[aiesec ftu hcmc] travel guide

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1 HO CHI MINH TRAVEL GUIDE AIESEC in Foreign Trade University HCMC www.facebook.com/aiesecftu Email : [email protected] General view Some places for going out at night Restaurants and traditional food Emergency call and necessary addresses Travel agent and place to visit in HCM Transportation Viet Nam travel tips Necessary documents This guideline will provide basic information about life, food, entertainment and travel in Ho Chi Minh City. It will help you not only to prepare for your internship but also to adapt better to one of the most energetic environments in Vietnam. Please do use it as a resource so that you can understand more about the life here.

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Page 1: [AIESEC FTU HCMC] Travel Guide




Foreign Trade University



Email : [email protected]

General viewSome places for going

out at nightRestaurants and

traditional foodEmergency call and

necessary addressesTravel agent and place

to visit in HCMTransportationViet Nam travel tipsNecessary documents

This guideline will provide basic information about

life, food, entertainment and travel in Ho Chi Minh

City. It will help you not only to prepare for your

internship but also to adapt better to one of the

most energetic environments in Vietnam. Please

do use it as a resource so that you can understand

more about the life here.

Page 2: [AIESEC FTU HCMC] Travel Guide

Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as

Saigon or by the abbreviation HCMC, is the

city in Vietnam. It's a bustling, dynamic and industrious centre, the

economic capital and the cultural trendsetter. Yet within the teeming

metropolis are the timeless traditions and beauty of an ancient culture.

Saigon was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City on May 1st 1975. However,

the old Saigon moniker is still very widely used by both Vietnamese and

foreigners -- especially when referring to the most central part of the city,

to which most tourists flock.

2Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

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In September 2008, AIESEC FTU was established and became the first stable university-based branch of AIESEC in Vietnam.

AIESEC in FTU HCMC is very new and exciting. Our members are motivated and eager to learn.

We always try our best to help you here and we hope that you will have an amazing experience and wonderful internship.

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide 3

Page 4: [AIESEC FTU HCMC] Travel Guide

Allez Boo 187 Pham Ngu Lao, D1 3.837-2505

Apocalypse Now 2C Thi Sach, Dist.1 3.825-6124

Bellevue Bar

– Majestic Hotel 1 Dong Khoi St, D1 3.829-5517

Club 27 27 Ngo Duc Ke, D1 3.823-1963

Lodge Bui Bar 39/2 Pham Ngoc Thach, D1 3.824-1963

Dragon 46-50 Dong Khoi St., Dist.1 3.823-8309

Catwalk 76 Le Lai, New World Hotel, D1 3.824-3760

Elysee Bar

- Sofitel Hotel 17 Le Duan, D1 3.824-1555

Go 2 187 De Tham St, D1 3.836-9575


Tourist Club 76 Le Lai, D1 3.824-3760

La Casa Latina 11 Thai Van Lung, D1 3.822-3240

La Habana 6 Cao Ba Quat, D1 3.829-5180

Paradise Coffee 141 Nguyen Hue, D1 3.829-2185

Saigon Bar

-Caravelle 19 Lam Son Square. D1 3.82- 4999

Samsara 131 Dong Khoi St, D1 3.823-2630

4Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Page 5: [AIESEC FTU HCMC] Travel Guide

Saxn‟art Club 28 Le Loi St, D1 3.822-8472


-Lucky Plaza 69 Dong Khoi St, D1 3.829-9079

Vasco‟s Bar 14-16 Cao Ba Quat, D1 3.824-3148

Wild Horse 8A1/D1 Thai Van Lung, D1 3.825-1901

Bingo Club

– Rex Hotel 141 Nguyen Hue St, D1 3.824-6643

Club Royale 8-15 Ton Duc Thang, D1 3.822-1888


Tourist Club 76 Le Lai, D1 3.824-3760

Mozo Bar 80 Dong Du St, D1

Vegas Club

– Caravelle Hotel 19 Son Square, D1 3.824-7140

Wine Bar/Nightspot

- Sheraton

Level 23, 88 Dong Khoi St., Dist.1 3.827-2828

5Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Page 6: [AIESEC FTU HCMC] Travel Guide

And one more awesome place

that many foreigners usually

gather at night, talking and

having fun: Le Pub

Address: 175/22 Pham Ngu Lao

St, Dist.1

With bars in both Hanoi and Ho

Chi Minh City. Le Pub is often

the first choice for expatriates

and tourists visiting Vietnam.

