Ho Chi Minh City, still commonly referred to as "Saigon," is the financial center of Vietnam and one of Southeast Asia's most dynamic cities. French colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards offer a reminder of the city's illustrious past, while modern development, thriving commerce and the bustling pace of life present a more contemporary perspective on today's Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh city in brief

  • Telephone code: 08
  • Area: 2,098.7 sq. km
  • Population: 6,105.8 thousand habitants (2006)
  • Administrative divisions:
    -
    Districts: District 1, District 2, District 3,District 4,District 5,District 6, District 7, District 8, District 9, District 10, District 11, District 12,Tan Binh,Binh Thanh, Phu Nhuan,Thu Duc, Go Vap, Binh Tan,Tan Phu.
    -
    Rural districts: Nha Be,Can Gio,Hoc Mon, Cu Chi,Binh Chanh.
  • Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Hoa, Khmer, Cham...

Geography

Opera House
In the core of the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is second the most important in Vietnam after Hanoi. It is not only a commercial center but also a scientific, technological, industrial and tourist center. The city is bathed by many rivers, arroyos and canals, the biggest river being the Saigon River. The Port of Saigon, established in 1862, is accessible to ships weighing up to 30,000 tons, a rare advantage for an inland river port.

When to go?
The climate in Ho Chi Minh City is generally hot and humid. There are two distinctive seasons: the rainy season, from May to November, and the dry season, from December to April. The annual average temperature is 27ºC. The hottest month is April and the lowest is December. It is warm all year.

History
Many centuries ago, Saigon was already a busy commercial center. Merchants from China, Japan and many European countries would sail upstream the Saigon River to reach the islet of Pho, a trading center. In the year of 1874, Cho Lon merged with Saigon, forming the largest city in the Indochina. It had been many times celebrated as the Pearl of the Far East. After the reunification of the country, the 6th National Assembly in its meeting of the 2nd of July, 1976, has officially rebaptized Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City. The history of city relates closely with the struggle for the independence and freedom of Vietnam.

Getting there
Ho Chi Minh City is the main junction for trains, roads, water, and air transportation systems for domestic trips and for foreign destination.

- Roads: Ho Chi Minh City is 1,730km from Hanoi, 99km from Tay Ninh, 30km from Bien Hoa (Dong Nai), 70km from My Tho, 125km from Vung Tau, 168km from Can Tho, 308km from Dalat, and 375km from Buon Ma Thuot. The City has National Highway 13 which connects Vietnam with the rest of Indochina.
- Train: Thong Nhat express train connects Ho Chi Minh City and
Hanoi, vie many provinces in Vietnam.
- Air: Tan Son Nhat International Airport, 7km from center of city, is the biggest airport with many domestic and international routes. There are flights from Hanoi and Danang to Ho Chi Minh City and between the City to many regions as well a lot of countries on over the world.


Highlights

  • Today, Ho Chi Minh City is the big tourism center in Vietnam, attracting a large of visitors to Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City has various attractions as Ho Chi Minh Museum, formerly known as Dragon House Wharf, Cu Chi Tunnels, system of museums, theatres, cultural houses...
  • Recently, many tourist areas are invested such as Thanh Da, Binh Quoi Village, Dam Sen Park, Saigon Water Park, Suoi Tien, Ky Hoa..., which draw numerous tourists.
  • Despite its quite recent past, Ho Chi Minh City nevertheless possesses various beautiful buildings, displaying a characteristic combination of Vietnamese, Chinese and European cultures. These include Nha Rong (Dragon House Wharf), Quoc To Temple (National Ancestors Temple), Xa Tay (Municipal Office), Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theatre as well as many pagodas and churches (Vinh Nghiem, Giac Vien, Giac Lam, Phung Son pagodas...).
  • After more than 300 years of development, Ho Chi Minh City presents many ancient architectural constructions, famous vestiges and renowned sights. It is remarkable for its harmonious blending of traditional national values with northern and western cultural features.


See also:

>> Tours in Ho Chi Minh City
>> Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City