SEP. 18-21, 2017 | Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers

88 Dong Khoi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

12th International Conference of Eastern Asia Society For Transportation Studies

"Safe, Green and Integrated Transport"

Ho Chi Minh City

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HO CHI MINH CITY

 

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is Vietnam at its most dizzying: a high-octane city of commerce and culture that has driven the country forward with its pulsating energy. A chaotic whirl, the city breathes life and vitality into all who settle here, and visitors cannot help but be hauled along for the ride.

From the finest of hotels to the cheapest of guesthouses, the classiest of restaurants to the tastiest of street stalls, the choicest of boutiques to the scrum of the markets, HCMC is a city of energy and discovery.

Wander through timeless alleys to incense-infused temples before negotiating chic designer malls beneath sleek 21st-century skyscrapers. The ghosts of the past live on in buildings that one generation ago witnessed a city in turmoil, but now the real beauty of the former Saigon’s urban collage is the seamless blending of these two worlds into one exciting mass.

GETTING THERE

AIR - Flying to Ho Chi Minh is the most convenient way to get there. Ho Chi Minh is well connected to the world by a vast amount of airlines. Operating airlines to Ho Chi Minh city include big names such as Air FranceJapan AirlinesAsianaLufthansa, United Airlines, etc. These airlines serve direct flights to major cities in Asia (Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and all Southeast Asian capitals), Europe (Frankfurt, Paris and Moscow), Australia (Melbourne, Sydney) and America (San Francisco).

Domestically, there are daily flights from major cities such as HanoiDanangHue. Others have 3-4 flights per week to Ho Chi Minh City, depending on seasons. There are currently four airlines serving domestic routes: Vietnam AirlinesJetstar Pacific AirlinesAir Mekong and Vasco Airlines. From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, there are 30 daily flights back and forth and 10 daily flights from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City.

BUS - Bus runs from Phnompenh to Ho Chi Minh City every day, crossing Moc Bai border or ferry transfer in Chau Doc (learn more about Crossing Vietnam-Cambodia border). The trip is about 6-7 hours.

TRAIN - The North-South Express trains connect Ho Chi Minh City to other major cities such as Hanoi, Nha Trang, Hue and Danang, on a daily basis. There are 4-5 express trains and it takes about 2 days to arrive in Hanoi or 1 day to Danang.

CLIMATE

Ho Chi Minh City's climate is classified as tropical wet and dry, meaning that it is warm all year round and divided into two distinct seasons, the wet season and the dry season, rather than spring, summer, fall and winter. The rainy season lasts from May through October, and the dry season runs from December to April. The average annual temperature is about 280C (820F).

LANGUAGE

While nearly all Saigonese speak the Vietnamese language, the Hoa speak a variety of Chinese dialects, including Cantonese and Hainanese. Due to the prevalence of tourism and commerce in Ho Chi Minh City, hotel, restaurant, market and shop can both use Vietnamese and English.

CLOTHING TIPS

Lightweight cotton and wool fabrics will be comfortable & suitable for tropical year round like Ho Chi Mịnh City

CURRENCY AND EXCHANGE RATE

Dong (VND) is Vietnamese currency unit. US$1 is approximately equal to VND21,500. There are money changers and banks for currency exchange. Almost hotels are authorized foreign exchange dealers.

CREDIT CARD

Major credit cards such as VISA, MasterCard and American Express are accepted by most business establishments.

ELECTRICITY

The standard supply is 220 volts, 50-60 Hz. The following electrical plugs are used in most hotels

 

 

 

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TIME ZONE

The standard Viet Nam time zone is GMT+7

GETTING AROUND/ TRANSPORTATION

Whether you arrive in Ho Chi Minh by air or land, there is a wide variety of transport options for getting around the city: bicycle, bus, car and motorcycle, metro, cyclo, taxi.

Vinasun taxi: 08.38.27.27.27

Mai Linh taxi: 08.38.38.38.38

SIGHTS IN HO CHI MINH

Reunification Palace - Surrounded by royal palm trees, the dissonant 1960s architecture of this government building and the eerie mood that accompanies a walk through its deserted halls make it an intriguing spectacle. The first Communist tanks to arrive in Saigon rumbled here on 30 April 1975 and it’s as if time has stood still since then. The building is deeply associated with the fall of the city in 1975, yet it's the kitsch detailing and period motifs that steal the show.

War Remnants Museum - Formerly the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes, the War Remnants Museum is consistently popular with Western tourists. Few museums anywhere convey the brutal effects of war on its civilian victims so powerfully.

Notre Dame Cathedral - Built between 1877 and 1883, Notre Dame Cathedral enlivens the heart of Ho Chi Minh City's government quarter, facing Dong Khoi Street. A brick, neo-Romanesque church with 40m-high square towers tipped with iron spires, the Catholic cathedral is named after the Virgin Mary.

Central Post Office - Right across the way from Notre Dame Cathedral, Ho Chi Minh City's striking French post office is a period classic, designed by Gustave Eiffel and built between 1886 and 1891.

Binh Tay Market - Cholon’s main market has a great clock tower and a central courtyard with gardens. Much of the business here is wholesale but it’s popular with tour groups. The market was originally built by the French in the 1880s; Guangdong-born philanthropist Quach Dam paid for its rebuilding and was commemorated by a statue that is now in the Fine Arts Museum. Expect a friendly welcome when you sit down for breakfast or coffee with the market's street-food vendors.

Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda - elightfully fronted by greenery and opening to an interior blaze of red, gold, green and yellow, this is one of the most beautifully ornamented temples in town, dating from 1902. Of special interest are the elaborate brass ritual ornaments and weapons, and the fine woodcarvings on the altars, walls, columns, hanging lanterns and incense coils. 

 

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