Serving a wide selection of ice

cold beers, both local and

international Le PUB also has a

great reputation for its food

and service.

6Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Notes : The price of these pub, bar is quite expensive. It is often used for high class or

middle class in Viet Nam.

Page 7: [AIESEC FTU HCMC] Travel Guide


Golden Elephant

Small, quaint, Thai décor with friendly service, authentic food at reasonable rates.

34 Hai Ba Trung

Tel: 3.822 8554

Temple Club

Elegant Colonial/ Asian style, serving Vietnamese fare at reasonable rates. The comfy living style

lounge is a great place to start the evening. Reservations recommended.

29-31 Ton That Thuyet, Dist.1

Tel: 3.829 9244


Located above Temple Club, an outdoor BBQ in Vietnamese style. Each table has own grill. Fun, relaxed and somewhat loud atmosphere. Reservations recommended on weekends.

29-31 Ton That Thuyet, Dist.1

Tel: 3.821 1631


Terrace on different levels, in/outdoor seating. Authentic Thai cuisine. Good rates.

27C Le Quy Don, Dist.3

Tel: 3.930 7873


High end Vietnamese restaurant. Classywooden 2 story restaurant. Live VN music. Good for dinners to impress.

11A Ngo Van Nam, Dist.1

Tel: 3.822 9783

7Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

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Texas Bar.B.Q

Family friendly, „western town‟, outdoor atmosphere. Unlike many menus with a wide selection, their ribs through to the burritos are a delight. Don‟t miss. Thanks giving Dinner. Catering.

206 Pasteur St, Dist.3

Tel:3.823 1459

Au Parc Cafe

2 story, French Café style, popular for breakfast and lunches. Good coffee. Home delivery/ Catering.

23 Han Thuyen, Dist.1

Tel: 3.823 0686

Juice Bar

Great Sandwiches, Salads and juices. Seagrass shots. Theme nights.

49 Mac Thi Buoi, Dist.1

Tel: 823 0686

Al Fresco’s

Fun, family friendly. Kids can draw on tables. Good Tex Mex fare. Catering

27 Dong Du, Dist.1

Tel: 3.822 7317



17 Le Duan St, Dist.1

Tel: 3.824 1555

L’En tete

1/F, 139 Nguyen Thai Binh, Dist.1

Tel: 3.821 4049

8Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Page 9: [AIESEC FTU HCMC] Travel Guide



Excellent north Indian cuisine. Home delivery.

60 Le Than Ton, Dist.1

Tel: 3.823 3594



Enjoyable food and atmosphere, quality and vegetarian courses available. Mid range.

79 Hai Ba Trung, Dist.1

Tel: 3.823 8957


Mekong Merchant

Café ‟inner court‟ med. style, outside. Rustic, cozy atmosphere. Mid range.

23 Thao Dien, Dist.2

Tel: 3.744 4713


La Habana

Fun theme nights, salsa dancing.

6 Cao Ba Quat, Dist.1

Tel: 3.829 5180


Com Chay Nang Tam

Comfy and small, specializes in artificial meat dishes. Low-mid range.

384/40 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Dist.3

9Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Page 10: [AIESEC FTU HCMC] Travel Guide


If you can imagine beef noodle soup for breakfast, then you decidedly

want to try Pho, a Vietnamese dish that has been around for nearly 100years.

Diverse locations around town. Casual, great soups, inexpensive. “Thesoup that built a nation”

10Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Pho 24 : 42.000 VND/bowl. It has 14 stores around the city .

Pho Hòa : 35.000 VND/bowl. 260C Pasteur, District 3.

Check out this link for more information. We are sure that you will love it. http://www.lovingpho.com/category/pho-vietnam/pho-sai-gon/

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Bánh Xèo are Vietnamese crepe-type pancakes made out of rice flour and coconut milk(optional), and are pan-fried and stuffed with slivers of fatty pork, shrimp, and bean sprouts. Served wrapped with lettuce leaves and stuffed with mint (optional) and other herbs, and dipped in

fish sauce.

11Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Banh Xeo an la ghien1. 100A Cao Thang street, District 3.2. 778-780 Dien Bien Phu street, District 10.3. 74 Suong Nguyet Anh street, District 1.


Banh Xeo Dinh Cong Trang46 A Dinh Cong Trang, District 1

Price : 40.000 VND – 60.000 VND/one

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Bánh bèo (literally "water fern cake") is a varietyof small steamed rice cake or rice pancake inVietnamese cuisine. It is white in color andtypically features a dimple in the center, which isfilled with savory ingredients including choppeddried or fresh shrimp, bean paste, crispy friedshallots, fish sauce, rice vinegar, and oil.

12Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Bánh bèo Thanh Nga: 45b Ky Dong street, District 3 opposite Ky Dong pool)

Bánh bèo Vỹ Dạ: 62 Ly Tu Trong street, district 1.

Price: 10.000 VND/cup


Trảng Bàng dew-wetted rice paper (Vietnamese language: Bánh tráng phơisương Trảng Bàng) is a flexible two layer- rice paper.

People wrap rice paper around a range of ingredients: pork simmered incoconut water, and a variety of vegetables, such as cucumber, coriander, Thaibasil, spearmint, houttuynia cordata, peppermint or perilla. People serve itwith sweet and sour fish sauce.

Banh Trang Hoang Ty106 Cao Thang street, Ward 4, District 3.459-461 CMT8 street, Ward 13, District 10.691B Xo Viet Nghe Tinh street, Binh Thanh District.

Banh Trang Trang Bang142 Ly Thai To street, District 3

Price: depend on which dish you order, around 150.000-200.000/2 persons

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Bun bo Hue (literally: Hue style beef rice vermicelli) or more specifically,

bún bò giò heo (literally: beef and pig's knuckle rice vermicelli) is apopular Vietnamese soup rice vermicelli dish

The broth is prepared by cooking beef bones for a long period of time,as well as a large variety of different spices including lemon grass andchili. Shrimp paste is also a very important ingredient.

13Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

I LOVE BÚN73 Ly Tu Trong , District 1. It has a lot of kind of “bun” here. The price is around 35.000 – 60.000/bowl

BÚN BÒ THÀNH NộI HUế47A Tran Cao Van, District 3.

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A popular dish in Vietnamese cuisineand usually served as an appetizer inAmerica and European countries,where there are large Vietnamesecommunities. The main structure of aroll of “chả giò” is commonly seasonedground meat, mushrooms, and dicedvegetables such as carrots and jicama,rolled up in a sheet of moist ricepaper. The roll is then deep fried untilthe rice paper coat turns crispy andgolden brown.

14Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

“Cha gio” and “ Goi cuon” can be easily found around Ho Chi Minh City. The price is quite cheap.


Ingredients include slivers of boiled or fried pork, shrimp, chicken, beef,fresh herbs, lettuce, sometimes fresh garlic chives, rice vermicelli, allwrapped in moistened rice paper, served cold with dipping sauce (nướcchấm) or hoi sin sauce. The salad roll is easily distinguished from a"minced pork roll" by the fact that it is not fried, the ingredients used aredifferent.

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It is a Vietnamese baguette made with both wheat and rice flour, butmore popularly known as a type of sandwich traditionally made withthis type of baguette. The sandwich is made up of thinly sliced pickledcarrots and daikon (do chua), cucumbers, cilantro, chili peppers, pâté,mayonnaise and various meat fillings or tofu.

Popular “banh mi “ fillings include roasted or grilled pork, steamed orroasted pork belly, Vietnamese sausage, chicken, head cheese and


15Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

“Banh mi” can be found everywhere, usually around the crossroad, near schools, hospitals or crowded areas.

