General Information About Ho Chi Minh City
- 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...
In the core of the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is second the most important in Viet Nam after Ha Noi. 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.
Climate: The climate 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 270C. The hottest month is April and the lowest is December. It is warm all year.
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.
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.
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.
Best sports activities in Ho Chi Minh City
Like all modern cities the best sports and leisure activities are not always in your face when you first arrive in Saigon; they have to be tracked down. In some cases you are likely to stumble across them, others need a bit of research. Watching sport is easy in this vibrant city, the number of sports bars is growing exponentially. Taking part takes a bit more effort, literally.
About Pool Game
The Saigon Pool League was started early in 2014 and in the short time since has grown from just eight teams to a vibrant league of 35 teams playing in four structured divisions (three 8–ball and one 9–ball) with 20 bars taking part. Eight–ball league matches are played on a Thursday night and the newer and smaller 9–ball league plays on Monday nights. In excess of 260 players are now registered. In just two short years pool has grown to be one of the best sports and leisure activities in Saigon.
The 8–ball League has everything from the top Premier Division for the better players, through the mid–level Championship Division for intermediates to the Social Division which is more light–hearted but still contains some very good players. The–9 ball only has one division at the moment. Players of all abilities are made very welcome and should contact Chris Lee at The Saigon Pool League for details.
Ho Chi Minh City Culture and History
Ho Chi Minh city, also known as Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam with the population nearly 9 millions. The city is called 'Diamond of the Far-East', the same luxury level overriding Hong Kong or Bangkok. Ho Chi Minh city becomes very important city in Vietnam ,creates a metropolitan area with Thu Dau Mot, Di An, Bien Hoa and surrounding towns.
In the early history, the city was a small fishing village name Prey Nokor inhabited by Khmer people. Then it was given to the Vietnamese as a dowry for the marriage of a Vietnamese princess to a Khmer prince in order to stop constant invasions and pillaging of Khmer villages. Under the French colonial , the city had a lot of influence from the Western style , and there still a lot of beautiful buildings in the city which are remained with French style. After 30 April 1975, the city under the control of North Vietnamese government and the name was changed from Saigon to Ho Chi Minh city.
Recently, Ho Chi Minh city is such a large area with 24 districts, the lifestyle and the architecture is the combination between American and Chinese, but not losing the traits. Beside the dynamic economy and modern life, the city is really developing in tourism , like the central of tourism in the South of Vietnam, and attracts millions of foreign tourists every year. The most prominent sites in the city is Reunification Palace, City Hall, the Municipal theatre also known as the Opera House, City Post Office, State Bank Office , City People's Court and Notre Dame cathedral. All of them are the special structures, which are influent with French architecture. There are also various museum and entertainment places in the city such as the Ho Chi Minh city museum, Museum of Vietnamese history, the Revolutionary Museum, the Museum of Southeastern Armed Forces, the Museum of Southern Women, the Museum of Fine Art, the Nha Rong Memorial House, and Cu Chi underground Tunnels… The Dam Sen Tourist and Cultural Park, Suoi Tien amusement and culture park, The Saigon zoo and Botanical gardens.
District one is the best experience for a modern city in Vietnam. All streets and boulevard in the district are lined with evergreen trees with local people selling street drinks, some notable sights as Ben Thanh market, city post office and Notre Dame cathedral. The district is a quite good ideal for shopping with several shopping streets.
The nice location at central of the South Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh city becomes very important center of transportation lead to surrounding provinces , bring opportunities to develop the economy and tourism of Eastern and Western area of the South.
Ho Chi Minh City Nightlife
Ho Chi Minh City’s nightlife scene varies from one district to another, though venues that play live music close soon after midnight due to Vietnam’s rather strict laws. If you’re looking to party in style, District 1’s rooftop bars and swanky nightclubs stay open until 03:00 or later, offering excellent service, dance tunes, stylish ambience, well-dressed crowds, and panoramic views of the vibrant city and beyond.
Moving down several kilometres into Districts 3 and 5, Saigon’s Pham Ngu Lao is lined with boisterous street bars and pubs, cheap eats, live music, and casual ambience – great options for backpackers looking to mingle with fun-loving locals. Embracing about any mood, price point, and style, here’s a helpful guide on what to do at night in Ho Chi Minh City.
