Ho Chi Minh City, previously and still colloquially known as Saigon, is the biggest city in Vietnam. Prior to takeover by the Vietnamese in the 17th century, it was known as Prey Nokor, an important Khmer harbor. Saigon was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and, subsequently, the independent country of South Vietnam from 1955 to 1975. On July 2, 1976, Saigon amalgamated with the neighboring Gia Định Province and was formally renamed Ho Chi Minh City after revolutionary leader H Ch Minh (though the name Sài Gon is still frequently used unofficially).
The metropolitan region, which includes Ho Chi Minh City, Thủ Dầu Một, Biên Hòa, Vũng Tàu, Dĩ An, Thuận An, and nearby villages, is home to more than 10 million people, making it Vietnam’s most populous metropolitan area. By 2025, the city’s population is predicted to reach 13.9 million.
The Ho Chi Minh City Metropolitan Area, which will include most of the south-east region as well as Tien Giang Province and Long An Province, will span an area of 30,000 square kilometers (12,000 square miles) and have a population of 20 million people by 2020. Ho Chi Minh City is placed 132 on the list of the world’s most costly cities by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Economist Intelligence Unit, and ECA International.
Tourism in Ho Chi Minh City
The city’s centre is still ornamented with broad, magnificent boulevards and old French colonial buildings today. The bulk of these tourist attractions are in District 1 and are within walking distance of one another. The most important buildings in the city center include the Reunification Palace (Dinh Thng Nht), City Hall (y ban nhân dân Thành ph), Municipal Theatre (Nhà hát thành ph, commonly known as the Opera House), City Post Office (Bu in thành ph), State Bank Office (Ngân hàng nhà nc), City People’ The Hotel Majestic, which dates from the French colonial period, and the Rex and Caravelle hotels, which were previous hangouts for American officers and war journalists in the 1960s and 1970s, are among the historic hotels.
It is estimated that 4.3 million visitors visited Vietnam in 2007, with around 3 million of them visiting Ho Chi Minh City.
The Ho Chi Minh City Museum, the Museum of Vietnamese History, the Revolutionary Museum, the Museum of South-eastern Armed Forces, the War Remnants Museum, the Museum of Southern Women, the Museum of Fine Art, the Nha Rong Memorial House, and the Ben Duoc Relic of Underground Tunnels are among the museums in the city. The C Chi tunnels are located in the C Chi District, north-west of the city. The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, located in District 1, was founded in 1865. The m Sen Tourist and Cultural Park, Sui Tiên Amusement and Culture Park, and Cn Gi’s Eco beach resort are three famous tourist attractions inside the city.
Other entertainment options outside the Municipal Theatre include the Bn Thành theatre, the Ha Bnh theatre, and the Lan Anh Music Stage. Ho Chi Minh City is home to hundreds of cinemas and theaters, with cinema and drama theater income accounting for 60–70 percent of overall revenue in this business in Vietnam. Unlike other theatrical organizations in Vietnam’s provinces and municipalities, people of Ho Chi Minh City maintain their theaters without the assistance of Vietnamese government funding. The city is also home to the majority of Vietnam’s private film firms.
The city, like many of Vietnam’s smaller towns, has a plethora of eateries selling traditional Vietnamese cuisine such as ph or rice vermicelli. Backpackers often visit the “Western Quarter” on Phm Ng Lo Street and Bùi Vin Street in District 1.
Climate of Ho Chi Minh City
With an average humidity of 78–82 percent, the city has a tropical climate, especially a tropical wet and dry climate. There are two different seasons throughout the year. The rainy season typically starts in May and ends in late October, with an annual rainfall of roughly 1,800 millimetres (71 in) (about 150 wet days). From December until April, the dry season lasts. The average temperature is 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit), with minimal change throughout the year. The highest recorded temperature was 40.0 °C (104 °F) in April, while the lowest recorded temperature was 13.8 °C (57 °F) in January. The city receives between 2,400 and 2,700 hours of sunlight each year on average.
Geography of Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is situated in Vietnam’s south-eastern area, 1,760 kilometers (1,090 miles) south of Hanoi. The elevation is 19 metres (62 feet) above sea level on average. It is bounded to the north by Tây Ninh Province and Bnh Dng Province, to the east by ng Nai Province and Bà Ra–Vng Tàu Province, to the west by Long An Province, and to the south by the South China Sea. The city extends up to C Chi District (12 mi or 19 km from the Cambodian border) and down to Cn Gion on the South China Sea, covering an area of 2,095 km2 (809 sq mi or 0.63 percent of Vietnam’s land). The distance between the northernmost (Ph M Hng Commune, C Chi District) and the southernmost (Long Ha Commune, Cn Gi District) is 102 km (63 mi), while the distance between the easternmost (Long Bnh ward, District Nine) and the westernmost (Bnh Chánh Commune, Bnh Chánh District) is 47 km (29 mi).
Economy of Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s economic capital, accounting for a substantial share of the country’s GDP. Despite occupying just 0.6 percent of the country’s surface area, the city is home to 8.34 percent of Vietnam’s population, 20.2 percent of its GDP, 27.9 percent of industrial production, and 34.9 percent of the country’s FDI projects in 2005. In 2005, the city had 4,344,000 employees, 130,000 of whom were above the legal working age (in Vietnam, 60 for male and 55 for female workers). GDP per capita reached $2,800 in 2009, compared to the country’s average of $1,042.
Internet, Comunication in Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City’s phone number is 08. The prefix 3 appears on many (but not all) landline phone numbers in Vietnam.
Almost all hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, and cafés provide free Wi-Fi. There are open access stations that do not need a password in the vicinity of Pham Ngu Lao/Vu Bien and Ben Thanh Market.
For about 300,000 dong, you may also purchase a SIM card with unrestricted internet access for a month right at the airport.