What German tourists should know before visiting HCMC
As the largest and the most bustling city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh (also called Saigon) is the nation’s economic heart. It is also well known with the beautiful sceneries, the unique architectures, numerous delicious dishes as well as the shopping centers and local markets. However, there are a dozen things need to prepared and noticed before entering a new country, a new city. Following are some points indicates what you should concern when planning to visit this dynamic city.
How to get to Ho Chi Minh City
Before reaching Ho Chi Minh City, German travellers should check Vietnam visa requirements for German citizens and residents at: https://www.vietnam-visa.com/guide/germany/
Vietnam visa on arrival is the most easy and fast way to obtain visa if you want to visit Vietnam longer than 15 days by air. You will have visa stamped onto your passport on your arrival at any of Vietnam international airports. The simple instruction about how to get Vietnam Visa and details about processing time, fee can be found online on https://www.vietnam-visa.com/how-to-apply-vietnam-visa-in-germany/
Weather in Ho Chi Minh City
Located in the tropical monsoon climate are, there are two seasons in Ho Chi Minh: rainy season and dry season with high and stable temperature around all year. From June to November is rainy season, the big rain will be suddenly appeared even though the sun is shining. This unique factor makes Ho Chi Minh City more attractive.
Transportation for visiting Ho Chi Minh
You can choose travelling by public transportation, taxi or motorbike to visit and discover this city by yourself.
The public transportation in Ho Chi Minh City is quite good and various. There are more than a hundred bus routes with over 2000 bus stops to all districts in HCMC and to nearby provinces. You only have to pay very little to travel in the city by bus which is still quite new with air conditioner. You can go online on https://busmap.vn to get all information about bus stops, bus routines and so on from the HCMC Department of Traffic and Transportation.
Otherwise, it will be more interesting if you can move by motorbike. You can rent a motorbike with your ID card/passport and around 200,000 VND (around US$9) per day. Another way is catching “Xe Om” or “Motorbike Hug” which is basically a motorbike taxi. You should tell driver a clear idea of your destination, negotiating a price before taking a ride.
Another option for your choice is taxi which is more careful and convenient. There are numerous the prestige taxi brands such as Mai Linh taxi, Vinasun taxi, Hoang Long taxi, etc. Nowadays, you also can use mobile apps such as Uber or Grab to book a mean of transportation easily. While traveling around, you should bring a map or use map on your smartphone to ensure your location and your destination.
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City
There are many hotels for your choice with a variety price, from 200.000 VND to several millions for 1 night. Staying in the center or famous streets such as Nguyen Trai Street, Le Thanh Tong street, Ben Thanh market area, Pham Ngu Lao street, Bui Vien street will cost higher but it also save time for transferring in Ho Chi Minh. You can consider to choose suitable place based on your priority and budget.
Top places to visit in Ho Chi Minh City
There are a lot of famous places in the city which combining the old and the new in a uniquely Vietnamese way. You can walk around to visit many attractions such as Reunification Palace, Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, War Remnants Museum, Cu Chi Tunnels, Cao Dai Temple, Jade Emperor Pagoda, etc to see classic French architecture or American war planes. Besides historical places, Bitexco Financial Tower & Sky Deck stands 262 metres high will offer you an unparalleled city view from its Sky Deck.
Shopping in local markets and centers
Ho Chi Minh is a true paradise for shopping with large number of big markets, supermarkets, outlets and shops. The product can vary in colors, categories, origins. Especially, a good of silk, fashion, lacquer, embroidery and housewares is selected carefully. You can go to Ben Thanh Market, Diamond Plaza, Parkson Saigon, Saigon Square Shopping Center, Miss ‘Ao Dai’ Building, Tax Department Store and Saigon Centre which offer a multitude of choices of fashion products, cosmetics and other necessities.
Must-eat foods in Ho Chi Minh City
Street foods is one of the most exciting experience for German visitors. From evening until midnight, travelers can wander on the streets and stop at many small restaurants to try delicious local dishes like banh mi, pho, hu tieu, Com tam suon heo, etc. Although street food is very tasty, you should consider about the quality of those foods and ask the price before eating. BenThanh Market is a good place for you to get an overview about Vietnamese cuisine.
Above are some tips for those who plan to visit Ho Chi Minh for the first time. Hope it will help you to prepare carefully and have a great trip ahead.