Once known as the Diamond of the Far-east, Ho Chi Minh is now the most populated city and also the best place to discover Vietnam. Modern skyscrapers, oriental style pagodas and temples, plenty of street food stalls, all of these creates a dynamic urban area in a special sense. With the vibrant and charming beauty with the conveniences of modern metropolises, it is a promisingly great place to visit in your holidays. So how to prepare for the best trip here? Let’s check out our comprehensive guide to everything you need for the trip ahead.
1. How to Get Vietnam Visa
For visiting Ho Chi Minh city (or so-called Saigon), the first thing you need to do is to get a tourist visa for Vietnam. There are 3 ways to get it, including:
- Applying for a tourist visa via a Vietnam embassy or consulate
- Getting a visa on arrival (VOA)
- Getting an e-visa
Among these methods, Visa on Arrival is prefered by most travellers arriving by air because it is more convenient and faster. You don’t have to go to an embassy, everything can be done online by a visa agency.
The process to get a tourist visa on arrival for Vietnam is quite simple, consisting of:
- filling an online application form and paying the agency fee,
- receiving an approval letter via your email before departing for Vietnam, and
- finally paying your stamping fee upon arrival at Vietnam airport to get the visa stamped there.
There are many visa agents in Vietnam but it is better to stick to well-established companies. In this aspect, we highly recommend vietnam-visa.com which has more than 10 years experience in this field. As a professional and efficient agency, it also offers a super urgent Vietnam visa for last-minute trips.
2. Best Time to Visit Ho Chi Minh City
With a tropical monsoon climate, Ho Chi Minh city is the place where you can expect the weather to be either hot and wet or hot and dry. The best time to visit the city is the drier months from December to March when you can escape from the normal sticky weather of Saigon. This is also an attractive occasion to celebrate Christmas and New Year with warm and friendly local people.
3. How to Get around Ho Chi Minh City
Though the city is well known for its notorious traffic, getting around the city is fairly easy after doing a bit of research. There are plenty of options like public buses, motorcycle taxis, and taxis. Travellers also can choose to rent a motorbike or bicycle though it would be a bit challenging to navigate through the busy traffic. The price is about VND 100,000/ a motorbike/ a day. Or, the most favourite way of foreign travellers is by cyclo – iconic transportation in Saigon. You can expect to pay VND 20,000 for an hour of travelling between city sights on the three-wheeled cycle.
4. Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City
It would be a daunting task to find the best place to stay in Ho Chi Minh city – the largest city in the country. So, we have created the list of the best areas to stay for first-time travellers no matter if you are budget backpackers or business travellers.
- District 1: Downtown District 1 is a favourite place to stay for most travellers. The area is close to major museums and many famous attractions, full of vibrant nightlife. Besides, there is a fine selection of popular 5-star names including InterContinental, Park Hyatt, and Renaissance. There is also a good selection of 3-star options.
- Backpacker area: This is believed to be the best area to stay, meet other travellers, enjoy street foods and drink, book cheap tours. Here, you can find a lot of budget and mid-range accommodation which attracts many travellers. There are also crowds of young Vietnamese hanging out here at night too.
- Expat area in District 2: Compared to the bustling downtown Saigon, expat area in District 2 is a mellow experience in the pleasant river setting. Staying in this area, you can enjoy excellent eating, shopping, and abundant nightlife.
5. What to Do in Ho Chi Minh City?
The big city offers plenty of awesome activities and beautiful places. No matter if you are a lover of cuisine, arts, history, culture or nightlife, there are always so many things to do in this overwhelming city.
Check out the list of 10 best things to do in Ho Chi Minh city.
6. Tips and Tricks for Ho Chi Minh City travel
To make things easier, we have collected some tips from both locals and foreigners living in Saigon.
- It’s better to use Grab app to book your taxi or motorbike ride.
- Be careful while walking on the road and keep your belongings carefully.
- Bargain for better prices, especially in the markets.
- Bring enough cash with you because many places in Saigon don’t accept cash.
Hope that you will have a great time in Ho Chi Minh city. Make sure you visit the https://bikingbro.com/ if you decide to rent a bicycle. And if you have any other ideas for a memorable trip, please share with us and other travellers.