When planning your trip to the South of Vietnam, you have a variety of choices of where you may want to go and what you could do in Ho Chi Minh City, so tailoring your tour could be the best way to get the most out of your experience. This Ho Chi Minh City Private Tours information and guide will brief you what you need to know about the city, what you can do, and where you could visit so that you can plan your trip according to the time and budget you have.
Many travel agencies provide private tours in and near Ho Chi Minh City. Each provider will have their itinerary of the tour and what they might include in a trip, but all will make sure you will get to see the attractions and enjoy delicious food.
There are different types of transportations to take you around the city, but the most common is by a motorbike or Vespa. You can also get some exercise while sightseeing with a bicycle tour or slowly going through streets and watching people rushing by on a rickshaw - favorite transportation of the noble in the past in Vietnam.
If you travel in a large group, you can hire a van or bus to go to places as well; they are quite comfortable and have air-conditioned so you can run away from the hot weather in Vietnam. Besides these on land vehicles, you can use the speedboats and sampan to discover river and nature in the Mekong Delta.
A 3.5 tour sightseeing and discovering Vietnam history and local cultures on a scooter city tour. Places that you will visit on this tour are the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, War Remnants Museum, a hidden temple, and a local coffee house.
A 4-hour tour to experience the nightlife and Vietnamese foods. On this motorbike tour, you will see the historical landmarks and city in different lights, visit the red light and join the locals with their dinner rush.
A 3-hour tour to enjoy and discover Vietnamese foods; perfect for any food lovers. You will get to enjoy the local foods, like pancakes, grilled pork vermicelli, hot rice rolls, seafood street BBQ, and draft beer with our local tour guides. And if you have any specifications regarding your diet and allergy, tell us in advance, and we will tailor the tour that suits you.
A 3.5-hour tour sightseeing and exploring what is not usually in the guidebook and off-the-beaten-path places. Sitting on the back of a motorbike, you will get to see the unseen Saigon, learn about the local cultures, travel in the back alleys, and visit a floating market.
A half-day tour. You will be taken to one of the less-visited Cu Chi Tunnels, a place that has special meaning to the Vietnam War. You will learn Vietnam history by seeing, listening to stories, discovering the tunnels, and witnessing how people survived the war in such a strategic place.
A full-day tour. This tour will be an excellent getaway from the bustling city, taking you to the countrysides, streaming along calm rivers, tasting the specialties in the areas and sharpen or show off your cooking skills.
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Ho Chi Minh City is a city in the South of Vietnam. In the 17th century, the Vietnamese migrated to the South and started to live there. The Nguyen King began to exploit the area by establishing a tax station for the people in businesses and trades passing through it. The city and its neighbors were called Gia Dinh at the time.
It was not until the 19th century when the French Indochina colonization started that the city was renamed to Saigon. The city was rebuilt and rearranged to be a metropolitan, the center of the colony. The city in its prime time was even called “la perle de l'Extrême-Orient” – Pearl of the Far East, or “le petit Paris de l'Extrême-Orient” – Little Paris of the Far East.
Because of the vital city location, a place that could affect international trade and politics at the time, Saigon had been turned into the center of the Vietnam War in the 20th century. After the successful operation of the People’s Liberation Armed Forced of South Vietnam in 1975, ending the war, Saigon’s name was changed to Ho Chi Minh to honor the first president of Vietnam and what he did to the country on July 2nd, 1976. Presently, the city is still known and called Saigon by people from around the world and even by Vietnamese.
The city has a large population of about 8.3 million people (2016). As a center of Vietnam's economy, people from the countrysides and other regions have come to Ho Chi Minh City to make a living adding to the prominent population growth, and the city becomes a cultural hotspot.
You should make a trip to Ho Chi Minh City, not only because it is the most developed city in Vietnam but also because there are a lot of attractions where you can learn the history of Vietnam and enjoy the best quality services in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City is a place where you can see skyscrapers, old houses, and small temples scattering in the city, a place where the modernization and traditions collide and harmonize. One more reason is that it is easy to travel to Ho Chi Minh City because there is the Tan Son Nhat International Airport with daily flights in and out of the city and the country. The transportation system in Ho Chi Minh City is getting more developed each day so that you can travel from other cities with planes, trains, buses, motorbikes, and boats.
Read more on Vietnam transportations and Getting around Ho Chi Minh City.
