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Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City Hotels

A sea of bikes and mopeds, some of them piled precariously high with people and goods, weave death-defying paths in a maze-like fashion, while rattling buses and old taxis lumber awkwardly through this highly mobile mass of humanity. At rush hour – and most hours thereafter – Ho Chi Minh City is both exhilarating and terrifying. Yet beyond this chaos emerges a highly cultured, relatively ordered city, blending the French colonial vestiges of Saigon with the color and dynamism of Vietnamese life.

Things to see

One of the most iconic and bombastic of Ho Chi Minh’s landmarks is the Reunification Palace, also known as Independence Palace. This one building practically tells the story of the city – built after independence from the French, it was the site of the dramatic communist victory which reunited North and South Vietnam. It’s more beautiful than a lot of 1960s architecture, though it still has a distinctly modernist style, and inside, the grand state rooms boast flamboyant décor. For an authentic taste of Vietnam, head to Ben Thanh Market. Housed in an impressive hall, this is a dizzying, raucous place, where locals haggle furiously over meat and spices, and vendors try to persuade you to part with your cash for scorpions in alcohol or weasel-processed coffee. North of the market, you’ll find evidence of the French period, with the strikingly European-looking Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, with its twin spires and copper coloring.

Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is one of those rare places where you can score a luxury stay on a budget. Plus, if you’re really saving the pennies, you can get perfectly decent rooms for next to nothing. The luxury hotels in Ho Chi Minh City come with all the upscale perks you’d expect, minus the eye-watering price-tag. Rooms are spacious and designed to a high contemporary standard, while spas and limo services provide the glam factor. Cheap Ho Chi Minh City hotels, meanwhile, offer cheery, sociable dorm rooms, as well as no-frills privates. Freebies including WiFi and breakfast are widely available.

Where to stay

For Vietnamese luxury, stay in the romantic Riverside district. It’s abundant with 4 and 5 star hotels, and you’re close to the exhilarating center, but it’s tempered by the calm of the river, which glitters with floating restaurants. You can hop on a river cruise by night to take in the illuminated view. To be right at the center of the action, the Ben Thanh Market district is ideal. You’ll be surrounded by shopping, dining, and the whole carnival of life at the heart of Vietnam’s capital city. For budget hotels, head to Pham Ngu Lao, southwest of the center.

How to get to Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam’s main international airport, Tan Son Nhat, is located within the city limits of Ho Chi Minh, just 8 kilometers from District 1, which is the center. To get to there from the airport, it’s best to order and pay for a taxi at the Mai Linh stand inside the terminal, or have a pre-arranged transfer direct to your hotel. That way you can avoid the touts clamoring outside. Renting a car in Ho Chi Minh City is inadvisable for the uninitiated unless you have nerves of steel, but there are plenty of taxis and motorbikes to get you around.

Ho Chi Minh City travel guides

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guides

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