Arc En Ciel Hotel

52-56 Tan Da St., District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Arc En Ciel Hotel
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  • Solo50
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More about Ho Chi Minh City


Locals sitting on low chairsLocals sitting on low chairs

Cao Dai TempleCao Dai Temple

Saigon City CenterSaigon City Center

The Map RoomThe Map Room

Forum Posts

Spending Money in HCMC

by twentysix

Hello =)

I will be staying in HCMC for four weeks, and I am wondering if 1,000 USD will be enough money for food and misc expenses. My stay is already covered. Any ideas? Also, I will be busy during week days but have weekends free. Are there any recomendations for weeked or 1 day excursions?

Thanks so much and happy traveling!

Re: Spending Money in HCMC

by SfumatoPants

I'm sure you can get by on that.

Re: Spending Money in HCMC

by Stepwalk

If you are eating in local cafes and restaurants rather than the tourist ones and not doing much shopping then your money will be OK. Day trips from HCMC include Cu Chi tunnels (with Cao Dai temple included), Mekong delta day trip, Vung Tau day trip (not really that great), or even a weekend excursion to either DaLat in the hills or Mui Ne (Phan Thiet) on the beach. While in HCMC also spend some time at Cholon Markets in addition to the usually touristy Ben Thanh markets.

Re: Spending Money in HCMC

by daawgon

I would suggest flying up to Danang/Hoi An for one weekend - very relaxing in Hoi An and plenty to see and eat. Book Vietnam Airlines. Small hotels are an especially good value in Hoi An.

Re: Spending Money in HCMC

by mikeinvietnam

That $1,000 USD is just over $30 a day for food. That's more than enough for good foods. You can have a Western breakfast at NYDC in the bottom restaurant floor of Vincom Center for about $3.50, including coffee. The same floor has Highland Coffee with good Western breakfasts for about $4.50 as well. Vincom is at Dong Khoi and Le Thanh Ton Streets. Many other hygienic restaurants in that building as well, and a fully stocked supermarket. Lunch or dinner at Pho 2000, next to Ben Thanh Market, for about $4.00 with drink. They have a great chicken curry and of course the national soup named Pho. In the backpack area you can stop at ABC Bakery on Pham Ngu Lao street for an excellent baguette sandwich for about 85 cents, my favorite sandwich stop. Be cautious of any street food though. The city even admits many locals and foreigners are involved with food poisoning at street-food vendors. Some tourists enjoy the food but I wonder about the risks they take. Your call of course.

So, decently priced food is clean and abundant if you're careful.


Re: Spending Money in HCMC

by daawgon

Beware of scam artists who will be glad to lay their hands on some of that cash (ATM cards far safer). Be especially careful in bars with many professional women in Saigon - you pay for their VERY EXPENSIVE DRINKS at GREAT COST TO YOU! I would also read the scams here:

Re: Spending Money in HCMC

by Vi_Ai

Xin chao virtualtourist's members ! $1000 is comfortable to live in Vietnam for 1month if you act like a local.
I would like to offer you a good address which you can get the best rate on exchanging your dollars and euros into the Vietnam dongs.
Please don't hesitate to contact 0164 2560 567 for any inquiry
_ text with the amount you wish to exchange . You will get a reply within 3 minutes
_ There is a minimum of 1,000 US dollars or 500 euros
_ office hours : 9am to 4pm ( DST )
@ Best wishes

Travel Tips for Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon is fassssst!

by Noah4

Vietnam has never had more foreign tourists running about than now, and the tourism department expects more than two million to come this year - a sizeable increase from last year's already high numbers.

Arrived in Sai Gon on a cheap flight from Hanoi with a rush visa booked through, I am also at the end of my trip and rewarding myself for good budgeting over the whole of my trip. Want to get home and make sure i also feel like i have had a holiday as travelling is VERY hard!!!

Saigon is fassssst! Motorcycle everywhere, same busy horns on vehciles and same crazy road rules apply where you have to cover everyone elses risks and they cover yours. It does seem to work though. I have acustomed myself to the local traffic and now find myslef very confident at crossign roads whislt surrounded by cars, bike and cyclos (rickshaws).

I see lots - looking out tour bus windows, browsing at lacquerware shops on Dong Khoi Street, hanging out open-front travelers cafes in the backpacker area, waving off requests from Honda taxi offers. Some foreigners are here on business too.

