Ho Chi Minh City Information and Guide
Sai Gon Travel Information and Guide
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), which is also called as Saigon by local people, is the biggest city of Vietnam in terms of the population and the economy as well as the most important educational, cultural, economic and politic center of Vietnam. It became the city directly under the central government and has been put into a group of special cities, including Hanoi Capital. The city is a place of different cultures and architecture lines, and will provide you with numerous destination to visit
1. Sai Gon Travel Map
As a business and financial hub in Vietnam, you can easily use US dollar for payment but we suggest you exchange US dollar for local currency of VND thanks to the rather high difference of money value between them. The rate is around 23.000 VND for 1 USD.
You could easily change your money at the banks that we noted on the map above.
There are also many different places of shopping for tourists, including Ben Thanh Market, where you can almost find anything with good quality, An Dong Plaza established since 1954 to sell different goods, shopping streets of Dong Khoi and Nguyen Trai, Saigon Square located at Nam Ky Khoi Nghia and Hai Ba Trung Streets.
One of the most important element that making HCMC a very attractive destination in Vietnam is eating and drinking culture as the city is chosen by many people coming from different cities and provinces across Vietnam as a place to make their home. It means you can enjoy food cultures of northern, central and southern regions of Vietnam in HCMC, such as snail rice noodles, beef rice noodles, crab rice noodles, rice noodle soup with beef, spring rolls, hot pot, etc.
There are some good restaurants where you could enjoy Vietnamese Cusine:
- Pho 24: Pho, Vietnam’s national dish—a rich beef consommé spiked with clove, star anise, and ginger and laced with noodles and fresh basil and cilantro—gets the fast-food treatment at this popular chain, with surprisingly inspired results. Follow the Vietnamese and go for breakfast.
- Quan An Ngon: Among the most popular are bun bo, made of cold noodles and beef, and bun cha, or meat and peanuts served over rice noodles. Small cooking stations surround the restaurant’s main building, and each chef serves a specialty dish. Communal seating is available in the main building, on the patio, or in the courtyard, and the atmosphere is noisy and chaotic.
Address: 160 Pasteur, Ben Nge Ward, Dist 1, HCMCHồ Chí Minh
- Mandarine Restaurant: Nestled in an exquisite inner city town-house, with impeccable attention to interior details set in Vietnamese theme, Mandarine restaurant provides a luxurious dining ambiance.
- Cuc Gach Quan: Owned by architect Tran Binh and his French-Vietnamese wife, Thai Tu-Tho, Binh acquired a derelict colonial mansion and reimagined it as an indoor-outdoor fantasia, blending historic details (antique armoires; a wall map of 1960’s Saigon) with contemporary touches (gorgeous lighting; a floating staircase) to create a strikingly romantic space—a gauzy, soft-focus realm that plays with one’s sense of time.
- Nam Giao: Located behind Ben Thanh Market, Nam Giao serves a small, but comprehensive menu of traditional dishes from the Hue region of Vietnam. Selections include such dishes as banh beo, a steamed rice flour cake filled with ground shrimp, and bun bo hue, a spicy beef noodle soup. The casual dining area is somewhat spartan; the walls are decorated with a few paintings, and each table features its own Asian-inspired light fixture and rock garden. Traditional Vietnamese music adds to the authentic atmosphere.
Wander through timeless alleys to incense-infused temples before negotiating chic designer malls beneath sleek 21st-century skyscrapers. The ghosts of the past live on in buildings that one generation ago witnessed a city in turmoil, but now the real beauty of the former Saigon’s urban collage is the seamless blending of these two worlds into one exciting mass.
The below list will show some popular places to visit in HCMC
Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, which has an official name of Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception in English , and is one of unique architectures in the city as original building materials were imported from France, and many tiles were carved with the words of Guichard Carvin, Marseille St Andre France (perhaps indicating the place where they were produced)
Independent Palace: Reunification Palace was the base of Vietnamese Repulic South Vietnam till 1975. It made its name in global history in 1975. A tank belonging to the North Vietnamese Army crashed through its main gate, ending the Vietnam War. Today, it's a must-visit for tourists in Ho Chi Minh City.
Saigon Post Office: A post office in the downtown of HCMC, near Saigon Notre Dame Basilica and was constructed when Vietnam was apart of French Indochina in the late 19th century, is a symbol with the combination of architecture from The West and decoration style from the Orient
Ben Thanh Market, which was built from 1912 to late March of 1914, is the most popular market in HCMC, and its clock image of the south side has been picked as an unofficial symbol of the city. It is also a suitable place for shopping and enjoying drinking and eating cultures of Vietnamese people from the north to the south
War Museum, located at 28 Vo Van Tan street, District 3, HCMC, contains exhibits relating to the Vietnam War and the first Indochina War involving the French colonialists. It is a place of much old military equipment used during wars in Vietnam such as UH 1 Huey helicopter, F5A fighter, BLU 82 bomb, M48 Patton tank, etc. Especially, tourists will have a chance to see “tiger cages” in which the South Vietnamese Government kept political prisoners.
Thien Hau Pagoda is one of the most ancient pagodas in the city. Aside from the values of architecture, carving, ancient valuable items, the pagoda is also a place meeting local people’s faith demand. On the 23rd day of the third month of the Vietnamese lunar calendar, the main idol of Mazu is removed from its altar and paraded through District 5’s Chinatown.
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