What to expect - in Ho Chi Minh City

Updated: Jan 5, 2020

There are about 12 million people living in Ho Chi Minh City and about half of these own a scooter. The traffic is madness most of the time but we didn't see any accidents while we were there.

There are too climates in Vietnam - hot and hotter - so be prepared for the humidity. We visited in November and the daytime temperatures were about 35°C and about 20°C at night. The humidity makes the temperatures seem even higher.

As you travel around the city you'll notice hundreds of restaurants and cafes from roadside stalls to high end restaurants serving food to compete with anything that you find in michelin starred restaurants. Here's one without any stars:

Roadside cafe in Ho Chi Minh City
Roadside cafe in Ho Chi Minh City

Investment in the infrastructure in Vietnam is slowly catching up. The railways are not quick and the most of the roads could do with another lane. In the city, most people have access to electricity. Not sure how quickly they trace a fault when the power goes down ...

What to expact in Ho Chi Minh City
Electricity lines in Ho Chi Minh City

You'll see lots of tall buildings under construction which will house banks, offices, hotels, etc. The centre of Ho Chi Minh City is rapidly changing:

Centre of Ho Chi Minh City at night
Ho Chi Minh City Skyline at Night

The French colonial past is very evident in the centre of the city:

Visiting Ho Chi Minh City Cathedral
French inspired colonial architecture

Near this area you will be able to see the building that was the US Embassy during the Vietnam War. The last helicopter to leave at the end of the war took off from the roof (the large building behind wasn't there then ...)

Last helicopter out of Saigon
Former US Embassy

You'll also see lots of these, another leftover from the French influence:

coffee in Vietnam
One of many coffee shops

The Vietnamese love coffee!

Two or three nights is plenty to see the sites of the city. If you are on a Mekong River cruise, you are likely to spend some time at the beginning or end of your holiday in Ho Chi Minh City.

See also 5 Things to know about Ho Chi Minh City

What to expect on a 7 Day Mekong River Cruise

Places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

More expensive:

Pullman Saigon Centre

The Reverie

Grand Hotel

Less expensive:

The Alcove Library Hotel

Chez Mimosa Corner

C Central Hotel

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