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ho chi minh, vietnam

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam - A Gees Travel Guide and Adventure

After almost a six-hours  journey we reached the city of Ho Chi Minh.  Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon is located in the southern part of Vietnam. We rode a bus that departs daily from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh.  The city is known for its landmarks such as Notre-Dame Cathedral and the 19th-century Central Post Office. Also, a huge number of a motorbike can be seen across the road as it Vietnam’s most popular mode of transportation.

It was last 12 March 2013, when we visit Vietnam coming from an awesome experience in Cambodia. We read online and knew about backpacking in Southeast Asia, as recommended it was worth to travel from one country to another. So we decided and took this journey for us to experience the cross country travel between countries.

how to enter ho chi minh

All nationalities entering Vietnam require a visa on arrival, except for nationals under ASEAN countries in which visa is not required. For more details on visa on arrival, please this link here. Philippine passport holder is given 21 days to stay in Vietnam provided that passport validity should be at least 6 months.

best time to travel ho chi minh

Ho Chi Minh City’s climate consist of wet and dry, a tropical weather. During March to May, the average temperature would be at 30°C, while from November to January temperature could be as low as 25°C. It was only a one-day stay when we explored Ho Chi Minh and during that day we observed that the weather was around 29°C.

how to get there

We booked our return flight from Ho Chi Minh to Singapore through Jetstar since we arrived in Cambodia via bus transport from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh.  Jetstar is also one of the airlines the has daily flight route to Ho Chi Minh. We are able to get our one-way ticket at around 3,596php for both of us. It was 2-hour flight travel from Ho Chi Minh to Singapore. Other airlines include Scoot, Vietnam Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Jetstar Asia.

transportation

Motorcycle taxi is the most common transportation in Ho Chi Minh City and almost all locals owned a motorcycle. With the huge number of motorcycle,  we noticed in every corner were motorcycle along the roads, streets, and parking areas. Other transportation options include bus and taxi which is more convenient to in getting around the city.

When we arrived at the city center, we rode a taxi in exploring the city landmarks.  Since most of the famous landmarks were near to each other we walked from one place to another.  This way we were able to familiarize the place and local street information.

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Places that we have eaten

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Places that we have been

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica |01 Công xã Paris, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Quận 1

It is the famous cathedral in Ho Chi Minh which is located in the middle of the city. After we took our lunch we went and visited the church and observe how detailed the exterior and interior design structure. Most of the tourist was also fascinated by the church decorative arch design.
Entrance: FREE | Opening Hours: 8:00am-5:00pm (Daily)

Independence Palace | 135 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1

After a visit to the cathedral, we passed by the Independence Palace. The palace is located in busy city streets of Ho Chi Minh where we had a glimpse of the palace outside facade-huge lawn and scenic view. We were not able to enter the palace as we had not enough time but we saw a number of tourist buses going in and out of the palace.
Entrance Fee: VND 30,000 | Opening Hours:  7:30am–11:00am 1:00pm–4:00pm (Daily)

War Remnants Museum | Chợ, Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1

After passing the Independence Palace we directly went to the War Remnants Museum which was a short walk from the palace. War Remnants Museum is where all the artifacts during the Vietnam War and early war of Indochina.  Upon entering the gate there was an open field where we saw helicopters, tanks, a canyon that used during the war.  Inside the museum shows how the history of Vietnamese tunnels, prisoners during the war and different kinds of bomb. Also, photos of the bloody war were displayed in the exhibit.
Entrance Fee: VND 15,000 | Opening Hours:  7:30am–6:00pm (Daily)

Ben Thanh Market | Chợ, Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1

Our visit in Ho Chi Minh will not be complete without going to its famous Ban Thanh Market. It is the largest marketplace in the city where all local handicrafts, souvenirs, and goods are available in this market. Also coffee shops, food stalls are visible in the area. We went to market after and had purchase some souvenirs and had a taste to Pho noodle soup-which consist of broth, rice noodles, herbs with beef.
Entrance Fee: FREE | Opening Hours:  7:00 am–7:00 pm (Daily)

Adventures - Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Upon exploring the city we noticed that most of the street signs, billboards and information were written in the local Vietnamese language.  Having said that we have the difficulty in navigating the place, and also most of the locals don’t understand English, so we ended up showing the map for them to help us navigate the place. After we took our dinner we headed to the airport. It was almost 7 pm when we reached the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, 2 hours earlier before our scheduled departure time at 9 in the evening.

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

It was a fun and wonderful experience for us to explore Ho Chi Minh, given only we have half-day tour on the city. In our next adventure, we plan to go to Hanoi to check its famous attraction-Ha long Bay.

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Please check below our 1 Day Ho Chi Minh-Vietnam Itinerary for reference.

1 Day Tour - HO CHI MINH, VIENAM ITINERARY

DAY 1

  • 06:00am Wake Up and Ready
  • 06:30am  Breakfast
  • 07:30am  Head to Bus Terminal
                       Phnom Penh – Ho Chi Minh
  • 08:00am Depart  Bus
                      Head to PHo Chi Minh City
                      Fare: 160
  • 10:30am  ETA Cambodia Immigration
                      Exit Cambodia Border
  • 11:00am   ETA Vietnam Immigration
                      Enter Vietnam
  • 11:30am   ETA Ho Chi Minh 
  • 12:30pm  Lunch
  • 01:30pm  Explore Ho Chi Minh
                      Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica
  • 02:30pm War Remnants Museum
  • 03:00pm Independence Palace
  • 04:30pm Ben Thanh Market
                      Early Dinner
  • 06:30pm Head to airport
                     Ride Taxi
  • 07:45pm ETA Airport
                     Tan Son Nhat International Airport
  • 09:15pm Depart Ho Chi Minh
                     Jetstar 3K 552
  • 12:00am  ETA Singapore
                      Home

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