Research shows that taking short holiday trips helps alleviate stress. In fact, this should come as no surprise! If you are looking for a quick weekend recharge, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is good to begin with. Just 2 hours of flight time with more than 15 flights a day from Singapore, you can book cheap air tickets from Traveloka for as low as S$118 per person! Do keep a look out for the best deal when you make Singapore Airlines booking with Traveloka.
Despite its notorious traffic, getting around the city is fairly easy. Taxis are plentiful and cheap. They go by meter but to avoid being scammed, hail only legitimate taxi companies such as Mai Linh or Vinasun. Ride hailing app such as Grab is also widely accepted in HCMC.
Where to stay in Ho Chi Minh City
I personally think that District 1 is the best area to stay for first timer in HCMC. Many will choose to stay near Ben Thanh Market for convenience. For backpackers, you can search for a room or dorm for less than S$15 per night at Bui Vien Street.
Here’s how you can spend 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ben Thanh Market
A must-visit in HCMC, you can find almost everything that is produced in Vietnam within the market lanes of Ben Thanh Market. There is no fixed price but you have to master the art of haggling! The best time to visit is in the morning when the heat is still bearable. In the evening, the roads near the market will close to make way for the night market.
Chợ, Lê Lợi, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Adjacent to Ben Thanh Market is the well-known Malaysian (halal) Street, a food and shopping paradise for Muslim travellers in HCMC. As the street name suggest, you won’t feel like you are in Vietnam! Don’t be surprised if the shops accept Malaysian Ringgit.
Nguyễn An Ninh Street
Saigon Square is another shopping areas to get a good bargain at the comfort of air-conditioning. The prices here are reasonable as well.
81 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Saigon Centre is an upscale shopping mall that carries international brands. This mall is a good escape from the scorching hot weather.
65 Lê Lợi, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Ho Chi Minh City Hall
Walk along the Nguyen Hue Walking Street to Ho Chi Minh City Hall. You can’t miss the new statue of President Ho Chi Minh inaugurated in 2015.
Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Also known as Reunification Palace, this is a landmark of HCMC. You’ll find old government offices, war rooms and artifacts from the Vietnam War era.
135 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon
This French-built cathedral occupies scenic Paris Square in the heart of HCMC.
1 Công xã Paris, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Quận 1 Hồ Chí Minh
Saigon Central Post Office
Just opposite the cathedral is the monumental central post office, completed in 1891, with a vaulted main hall & period finishes.
Số 125 Công xã Paris, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Saigon Opera House
Also known as the Municipal Theatre, the French colonial building is now a venue for cultural performances. If you intend to catch an evening show, do come early for a free tour of this historic building.
7 Công Trường Lam Sơn, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
War Remnants Museum
The War Remnants Museum exhibit photographs, weapons & objects from the Vietnam war. Thiscan be an eyeopener for first time visitors to Vietnam.
28 Võ Văn Tần, Phường 6, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh
The Café Apartment
Located along Nguyen Hue Walking Street, the 9-storey former apartment building turns into an array of restaurants, cafes, beauty parlours, fashion boutiques and bookshop. This is truly the spot for hipsters.
42 Nguyễn Huệ, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Spa by Thann
Pampered your body with a relaxing massage at Spa by Thann (Pullman Saigon Centre) before taking your flight back home.
48 Đường Trần Hưng Đạo, Phường Nguyễn Cư Trinh, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh