Travel Tips For First timers to Ho Chi Minh City | OUTLANDERLY

First time in Ho Chi Minh city? I've got you covered!

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)! It’s probably your first time here, so be prepared to dodge motorbikes, slurp noodles on random sidewalks, and haggle your way through bustling markets. 

Also known as Saigon, this bustling metropolis is hailed as Vietnam’s biggest city and business capital, offering plenty of things to see and do, from fascinating colonial landmarks and beautiful pagodas to trendy bars and sprawling shopping malls.

To help you make the most of your trip to HCMC, I have compiled this travel guide to Saigon to help you feel a bit more at ease and travel ready.


"It’s a place where a zillion things happening at once".

The Best Time to Visit Saigon

vtn traffic

You can enjoy your time in HCMC during any time of the year. 

Note that this part of the region has 2 seasons: dry and wet. Many travel experts will recommend that you travel between December and April. This time will be the hottest with average temperature of 28 °C (82 °F) and peaking at 39 °C (102 °F) around noon time in late April, while the lowest may fall below 16 °C (61 °F) in the early mornings of late December.

In December, humidity is low and begins to decrease from January to April. Hence, if traveling during this period, foreign travelers can escape from the normal sticky weather of Saigon.


The rest of the year

In the rainy season, rainfall is often short in the daytime and clears as quickly as they come, 

Between May to November,  it is quite humid and rainy. Major national holidays during this time such as Vietnam Reunification Day on April 30th, May Day on May 1st, Vietnam National Day on September 2nd which will see crowds of people traveling across cities. Transportation and restaurant service can be hard to come by for travelers. 

In brief, if you want to travel comfortably without being all sweaty,  visit Vietnam between December and April. Budget travelers should travel between May – September. 


hcmc traffic

I will not lie. The city is as chaotic as Hanoi: The traffic is horrendous with motorbikes, bicycles, cars, and cyclos moving wherever and whenever they please and lots of street stalls and market spill into the traffic lanes or sidewalks.

Like in Hanoi, crossing the road is a bit of an art form. First, pray for your safety, then take a deep deep deep breath and start walking slowly through the traffic slowly, and without hesitation,  a sigh in relief that you’re still alive.

If you feel you can’t do it, just walk with a local! It works out every time for me!

5 Things to and see

ho chi minh square

Nguyen Hue Walking Street at sunset

Other things to see in Saigon

Binh Tay Market

Opera House

Thien Hau Temple 

Dong Khoi Street

Museum of Ho Chi Minh City

Bitexco Financial Tower

Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Central Post Office

San Art Laboratory – Gallery

Where to stay

Where to eat

Where to have a good time

Tours to book


Mekong delta



Why not check out the posts below.

hcmc expat guide




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