Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Travelling too and from Ho Chi Minh City - flights - Buses - Railways or car and driver: Ho Chi Minh City is an important gateway when touring Vietnam and you can get to pretty much anywhere from the City be it into The Mekong Delta or to the beaches and coasts of the South China Sea or of course up into Cambodia, Laos and Thailand etc.
Flying to Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.Ho Chi Minh's Tan Son Nhat International Airport is located around 6km north of the City and is easily the largest airport in Vietnam both in capacity and pure area - the airport handles twice as many passengers as does Hanoi for instance. Terminal 1 handles domestic Vietnam flights with the main
airline currently being Vietnam Airlines which offers direct flights to Hanoi, Dalat, Can Tho, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Hai Phong.
Terminal 2 is a very modern building with quite a few international airlines present providing flights to their relevant home countries - these
airlines include Air France, Air China, Cathy Pacific, Japan Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Thai Airways and of course Vietnam Airlines are ever present. There are shuttle buses running out of the airport (near the Domestic Terminal) into the centre of Saigon but probably the best way to do this trip is to simply use a metered taxi.
Ho Chi Minh City (formerly called Saigon and these days often quickly referred too as HCMC) is something of a shock to visit if arriving in from much more serene places like Hoi An, Dalat or Chau Doc. There are motorbikes and buses everywhere with associated traffic jams and the traffic movement starts early
in the morning and lasts well into the evening. The name Ho Chi Minh City is in relation to the whole area whilst the central and old part of Ho Chi Minh City is still known as Saigon to most people. This Vietnamese city is in complete contrast to Hanoi which has plenty of
narrow twisty streets and very old buildings - Saigon seems to be full of often wide congested quite often tatty streets with everyone going somewhere in a hurry and because of the heavy traffic lots of
noise and exhaust fumes.[ Click the thumbnails for a larger photo, use the back button to return to this page ]
Vietnamese Railways and travelling to/from Saigon.
There are express rail services from Saigon which call at a variety of locations along the Vietnamese coast including Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hue and Hanoi with 5 trains a day leaving from either end of the line. The SE numbered trains are the best to use as they have modern carriages, sleeper cars and air conditioning and the duration of the over
1000 mile journey between Saigon and Hanoi is around 30 hours - so not that "express". Saigon's railway station which is called Gare Saigon, is located at District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.Saigon Ferries
. The passenger quay at Bach Dang Wharf is in District 1 on the Saigon River and provides hydrofoil links with Vung Tau and it's famous beaches and express boat links with Can Tho up in the Mekong Delta.Saigon Buses.
Open tour buses and buses from Phnom Penh terminate on De Tham (where most of the budget hotels are located).
Buses from the north of Vietnam come into Mien Dong Bus Station which is 5kms northeast of the City at Ox Viet Nghe Tinh. Buses from the southwest i.e. the Mekong Delta come into Mien Tay Bus Station which is 10kms west of the city centre at An Lac District. There are shuttle buses operating between Mien Dong and Mien Tay bus stations and also a shuttle bus running between these bus stations and Ben Thanh bus station which is where you will find budget hotels.
Ho Chi Minh City is split into 24 districts with the main ones of interest to tourists being Districts 1, 3 and 5 - the old French Quarter of District 1 is known variously as Saigon, Downtown and Central and contains many hotels and restaurants.
Originally just a small fishing village within swampland and known as Prey Nokor, Saigon was inhabited by the Khmer but eventually in the early 1600s Vietnamese settlers moved in from the Mekong Delta and eventually outnumbered the Khmer.
The Hue's Nguyen dynasty exerted some control of the city around 1698 and then the French subsequently conquered it in 1859 before they in turn were kicked out by the Vietnamese.
Saigon and Ho Chi Minh Hotels and restaurants. There are literally thousands of hotels in Ho Chi Minh City from the top name hotels (and top prices to match) through to back-packers cheap hostels - nearly all of these hotels can be easily found on websites. As far as
Saigon restaurants are concerned again there is plenty of choice particularly around Downtown catering for all sorts of food tastes. There are also many bakeries, cafes and supermarkets where you can pick up drinks or food as required. Generally speaking it seems the further south you travel in Vietnam the more expensive both accommodation and restaurants become - although further south still (i.e. of Saigon) into The Mekong Delta things are much cheaper again..
Our items about Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam - things to do and see there.
- Saigon Vietnam Sightseeing Guide with photos
- Things to do in Ho Chi Minh, visiting the Reunification Hall, Jade Emperor Pagoda, Le Van Duyet Temple, Notre Dame Cathedral
- Visiting Cu Chi Tunnels
- Visiting Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam on a half day trip, looking at booby traps used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.
- Mekong Delta Touring and Travel Guide for Vietnam
- Touring the Mekong Delta Vietnam, Mekong River boat trips, fishing villages, restaurants, hotels, getting around the Mekong.
- Vietnam and Mekong Delta Touring Guide
- Our Vietnam Home Page - this contains all of our topics about touring in Vietnam and The Mekong Delta.
More destinations for which we have travel and holiday guides are for Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Cyprus, lots of Greek Islands, The Algarve and several Canary Islands
Also many Topics about England - Wild Flowers, National Trail Walks, Churches plus quite a few canals including The Kennet and Avon Canal, The Oxford Canal, The Grand Union Canal, The Regents Canal - also two rivers (the Lee and Stort) and about walking The Thames Path.
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