Ho Chi Minh City
Surprising Saigon. Storied Saigon. Sexy Saigon. Vietnam’s biggest city (officially known as Ho Chi Minh City) has more alliterative epithets than you can shake a stick at. The biggest city in Vietnam, its sheer size can be overwhelming, stretching out more than 100km and housing over 13 million people in 24 different districts. Although it may not have the immediate charm tourists can expect to find in Hanoi or Hoi An, Saigon is a place where the longer you stay, the more impossible it is to leave.
The central districts still boast grand colonial mansions, Art Deco department store buildings, and legendary hotels. Chinatown – a city within a city – bustles with life and has enormous market buildings not found anywhere else in the country, while the expat enclaves hide hip hangouts and creative hubs. Then, there are the restaurants, noodle stalls, and street-side to-go coffee carts perfuming the air with exotic scents and mouth-watering flavors.
Everything exists in Saigon but not in the way you’d expect. And as more tourists start to learn how to read in-between the lines and interpret the contrasts, Saigon emerges as one of the top tourist destinations within Vietnam to discover and play.
Hooked your interest? Read on to discover how to add Saigon to your next Vietnam tour, or browse some of our selected favorites that check every box here.