Vietnamese pancake, is a dish from Southern Vietnam. ‘Banh’ means cake and ‘xeo’ means sizzling. The pancake is made from rice flour, coconut milk and turmeric which give it a brilliant yellow color. It is decorated with pork, shrimp and various vegetables. These pancakes will tantalize your taste buds.

4. Com Tam Saigon (Broken rice)

This dish is the most popular in Ho Chi Minh City. Com Tam means ‘broken rice’; this dish originates from Vietnamese peasants who used broken rice that nobody wanted to eat. The rice is served with pork and/or fried eggs and vegetables.

5. Snails (Oc)

It sounds scary, but it is a mouth-watering street food of this city. There are many cooking methods for this dish – steaming, frying, sautéing, or grilling. It is served with several toppings such as lemongrass, coconut milk, chili sauce, scallions and crushed peanuts.

Some places for fancy dining in Ho Chi Minh City

La Brasserie Buffet Restaurant - Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
La Brasserie Buffet Restaurant
  • El Gaucho Steakhouse

Address: 74 Hai Ba Trung Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

  • La Brasserie Buffet Restaurant – Hotel Nikko Saigon

Address: 235 Nguyen Van Cu Street, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1

  • Strata Restaurant

Address: Bitexco Tower, 2 Hai Trieu Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

  • Social Club Restaurant & Bar – MGallery Saigon

Address: 76-78 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ward 6, District 3

  • Crystal Jade Palace – Lotte Legend Saigon Hotel

Address: 2A-4A Ton Duc Thang Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1

  • Kabin Restaurant – Renaissance Riverside Hotel

Address: 8-15 Ton Duc Thang Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1