Inside Vietnam: Cambodia Laos

Ho Chi Minh City

Still known as Saigon to the locals, Ho Chi Minh City was the final place to fall to the North Vietnamese at the conclusion of the Vietnam War in 1975, and the many sites of interest in and around the city provide a fascinating and often unfamiliar perspective on this infamous period.

Ho Chi Minh City Map

“Ho Chi Minh is one of Asia's most underrated cities - exciting, energetic, great to explore on foot (once you've worked out tactics for crossing the road) and full of fanastic food!”

Simon King, Director

For a city renowned for its energy, noise and bustle, Ho Chi Minh City is a remarkably accessible and manageable metropolis. The city lives up to its billing as the dynamic powerhouse of the thriving Vietnamese economy, but the modern development is complemented by the architectural heritage of the colonial era, making it an elegant and appealing destination. Riverside Saigon, the former capital of French Indochina and subsequently the Southern Vietnamese government, was renamed after the American-Vietnam War in 1975, though the former name remains in common colloquial use throughout the country.

The leafy downtown District 1 is home to the great majority of sites of interest for visitors, as well as most hotels and restaurants, making exploration on foot (once the art of crossing the road has been mastered) a pleasant and simple prospect. The heart of District 1 is the Dong Khoi area, where the Opera House, People's Committee Building and many of the city's grandest hotels are located.

The American-Vietnam War (referred to locally as the American War) features heavily in many of Saigon's popular sites, but the perspective is eye-opening for a Western audience, and rarely oppressive or over-bearing in tone. For the young majority the war appears a historical fact bearing little impact on their lives or ambitions, and a lack of McDonalds aside, there appear few tangible signs of the turbulent past on scooter-strewn streets of modern Saigon.

Whether the city is your introduction to Vietnamese life, or the final chapter in a journey through the country, its infectious enthusiasm and humour will leave a substantial imprint.

Recommended Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City

The following are some of our favourite accommodation options in Ho Chi Minh City.

Experiences in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City offers a wealth of exciting experiences that will help you get beneath the surface of the local culture. See below for a few of our favourites

Weather in Ho Chi Minh City

The Climate Guide for Ho Chi Minh City is perfect for planning your holiday. Monthly weather averages give the best indication of what the weather is usually like for every month of the year including figures for temperature, rainfall and sunshine.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Daytime Temperature (°C) 31 32 33 35 33 32 31 31 31 31 31 30
Min Night-time Temperature (°C) 21 21 23 24 24 24 24 24 23 23 23 22
Hours of Sunshine (Daily) 5 6 6 6 5 4 4 5 5 4 4 4
Hours of Daylight (Daily) 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 12 12 12 12 12
Heat and Humidity Discomfort High High Very High Very High Very High Very High Very High Very High Very High High High High
Days with some Rainfall 5 4 5 8 15 16 18 18 20 18 12 9
Monthly Rainfall (mm) 12 7 22 62 183 257 254 246 269 253 149 58
UV Index (Maximum) 11 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 10 10