Ho Chi Minh City is the biggest city in Vietnam. The location was once known as Saigon because of its same-named river nearby, the Saigon River.
When visiting Ho Chi Minh City, consider flights from Toronto, Canada to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam via Cathay Pacific. You can find affordable round-trip rates to get you from wherever you are to your destination.
A tourist visa allows you to enter Vietnam legally so that you can enjoy the local attractions and amenities during your stay. People originating from some countries can enjoy their stay in Vietnam visa-free while individuals in other countries must apply for an e-visa before visiting.
Who Can Enjoy Vietnam Visa-Free?
If you are in the following countries, you can come to Vietnam visa-free for the corresponding amount of days:
- Myanmar and Brunei: 14 days.
- United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea, Germany, and others: 15 days.
- The Philippines: 21 days.
- Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, and Singapore: 30 days.
How to Apply for an E-Visa
If you are not from any of the countries listed who are eligible to enjoy Vietnam visa-free, you will have to apply for an e-visa for proper entry into the country.
When you apply for an e-visa, the fee is $25 and will last for 30 days.
You must upload your passport digital photo. Be sure you are not wearing glasses and looking straight into the camera.
Fill out the application, pay the fee, and wait a maximum of 72 hours for the application to process.
To check the status of your e-visa, type in the registration code, email, and the birthday associated with your account. Once approved, print out the e-Visa for check-in and check-out from Vietnam airport.
Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City
The main portion of Ho Chi Minh City is divided into 19 districts. District 1 is where the heart of the city is located. It’s where the most hustle and bustle and tourist attractions are stationed in its central business district.
Here are the suggested places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City throughout District 1.
Hotel Continental Saigon
Hotel Continental Saigon has been in business for 142 years since it originated in 1880. There are 4 restaurants on-premises that haven’t changed a bit over the years including Bar Du Jardin, La Dolce Vita Cafe, Le Bourgeois Restaurant, and Continental Palace Restaurant. h
Address: 134 Đồng Khởi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
Pullman Saigon Centre
Pullman Saigon Centre lights up purple at night which makes it an attractive stay for tourists. Just nearby the Ben Thanh Market, there are restaurants on-site including Mad Cow Wine & Grill. There is also a burger bar and a restaurant open the entire day for dining at your convenience.
Address: Boulevard, 148 Đ. Trần Hưng Đạo, Phường Nguyễn Cư Trinh, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 070000, Vietnam
Alagon Saigon Hotel & Spa
Stay in style at the Alagon Saigon Hotel & Spa. With two restaurants on-premises and a spa, you will not have to leave the hotel to embark on much else when it comes to relaxation and eating food.
The rooftop allows you to lounge in between your adventures in Ho Chi Minh City.
Address: 291 Lý Tự Trọng, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Top Tourist Attractions in Ho Chi Minh City
Here are the must-see tourist attractions during your stay in Ho Chi Minh City:
War Remnants Museum
Enrich yourself in the history of the Vietnam War by visiting the War Remnants Museum. Elements from the Indochina War are also on display.
Begin your historical journey from the top of the museum and work your way to the bottom. The more serious content is on the higher floors of the museum, which is why it’s recommended to start high up and then end on a lighter note on the bottom floor of the museum.
Address: 28 Vo Van Tan, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC
Thien Hau Temple in Chinatown (ChoLon)
TheThien Hau Temple is one of the most ancient temples located in Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown (the locals call it ChoLon).
Most of its construction was thanks to China-based materials. 19th-century life in China is shown through dioramas throughout the temple, so you can get an immersive cultural history lesson during your visit to the temple. It is originally a temple in honor of the Lady of the Sea in Chinese culture.
Address: 710 Nguyen Trai Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
Ben Thanh Market
If you need food and snacks for your hotel room or want to stop for a souvenir, look no further than the Ben Thanh Market. It’s the biggest and most original market throughout Vietnam. Various vendors sell their wares including clothing, footwear, produce, street food, candy, and more.
Be cautious as some pickpockets are lurking around the market to steal your money. Lock up your valuables in a closed pocket or locked bag or purse.
Address: 32-30, 36-34-32-30 Phan Boi Châu, Ben Thành, Ho Chí Minh City
Museum of Vietnamese History
Get another crash course on Vietnam-related history with a visit to the Museum of Vietnamese history. You can find it in the local botanic gardens. It exhibits Vietnam from the Bronze Age to the 1900s.
View relics from former groups of Vietnamese individuals including Cham, Funan, Dong Son, and Khmer.
The highlight of your visit will be an hourly puppet show that runs all day long. They take a break during their lunch hour, so be sure to come at a time that does not interfere with their break.
Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater
Speaking of water puppet shows, there is a theater dedicated to this craft in Vietnam called the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater. Children and adults alike will love this attraction!
Water puppet shows have their roots in the Red River Delta with Vietnamese individuals now having put them on for the last century.
Clay-like puppets navigate the water as bamboo flutes and other signature instruments are played in the background during the performance.
Address: 55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Final Thoughts on Traveling in Ho Chi Minh City
Whether you’re a foodie wanting to try Vietnamese cuisine or you want to learn more about the current culture and its history, there is something for everyone to do when visiting Ho Chi Minh City. Consider Cathay Pacific for your flight needs.