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Top Tours

 
Full-Day Hue City and Perfume River Bike Tour
"50km cycling (L)Recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1993 this city is famous for its magnificent architecture. It’s citadel palaces pagodas and royal tombs frame a poetic background of greenery on the banks of the Perfume River. In the morning we’ll cycle to visit the Hue Citadel and Imperial City. Then we’ll bike upstream aside the legendary Perfume River. Along the way Vietnam Bike Tours’ll stop to visit Thien Mu pagoda then continue to the rolling hills of the surrounding countryside where we’ll find the Royal Tombs of the Nguyen Emperors. We’ll take some time to visit Tu Duc and Khai Dinh tombs. After exploring the splendid gardens and ornate architecture of the tombs we’ll return to Hue to end the trip."
From $141.00
 
5-Day Vietnam Central Coast Bike Tour from Hue to Nha Trang
"Day 1: Hue - Hoi An 100km cycling (L D)On the first day we’ll drive by bus 18km out of Hue to the coast. There we’ll begin riding off the beaten track for 40km along a picturesque narrow peninsular road from Thuan An Beach to Vinh Loc. We’ll hop on a local ferry to cross an estuary of the Perfume River before re-mounting our bikes on Highway 1. Here we will cycle the first of the day’s three hill climbs. In the evening we’ll check into the hotel in Hoi An
From $1,153.00
 
4-Day Bike Tour from Hue to Hoi An Ancient Town Including My Son Sanctuary
"Day 1: Hue - Da Nang 60km+ cycling (L)Our guide will retrieve you from your hotel in Hue and organize a transfer out of the city. The day’s bike ride will begin at Thuan An beach and head to Cau Hai lagoon where you will see local fishermen and stilt houses on the water. Lunch will either be held as a picnic on the way or at a local restaurant. After lunch we’ll continue riding to Lang Co beach. On the way you’ll cycle up the Hai Van pass and enjoy a scenic view from the summit. Then we’ll continue cycling along the coast to the hotel for our overnight stay in Da Nang.Day 2: Da Nang - Hoi An 45km+ cyclng (B L)In the morning we’ll visit the Cham museum in the city. Then
From $744.00

Miscellaneous Tips (23)

Departure Tax

Unless you're planning to stay here forever, prepare 12USD to get out of HCMC. Yes, they will also accept the local currency (dong) if you run out of those greenbacks.
It makes sense to count all those dongs before you make your way to the customs, espcially if you're dong-challenged like me. An angry queue of people were behind me as I dug up those dongs. Thank God they were cursing in a foreign tongue.

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bpacker
Oct 19, 2004

Getting around Ho Chi Minh City

There are many ways to get to HCM city.
From Cambodia, we went by road from Phnom Penh, arriving some 6 hrs later in HCM. It was smooth across the border. And quiet! There are many buses, vans, open lorries that make the journey. Go with a reliable company.

We also found out later, that the train journey is far cheaper and you see more, albeit a tad longer than by road.

It's easy to get around HCM. The only annoying thing is the chorus of street kids tugging at your pants or skirts going 'Madaa-am, U buy!' and u feel like shaking everyone off your body. Then no sooner have you shaken all foreign elements off, comes another round of touts selling the 'best' postcards of Vietnam.
And oh there are heaps of Bob marley types lying low in street corners.

Watch out for used syringes, needles and while walking in dimply lit streets around Pham Ngu Lao Street, the backpacker haven.
A lot of drug activity by the roadside happens in the dark alleys and i didn't feel all that safe walking alone or even with one other female.

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Fudge
May 04, 2003

To Vietnam you can go by air...

To Vietnam you can go by air from Thailand, Singapore, Hong-Kong, Cambodia and other. you Just have to plane your trip. By train from Thailand Malaysia and Cambodia. I can't to adwise to select this way, because in 1996 it was not possible to get a Chinise or Malesian visa for israeli people. I selected the easier and, i think, not so expensive way. The price of flight ticket from Singapore was about 110$ (very sheap if i compare with prices in Israel).
The best way to travel in Vietnam is travel bus. There are a lot of tourist centers or restaurants, where you by planed trip. You start the trip with little bus or minivan and you can continue it on boat.

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Vladik
Sep 07, 2002

Though not the most dangerous,...

Though not the most dangerous, HCM has (or had, in 1998 at least) the most.. interestingly chaotic traffic of all the places I've been to. This city still has more bicycles and small motorcycles than cars. Wide boulevards + bikes for 8 million people = chaos. The streams of bikes go every which way - looks as though it doesn't matter on which side of the street one drives. For the most part not life-threatening, but certainly interesting.

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VTShounen
Aug 26, 2002
 
 
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Hotels Near Ho Chi Minh City

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253 Nguyen Van Troi St, Phu Nhuan District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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323 Le Van Sy Street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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242 Tran Binh Trong, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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132-134 Dong Khoi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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21 - 23 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St, Ho Chi Minh City, 70000, Vietnam
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Corner Hai Ba Trung St. &, Le Duan Blvd, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, 70000, Vietnam
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The best way to get to Ho Chi...

The best way to get to Ho Chi Minh City from Singapore is by flight. Both Vietnam Airlines & Singapore Airways run flights. I took Vietnam Airlines because of a great deal on the tickets. Their planes are in good condition & the in-flight service is not bad. The flight is under an hour & you really dont need much in such a short while. The inflight magazine is a good source of information about the country & things to do. Make sure you pick your copy & browse thru it.

