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Ho Chi Minh City

Country
Vietnam
State
Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh
City
Ho Chi Minh City
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

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Places to Visit
How to Reach

By plane

Tan Son Nhat is Vietnam's largest international airport. You can fly direct to SGN from Seoul via Asiana Airlines non stop,Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Pakse, Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bandar Seri Begawan, Manila, Hong Kong, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Nanning, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Busan, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Doha, Frankfurt, Paris, Moscow, Perth, Darwin, Sydney, Melbourne, Yangon and Istanbul. There are two terminals: the shining, very pleasant new international terminal, which took over all international flights in 2007, and the old but functional domestic terminal 200 m away. The airport is conveniently located about 8 km from the heart of the city. The international terminal used to offer duty free shopping after you landed, but that ended in early 2010. Duty free items that you want must be purchased at your departing airport if you are coming into Vietnam. Both terminals have limited food offerings at double prices once you get past immigration on your outbound journey.


By bus

If you take a bus, you will end up at one of the following bus stations:

    Cho Ben Thanh Bus Station - This is right in the centre of HCMC, in walking distance of the tourist sites and accomadation
    Mien Dong Bus Station - Buses heading north leave and arrive here.
    Mien Tay Bus Station - Take bus 139 from Tran Hung Dao Street to get here.
    Cholon Bus Station

By train

The train station GA Sai Gon is on Cach Mang Thang Tam (CMT8) northwest of the city centre, and is a short taxi or public bus ride away from the main hotel districts.

There is an official train ticket office in the backpackers district, located at 275C Pham Ngu Lao.

Today the train line joining Hanoi to Ho Chin Minh City stretches for 1,723 kilometers. It is the most important train line in the country and the Reunification Express runs on this track joining north to the south. It takes over 30 hr to travel from Hanoi to Ho Chin Minh City.

 

Key places to visit
Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, Ho-Chi-Minh Museum, Thien Hau Pagoda, Phung Son Tu Pagoda


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Places to Visit

Reunification Palace

    This is a restored 5 floor time warp to the 60s left largely untouched from the day before Saigon fell to the North (construction started in 1962 and finished in 1966). Formerly South Vietnam's presidential palace, the war ended on April 30, 1975 when tank #843 crashed through the gate. A replica of that tank is now parked on the lawn outside. Be sure to check out the impressively kitschy recreation room, featuring a circular sofa, and the eerie basement, full of vintage 1960s phones, radios, and office equipment, supposedly left exactly as it was found when the North took over. There is also a photo gallery and a propaganda film recounting how the South Vietnamese supporters and American imperialists succumbed to Ho Chi Minh's indomitable revolutionary forces, upon which point the South Vietnamese supporters were forgiven and everyone lived happily ever after. Tours are available and are free, but not necessary. There is a nice outdoor café on the grounds outside the palace. Entry 30,000 dong

War Remnants Museum

      The museum was opened in a hurry, less than five months after the fall of the South Vietmanese regime. It has moved to new premises with 3 stories of exhibits and various U.S. military hardware (tanks, jets, helicopters, howitzers) on display outside the building. This disturbing display of man's cruelty during the Vietnam (American) War includes halls full of gruesome photographs, a simulated "tiger cage" prison and jars of deformed foetuses attributed to contamination by Agent Orange. There is very obvious bias as there are no "records" of any unpleasant deeds having been committed by the North Vietnamese Army. An exhibit on the 3rd floor tells the story of the war journalists from all over the world who documented, and often disappeared or died in the war. Watch out for the amputees who will try and sell you their wares. It's within walking distance from Reunification Palace — see the museum pamphlet for a map. Entry 15,000 dong


Ho-Chi-Minh Museum

     Open daily 7:30AM-12 noon, 1:30PM-5PM, last admission 4:30PM, 10,000 dong entry. The museum (in a French colonial era building) near the dock of Saigon shows the life story of the modern day father of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. There's also a Ho Chi Minh book shop as well. Some may find the theme a little jingoistic but like most things it depends upon your point of view.

Thien Hau Pagoda

Thien Hau Pagoda Dedicated to Lady Thien Hau, the sea goddess, who left two giant turtles to keep an eye on things in her absence. A festival is held in her honor on the 23rd day of the March lunar month. Don't miss the gorgeous sculptures in the walls of the courtyard outside the temple. Entry free

Phung Son Tu Pagoda

Phung Son Tu Pagoda Dedicated to the god of happiness and virtue. The pagoda itself is dusty and dwarfed by high-rises under construction nearby, but the small, sculpted grounds are a good place for a rest from the hectic city

 

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