The only true urban metropolis in Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), formally known as Saigon. Think skyscrapers, never-ending streams of traffic and a surprisingly ‘western’ attitude of its inhabitants. HCMC has the best bars, the finest restaurants and the fanciest hotels in the whole country, so if you crave that urban feel, this is your spot. Whether you will be in town for a day or more, here are the top things to do in Saigon.
In & out
Getting from the airport into the city
The best way of getting to and from the Than Son Nhat airport into the city is by bus. Route 152, 109 and 49 all three have a fairly regular schedule and take about 50 minutes from the airport to either the Dong Khoi area of Pham Ngu Lao, for about 20,000D.
Alternatively you can take a taxi, but expect to pay up to 150,000D. A lot more if you do not settle upon a price beforehand as scammers are not that aggressive here but will use the opportunity if it presents itself.
In & Out
Than Son Nhat airport is one of the biggest international airports in South-East Asia so there is a fat change this is your point of entry or exit. From here you can fly anywhere in Vietnam for about 500,000-1,000,000D. If you are not flying you can take the (night) train further into Vietnam but this is not the most interesting part of the tracks. It will not save you any money as well.
Take the bus into the Mekong Delta on your way to Cambodia or Phu Quoc Island. There are also direct buses into Cambodia taking approximately 7 hours to reach Phnom Penh. Visas can be bought on arrival at the border-crossing.