THE BEST THING ABOUT VIETNAM AIRLINES IS THE WIDTH OF THE SEAT. I AM A BIG GUY, & WHEN I SAY BIG, I MEAN REALLY BIG - TALL & WIDE. I HAVE TRAVELLED SEVERAL AIRLINES AROUND THE WORLD BUT VIETNAM AIRLINES HAS THE WIDEST SEATS. THE SEAT PITCH IS ALSO VERY GOOD. THIS MAKES THE FLIGHT EVEN MORE COMFORTABLE.

The ticket is about S$500 (+/- 20%)
Please read my separate posting on HCMC airport.
TAXIS: HCMC does not have too many cars. In fact you will be lucky if you encounter more than 100 private cars. Of the cars you see on the road 90% are taxis.

Taxis are rickety & old but air-conditioned & cheap. So getting around is never a problem & it is fairly comfortable. Make sure you negotiate the fare with the taxi driver before getting in. Orient yourself to the currency & then start negotiating. A good benchmark is to halve the first quote that the driver & then agree to something that is about 70% of it.

A good option is to hire a taxi for the whole day & ask him to take you around the city. They know the main places that the tourists want to see. But it is best to hire these kind of taxis away from your hotel since they would be cheaper.

PRIVATE TAXIS: There are car rental companies that opearte taxi services & notable among them is SASCO. I have not tried their services but they seem to be good. They have 2 types of taxis - Airport taxi & Saigon Taxi & their numbers are
Airport Taxi - 8446666
Saigon Taxi - 8424242

MOBIKE TAXIS: These are available aplenty all over the city & if you are not the faint hearted types go ahead & give them a try. They are safe but the traffic in HCMC is chaotic. It can be scary for someone who is not used to travelling on a bike in such traffic. It is a cheap way to travel & lets you see, touch & feel the city.

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phadke2001
Aug 25, 2002

$5 is what a taxi ride should...

$5 is what a taxi ride should cost from the airport to central District 1.
Vinataxi is the best taxi service. Don't ask the concierge or doorman for a taxi, ask for a 'Vin-uh-taxi'. They have a reputation for being fair. No cyclos at night. Motorbikes are ok if you want adventure and fast transit. Other than taxi, negotiate in advance. For fair prices, ask the hotel staff. Bring a piece of paper and pen to communicate locations with non-fluent english speakers.

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pez
Aug 24, 2002

I flew from Hanoi to Ho Chi...

I flew from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnam Airlines domestic flight. It was very nice, secure and punctual flight. A quite many airline fly from Europe to Vietnam and also there is frequent service from Bangkok and Singapore.
Walk, hire a car (with a driver) or take a taxi or if your hotel has a complimentary shuttle bus use that.

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MJL
Aug 24, 2002

What is this?

We saw some of these a couple of times but we have no idea what they are or what they are used for. Unfortunately, whenever we asked a local about them they had already sped past!

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Mel&Mike
Oct 29, 2006

Top 5 Ho Chi Minh City Writers

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bpacker

"Saigon Saigon !"
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JonnyVN

"Home"
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xuessium

"IMPREXXION: HO CHI MINH CITY"
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SirRichard

"Former Saigon"
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balhannah

"Ho Chi Minh City 29/3/08 - 3/4/08"
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Of course, by plain.
Road...

Of course, by plain.
Road network is poor and few chanches from China and Thailand via Cambodia are reachable.
If you have a boatm try to enter via Mekong river and turn right to get Saigon river

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jlvillalba
Aug 25, 2002

I flew to Saigon from Kuala...

I flew to Saigon from Kuala Lumpur on Malaysian Airlines.
In Saigon, the standard form of transportation is the cyclo (bicycle rickshaw). Even the pigs go this way...

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travelmad478
Aug 25, 2002

We flew Vietnam Airlines from...

We flew Vietnam Airlines from Hong Kong to Saigon. Not at all that bad, service was good and the flight comfortable. I know that Cathay Pacific flies from HK and Thai Airways from Bangkok.

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carstenj
Aug 24, 2002

Things to Do Near Ho Chi Minh City

Things to Do

Bitexco Financial Tower

I simply love the BHD Cinema Experience. And they have the best Caramel Popcorn in town! Also for girls who love UK Shopping Brands, they have TopShop, TopMan, Warehouse, etc. over here. For a...
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Things to Do

Diamond Plaza

Not exactly a classic Saigon landmark, but it's a favorite with expats. Inside is a mall that's indistinguishable from an American mall, until you look closely at the products on the shelves. Upstairs...
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Things to Do

Chinatown

Temple in Cholon (Chinatown). Thien Hau, the lady of the sea is known as Matzu in China and is the chief diety of this temple which sits in the Chinatown of Saigon near the benh thanh market area in...
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Things to Do

Cholon Mosque

The Cholon Mosque in Saigon's Chinatown is representative of the city's small Malaysian and Indonesian Muslim communities. Built in 1932, the blue and white house of worship is an island of simplistic...
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Things to Do

Fito Museum of traditional Vietnamese medicine

While I confess I'm in the Minchin school when it comes to 'alternative' medicine, the Fito Museum of traditional Vietnamese medicine is worth a trip away from the centre. Set over four floors of an...
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Things to Do

Cafe Zoom

WHEN YOU WALK AROUND SAIGON YOU REALLY CANT HELP BUT NOTICE THAT THERE IS QUITE A FEW MOTORBIKES IN THIS BUZZING CITY.. THREE MILLION OR THERE ABOUTS !! THE MOTORBIKES ZOOMING AROUND THE CITY IS A...
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