In the afternoon I went to the War Museum... all I can say is WHOOOOOOAAAHHH!!! Man that place freaks you out, so graphic about the 'war crimes' from the USA. I walked out feeling really flat after going through and reading most of the material in the museum. So anti USA, i would love to hear the US version though before making anh judgement, but serioulsy looks like Vietnam was a practice ground for new weapons and gases experimentation. Some of the picture of the way the GI's treated people was atrocious. Children, babies and preganant women being killed at point blank range..... not a happy place... Got out of that sad place, I took a cyclo ride to Reunification Palace which was originally a French palace built in the late 1800s, and refashioned as 'Independence Palace' for the South Vietnamese government. It was here that VC tanks knocked down the gates and flew the North Vietnamese flag in 1975. Surprisingly, the government has never changed the very-1960s interiors. Guides in traditional dress lead you through on an hour-long tour past the former South Vietnamese presidents' desk and reception area, as well as military radio equipment from the bomb-shelter basement. You can forgive the tired jokes for all the insight. I liked that the government's palace had no doors - the downstairs is completely open, with only pillars keeping out the lizards. Watch out for the Cyclos they will try to rip you off. My guy agreed to 15,000 as the price and then tried to say he said 50,000 (as it sounds the same when they speak). Needless to say I told him he was crazy, gave him the 15,000 and walked away. Warning! Next morning, got ready for the trip to the CU CHI TUNNELS (30 miles northwest of Saigon, a 100-minute drive) - an interesting, but time-taking foray into the recreated world where northern troops (Viet Minh, and later Viet Cong) lived and hid from the French and US troops in back-to-back 20th-century wars. Trips of Cu Chi's principal site (Ben Dinh tunnel) start with a charmingly ancient film - supposedly 1967, though my guide (a former South Vietnamese soldier!) scoffed at the idea ('it was made after the war... you can see the rich terrain and jungle... in 1967 it would have been bare from all the chemicals and bombs the US used.' Supposedly the terrain was bare until about 1980.)

Noodles Auntie

by muddybok

Everyone in Vietnam is engaging in doing something at all time. This auntie is striving to live in over populated Saigon by selling noodles.

Some of us would have long retired & enjoying ourselves at our beach house or touring the world


by Gili_S

What can be more local custom then the local Saigon beer. This is probably one of the most selling beers in Vietnam and you can get it in bottles almost everywhere, as so we did. It taste fantastic with a dish of noodles... by the way :)

Sanitary savvy

by gamondeluxe

The temperature & humidity in the Southern is normally high. There are only 2 seasons throughout the year: the sunny & rainy.
The sunny starts from 12 to 4
The average temp of the area is around 31 degree. In March & April, temp could raise up to 40 degree.
The rainy starts from 5 to 11
June & Sep bring highest rainfall to the area
For all those fact, you should know what to pack, right? Most inns in town are equipped with toilets. However, soap is not free supply at every public toilet & inn.
Finding a public toilet in town is a bit challenging. In city centre, there are some, lining along the road on the pavement and cost around $0.1.
Several health care centers locate inside the city but most for local use and extremely crowded. If you have any problem with your health, please be well-prepared. Recently, there are some advanced hospitals in city being built to provide better and more expensive services to local as well as foreigners such as: FV, Vu Anh, Hoan My…
Buying medical stuffs at pharmacy is the easiest part. Just tell them what you want, and pay the money, no prescription required.
What you should carry around: hand wash liquid/soap, paper rolls, tissue, backup T-shirt, old magazine (to sit on) and water,

Mekong Delta day-trip

by Willettsworld

I went on a day-tour of the Mekong Delta with the Sinh Cafe whose offices are in the Pham Ngu Lao backpackers area of Ho Chi Minh City and it cost me 238,000 VND. We set off out of the city, south along a new toll road past rice paddy fields and got to a town called Cai Be at about 11am. We then transferred to a boat and went past what was meant to be a floating market but was just a few houseboats selling semolina root and nothing else. We then called in to a place where they make rice & coconut crisps and snacks and rice paper. We sampled what was on offer and I bought some rice crispy snack things which were very nice. We then crossed the huge and wide Mekong River, which looked more like a lake, to an island where we transferred onto narrow longboats and wore the Vietnamese conical hats. We had lunch on the island before heading to Vinh Long by boat and then back to Saigon by bus. I have to say that it wasn't the best of day trips I've ever done but it was a fairly cheap and hassle free way of seeing the Mekong Delta.


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