A City That Never Sleep
Ho Chi Minh City, situated in the southern of Vietnam, is still called Saigon by most of the natives. The modern city used to be considered as the "Pearl of the Far East" by the French.
Ho Chi Minh City is now the largest and most populated city in the country. Ho Chi Minh locates in the south of Vietnam, and in a transitional zone between the south east region and the Mekong Delta. The city center is situated on the banks of the Saigon River, about 1760 kilometers from Hanoi.
In French colonial time, the city was referred to as Sai Gon (Saigon), a name that is still widely used today. The current name was given after reunification of the country in 1975, and honors Ho Chi Minh, the first president of Vietnam.
In the past, Saigon has nickname as "Paris of the Orient" or "Pearl of the Far East".
Ho Chi Minh City has pleasant climate with two seasons: dry season from December to April of the following year and rainy season lasting from May to November. There is no winter in Ho Chi Minh City.
The city is divided into 24 district-level sub-divisions, including 19 urban districts and 5 rural districts.
Ho Chi Minh city in the afternoon
Nowadays, Ho Chi Minh is one key political, economic and cultural center of Vietnam. While Hanoi is the center of government, Ho Chi Minh City is the nation’s economic heart. And it is also a focal tourism center of the country which is an ideal destination for travelers all over the world.
How to travel to Ho Chi Minh City.
By plane: Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the largest, both in size and capacity, among all airports in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh is well connected to the world by a vast amount of airlines. Operating airlines to Ho Chi Minh City include big names such as Air France, Japan Airlines, Asiana, Lufthansa, United Airlines... which serve direct flights to major cities in Asia (Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and all Southeast Asian capitals), Europe (Frankfurt, Paris, Moscow), Australia (Melbourne, Sydney) and America (San Francisco).
Domestically, there are daily flights from big cities such as Hanoi, Danang, Hue.
From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, there are 30 daily flights back and forth which take about 2 hours each way.
From Danang to Ho Chi Minh City, there are 10 daily flights back and forth which take about an hour each way.
Others have 3-4 flights per week to Ho Chi Minh City, depending on seasons.
By bus: Bus runs from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City every day, crossing Moc Bai Border or ferry transfer in Chau Doc. The trip takes about 6-7 hours.
For intercity travel, you can book a ticket from Mai Linh or Phuong Trang. These two companies are reliable in terms of timing and bus quality. Other options include Sinh Cafe or Hanh Cafe. Check out 2 main bus hubs in Ho Chi Minh City: Mien Dong and Mien Tay Bus Station.
By train: The North-South Express Trains connect Ho Chi Minh City to other major cities such as Hanoi, Nha Trang, Hue and Danang, on a daily basis. There are 4-5 express trains and it takes about 2 days to arrive in Hanoi or 1 day to Danang. Taking the train, although slow, is a great way to appreciate the natural beauty and local culture of Vietnam along the way.
Image source: Internet