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Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Vietnam tailor-made holidays

Introduction

Although Ho Chi Minh City was renamed at the end of the Vietnam War, Vietnam's largest city is still known to many as Saigon. This division is mirrored across a city that is one part modern metropolis – full of lively bars, lavish restaurants and high-end boutiques – one part colonial grandee, and one part ancient Asia, where catfish wriggle on the lids of steel drums in lunchtime markets and incense wafts from centuries-old pagodas. It’s a place that our travel specialists know and love.

Ancient streets and markets

There's Dong Khoi Street, formally Rue Catinat, running from the river to the Notre Dame Cathedral and lined with some of the city's most impressive colonial architecture. Surrounded by high-end boutique shops, galleries and smart hotels, Dong Khoi Street transports visitors back to Saigon, as it was before 1975. The centrally located Ben Thanh Market is the best place to find authentic Vietnamese street vendors. Almost anything that's eaten, worn or used by locals is available here, including vegetables, meats, spices, sweets, tobacco, clothing and hardware. You’ll also find a range of souvenirs, from conical hats to bullet-case key rings. It's one of the city's largest and oldest markets and is a cultural hot spot and social meeting place for many of Saigon's residents. A walking tour is an excellent way of familiarising yourself with Ho Chi Minh’s buzzing streets – speak to our specialists for more information.

Fruit seller in streets of Ho Chi Minh City
Fruit seller, Ho Chi Minh City

Historic landmarks

The Chinese section of Ho Chi Minh is home to vibrant markets and a number of the city's landmarks, including the 19th century Thien Hau Temple, dedicated to the Lady of the Sea. Yet, as the symbol of Saigon's French legacy, Notre Dame Cathedral holds centre stage. The twin-spire, red-brick cathedral was built in the late 1800s, supposedly using materials sourced only from France, and as recently as 2005 reports spread across the Catholic world that the statue of the Virgin Mary in the square outside had shed a tear. The city’s Central Post Office is also classically French –you’ll find both buildings at the end of Dong Khoi Street, in the heart of the city.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Notre Dame, Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam’s wartime legacy

Perhaps one of the most iconic images of the Vietnam War was that of a North Vietnamese tank smashing through the gates of the Reunification Hall, formerly the Presidential Palace. It is now a museum, preserved just as it was found in 1975. The War Remnants Museum is one of the most popular museums in Ho Chi Minh City, its exhibits displaying the effects of various chemical warheads used by the United States during the war. And, just a short distance from the city are the notorious Cu Chi Tunnels, developed by the Viet Cong to attack US forces during the Vietnam War. The tunnels were used as supply routes, hospitals and sleeping quarters, and are undoubtedly one of the reasons for the eventual defeat and withdrawal of US troops. A visit to Ho Chi Minh is not complete without seeing them – no matter how sobering.

Inside the Cu Chi War Tunnels near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Cu Chi Tunnels

 

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Special offers in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Essential Vietnam & Cambodia: Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap

14-day river cruise from £2,560 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Save up to 35%
Book by: 31 August 2020

Discover the wonders of the Mekong on this two week tour of Vietnam and Cambodia, travelling from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights by River

15-day river cruise from £4,995 pp incl. flights

Pair the Angkor-Wat and Golden-Palace headlines of Cambodia and Vietnam with their off-the-beaten-track gems on this luxury Mekong cruise. Think all-inclusive open bars, full-board dining and excursions that range from cooking classes to rickshaw tours.

Top itineraries in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Phu Quoc in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong & Phu Quoc

10-day tailor-made holiday from £1,780 pp incl. flights

Between cruises on the Mekong Delta, private tours of Ho Chi Minh City's history and a luxury beachfront stay on an island paradise, this is your chance to showcase the highlights of southern Vietnam.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Best of Vietnam & Cambodia

17-day tailor-made holiday from £3,240 pp incl. flights

From its great cities and iconic temples to off-the-beaten-track gems, this tour takes in the must-see highlights of two Asian heavyweights – Vietnam and Cambodia.

Lan Ha Bay, Halong Bay

Highlights of Vietnam

12-day tailor-made holiday from £2,995 pp incl. flights

Discover the best of Vietnam, taking in the country's vibrant northern capital Hanoi, the emerald waters of Lan Ha Bay and the historically rich central coastal towns of Hue and Hoi An. Then, fly south Ho Chi Minh City and the magic of the Mekong Delta and the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels.

Fishing Boat, Mekong River, Vietnam

Vietnam & the Mekong

14-day tailor-made holiday from £2,715 pp incl. flights

The Mekong Delta is often referred to as 'Vietnam's rice bowl'. This rich agricultural land supports a thriving population of farmers, who make their living amidst the abundant waterways that form the mouth of the mighty Mekong River, one of the world's great waterways.

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Top places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Riverfront Pool Villa (Bedroom), An Lam Saigon River, Ho Chi Minh City

An Lam Saigon River, Ho Chi Minh City

Small & intimate hotel

An Lam Saigon River is a luxury riverside resort that offers a relaxing retreat, and access to Ho Chi Minh City via speedboat

Villa Song 1

Villa Song, Ho Chi Minh City

Small & intimate hotel

Villa Song is a colonial-style house offering an intimate and relaxed riverside retreat within easy access of the city

Intercontinental, Ho Chi Minh City

Intercontinental Asiana, Ho Chi Minh City

Traditional hotel

This award-winning hotel enjoys a prime position in the heart of Ho Chi Minh, is excellent value, and is located just a short stroll from its famous landmarks including Notre Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Opera House.

18thfloor Swimming pool, Liberty Central Saigon,  South Vietnam

Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint, Ho Chi Minh City

Contemporary hotel

The Liberty Central Saigon Citypoint is stylish, modern and excellently priced. It's also located in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City just minutes from Le Loi Boulevard and other main attractions.

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Meet our Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0613

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0613 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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