Top 10 Nightlife Experiences in Ho Chi Minh
Cocktails at a Rooftop Bar
Ho Chi Minh has one of the greatest collections of rooftop bars in the world. From the colonial charm of Saigon Saigon to the chic and modern style of the Chill Skybar there is a rooftop spot to suit any mood in Saigon. Sit back with a cocktail and soak up the stunning view of Ho Chi Minh City from sunset until late into the night.
Get Lucky at a Casino
Several of the best hotels in Ho Chi Minh have casinos within so you can hit the roulette table, play some mah-jong or get lucky on the slot machines. Two of the biggest casinos in Saigon are located in the Caravelle Hotel and Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers. Casinos in Ho Chi Minh City are not on the scale of Las Vegas and some games, such as hold ‘em poker, are available on a computer screen only, but having a flutter is still an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.
Beer Hoi on Pham Ngu Lao
The street drinking scene along Pham Ngu Lao in District 3 of Ho Chi Minh is legendary. It is the backpacker hub of the city and welcomes a mix of foreigners and local Vietnamese who mix freely and chat the night away, drinking cheap beers on small plastic stools all along the street. There are many cheap restaurants here too and several nightclubs if you want to hit the dance floor later in the night.
Dinner Cruise down the Saigon River
For a romantic night in Ho Chi Minh there is nothing better than taking a leisurely cruise down the Saigon River. The Bonsai Dinner Cruise combines a slow river journey aboard a beautiful wooden barge with a sumtious feast of western and Vietnamese favourites. Along with dinner and the views of the HO Chi Minh City at night, there is a live jazz performance on board and a traditional Vietnamese dance to enjoy. Book a tour here. Read More...
Live Music Bars
Live music fans are spoilt for choice in Ho Chi Minh City. From smooth jazz to heavy rock and everything in between, whatever your choice of tunes there is probably a bar or club playing exactly that. Live music are fairly well spread out across the city so you should never be too far from some singalong fun, and if you are staying in the popular areas of District 1 or 3, then you will be spoilt for choice. Here are five of our favourite live music bars in Ho Chi Minh.
Lush Nightclub is the premier nightclub in Ho Chi Minh. It is the place to see the young and beautiful of Saigon, dressed to impress and not afraid to spend a little cash. The venue is kitted it out in an industrial chic style, with space to dance and an upstairs area with seating. Music ranges from house to hip hop and a bit of mainstream party pop depending on the night.
Ben Thanh Night Market
Ben Thanh Market plays a central role in Ho Chi Minh from early morning until late at night. Although busiest during the day, night time brings many food vendors onto the streets serving a wide variety of seafood, as well as many fashion stalls and souvenir type stalls. The night market is setup alongside the market on Phan Boi Chau Street and becomes a pedestrian zone from 19:00 until 23:00 so you can browse at your leisure. Be aware that prices start very high here and bargaining is a necessity.
Apocalypse Now is a legendary nightclub that is very popular with backpackers, expats and many Vietnamese ladies too. Set over two floors, it isn’t the most sophisticated of clubs, but its lots of fun, with cheap drinks promotions, western pop tunes and plenty of space for dancing or chilling out with a few drinks and playing some pool. Open until 04:00, it is also one of the last places to close at night so Apocalypse Now is a great place when you’re in the mood for that one more drink.
Saigon Opera House
The Saigon Opera House is a beautiful colonial building in the centre of Ho Chi Minh with a stunning facade of ornate winged statues and curved window frames. Inside the opera house the culturally inclined are able to witness the best of the fine arts that visit Vietnam seasonally, and although there is no consistent performances, events are common. The range of performing arts on show includes ballet, musical concerts, Vietnamese traditional dance and live theatre. Tickets can be bought from Saigontravel Travel Agents opposite the opera house.
Sax n' Art Jazz Club
Sax n' Art Jazz Club is an institution in Ho Chi Minh, with Vietnam’s most celebrated musicians performing here as well as international guest artists. Located on Le Loi Street in the centre of District 1, there is a cover charge which comes with a free drink which is a great deal considering this place offers some of the finest live jazz in the city, but drinks prices are higher than most other places in town to compensate. With a dark, cave-like interior, all effort is made to keep the focus on the musicians on stage.