Lindsy Rausch

Lindsy Rausch

Modified & Updated: 23 Sep 2023


Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis in southern Vietnam. With a population of over 8 million people, it is the country’s largest city and a major economic, cultural, and tourist hub. Steeped in history and rich in culture, Ho Chi Minh City offers a captivating blend of old and new, where ancient temples and colonial-era buildings coexist with modern skyscrapers and bustling markets.

In this article, we will delve into 37 fascinating facts about Ho Chi Minh City, taking you on a virtual tour of this dynamic city. From its historical significance during the Vietnam War to its thriving street food scene and iconic landmarks, there is so much to discover and explore. So, let’s get started on our journey through the vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City!

Table of Contents

Ho Chi Minh City was previously known as Saigon.

Originally named Saigon, the city was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1976 to honor the Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.

It is the largest city in Vietnam.

With a population of over 9 million people, Ho Chi Minh City is the most populous city in Vietnam and a bustling hub of commerce and culture.

The city is famous for its French colonial architecture.

Ho Chi Minh City boasts a stunning architectural blend of French colonial buildings, reflecting its historical past.

The Saigon River runs through the city.

The Saigon River not only adds to the city’s charm but also plays a significant role in transportation and trade.

Ho Chi Minh City is known for its vibrant street food scene.

The city is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide variety of delicious street food such as banh mi, pho, and fresh spring rolls.

The Vietnam War had a significant impact on the city.

During the Vietnam War, Saigon was heavily influenced by the conflict, including both physical and social changes.

The War Remnants Museum documents the Vietnam War.

Visitors can explore the War Remnants Museum to gain a deeper understanding of the Vietnam War and its aftermath.

Ho Chi Minh City is a major economic hub.

The city serves as the economic powerhouse of Vietnam, attracting local and international businesses and investors.

The Ben Thanh Market is a popular tourist attraction.

Tourists flock to the bustling Ben Thanh Market to shop for souvenirs, textiles, and local produce.

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon is a significant landmark.

This beautiful cathedral, constructed during the French colonial period, is an iconic symbol of the city.

The city has a vibrant nightlife.

From rooftop bars to live music venues, Ho Chi Minh City offers a wide range of entertainment options after dark.

The Jade Emperor Pagoda is a popular religious site.

This Taoist temple attracts worshippers and tourists alike with its intricate architecture and peaceful atmosphere.

Ho Chi Minh City has a tropical climate.

The city experiences hot and humid weather throughout the year, with a distinct wet and dry season.

The city has a bustling motorbike culture.

Motorbikes are the primary mode of transportation in Ho Chi Minh City, creating a unique and energetic street scene.

The Saigon Opera House showcases cultural performances.

Visitors can enjoy traditional Vietnamese music, dance, and theatrical performances at this historic venue.

The city has a growing skyline.

Ho Chi Minh City is rapidly developing, with new skyscrapers and architectural marvels shaping its ever-changing skyline.

The Independence Palace played a significant role in Vietnam’s history.

Formerly the presidential palace, it now serves as a museum, preserving the history of Vietnam’s struggle for independence.

Ho Chi Minh City has numerous parks and green spaces.

The city offers residents and visitors a chance to escape the bustling streets and enjoy tranquil parks and gardens.

The Cu Chi Tunnels are a popular tourist attraction near Ho Chi Minh City.

These tunnels served as a vital part of the Vietnam War and offer visitors a chance to explore their historical significance.

The city is a melting pot of cultures.

Ho Chi Minh City’s history, colonial influences, and diverse population contribute to its rich cultural tapestry.

The Tan Son Nhat International Airport is the largest airport in Vietnam.

As the main international gateway, millions of travelers pass through this airport each year.

Ho Chi Minh City celebrates the Lunar New Year with vibrant festivities.

Tet Nguyen Dan, also known as the Lunar New Year, is a significant celebration filled with traditional customs and lively street parades.

The Bitexco Financial Tower offers panoramic views of the city.

Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of Ho Chi Minh City from the observation deck of this iconic skyscraper.

The city has a thriving arts scene.

Ho Chi Minh City is home to numerous art galleries, theaters, and cultural centers that showcase local talent.

