Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), or Saigon as the locals still call it, is an ever-moving sprawl of city life, where history competes with modernity and motorbikes rule the streets. In this economic powerhouse of over 13 million people, suited workers commute to skyscraper offices alongside pyjama-clad fruit sellers, passing stools where locals spit sunflower seeds and street vendors peddle fat spring rolls and crispy rice pancakes. In HCMC, crossing the traffic-choked roads is a sheer test of nerves and you’re bound to get lost in the noodle-soup-scented alleyways and labyrinthine markets.
This overflowing urban landscape, split into 24 districts, offers a dizzying blend of culture. Wander past the incense-tinged Jade Emperor Pagoda and Notre Dame replica to western megamalls and rooftop bars where an affluent, young Vietnamese crowd enjoy cocktail sunsets. Echoes of Vietnam’s turbulent past reverberate at the haunting War Remnants Museum, which pulls no punches when recalling the horrors of the American War. At the Independence Palace, you can still picture Ho Chi Minh’s tanks storming the complex in 1975, changing the course of Vietnamese history forever.
Enjoy Ho Chi Minh City tours with help from our destination experts, who’ll guide you through this bewildering, yet addictive, metropolis.