Ho Chi Minh City

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City

Furiously hectic yet intoxicatingly romantic, Ho Chi Minh City is one of Asia's most dynamic and dexterous cities. Despite having gone by several names over the years, it's still known to everyone but government officials as Saigon - just the first indicator that locals wear their pride on their sleeves here.

Separating the many quan (districts) and phuong (wards), the city's hidden hems (alleyways) teem with action: from aromatic hawker stalls to ancient pagodas, faded GI bars to cosy new cafes, there's a new discovery at every turn. Before you know it, you don't look twice at the family of six passing by on a motorbike; arms steadying a mountain of eggs while fingers grasp at a feathery mass of live chickens.

Among the ubiquitous statues of Uncle Ho, the remnants of French colonialism are everywhere, from street side 'banh mi' sandwich shops to majestic government buildings. And less than an hour's journey from the city centre, the 'jungle kingdom' of Saigon reveals itself in a picture perfect medley of emerald green rice paddies and the twisting, tropical tendrils of the majestic Mekong Delta.

Bright, perennially busy and always adaptable, Ho Chi Minh City has got all the bases covered - whether you want high-class restaurants or bargain street eats, bustling markets or chic boutiques. Amid the relentless tropical heat and moments of frustration, she's worth it.

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Quick facts

  • Inhabitants in Vietnam:
    abt. 90.5 million
  • Inhabitants in Ho Chi Minh City:
    abt. 8 million
  • Official language
    Vietnamese
  • Currency
    VND , although USD is widely accepted and often preferred in major cities
  • Time zone
    ICT (UTC +7h)
  • Emergency number
    Police: 113, Fire: 114, Ambulance: 115
  • Constitution
    Socialist republic
  • Country phone code
    +84
  • Country code
    VN
  • Local transportation
    Taxi, motorbike taxi, cyclo, bus