From November to April is the time you should visit this city. Ho Chi Minh City is in the South of Vietnam, which is closer to the equator and makes the weather in the city hotter than the North of Vietnam. However it is not as intense, it would be mostly hot and humid all year round. The raining season lasts from April to October with a little chance of typhoon in August to October; after that, the weather gets cooler; sometimes the temperature drops to 18 degrees Celsius at around the end of the year to the Tet holiday in February.
Vietnam has many events and festivals all year round; the locals celebrate both traditional events that comply with the Lunar Calendar and Western holidays like New Year Eve, Valentine, Halloween, and Christmas. To witness these events and festivals in Ho Chi Minh City, around December through February is the best time when people are busy preparing for the big festivities. Some holidays you may want to note when making a trip to Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City are:
New Year - 1 day off
Tet holiday – lasts for about 2 weeks and usually falls in February
Hung King’s Commemoration - 1 day off usually falls on April
Reunification Day and Labor Day holiday - 2 days off in a row on 30th of April and 1st of May
National Day - 1 day off on 2nd of September
Besides, there are also days to celebrate specific vocations like medical care and education, and people work in those professions will have their holiday.
For more information on when to visit Ho Chi Minh City, read our guide on the best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City.
With most tours to Ho Chi Minh City, people will visit historical landmarks, museums, and enjoy foods the local way or by attending gourmet festivals featuring foods and drinks from other regions and countries around the world. The city gets more vivid and busier at night with the red light district, beers, and bars, street foods, and some shows opened from dusk till late at night.
There are other entertainment activities in Ho Chi Minh City like theatres, operas, orchestras, or plays, live concerts of DJs and singers, art galleries, and exhibitions.
Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City could also be an addiction; there are malls with many international brands, tailors making ao dai, customized suits, and selling the fabric used to make ao dai. Besides non la - the conical hat, some Vietnam souvenirs you should have on your list are Vietnamese calligraphy writings, stamps, pottery, broidery, and Vietnamese specialties like mung bean cake, coffee, and dried fruits.
If you are learning Vietnamese or have an interest in acquiring Vietnamese, it is an excellent chance to buy some Vietnamese books on the book street at Nguyen Van Binh, District 1. Here you can also find some old books in Vietnamese other languages.
If you merely want to relax on your holiday with high-quality services, you can easily find hotels in Ho Chi Minh City with great reviews such as the InterContinental, Caravelle, Reverie, and Sheraton or indulge yourself with a day at the spas, or a hot spring resort near the city.
Read more on our suggestions on what to do in Ho Chi Minh City in 3 days.
Ho Chi Minh City was the city for the French government during its colonization, so you will see a lot of architectures greatly influenced by the Western-style when visiting this city. Many of those buildings have been reinforced and are now used as museums. Some schools, markets, and houses in Ho Chi Minh City still keep the old design and even the tiles that the French used in these buildings. Some familiar famous French architectures you may have known are the Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office.
You can also explore the religious aspects of Vietnam when visiting many temples in Ho Chi Minh City. Buddhism is the dominant religion, even for people that are not Buddhism followers; they still practice some Buddhist principles in their daily life. Especially in District 5, you can find many small temples, shrines, and assembly halls. This is where the Chinatown in Ho Chi Minh City locates; the immigrants from China are here at the time of the 19th century.
Read more on Top Ho Chi Minh City attractions you should pay a visit.
Around Ho Chi Minh City, there are many places to visit and worth making a day's trips, too. You can enjoy the sun and the sand on a beach, hiking a mountain, exploring the wild nature in a national park, or float down a river on a sampan and try delicious tropical fruits. These places are about 50 - 200 km away from Ho Chi Minh City, taking you about 1 - 3 hours to go there and get back to Ho Chi Minh City within a day but wouldn’t miss anything on the way.
Read more on places you can visit Ho Chi Minh City within a day.
When making your trip to Vung Tau, you may want to visit Binh Chau hot spring and spend some time relaxing there. And if you have some time to spare and want to enjoy the local foods with a countryside view, you can also go to restaurants like those in Binh Duong or Mekong Delta; they usually have other activities in their restaurants for visitors like fishing and riding a boat.
The exciting yet full of hidden traditions and the unseen city will be different every time you visit. Ho Chi Minh City with its rich history, beautiful scenery, and excellent services is worth to put on your travel list. It is to get around the city and nearby places that is an adventure; there are many things to see from historical landmarks to learn about the Vietnamese lifestyle. The local foods range from savory, desserts to vegan, anything that suits your taste. There is a little bit for everyone in this beautiful land so making a trip here and discover whatever you may want to discover. We hope this Vietnam travel guide will help you plan your Ho Chi Minh City private tours with us.