Compare Cheap Flights from Cairns to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Ho Chi Minh City Guide
Need to know
Ho Chi Minh City, commonly referred to by its former name, Saigon, is the largest city and capital of Vietnam. The city has existed in a number of disparate forms over the years—that of a Khmer fishing village, a Vietnamese settlement, a French colony, and now, the capital of the youngest communist country in the world. In many ways, it’s a hard city to keep up with. But, more often than not, those who try will be rewarded with an experience like no other.
Ho Chi Minh City is located in southern Vietnam, not far from where the Mekong River empties into the South China Sea. This region has plenty to offer nature-loving explorers. Take in the sights as you cruise down the Saigon River, or venture further south to the Mekong Delta to discover fertile farmlands, mangrove forests, floating markets, and a completely different way of life. It’s even possible to find a rural oasis within Ho Chi Minh City itself; just 7 km from Tan Son Nhat Airport, Thanh Da Island is a sleepy enclave of ponds, rice paddies, and the occasional roaming piglet.
Ho Chi Minh City is the kind of place that has something for everyone. Those seeking some historic insight can’t go past the War Remnants Museum, an extensive exhibit which denounces the horrors of the Vietnam War. Adventurous travellers can also head northwest to crawl through the Cu Chi tunnels, the 250 km long network of underground tunnels used by the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army. Back in the city, join a street food tour or navigate your own way through the pavement stalls, restaurants and eclectic eateries of Ho Chi Minh City. Once night falls, head to Bui Vien Street and see the area come alive with music, street bars, cheap beer and bright-eyed backpackers.
Ho Chi Minh is a huge city known for its idiosyncratic road rules—or lack thereof. Many tourists simply choose to walk; this is usually for the best, although it always pays to watch out for motorcyclists who may mount the pavement at any time to shave a few metres off their route. Of course, it’s also possible to hire a motorbike yourself, although Ho Chi Minh City traffic can be daunting for anyone unfamiliar with the Vietnamese style of driving. For all the thrills without the stress, xe om (motorcycle taxis) will allow you to weave through the city’s bustling traffic with ease. For more conservative travellers, taxis and buses are also readily available. Travelling on Ho Chi Minh’s green buses can cost as little as 3,000 VND (less than 0.20 AUD) while the price of a taxi may be subject to the whims of less scrupulous drivers.
Best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City’s tropical climate means that temperatures are fairly consistent throughout the year; monthly lows and highs rarely deviate from 20-25°C and 30-35°C, respectively. There is, however, a significant difference in rainfall throughout the year. The rainy season occurs from May to October while January, February and March are by far the city’s driest months.
Tan Son Nhat International Airport
Tan Son Nhat International Airport is located close to the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. Flights travel to Tan Son Nhat International Airport from a number of locations, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Bangkok and Jakarta. The airport’s central location means that most tourist accommodation will be just a short taxi or bus ride away.