Holidays to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam

As Vietnam’s biggest city, Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City to give it its modern-day name, easily rivals its Asian counterparts of Bangkok and Singapore in vibrancy. Formerly the base of the US military during the Vietnam War, its criss-crossed streets are rapidly expanding and are lined with flashy bars and designer stores, yet you’ll still find nods to its European heritage in the remaining colonial buildings.

Walking around the wide boulevards of District 1, you’ll spot businessmen amid women wearing traditional conical hats. Start your visit at the elegant Notre Dame cathedral, before heading next door to the canary-yellow Central Post Office. Shopaholics will be in their element at the high-end stores, while bargain hunters should make time to visit the colourful markets at Binh Tay where you’ll find hundreds of stalls selling an eclectic mix of goods, from cashew nuts to kitchenware. In nearby Chinatown, there’s incense-filled temples and pagodas, though most of the original buildings have long gone.

The 1960s Reunification Palace, the former presidential palace, is filled with history and is synonymous with the fall of Saigon in 1975. During the War, the Vietnamese resistance fighters (Viet Cong) developed the Cu Chi Tunnels, an extensive network of underground passageways 90 minutes’ drive from Saigon, which extended as far as Cambodia. The maze of tunnels played a key role in the Communists’ victory, housing makeshift hospitals, kitchens, weapons factories and more. A section of the tunnels is open to visitors where you can squeeze yourself through some of the narrow passageways. Warning – claustrophobes should not attempt this. In you want to find out more about the wars that ravaged the city, the War Remnants Museum gives a powerful insight into the impact on the region’s residents.

Don't leave the city without trying ‘banh xeo’, savoury pancakes in one of the restaurants on Dinh Cong Trang Street, where you’ll find locals eating outdoors around open-air kitchens. If you need a caffeine fix to keep up with the fast pace of city life, you’ll find plenty of cafés serving delicious, cheap coffee. If the busy atmosphere gets too much, the peaceful waters of the Mekong Delta are just a day trip away.

Highlights

  • Get stuck into chaotic city life

  • Delve into fascinating history and admire colonial architecture

  • Indulge in international cuisine and relaxed cafe culture

Eline
Travel Designer
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The simple memory of eating a bowl of Pho whilst watching the sunset in Halong Bay is one of my fondest from my time living in Vietnam. The wonderful warm people, incredible nature and fantastic food of Vietnam will always keep me coming back.

Saigon trip ideas

Here are some trip ideas in Saigon. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 020 3510 5777

Places to stay in Saigon

Here are some of our favourite accommodation options in Saigon. All of our hotels and lodges are hand-picked by our Travel Designers. Need help deciding where to stay during your trip? Call our Travel Designers now and they’ll help you pick the best hotels suited to your needs: 020 3510 5777

Things to do in Saigon

Here are some of the things you can do in Saigon. When you've chosen your favourite experiences, just give our Travel Designers a call and they'll put a trip together for you. If you need help choosing an experience, or if you want to learn more about it, our Travel Designers will be more than happy to talk to you. Just call them on: 020 3510 5777

Map of Saigon

When to go to Saigon