Average price : 6000 – 12000 VND

Page 16: [AIESEC FTU HCMC] Travel Guide


Viet Nam is a tropical country. It is famous for variety kind of fruits. They are allso delicious.

16Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Mango Rambutan ( Chôm chôm) Durian

Litchi ( Vải) Longan ( Nhãn)

Papaya ( Du Du)

You can be easy to find these fruits in market, supermarket … Beside that, we also have Sapodilla, Guava, Waterapple, Star fruit, Corossolier , Jackfruit, Green Dragon


Mangos teen

(Mang cut)Banana

Star fruit

Page 17: [AIESEC FTU HCMC] Travel Guide


Police: 113

Fire: 114

Medical: 115

International telephone service: 110

International telephone service enquiries: 142/143

Phone number enquiries: 116

Time ask: 117

Ring back test: 118

Advice on telephone repairs: 119

General information service: 1080

Consultancy service: 1088

VNN/ Internet access number: 1260

VNN access number (International): 1269

Internet service enquiries: 800126

17Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Tips : Remember some important numbers just in case you will need it.

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Consulates general and Consulates of foreign countries in HCM


Check out this link:


Public Health:

Cho Ray Hospital:

201B Nguyen Chi Thanh St., District 5.

Tel: 38 55 41 37

FV Hospital:

6 Nguyen Luong Bang St., District 7.

Tel: 54 11 33 33

115 Hospital:

527 Su Van Hanh St., District 10.

Tel: 38 652 368


HSBC: The Metropolitan, 235 Dong Khoi St., Dist.1.

Tel: 38 247 247

Vietcombank: 132 Ham Nghi St., Dist.1.

Tel: 3914 1777

Sacombank: 266-268 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St., Dist. 3.

Tel: 39 320 420

ACB: 442 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St., Dist.3.

Tel: 3929 0999

18Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

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Shopping Center:


35 Bis-45 Le Thanh Ton St., Dist.1

126 Hung Vuong St., Dist.5

Vincom Center: 66-68-70 Le Thanh Ton St., Dist.1

Diamond Plaza: 34 Le Duan St., Dist.1

Tax Plaza: 35 Nguyen Hue Boulevard, Dist.1

Market/ Supermarket:

Ben Thanh Market: intersection of Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao Avenues and Le Lai street

COOP-MART Supermarket :

497 Hoa Hao St., Dist.10

18 An Duong Vuong St., Dist.5

127 Dinh Tien Hoang St., Binh Thanh Dist.

168 Nguyen Dinh Chieu St., Dist.3

189C Cong Quynh St., Dist.1

BIG C Supermarket :

202B Hoang Van Thu St., Phu Nhuan Dist.

138A To Hien Thanh St., Dist.10

19Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

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Saigon tourist Travel

49 Le Thanh Ton St., Dist. 1Phone: 3829-8914

Travel Indochina

Suite 1308, Me Linh Point Tower

2 Ngo Duc Ke St., Dist.1Phone: 3822-7390


190 Pasteur St., Dist.3 Phone: 3822-8898

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide 20


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21Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Reunification Palace135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St., Dist. 1

Reunification Palace formerly known asIndependence Palace, built on the site ofthe former Norodom Palace, is a landmarkin Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It wasdesigned by architect Ngo Viet Thu andwas the home and workplace of thePresident of South Vietnam during theVietnam War. It was the site of the end ofthe Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon

on April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates.

The Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theatre7 Lam Son Square, Dist.1This is an opera house in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam which is an example ofFrench Colonial architecture in Vietnam. Built in 1897 by a French architectFerret Eugene, the 800 seat building was used as the home of the Lower Houseassembly of South Vietnam after 1956. It was not until 1975 that it was againused as a theatre, and restored in 1995.

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22Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Located in the heart of the city, the Central PostOffice has been a prominent feature of the HoChi Minh City. This grand old edifice wasconstructed between 1886 and 1891 by GustaveEiffel. The architectural design of this CentralPost Office represents the French colonial style.It is no doubt the biggest post office in Vietnamand is an important commercial center of theHo Chi Minh City.

This classic colonial structure stands right nextto the Notre Dame Cathedral, at the famousParis Commune Square in the Ho Chi Minh City

City post office

2 Cong Xa Paris St., Dist.1

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica is acathedral located in the downtownof Saigon, Vietnam. Established byFrench colonists, the cathedralwas constructed between 1863and 1880. It has two bell towers,reaching a height of 58 meters(190 feet).

Notre-Dame Cathedralat the corner of Le Duan Boulevard and Hai Ba Trung Street

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Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide 23

Vietnam History Museum:2 Nguyen Binh Khiem St., Dist.1

The museum has an impressive

collection of Vietnamese antiquities.

Sadly though, they come with by

signs in poor English and are reek

of Marxist biases.

The War Remnants Museum28 Vo Van Tan St., Dist.3

This museum was formerly known as theExhibition House of American War Crimes.The museums exhibitions include somedisturbing photographs of the VietnamWar, a real guillotine, a simulated "tigercage" prison and jars of deformed fetusesblamed on Agent Orange.

The Cu Chi tunnels

are northwest of the city in Cu Chi district

The tunnels of Cu Chi are an immense network of connecting undergroundtunnels located in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City and are part of amuch larger network of tunnels that underlie much of the country. The CuChi tunnels were the location of several military campaigns during theVietnam War.The 75-mile (121 km)-long complex of tunnels at Cu Chi has been

preserved by the government of Vietnam, and turned into a war memorialpark. The tunnels are a popular tourist attraction, and visitors are invited tocrawl around in the safer parts of the tunnel system.

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Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide 24

The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens:2B Nguyen Binh Khiem St., Dist.1

As one of the oldest zoos in the world, the Saigon Zooand Botanical Garden is famous not only withVietnamese but also with foreign visitors. It is thehome for many rare orchids, ornamental plants, andover a hundred species of mammals, reptiles andbirds. Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden is a culturalplace of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). It was rankedeighth among the oldest zoos in the world. Up to now,it is 133 years old

The Can Gio Eco beach resortwww.cangioresort.com.vnThree-star Can Gio

Resort is situated on

romantic 30/4 beach, in

the midst of a windy


forest and waves

crashing onto the

beach. With 80

bungalows, eco-lodgesand relax, gracefully built in traditional Vietnamese style, are well appointedwith air conditioners, private bathrooms, IDD telephones, mini-bars, and cabletelevisions, Carrot Restaurant and Rung Sac Restaurant, swimming pool andJacuzzi, private karaoke, Massage-Sauna-Steam bath, tennis courts andinternational meeting room. To avoid crowd noise and environmental pollutionfrom city center, in Can Gio Resort people shall enjoy to the full of fresh air,privacy and peacefulness as well as the wonders of nature.

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Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide 25

Dam Sen is an excellent relaxing place for all ages. Especially, teenagers arethe most popular patrons attracted by a variety of amusement and shows suchas: Roller Coaster, Winding Fall, Magic Flying Carpet, the Virtual World,Swinging Height... Dam Sen park always makes every effort to ensure that itspatrons would be offered the most up-to-date entertainments.

Suoi Tien is no longer a wild place. Suoi TienCultural Theme Park has become one of themost attractive park of the country and is onthe way to joint the rank of international -standard cultural parks in the world. And it isnow in the first stage construction of a greatscale project with total area about 106 ha,rather big as compared to Southeast Asiasize. There is a tradition that Suoi Tien areahas been a place which gathers sacredlegends.

The Dam Sen Tourist and Cultural Parkhttp://www.damsenpark.com.vn/

Suoi Tien Amusement and Culture Park www.suoitien.com

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When making arrangements to travel by public

bus it is advisable to have a Vietnamese speaking per

accompanying in order to maximize clear communication

and needs of services.

Vietnam has an extensive network of buses. Intercity buses depart from and arrive at a variety around HCMC.

