Formerly named Saigon and still referred to that today by many locals, particularly in the French Quarter of the city, this bustling city is not only the centre of commerce and culture but also the country’s largest city – with a population of over 6 million. Ho Chi Minh City is divided into 24 districts, although tourists usually tend to only visit districts one, three and five.
You really won’t be short of things to do here – why not visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda, Ben Thanh Market, or see where villagers dug themselves out of American shelling at the Cu Chi Tunnels; try your hand at Vietnamese cuisine with a Saigon cooking class, or enjoy the simple pleasure of sitting at a roadside cafe or seat of a cyclo (a 3 wheeled bicycle-type taxi) and taking in the bustling flow of the city.
The city enjoys an average year round temperature of 26°C – 29°C, with the hottest months of the year being March, April and May. If the busy city lifestyle gets a bit too much for you – don’t worry! – paddy fields, beaches, and the wide-open countryside all lie just outside the city. It’s surprising how close the countryside is to a city so large!