Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), still often referred to as Saigon, was a Khmer seaport in the 17th century before becoming a French colony. In the 20th century it had a twenty year stint as the capital of South Vietnam, and is the largest city in today’s Vietnam. You can witness its amazing blend of European, Vietnamese and Chinese culture through its beautiful architecture, which is dotted by rivers, arroyos and canals. HCMC is rapid and thrilling and, even with the maddening traffic as cyclo drivers speed under vast neon billboards, you can immerse yourselves in variety. HCMC boasts the country’s finest hotels and a plethora of eateries, from simple or Parisian style street cafés to ultra swish Vietnamese and international restaurants.

Highlights

  • French Colonial Buildings
  • Opera House
  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Thien Hau Temple

 Places in Vietnam

 Places to stay

Hotel Majestic Saigon

Hotel Style: Heritage

See Hotel

Lobby of IC Asiana Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

IC Asiana Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

Hotel Style: International

Conveniently located in the heart of downtown, the Intercontinental Asiana Saigon features 305 spacious, modern and elegantly appointed rooms including 18 suites and a stylish Presidential Suite.  See Hotel

Liberty Central Saigon Centre Hotel

Hotel Style: International

Strategically placed near the airport in Ho Chi Minh City's Dong Khoi neighborhood, Liberty Central Hotel (Managed by Metropole Hotel HCMC) is close to famous attractions like Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City Hall, Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Reunification Palace, etc.  See Hotel

Saigon Park Hyatt (Ho Chi Minh City)

Hotel Style: International

The 9-storey luxury Park Hyatt Saigon Hotel is centrally located at Lam Son Square, near the elegant Opera House in downtown Saigon within walking distance to shopping, entertainment and main tourist attractions.  See Hotel

 Things to do

Private – Cooking class with Ms. Cam Van and lunch

On this half day excursion you will meet Ms. Nguyen Dzoan Cam Van, one of the most influential Vietnamese chefs, and who has published almost 40 cookery books. Start your day by visiting a local market, where you will see the buying and selling rituals and learn about the tasty ingredients. Following the market, you will drive to Cam Van’s home set near a canal in the tranquil backstreets of Saigon for a hands on cooking class where you can taste the fruits of your labour. Be entertained by your host and her many stories of travelling the USA to present her native cuisine.

Bonsai Cruise

In the early evening, why not board the Bonsai, a charming 19th century dragon boat, and enjoy a scenic cruise along the Saigon River? Admire the cityscape floating past whilst you indulge in cocktails and canapes or let the live band tempt you onto the dance floor. Enjoy a buffet consisting of Vietnamese and European cuisine, followed by after dinner drinks (payable) on deck before returning to the pier around 9.30pm. Transfer to your hotel.

War Remnants Museum

Visit the War Remnants Museum, showcasing military equipment such as helicopters, fighter jets and curiosities. From a guillotine used for execution in prison to jars showcasing preserved human fetuses, the museum’s collection offers fascinating diversity. Please note, some guests may find some of the exhibits disturbing.

Vespa Tour

Experience Culinary Nirvana on a local food trail through the streets of Saigon’s overcrowdedness astride a vintage Vespa scooter! Sense the sizzle, soak in the aromas, tuck in the treats, indulge in unlimited abundance of street food in this exciting metropolis. Meet your scooter driver and start your epicurean journey. At District 4 taste snail dishes; at District 3 try Banh Xeo (rice pancake with pork and prawns); dine/drink at some authentic street food places; head to a local coffee shop.

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 Destinations Near Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon

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