It takes about 3000 – 5000 VND/time

26Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Saigon Train Station:

1 Nguyen Thong, District 3 Tel:3931 2795

Saigon-Nha Trang “5 Star Express”

297 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1 Tel: 3.920 6868

Tickets purchase : Saigon Railway Tourist Services

275C D Pham Ngu Lao Tel: 3.836 7640

The basic fee for taxis in Saigon starts 10.000 VND for the first 0,8 kms.Taxis are by far the most efficient way to travel in Saigon. It recommendsclarifying knowledge of destination before you take off.

Taxi bookings can be made through the following numbers:Vinasun Taxi (Standard & Deluxe) TEL: 08 38 27 27 27Mai Linh Deluxe TEL: 08 38 26 26 26Mai Linh Taxi TEL: 08 38 38 38 38

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27Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Travel agencies, hotels and cafes are all in the car rental business.

Renting a motorbike is the fastest and easiest way to get around the city. A 100cc motorbike can be rented for USD5 to USD8 per day and your passport may be kept as collateral. Helmets are also available to rent around USD1 per day.

• Car Rentals Ben Thanh Tourist Co.86 Ly Tu Trong, Dist.1 Tel: 3.829 0279

• Motorbike Rentals Saigon Scooter Centre:

25/7 Cuu Long, W2, Tan Binh District Tel: 3.844 7816

Motorbike Rental165 Pham Ngu Lao, Dist.1 Tel: 3.837 4916

Green lines – Perto ExpressBen Bach Dang, District 1 Tel: 3.821 5609

Note : It will cost about 50$ - 70$ / per month to rent a motorbike for a long term.

NOTE ABOUT DRIVING IN VIETNAM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Vietnamese drive on the right hand side. There is no national seat-belt law. When traveling by motorbike, you must wear helmet. It is compulsory by law. If you feel want to drive you need to have a current foreign license. It is recommended that you try to get an „International License‟ in your own country before you move.

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28Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

“When in Rome do as the Romans do”

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29Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

The difference in precipitation between the two seasons (dry from

November to May and rainy from June to October) is more obvious than

elsewhere in Vietnam. However, the rain in the wet season is often limited

to heavy showers at the end of the afternoon, and the weather is warm

throughout the year. Annual rainfall in the south is approximately 65 inches

and temperatures remain relatively constant –between 30°C and 35°C

during the day and from 20°C to 25°C at night – throughout the year.

WEATHER ( The tropical south Viet Nam)


The usual voltage is between 220V and 240V,

50 cycle

Two-pin (ungrounded) plug is more popular

than three-pin one.

If you have any devices needing a special outlet,

please bring its adapter kit. The best investment is

a universal AC adapter, which will enable you to

plug it in anywhere without frying the innards.


In the market or small shop, you have to bargain. TIPS: Bargaining should be good-natured, smile and don‟t get angry or argue. Once the money is accepted, the deal is done. In some cases you will be able to get a 50% discount or more especially in Ben Thanh market, Sai Gon Square …, at other times this may only be 10%.

NOTES : If you buy DVD‟s or CD‟s, ask if it is good quality or not. If you don‟t ask they are quite happy to sell you the bad quality one. DVD‟s cost approximately 15.000 VND (around $1 USD).

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30Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide


Make direct callsInternational code: 00Domestic code: 0Vietnamese code: 84

To Vietnam:00 + 84 + [city / network code] + [phone number]From Vietnam:00 + [destination-country code] + [phone number]Within city:[phone number]To other city:0 + [city code] + [phone number]To city phone:0 + [Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City‟s code] + [phone number] (dial phone number directly when you are in the same city)To mobile phones:0 + [network code] + [phone number]From mobile phones:0 + [city / network code] + [phone number]

Discount options 171 service: dial 171 at the beginning of any calls (or at the end when call to mobile phones), save up 50%; Buy a SIM card with local number for your mobile phone.

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31Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Store your cash, credit cards, airline tickets and othervaluables in a safe place. Most 4-star hotels have in-roomsafes, otherwise ask the reception to keep your valuable thingsin their deposit facility.

Passport : You should leave your passport locked in the safeat the hotel/ your room. You need to carry a copy of yourpassport with you at all times, but it is best to leave theoriginal in a locked safe. There will be times that you need itto do your paperwork, but it is safer if you don't carry itaround with you all of the time.

