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The city of Saigon, popularly known as Ho Chi Minh City, is the hub of commerce for the amazing Vietnam. Saigon has long attracted tourists from across the globe owing not only to its pulsating addictive energy but also to the sharp contrasts which it offers that makes exploring this city all the more fascinating. Saigon has long stood as an emblem of inspiration and determination that brought this once war-afflicted country rise from the shackles to a city that now stands boasting a very modern outlook. From exotic age-old alleyways and stunning French colonial architecture to the modern-styled skyscrapers and indulgent boutiques, Saigon surely offers a captivating journey guaranteed to stay etched in your minds forever. so take the time out and hop on a scintillating expedition to unravelling the story being told in Saigon's number of museums, indulge in the scrumptious Vietnamese street food, or simply take a tour to explore the varied architectures that dot the city, the city of Saigon has all this and a whole lot more.
If Vietnam's war history is what you would want to learn more about, then the city of Saigon is just the perfect place to start. The War Remnant Museum will take you on a heart-wrenching journey through the spoils of one of the greatest wars that Vietnam faced. Exhibiting intense photographs and newspaperarticles that depict the wraths of a war that Vietnam once faced, the War Remnant Museum is sure to guarantee an insightful journey through time. Furthermore, the Ho Chi Minh City Museum is another one of the must-visit attractions for the inquisitive minds. This museum also showcases engaging artefacts and photographs taking you through the horrors of the historic Vietnam War. A further insight into the country's extraordinary history can be uncovered by a visit to the Cu Chi tunnel. This was built in the 1940's during the war against the French colonizers. The entire system comprises of 120km of tunnels, features rooms, kitchens, clinics, stores etc. that were once used to launch campaign against the foreign invaders. The Cu Chi Tunnel offers one of Saigon's most visited attractions that continue to amaze tourists from across the globe.
Vietnam is also a culturally-rich and an art-loving country. Saigon's Fine Art Museum is just the perfect indication of that. The museum itself is housed in an iconic building from the colonial era dating back to the year 1929, showcasing fascinating paintings and sculptures, with some dating back to the 7th to the 14th century. Contemporary art featuring life during the war is also displayed here. Vietnam's fascinating culture and traditions can further be explored with a visit to the number of age-old pagodas and temples that dot the city. Among this list include the iconic Giac Lam Pagoda that is believed to be one of the oldest in the city dating to the year 1744. Set beautifully amidst indulgent gardens, this temple boasts intricate ornate architecture that shouldn’t be missed out on. Another one of the must-visit temples is the Khanh Van Nam Vien Pagodafeaturing statues and sculptures of Taoist disciples.
Take a stroll down the famed Dong Khoi Street housing some of the most stunning French colonial buildings that still stand as a symbol of the glory days of the French. The street is especially popular amongst those having an eye for classic architectures.
Some of the leading airlines offering cheap airfares for flights to Saigon from the UK are Vietnam Airlines, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific and Etihad Airlines.
Yes, Vietnam Airlines is the only airline offering direct flights to Saigon from London as of the latest flight records.
Average flight time from London to Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon is 14hours 15minutes for connecting flights while the average flight time for direct flights will take 12hours 25minutes.
Ho Chi Minh City Airport, also known as Tan Son Nhat International Airport, is located at a distance of approximately 4 mi or 6 km north of the city center.
Ho Chi Minh Airport offers reliable and convenient modes of travelling to the city. Taxis can easily be hailed from the left upon exiting the airport terminal. Two of the main trusted brands of taxi companies being operated at Saigon are Mai Linh and Vinasun. Make sure that the taxi is metered prior to boarding the vehicle in order to avoid any chances of getting overcharged for the service. Taxis can also be paid in advance at the number of taxi counters available at the airport. You will then be given a slip with the taxi number upon payment.
A comparatively cheaper mode of travelling to the city is via the city bus. Public city Bus numbered 152 will be available on the right side upon exiting the arrivals terminal of the airport. This bus offers transport to the Ben Thanh Bus Station, next to Ben Thanh Market and Trung Son Residence Town in Saigon city. Buses run every 20 minutes from 6 am until 6 pm.
A popular and cheap mode of getting around Saigon is via a motorbike taxi locally known as xe om. These are plenty roaming the streets of Saigon and can be easily spotted in many of the popular tourist areas of the city.
Public buses are well routed in Saigon and offer another one of the cheaper modes of getting around the city. However, waiting for the bus in unfriendly weather conditions can get a bit strenuous.
Taxis are the most popular mode used by the tourists in Saigon. The Uber App has also recently been launched in the major cities of Vietnam including Saigon. The app allows one to use their smart phone to hail a taxi to the stated destination where you are in by a simple payment made through your credit card. The journey taken is also monitored through GPS and therefore ensures a safe and reliable journey.
Saigon boasts fine hotels to cheap guest houses that ensure to cater everyone on the budget scale. On the high-end category, Saigon has no short of options to choose from. From a number of extravagant local hotels to also housing some of the leading international chain of luxury hotels, Saigon is sure to satisfy those looking to splurge on their stay. Hotels in this category feature beautifully designed buildings that house the traditional Vietnamese-styled architecture and art to give the local feel.
District 1 is especially popular amongst the tourists given the location of a range of hotels suiting a wide budget scale. The districts close proximity to not only the airport but also some of the major tourist attractions of the city makes it an even more feasible option for many.
Many of the mid-ranged and budget hotels can be found in Ben Thanh market along Le Thanh Ton and Ly Tu Trong. The district of Pham Ngu Lao houses a number of feasible and budget accommodation options for backpackers.