Chi Minh city, or Sai Gon as the former name, is the biggest city in
Vietnam with more than 7 million people. Enegetic and charming,
everything can be found in this city.
The main business section of the city is Dong Khoi quarter in District
1. Here you can find the best hotels from classic ones such as Rex,
Continental to the most luxurious like Sheraton, Caravelle...In the past
few years many new hotels have been built, providing a large
accommodation supply, particularly the top class. The most recommended
hotels are scattered in District 1, where the best restaurants, shops,
supermarkets, theatres are located.
There are a lot of
places in Sai Gon worth a visit including Reunification Palace, War
Remnants Museum of Principal Opera House. Other attractions are also
worth a day drive.
Shopping lovers can find hand-made souvenirs or clothes from cheap
to expensive. Although Sai Gon is usually a base to start or finish
your trip, it's worth a cyclo trip down to China Town in District 5
or along Sai Gon river.
Motorbikes are the main means of transport on the streets. Young and
modern girls are offen seen on scooters, wearing sunglasses with
western styled fashions. Schoolgirls go on bicycle wearing white Ao
Dai (traditional long dress). Junctions are controlled by coloured
lights, just to slow down the flow of traffic, it looks chaotic and
dangerous, but in fact it's not.
Most state offices, restaurants and shops open from 8.00 until
16.30, with 1 hour close for lunch break. Some restaurants,
and clubs open overnight.
There are only 2 seasons in Sai Gon, dry and rainy
seasons. Rainy season starts from May to November, however it's hot
throughout the year. If you are in this city in the rainy season,
don't for get a raincoat when you go out.