WELCOME TO HO CHI MINH CITY
- Ho Chi Minh, or Saigon as it was formerly called, is the largest and most populous city in Vietnam. The city, is located in the southeastern area, surrounds the Saigon River and covers about 2,061 square kilometers (796 square miles). The city has a tropical climate divided into two distinct seasons annually. The rainy season (about 150 rainy days a year) typically lasts from May to November. The dry season lasts from December to April.
- Prior to Vietnamese settlement in the 17th century, the city was a scarcely populated area that had been part of historic empires of Funan, Champa, and Khmer. With the arrival of Vietnamese, the area became more populated and officials began establishing the city from 1623 to 1698. After it was ceded by the last Vietnamese dynasty to the French in 1862, the name Saigon was adopted and the city underwent urbanization to become a financial center in the region. The city was the capital of South Vietnam until the end of the Vietnam War with North Vietnamese victory in 1975. In 1976, the government of a unified Vietnam named Saigon in honor of Ho Chi Minh.
- The primary economic center of Vietnam, it is also an emerging international destination, with popular landmarks related to remnants of its history showcased through its architecture. HCM offers an assortment of social draws such as HCMC Museum of Fine Art, Saigon Opera House, theaters and libraries. It is one of Vietnam’s most prominent centers for business where a variety of foreign and domestic companies and international organizations choose to develop their operations.
- A major transportation hub, the city hosts the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, the busiest airport in Vietnam. The main means of transport within the city are motorbikes, cars, buses, taxis, and bicycles. Motorbikes remain the most common way to move around the city. For short trips, "xe ôm" (hug vehicle) motorcycle and taxis are available throughout the city, usually congregating at a major intersection. You can also book through ride-hailing apps like Grab and GoJek.
- With increasing development, Ho Chi Minh City is also undergoing construction of educational institutions and transportation, and also serves as a major media and entertainment outlet.
- Higher education in Ho Chi Minh City is a burgeoning industry; the city boasts over 80 universities and colleges with a total of over 400,000 students. Notable universities include Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City, with 60,000 students distributed among six schools.
ARRIVING IN HCMC
By plane: Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN)
- How to get to the city centre from Tan Son Nhat International airport?
- The shuttle bus leaves the airport every 10 - 20 mins from 5:30 AM to 1:00 AM, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. (Yellow airport Bus #109, Airport Bus #49, Public Bus #152). Tickets range from 7 000 VND to 40 000 VND.
- Taxi (Mailinh, VinaSun, Savico, Vina) and Technological vehicles (Grab, GoJek, Be) range from 100 000 VND to 200 000 VND.
By Train: Saigon Railway Station
- Vietnam rail network is operated by the state-owned Vietnam Railway Authority (VNRA). Ho Chi Minh City is also a terminal for many Vietnam Railways train routes in the country. The Reunification Express runs from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi from Saigon Railway Station in District 3. Booking is mandatory, and prices vary according to day and time.
Further information: dsvn.vn
By public transport
- Ho Chi Minh’s public transport network, run by MCPT, consists of bus routes and taxis. A bus ticket costs 7.000 VND (adult), 3.000 VND (pupils, students), and free for children.
- UEL campus: Bus 104, 53, 93, 19, 33, 50
Further information: buyttphcm.com.vn
- The Ho Chi Minh City Metro, a rapid transit network, is being built in stages. The first line is under construction connecting Ben Thanh to Suoi Tien Park in District 9, and expected to be fully operational by 2022.
- The city's location on the Saigon River makes it a bustling commercial and passenger port; Passenger boats operate regularly between Ho Chi Minh City and various destinations in Southern Vietnam including Vung Tau, Can Tho and the Mekong Delta. HCMC Ferrybus was also established as a maritime public transport.
By private transport
Car or Motorbike: HCM city center
- Follow the HCM traffic signs. Parking in the city centre is quite expensive, and parking spaces are often hard to find.
- The technological vehicles: Grab, Gojek, and Be are a community platform. For local or regional trips, you can find affordable prices.
KEY MOMENTS IN HO CHI MINH
Western New Year's Day
- January 1st :The locals of Ho Chi Minh City join the expatriate community to celebrate this western holiday.
Lunar New Year
- January 1st – 6th of Lunar Calendar: The Lunar New Year, known locally as Tet Nguyen Dan, is the largest celebration of the year, with the whole nation prioritizing family gatherings.
International Women’s Day
King Hung's Commemoration
- March 8th of Lunar calendar
Liberation Day – Reunification Day
- April 30th: Liberation Day on 30 April celebrates the end of American occupation and the reunification of the north and south. It is marked by festivals and events throughout the country.
International Labor Day
- April 15th of Lunar calendar
- September 2nd: National Day or Independence Day is a one-day holiday celebrating the nation of Vietnam. No organized events take place, but often there is music and local celebrities singing in Ho Chi Minh City's local parks.
- August 15th of Lunar calendar
- December 24th: Christmas Day is celebrated by local Vietnamese Christians, primarily of the Catholic religion. Local retailers in the center of the city put up colorful decorations and make it largely a consumer opportunity. Christian Vietnamese decorate their homes and many drives around to take in the sights.
Discover HCM city
- The city's center has some wide American-style boulevards and a few French colonial buildings. The majority of these tourist spots are located in District 1 and are a short distance from each other. The most prominent structures in the city center are the Reunification Palace (Dinh Thống Nhất), City Hall (Ủy ban nhân dân Thành phố), Municipal Theatre (Nhà hát thành phố, also known as the Opera House), City Post Office (Bưu điện thành phố), State Bank Office (Ngân hàng nhà nước), City People's Court (Tòa án nhân dân thành phố) and Notre-Dame Cathedral (Nhà thờ Đức Bà) the cathedral was constructed between 1863 and 1880.
- The city has various museums including the Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Museum of Vietnamese History, the Revolutionary Museum, the Museum of south-eastern Armed Forces, the War Remnants Museum, the Museum of Southern Women, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Nha Rong Memorial House, and the Ben Duoc Relic of Underground Tunnels. The Củ Chi tunnels are north-west of the city in Củ Chi District. The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, in District 1, dates from 1865.
- Backpacking travellers most often frequent the "Backpackers’ Quarter" on Phạm Ngũ Lão Street and Bùi Viện Street, District 1.
- HCM tourist offices and information: 140 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC: sodulich.hochiminhcity.gov.vn; saigontourist.net
- To find out about good spots in HCM (by bus): hopon-hopoff.vn; visithcmc.vn
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBER - HCMC
● Ambulance: 115
● Fire and rescue team: 114
● Police: 113
Other useful numbers
Vinmec Central Park International Hospital
- Address: 208 Nguyen Huu Canh, Ward 22, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh city
- Phone number: (+8428) 3 6221 166 – (+8428) 3 6221 188
- Website: https://vinmec.com/en/
Columbia Asia International Hospital
American International Hospital – AIH
- Address: No. 6, Bac Nam 3 street, (Entrance from No. 199, Nguyen Hoang Street), An Phu Ward, Thu Duc City, Ho Chi Minh City.
- Tel: (+8428) 3910 9999
- Website: https://aih.com.vn
Family Medical Practice Clinic
Vietnam France Hospital – FV
- Address: 6 Nguyen Luong Bang, South Saigon (Phu My Hung), District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Phone number: (+8428) 54 11 33 33 - (+8428) 54 11 35 00 – (+84) 903 013 500
- Website: https://www.fvhospital.com/#