6 things tourists must remember when coming to Saigon
Bustling Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) always attracts countless visitors, but there are things you need to remember when traveling here.
Saigon is a city that literally “does not sleep”, as it is busy all day long with all kinds of entertainment and restaurants. There are things you will need to know when coming to this prosperous city.
Shimmering Saigon at night. Photo: dangcongsan.vn
Two seasons in Saigon: hot and “hotter” season
This joke of the Saigonese is completely true for its typical southern climate. Saigon city is full of sunlight all year round, so the people here rarely experience the cold which makes you have no choice but wear layers of clothes as it is in Hanoi or Dalat.
Saigon in the hot season. Photo: nhandan
The city has a heavy rainy season from May to October. These rains often pour down suddenly in the late afternoon or even in the middle of a scorching hot day. Roads in low-lying areas such as Binh Thanh or 7 District are often seriously flooded, causing traffic jams. If you want your trip to be unobstructed, please avoid the rainy season in Saigon, otherwise you should remember to bring an umbrella or a raincoat, because the rain can pour down at any time of the day.
The most favorable time to travel to Saigon city is from November to April when the weather is dry, sunny and sometimes very hot. You need to bring along some sunscreen, shirts and hats to protect your body from the sun.
Suddenly heavy rains are considered "specialties" of Saigon in the rainy season. Photo: moitruongvadothi.vn
Avoid rush hour with traffic congestion
Traffic congestion is a “horrifying” thing for people in Saigon, but the people there have got used to it. Indeed, if you travel around this city at noon (from 11-12 o’clock) and in the evening (from 5-6 pm), it is likely for you to get stuck in the flow of slow moving cars. During peak hours, it is best to walk or stop at a restaurant or coffee shop. After 7pm, the streets will be less crowded. You should remember this to make your discovering trip in Saigon more convenient.
You can walk in cafes and wait through the peak hours in Saigon. Photo: foody.vn
Perhaps you will be very surprised when coming to Saigon on Holidays and New Year because the streets are so empty. Truth be told, there are many immigrants coming to do business in Saigon, so they often take advantage of the long holidays to come back to their hometown, making the city quiet and peaceful.
The empty Saigon during the Lunar New Year. Photo: Ohman
Be careful with one-way routes
In Saigon, there are many one-way roads, so if you do not pay close attention, it is very easy to drive on the wrong way. Some one-way routes you should remember are: Ly Tu Trong, Xo Viet Nghe Tinh (from Bach Dang to Binh Trieu Bridge), Le Thanh Ton Pasteur and so on.
Visitors should pay attention to the signs because there are many one-way roads in Saigon. Photo: cafeauto
1 District is the central district with the most attractions and entertaining activities. If you want to explore this area, please park at a nearby place and explore the city on foot. 1 District is extremely crowded, especially Nguyen Hue street, so it is quite difficult to travel by car or motorbike.
Carefully protect your property
Saigon is a crowded city, so it is unavoidable that there are evils, including the petty theft. The areas with frequent thefts are bus routes, parks, streets and so on. Especially on weekends, the markets such as Saigon Flea Market, 2Day Sale Market and Sale4Share are covered with an extremely huge number of people. If you bring valuables and possessions, please be careful.
You should be careful with your properties in crowded places. Photo: vntrip.vn
Be a smart buyer
No matter where you go, buying some souvenirs is indispensable. Ben Thanh and An Dong Market are places where you can easily find and buy all kinds of specialties in Saigon, but the prices are put quite high. That’s why you need to find the prices of those items in advance to possess them at an affordable price.
You can bargain when buying things at the market. Photo: cuchitunnels.com
One of the unique features attracting tourists from all over the world is the street food of Saigon. On the streets, especially at night markets, you can easily see a multitude of dishes that converge the cuisine of the North, Central and South of Vietnam. The delicious dishes you should try include: broken rice with grilled pork ribs, rind and meat, Pha Lau, pasta, bread with grilled meat, rice noodles, mixed rice paper and so on. If you want to chill with your friends in the afternoon, do not forget to try some famous Saigon beer.
Pha Lau is one of the typical dishes of Saigon street food. Photo: ameovat
Saigon is a crowded and prosperous city in Vietnam, so you should learn about the weather, traffic conditions and some other tips to have a perfect trip.