Regarded as the Pearl of the Far East, Saigon, the former Ho Chi Minh City, was the center of economics and entertainment of Indochina. Nowadays, Ho Chi Minh City is one of the two most developed cities in Vietnam.
Saigon Vietnam Travel has become popular among both Vietnamese and foreign tourists thanks to several fascinating attractions. Followings are a recommended Saigon Vietnam travel guides that travelers should carefully consider when paying a visit to this beautiful city.
Ho Chi Minh City – the Pearl of Far East (Source: Internet)
When to visit?
Saigon is blessed with a pleasant climate all year round and rarely has severe natural disasters. In general terms, there are two distinct seasons in Saigon: the dry season and the monsoon season. It is identified mainly based on the rainfall.
Dry season which lasts from December to late April is believed to be the best time to visit Saigon. It is hot, dry, and with low humidity. Though in December the temperature may fall down to 17⁰C at night, it is still warm enough for Western travelers in the daytime. If visitors come to Saigon in this period, they can experience some interesting festivals and holidays such as Christmas, New Year (late December to early January), and Vietnamese Lunar New Year (between January and February). The streets are beautifully decorated during these days. However, during Tet, many shops and stores might be closed, so the accommodation might be more expensive.
Dry season offers better conditions for Saigon Travel (Source: Internet)
From May to November is the monsoon season in Saigon, with more rain and higher humidity. It does not rain non-stop, but it usually falls in downpour, and there is still sunshine. Hence, it is also great to have a Saigon Vietnam Travel in this season. As it is not the peak time so the number of tourists is smaller than that in the dry season, hence making the prices cheaper. It is absolutely perfect for budget tours. The wet season is when some main national public festivals are celebrated such as Vietnam Reunification Day (30 April), May Day (1 May), and Vietnam National Day (2 September).
How to travel around Saigon?
The main ways to travel around Saigon are by bus, taxi, and motorbike.
Saigon Bus (Source: Internet)
Travelling around Saigon is quite easy. Like other cities, Saigon has the local bus systems VND 5,000 one-way ticket. Maps with bus routes can be easily found in every bookstore or via online websites. The bus will follow a fixed route, thus it is necessary to check whether you are on the right bus.
Another popular means of transport is the motorbike. In Vietnam, there is a service called “xe om”, which is simply the motorbike taxi. You can easily see “xe om” drivers sitting by their scooters and wearing helmets on every street. Recently, two big “xe om” systems have been run by Uber and Grab, offering cheaper prices and better safety. If you go with traditional “xe om” drivers, it is better to negotiate the fare beforehand to avoid being overcharged. On the contrary, if travelers use Grab or Uber services, they might get a great deal without having to bargain.
Some travelers even rent scooters to travel more actively and freely. Taking a Saigon travel tour by motorbike is not bad an idea if you are familiar with riding motorbikes and know the routes well.
GrabCar – a cheap taxi brand (Source: Internet)
Taxis are also plentiful in Saigon. For the sake of safety, go with reputable taxi companies such as Mai Linh, Vinasun. Grab and Uber provide guaranteed taxi services, too. Be careful when going with independent taxis because they often overcharge travelers, especially foreign tourists.
Notices for Saigon Vietnam Travel
- During national holidays like Lunar New Year, Reunification Day, May Day, or Independence Day, many stores, shops, and restaurants are closed. The price, hence, might be higher.
- Downpour might happen suddenly in the wet season, so remember to bring along an umbrella or a raincoat.
- While crossing the street, walk slowly so drivers can avoid you. Some locals raise one hand up high so as to be more visible in heavy traffic. Vietnamese traffic is terrible, honestly.
- Exchange money into Vietnamese Dong. Many interesting places do not accept any currency but VND.
- While shopping, do not touch anything or ask about prices if you do not intend to buy. This may anger the sellers, especially if it’s early in the morning.
Above are some important things visitsaigon think you should take into account when traveling to Saigon Vietnam. Well prepared, and you will have an amazing Saigon trip.