Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Formally known as Saigon, this eclectic city has shopping, restaurants and nightlife to rival most other South East Asia cities plus incredible French colonial buildings, pagodas and memorials and attractions linked to the Vietnam war.
12th in the 2020 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards Trending Destinations.
No matter what time of year you visit, it will be hot in Saigon.
Dry season runs from December to April. December tends to be the coolest month of the year, averaging daily highs of around 30°C/86°F, with lows around 22°C/72°F.
In contrast April is the hottest month of the year with average highs of 35°C/95°F, often heading towards 40°C/104°F.
Rainfall is generally low, although December and April will see more rainfall than the rest of the dry season. February tends to be the driest month with very little rain.
Rainfall rapidly increases through May and stays high until October, with November seeing less rainfall. The wettest month tends to be September. Rainfall tends to be in short but very heavy showers.
Temperatures during the wet season are fairly consistent with average highs around 32°C/90°F and only falling to around 23°C/73°F.
Typhoons may be an issue from July to November.
Vietnam Airlines are the only airline flying direct from the UK with daily flights to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Hanoi. There are currently no direct flights from Ireland or North America and only limited flights from Australia.
The vast majority of people will fly to one of the regional hubs on their way to and from Vietnam. There are good connections from Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Middle East.
There are good overland routes into Vietnam from Laos and Cambodia as well as China in the north of Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh is a busy city and the roads can be incredibly busy and challenging for the inexperienced or nervous.
Bus – HCM has an excellent bus network and is cheap. Buses tend to be modern with great seats and air-conditioning. Buses link the main train stations and airport as well as many of the key attractions.
Cyclo – Popular with tourists to see the sights around the city, these three wheeled bikes are less common now and tend to be primarily around tourist attractions and not used by locals. Pollution can be an easy in HCM so beware of longer tours.
Bicycle – There are plenty of places to hire a bicycle but we would recommend saving this until you visit a more bike friendly location elsewhere in Vietnam. The roads in HCM are very busy and can be a challenge to navigate safely.
Taxi – Generally the easiest way to get around HCM. Taxis will be parked around main hotels, tourist attractions, bars and restaurants.
Make sure you look out for the established taxi companies to avoid some of the unscrupulous drivers who will try and con you.
Xe Om (Motorcycle taxis) – An excellent and inexpensive alternative to a taxi either for a short trip or a longer trip for a tour of the city. Most drivers will only speak Vietnamese so language can be a barrier though. You should be given a helmet to wear.
Find out about where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City
Incredible markets, Vietnam War museums, incredible buildings and stunning food.
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