Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a sprawling metropolis that is home to more than 5 million people. Vibrant and alluring, this city offers something for everyone. It is a study in contrasts: traditional and modern, young and old, rich and poor.
Numerous worthwhile sites within Ho Chi Minh City itself include the Historical Museum, Reunification Hall and the War Remnants Museum (formerly the War Crimes Museum). Within a day's drive there are also several attractions well-worth the trip.
Ho Chi Minh City is also a great place to just sit and watch the action or take a leisurely tour in a cyclo to visit the historical sites, including Notre Dame Cathedral and the former U.S. embassies.
Most offices, stores and museums open early, usually around 7:30 a.m. Most close their doors for lunch for up to 2 hours. The city literally shuts down between noon and 1. Doors reopen by 1:30 and stay open until around 4:30 or 5. Most restaurants stop serving at 10 p.m.
Ho Chi Minh City has essentially two seasons: dry and wet. The dry season runs from November through April; the wet season from May through October. Dry or wet, it's always warmhot ! If you arrive during the wet season, bring a raincoat and umbrella.