Take a hotel business card from the reception desk or writeyour address in a piece of paper. This will make your return tothe hotel/ house in a taxi or cyclo much easier.

Dress appropriately. Not only for the prevailing weather, butalso not to cause offence to the local people. Vietnamese haveconservative dress codes, and it is only in larger cities thatthese codes are a little more relaxed. Do not wear revealingclothing.

Drink plenty of bottled water. During the summer months youshould be drinking a minimum of two liters per day. If youdrink tea, coffee & alcohol you should increase you waterintake accordingly as these will help to dehydrate you.

Tipping is not necessary in Vietnam. However, small VND isappreciated in food and beverage venue and other services.


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32Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

Never carry more money than you need when walking around the streets. Do not wear large amounts of jewelry. There are two reasons for not doing this: (1) It is considered impolite to flaunt wealth in public; (2) It is more likely that you may become a victim of a pickpocket or drive-by bag snatcher.

Don't wear singlet, shorts, dresses or skirts, or tops with low-neck lines and bare shoulders to Temples and Pagodas.

Never lose your temper in public or when bargaining for a purchase. This is considered a serious loss of face for both parties. Always maintain a cool and happy demeanor and you will be reciprocated with the same.

Do not try to take photographs of military installations or anything to do with the military. This can be seen as a breach of national security.

When taking a ride by motorbike taxi (xe om) make sure your bag, if any, is not on display or easy to grab. Bag snatches, although still rare, are probably the most likely crime a tourist would encounter, and it raises the probability immensely if you are tailing a camera or a laptop in the wind.

Physical displays of affection between lovers in public are frowned upon. That‟s why you may come across couples holding hands but not hugging or kissing.

Remember, this is Vietnam, a developing country, and things don‟t quite work as you are maybe used to. Don‟t be paranoid about your safety, just be aware of your surroundings.

Please do not give money to beggars or street children. Most times it is a band working together and no one knows what the money is used for. If you are having difficulties, you can kindly say “Khong” (No).


The above advice is meant to help you have a perfect trip to Vietnam. Do not be overly paranoid though. Generally, Vietnamese people are very appreciative if they see you trying to abide by the customs, and very forgiving if you get it wrong or forget. If you make the effort, you will be rewarded.

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33Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide


Duffel bag - waterproof and with a lock, or easily wheeled suitcase

5-6 zip lock bags (They come in handy for all kinds of uses.)

Sun glasses or reading glasses

Good walking shoes and sandal

Good trekking shoes (for trekking tour) or slippers (for beach relaxing tour)

Mobile phone

Optional• Camera and film • Head phone and your favorite music compact disc (CDs). • Favorite Books/ Vietnam Guide book/Diary • Biro pens, pencils, note book


Basic Clothes

Notes: Dress in Ho Chi Minh City tends to be quite casual because of the warm, humid, tropical climate. It is hot in summer, around 28 – 320C

For women, casual cotton pants and skirts are most acceptable for daytime wear, but bare sundresses and short shorts are frowned upon, especially in pagodas & temples.

Health equipment and Medical Items

Throat lozenges and cough medicine

Aspirin or Tylenol Band-Aids and beta dine ointment

Cold medicine and antihistamines

Suntan lotion 100% UV effective (25 SPF or higher)

Hand/body lotion

Eye drops

Antiseptic toilettes

Insect/ mosquito repellent

Note: You will need to pack sharp objects in checked baggage due to tightened airline security

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34Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide

International Airline ticket

Passport and photocopies of your passport

Visa or Visa approval letter and some color passport photos (size 4x6cm) (at least 2)

Insurance document (if any)

Cash. The salary will be paid after one month working. So you have to pay your own expense in the first month. Maybe you should bring around $1500 - $2000 with you

To make work permit, you need:

Criminal Record (origin country) in English

Degree Certificate (copy) in English. The photocopies of degree certificate must be notarized.

Health check : will be made in Viet Nam

Tips : You need to translate necessary documents into English before going to Viet Nam because it costs a lot of money to translate here.