Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City: The most bustling city in Vietnam

Located in southern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, “the pearl of the Far East” in the past, 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.

It’s hard to imagine the sprawling, modern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City once started out as a small fishing village surrounded by thick forests. Thanks to its favourable weather and kind-hearted people, the so-called Pearl of the Far East – Saigon – has now become a young, dynamic and attractive place, where millions of people gather to seek the many opportunities it presents with a population of around 9 million in 2019. The city generates nearly a quarter of the country’s total GDP, and is home to many multinational companies.

Fondly referred to by its evocative older name of Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City retains a preserved air of its French colonial heritage in the old areas of the city while still reflecting the dynamic modern vibes of a cutting edge Vietnam. It is a mixture of modern and classic beauty with high towers rising up alongside old villas.

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.

Foreign travellers can arrive in Ho Chi Minh City through Tan Son Nhat international airport, the busiest airport in the country by passenger traffic, accounting for nearly half of all international arrivals to Vietnam. Unlike most airports in the world, it is located right in the heart of the city that you can see planes so close in some places. It was the 25th busiest airport in the world in 2020. Of the routes the airport offers, the domestic Ho Chi Minh City – Hanoi capital route is the busiest in Southeast Asia and the sixth busiest in the world.

From city, travellers can also take a boat along the river for a day trip to Củ Chi Tunnels or the Mekong Delta.