The Vietnamese dong is the currency used in Ho Chi Minh City.

Make sure to exchange your currency to dong before exploring the city’s markets and restaurants.

The Lotus Building is an architectural marvel.

This unique building resembles a lotus flower and is a symbol of purity and enlightenment in Vietnamese culture.

The city is famous for its coffee culture.

Ho Chi Minh City is known for its strong, flavorful coffee and vibrant cafe culture.

The Cholon District is home to one of the largest Chinatowns in the world.

Explore the vibrant streets of Chinatown, filled with temples, markets, and delicious Chinese street food.

The Reunification Palace offers a glimpse into the past.

Formerly the presidential palace, it remains unchanged since the day Vietnam’s war ended, providing a living history lesson.

Ho Chi Minh City has an extensive network of canals.

The city’s canals, also known as “Floating Markets,” offer a unique glimpse into the local way of life.

The city is home to numerous luxury hotels and resorts.

Experience world-class hospitality and relaxation at the city’s upscale accommodation options.

The Bui Vien Street is a popular backpacker destination.

This bustling street caters to backpackers with its vibrant nightlife, cheap accommodations, and street food stalls.

Ho Chi Minh City hosts numerous festivals throughout the year.

From the Ao Dai Festival to the Southern Fruit Festival, there is always a celebration happening in the city.

The city has a rich literary history.

Many renowned Vietnamese writers and poets, such as Nguyen Du and Xuan Dieu, were born or lived in Ho Chi Minh City.

The city’s skyline lights up at night.

Take a stroll along the city streets at night to witness the mesmerizing lights and vibrant energy.

Ho Chi Minh City is a shopper’s paradise.

From luxury malls to vibrant local markets, the city offers a wide range of shopping experiences.

The city is known for its strong entrepreneurial spirit.

Ho Chi Minh City is a dynamic hub for startups and businesses, attracting innovative minds from all over the world.


Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is a vibrant and bustling metropolis in Vietnam. With its rich history, cultural diversity, and modern infrastructure, it offers a myriad of experiences for both locals and visitors. From exploring historical landmarks like the Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum, to indulging in delicious street food and shopping at bustling markets, Ho Chi Minh City has something for everyone.

As the largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is a hub for business, education, and entertainment. Its dynamic energy, with a mix of traditional Vietnamese charm and Western influences, makes it a fascinating destination to explore. Whether you want to immerse yourself in the local culture, wander the charming streets of the French Quarter, or enjoy the vibrant nightlife, Ho Chi Minh City has it all.

From the chaotic traffic to the warm and friendly locals, Ho Chi Minh City offers a unique and unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the wonders of this captivating city.


1. What is the best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City?

The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is during the dry season, which falls between December and April. The weather during this time is relatively cooler and less humid, making it more comfortable for outdoor activities.

2. Is it safe to travel to Ho Chi Minh City?

Ho Chi Minh City is generally safe for travelers. However, it is always advisable to take necessary precautions and be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded areas and tourist spots.

3. What are some must-visit attractions in Ho Chi Minh City?

Some of the must-visit attractions in Ho Chi Minh City include the Cu Chi Tunnels, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, Ben Thanh Market, and Bitexco Financial Tower. These places showcase the city’s history, culture, and modern architecture.

4. Can I use US dollars in Ho Chi Minh City?

While US dollars are widely accepted in popular tourist areas, it is recommended to use the local currency, Vietnamese Dong (VND), for most transactions. Make sure to carry some local currency for smaller establishments and street vendors.

5. What is the local cuisine like in Ho Chi Minh City?

Ho Chi Minh City is known for its delicious street food. From pho (noodle soup) and banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) to fresh spring rolls and banh xeo (Vietnamese pancake), there is a wide range of flavors to explore. Don’t miss out on trying the local coffee and Vietnamese iced coffee (ca phe sua da).

6. How is the transportation system in Ho Chi Minh City?

Ho Chi Minh City has a well-developed transportation system. It includes taxis, motorbike taxis (xe om), buses, and the modern metro system. However, the most popular mode of transportation among locals and tourists alike is motorbike. It’s best to use a trusted taxi service or ride-sharing app for convenience and safety.