Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon) is one of the busiest and largest cities in Vietnam. The highlights that make this city well-known are its diverse culture and historical sites, and unique architecture, which have turned this spectacular city into an essential economic-political-tourism center of Vietnam. ...
I - Where is Ho Chi Minh City located?
Ho Chi Minh city is located in the southern region of Vietnam with a total area of approximately 2,061 square kilometers and about 1,730 kilometers to the south of Hanoi. The North of it borders Binh Duong province, the Northwest borders Tay Ninh, the Northeast and the East borders Dong Nai and Vung Tau respectively, the southeastern part of the city borders the East Sea with a system of large estuaries and deep-water ports serving the needs of large ships and boats.
Ho Chi Minh city at night - Source: Tron Le
Especially located at the center of Southeast Asia, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam is an important traffic hub for roads, waterways, and airways. Therefore, this city has the capability of connecting provinces in the region. It is also a crucial gateway to Vietnam’s international trade, which is one of the compulsory conditions promoting the city to become a substantial economic, political, and cultural center of the region and the country.
II - The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh city
This city is settled in a tropical savanna monsoon, so the weather in Ho Chi Minh is divided into two distinct seasons during a year: the dry season and the rainy one. The annual average temperature here is also relatively comfortable, only about 27°C, which is very suitable for outdoor activities. The best time to travel here is in the dry season, from December to April next year due to low rainfall (~ 75mm / month), a large number of sunny hours per month (230 - 272 hours/month); and the temperature ranges from 21 - 29°C.
III - How to travel to Ho Chi Minh City?
Tan Son Nhat airport - Source: Zing
The traffic and transport infrastructure system in this city has been continuously invested, expanded, and upgraded with more level-up service quality to meet the traveling needs of tourists, city residents, and economic trade. Some of the main arteries connecting this city with other provinces, cities, and countries are as follows:
The airport is located about 8 km in the north of the city center. Direct flights from overseas to Tan Son Nhat airport can be mentioned as China, Korea, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Russia, Cambodia, Switzerland,...This airport welcomes more than 40 million passengers, of which international visitors account for 31.9% (13.6 million passengers).
Location: Truong Son Street, Ward 2, Tan Binh District,
Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam is located on the railway line connecting the North and South. Saigon Railway Station serves about 2,075 passengers per day, the highest peak reaching 6,500 passengers/day. The station is designed with 5 train lines, with a total area of about 430,56ft2. As a consequence of the spectacular landscape on the road and the relatively low cost, traveling by railway is quite a new and fascinating experience for tourists.
Location of Saigon Railway Station: No.1 Nguyen Thong Street, Ward 9, District 3
The road traffic system here has a total length of 4,044km, which is the largest one in Vietnam. The whole city has about 7.6 million personal vehicles, including about 7 million motorbikes and 580,000 cars. Also, many types of vehicles from neighboring provinces arrive in Saigon to study, live, and work.
There are plenty of means of transportation for tourists traveling here to choose such as bus, coach, limousine, taxi, or motorbike. There are two major intercity bus stations here: the Eastern bus station, and the Western bus station. Here, there are a lot of bus arrivals from different provinces in Vietnam.
- Mien Dong bus Station: No.292 Dinh Bo Linh Street, F26, Binh Thanh District
- Mien Tay bus station: No.395 Kinh Duong Vuong Street, An Lac Ward, Binh Tan District.
IV - Interesting Ho Chi Minh City facts
1 - Old name (Saigon or Ho Chi Minh city)
Before July 1976, this was formerly known as Saigon, there are many explanations for this name but one has a clear basis and trusted by many people is the analysis based on the Sino-Vietnamese pronunciation of each word. Accordingly, "Saigon" is the Sino-Vietnamese word for the cotton tree - A type of tree that was grown quite popular here at that time. There are still many traces of cotton cultivation in this city left like Cay Mai pagoda, etc. Or else, it is a spoonerism of “Prei Nokor” or "Thầy Ngồn”.
There is also another theory that the name Saigon is another way of saying "Sài Ngạn" - "Bến Củi" in Cantonese named by some Chinese people when coming to this land. In the past, Saigon also had several other names such as “Thù Nại”, Tan Binh district, etc. However, the names that left a deep impression on everyone more than others are Saigon before and Ho Chi Minh now.
2 - Ho Chi Minh City history information
Right from the Stone Age (8700-2000 BC), in this city, there was the appearance and existence of human civilization. The culture that stands out above all and leaves many archaeological sites is Sa Huỳnh culture, Óc Eo, or Khmer culture. However, Saigon was only officially formed from 1623 to 1698, when Lord Nguyen asked his son-in-law - King Chey Chetta II, to set up a tax collection station in Prei Nokor (Sài Gòn) and Kas Krobei (Bến Nghé).
After that, there was the formation of a garrison in Tân Mỹ and the mansion of Vice Vương Nặc Nộn. Later, after experiencing many riots and wars, Saigon became the largest and most crowded economic center in the Southeast.
Ho Chi Minh City in 19th centurt - Source: Thanh Binh
In 1859, after conquering the Gia Dinh citadel, the French were in a rush to plan Saigon City to become a big city to serve as accommodation for French officials during the colonial exploitation period. Soon after that, many great works were built like Nam Ky Governor Palace, Governor General's Palace, etc.
At that time, Saigon was constructed according to the model of European cities with a variety of special buildings like Governor's Palace, Department of Director of Internal Affairs, Court, Superior Court, First Instance Court, Commercial Court, Bishop's Court, etc.
3 - Is Ho Chi Minh City safe for tourists?
As a dynamic city, the people here are friendly and hospitable. Under the management of the city government, large-scale protests are rare here. In consequence, this city in particular, Vietnam in general is one of the safest destinations for tourists.
4 - Ho Chi Minh time zone
This city is located at 10o10’– 10o38’ north latitude and 106o22’-106o54’ east longitude, so it lies entirely in the GMT + 7-time zone - Indochina Time.
In conclusion, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam is a young and dynamic city which is worth a visit. Hopefully, with all the information that we have just synthesized, you somewhat will have more knowledge about Ho Chi Minh City tourism. The friendliness, hospitality, and openness combined with the great sidewalk cafes in Saigon will leave an unforgettable impression on you.