Vibrating with energy, innovation and traffic – lots of traffic – Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is the economic heart of Vietnam and the main hub of the southern region. A freewheeling, cosmopolitan metropolis, HCMC’s dynamic cityscape draws together old and new Vietnam in the most compact of spaces, representing the city’s past as well as its future.
Ho Chi Minh City has consistent temperatures year-round, and the weather is generally warm. Heatwaves hit the city from April to May, welcoming the rainy season from May to November. Slightly cooler temperatures emerge in December and January.
Travellers can arrive in Ho Chi Minh City by bus, train or plane. Tan Son Nhat international airport welcomes foreign and domestic arrivals daily, while various bus companies operate shuttles from Phnom Penh and destinations across Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City also sees a steady stream of train travellers. Taxis are everywhere, but those with a Vietnamese SIM card can use ride-hailing apps like Grab. Local buses cover a good portion of the city. Travellers can also take a boat along the river, for a day trip to Củ Chi Tunnels or the Mekong Delta.