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If you are an expats and this is the first time you come to Vietnam in general or Ho Chi Minh city in particular, having some clear steps to do might be a great challenge since this city is filled with unique landmarks. HCMC for short, or also called Saigon is widely known as Vietnam’s business and financial hub as well as tourists attractions.
Tourists love its alluring and intriguing culture, classic French architecture, glossy skyscrapers as well as ornate temples and pagodas. You can also find plenty of fantastic rooftop bars, floating restaurants, street food in this city. 

Check out our guide for travelling in Ho Chi Minh city in your first few days and experience these spectacular scenery

Ho Chi Minh at a glance

Ho Chi Minh is divided 24 districts, which has different characteristics from each other. The city center is situated in District 1, where you can visit some of its most popular recreation center and shopping malls. Backpackers can find affordable accommodation, restaurants, and bars that are full of expats at Pham Ngu Lao Street. Meanwhile, District 2 is the place for expat’s community, so there are plenty of high-quality apartments, villas, and houses if you want to stay in this neighborhood.

Merits of Ho Chi Minh city:

  • One of the most modern cities in Vietnam but still contain lots of historical monuments.
  • The mixture of modern and historical landmarks.
  • Excellent for shopping with goods and services everywhere among Viet Nam as well as worldwide that suitable for all budgets.

Demerits of Ho Chi Minh city:

  • Congested traffic – so many motorcycles!
  • More expensive than most cities in Vietnam
  • Thieves, pickpockets are known in tourist attractions

Things You Can Do in Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh may be known for its war museums (such as Chu Chi Tunnels), but the city area has plenty of fascinating historical sites which are suitable for all ages. The Notre Dame Cathedral and Saigon Central Post Office are prime examples of French colonial architecture, both of which require no entrance fee. There are also Buddhist temples and traditional markets that have been operating for hundreds of years.

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Notre Dame Cathedral

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Reunification Palace

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Central Post Office

Best Places to Shop in Ho Chi Minh

Shopping in Ho Chi Minh is a mix of swanky malls housing international fashion brands to traditional markets selling authentic handicrafts and street food. Bargaining is a must-do when you’re shopping at Binh Tay and Ben Thanh Market, as initial prices stated by vendors are much higher than the goods are actually worth.

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Ben Thanh Market

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Binh Tay Market

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Vincom Center

Best Places to Go at Night in Ho Chi Minh

Nightlife in Ho Chi Minh means very different things depending where you are in the city. Downtown in District 1, rooftop bars, high rolling casinos and smooth jazz bands are the choice forms of nightlife entertainment in Saigon. But move a few kilometres west into District 3 and the backpacker street of Pham Ngu Lao, with its street bars, cheap eats and good time vibe, is certainly the place to be when night falls.

Saigon Saigon Rooftop Bar

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Opera House

Pham Ngu Lao street

Great Restaurants We Like in Ho Chi Minh

Restaurants in Ho Chi Minh cater to just about any regional cuisine, from French, American and Russian, to Thai, Chinese, and, of course, Vietnamese. You can find affordable street food and snack stalls at Pham Ngu Lao and local markets such as Bin Tay and Ben Thanh. Affluent travellers can enjoy pleasant ambiance, stunning views and diligent service at fine-dining restaurants that are mostly located in District 1.

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The Refinery Saigon

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Quan An Ngon Restaurant

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Camargue Saigon

Hotels in Ho Chi Minh We Recommend to Our Friends

As Ho Chi Minh is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations, it offers a diverse collection of accommodation options. Some the city’s five-star hotels are located in the city centre, and have been featured in many novels and movies. But if you’re travelling on a modest budget, there are plenty of hostels and backpacker inns in Pham Ngu Lao Street.

Caravelle Saigon

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The Nguyens Cafe NHC

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Hotel Des Arts Saigon, Mgallery Collection

This article is summarized by Modoho – a trusted agency in Ho Chi Minh city. If you need any help from a local expertise with free searching services (only landlord have to pay) feel free to contact us. Here is some listing for you:

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