Street Vendor, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh conjures up images of busy street life, teeming markets and chaotic roads swarming with motorbikes. It is a fascinating yet complicated city with a buzz only found in South East Asian city life.

The capital of South Vietnam until 1975, Ho Chi Minh, known formerly as Saigon, has traditionally been a place of business and enterprise.

Motorcycles vie with bicycle rickshaws for space on the roads and many of the colonial buildings which were synonymous with the Vietnam War such as the Rex Hotel, the Caravelle and the Post Office have all survived and add to the city’s charm.

Old Church Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

A little more about Ho Chi Minh

The city is currently going through an economic boom, there are a number of small boutique hotels developing and the cuisine is sumptuous, enabling the restaurants within the city to expand.

Cholon, or China town, bustles with activity and 90 minutes drive away you can visit the Cu Chi Tunnels which are just part of the huge labyrinth of underground passageways used by the Vietcong. Nearby is the Cai Dai temple, the centre of a religion where gods such as Victor Hugo are worshipped.

River Life, Song Xanh Sampan, Mekong Delta, Cambodia
River life on the Mekong, Vietnam

Mekong Cruise Embarkation

Should the bustle of metropolitan life become overwhelming, Ho Chi Minh is an ideal starting point for embarking on a Mekong River Cruise. Trade the cityscape’s skyscrapers and bright lights for a seven-night journey aboard a comfortable boat, meandering through the rural landscapes of Vietnam to Cambodia, culminating at the magnificent Khmer Temple of Angkor.


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Tra Su Floodede Forest, An Giang, Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Mekong Visit

Travel into the Mekong Delta for the day or even an overnight on board a small Sampan, a traditional wooden boat typical to South East Asia.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Cu Chi Tunnels

Take a tour through the Cu Chi Tunnels, a network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the war.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Lamps, Hoi An, Vietnam


Experience Cholon, Vietnam’s largest Chinatown in Ho Chi Minh City – a colourful and buzzing part of the city.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

The Reverie Saigon £££££

  • Vietnam
  • City

The Reverie Saigon is found in the historic heart of the central business district. Situated on the 27th to 39th floors, it is one of the highest hotels in Ho Chi Minh and features spectacular views of the city skyline. With 286 sumptuous rooms and suites, all feature the signature lavish Italian style, using vibrant colours, marble, gold and grand chandeliers throughout. With a 24-metre free form pool, spa and sought-after restaurants, the Reverie is a glamorous address in the city.

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Park Hyatt Saigon £££££

  • Vietnam
  • City

The Park Hyatt’s 245 rooms and suites blend sophisticated design and decor with all the trimmings that one expects from a smart city hotel. It plays host to world-class restaurants and bars, from the Italian Restaurant Opera, a traditional Afternoon Tea to Square One – a vibrant and contemporary blend of French and Vietnamese. For sheer relaxation, Park Hyatt features Xuan Spa, a tranquil urban retreat offering private therapy rooms, a fitness centre and outdoor pool.

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Caravelle Hotel £££££

  • Vietnam
  • City

The Caravelle Hotel is one of Saigon’s original hotels opening its doors in 1959 and used by foreign correspondents during the Vietnam conflict. Found in the heart of the city it is a great base for exploring.The facilities include several restaurants, a large pool and spa.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.

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Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list.

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  • 01285 880 980

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