Ho Chi Minh City overview

Introduction & Location

Vietnam has become a very hot destination; it attracts stream of tourists each year.  In case you visited a lot of cities in Vietnam but not yet Ho Chi Minh City, then you can have seen real Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City is regarded as Vietnam’s largest and most attracting city. It is the nation’s economic heart of Vietnam. Located in Mekong Delta’s close area, Ho Chi Minh City has an area of 2095 square kilometers. Ho Chi Minh City was formerly known as Saigon. It was renamed after the greatest national hero Ho Chi Minh in 1976.

Ho Chi Minh city’s Time Zone: GMT+ 7


Weather

There only two seasons in Ho Chi Minh City. If you are going to visit it, the recommended time is dry season which lasts from December to April of the next year. It is the time when the humidity is more comfortable. In November, the clouds there begin to become heavy lasting until March. Especially The Tet Festival (Lunar Year Festival) which is in late January or early February. The location of Ho Chi Minh City is just 10.5o above the equator and between 16 to 35 ft above the sea level, it’s why this city can be a typical example of tropical land.

People and Culture In Ho Chi Minh city

Getting to know about Ho Chi Minh city, people may  be amazed at the ethnic diversity in this dynamic and big city. Besides, Kinh (The major ethnic group in Vietnam), there are also some other ethnics groups namely Khmer, Cham, Nung, and Rhade, etc. So far, each of these ethnic groups still keep their unique characteristics and regions and believes which are quite various like Buddhism, Hinduism, or Taoism, Confucianism, Ancestor Worship, Roman Catholic, etc. On the whole the major Ethnic group Kinh seems to be more popular and has common friendy, straightforward, and open-hearted characteristics.

Dining

Sai Gon is known as the “city of eating diner”.  Visiting here, you see a range of restaurants with many kind of food. You will find everything from enchiladas to dim sum here.

Most of the Vietnamese restaurants are quite westernized. Blue Ginger is the best restaurant located in a former journalists’ club at 37 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia. It is decorated with white table cloth.  Visiting here, you have chance to enjoy delicious food. And Viet Nam House upstairs at 4 Nguyen Thiep Street is under the same ownership.  Both are magnificently decorated. You can expect fabulous service and live music there.

If you like the modest and relaxed atmosphere, the Lemon Grass, at 93-95 Dong Khai Street, is the good choice.  On most nights, a string quartet entertains diners.

It is very pity that if you come to Ho Chi Minh without eating Banh Xeo (pancake) located on Dinh Cong Trang street, one of the most of delicious Sai Gon’s food.  Eating outdoors is also one of the features of Sai Gon’s people. Hence, it is not amazing when you see hundreds of people sit around an open- air kitchen and enjoy food in one block down this little alley. The price is very suitable. Just keep ordering one dish at a time until you have had enough.

If you want to enjoy Hue’s dish, come to Phu Xuan restaurant. It is decorated luxury, Vietnamese cooking’s equivalent of Imperial court cuisine. Unlike most Saigon, flavors are rich and subtle, and dishes are beautifully presented. Phu Xuan is an ideal place for a romantic supper and small party. It is located in district 3 at 128 Dinh Tien Hoang.

Saigon’s Top Sights

More than 300 years, Sai Gon past many ups and downs creating Sai Gon  many historical relics and famous sites such as Reunification Palace-  Vietnam’s typical architect, Ben Thanh market- symbol of Sai Gon, and one of the most attractive site is  Duc Ba cathedral, Nha Rong port and so on.

Duc Ba cathedral


It is considered one of France’s most ambitious projects in Indochina at the time. On October 7, 1877 the first cornerstone of the cathedral was laid by Rev. Colombert. Three years later, in 1880, the cathedral was opened to the public. These dates are carved on marble placard in the cathedral. At that time, to build the structure, people had spent much time and money. Especially, the bricks used to build the structure were from Marseilles. Artisans from Lorin Company (Chartres, France) were commissioned to create the stained glass windows. We spent 2.5 million francs. In 1962, the Vatican gave the cathedral the title Basilique.

Next stop is the Ben Thanh Market


Here, you will find every staple commodity imaginable except for automobiles and real estate. Wandering among the tiny, packed stalls here will give you some unique insights into modern Vietnamese life. The food court here has delicious and very tasty local specialties. Produce, flowers, and meats are sold on the sidewalks surrounding the building.

Now come Saigon to explore this dynamic and enchanting city!

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