Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam
By Lauren Kmec

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest and most populous city, has quite a storied history: This city began as a small Cambodian fishing village called “Prey Nokor” inhabited by the Khmer people. Legend has it that Prey Nokor was given to Vietnam as part of the dowry for the marriage of a Khmer prince and a Vietnamese princess. When the French conquered Vietnam in 1859, this city was rebranded as “Saigon,” as it is still frequently called today. Eventually, Saigon became the capital of South Vietnam, and after the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, this city was yet again renamed as “Ho Chi Minh City.” Today, this city is a buzzing urban area, where elements of old world life exist in harmony with continuing change and modernization.

WhatsCheaper.com encourages you to visit Ho Chi Minh City for a unique vacation experience. All flights will land at Tan Son Nhat International Airport, located ~7 kilometers northwest of the city center in the Tân Bình district. Vietnam War–era bunkers still line the runway and serve as a constant reminder of the war that ravaged the country not so long ago. Book your flight today with WhatsCheaper.com to take advantage of our excellent rates (https://www.whatscheaper.com/flight.php). In addition, WhatsCheaper.com can help you find the perfect hotel to suit your budget; click here (https://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) to view our recommendations.

WhatsCheaper.com suggests beginning your sightseeing tour at the Reunification Palace, the site of the former presidential palace of South Vietnam, located in the heart of the downtown area. Though it is not one of the more beautiful buildings you will encounter during your visit, the Reunification Palace is an important historic landmark: On April 30, 1975, a North Vietnamese tank crashed though the palace gates, symbolizing the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War. The tank remains on the front lawn for all to see. Certain rooms of the palace are also open to visitors, and we encourage you to tour the grounds.

Secret below-ground passageways were widely used during different periods of Vietnamese history, primarily in times of war. WhatsCheaper.com encourages travelers to take a quick trip (about an hour’s drive) outside the city to see the Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast network tunnels used by Vietnamese forces and villagers during the French-Indochina War, as well as the Vietnam War. The tunnels functioned as makeshift hospitals, storage areas, and living quarters as needed. Today, visitors can crawl through a section of tunnel for the full interactive experience.

Many visitors to the Cu Chi Tunnels also elect to visit the Cao Dai Temple, located ~90 kilometers northwest of Ho Chi Minh City in the town of Tay Ninh. Founded in the 1920s, Cao Dai is a monotheistic religion that draws from Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism, with a lesser emphasis on elements of Christianity and Islam. The Cao Dai Temple is truly a feast for the eyes—its interior and exterior are decorated in vibrant mosaic tiles of yellow, blue, and pinkish red, and the interior contains statues of Jesus, Buddha, and the Hindu god Brahma. Four worship services are held daily at the temple, and they are open to the public.

Back in Ho Chi Minh City, WhatsCheaper.com suggests an outing to the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral, built by the French from 1877 to 1880. The cathedral’s twin red brick bell towers are one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. The interior is rather plain compared to other French cathedrals, but there is a small garden in front with a lovely statue of the Virgin Mary. Christmas Eve services at this cathedral are quite popular, drawing thousands of worshippers.

For something fun for the whole family, WhatsCheaper.com recommends Suoi Tien Amusement Park, a popular tourist attraction complete with rides, a dinosaur garden, a small zoo, and an artificial seawater pool for bathers. The Tien Dong beach, a manmade beach with a huge waterfall, is also located within the grounds of the park. We recommend coming here to attend one of the various festivals or just to cool off from summer heat.

Despite its bleak history, Ho Chi Minh City is a bright, dynamic city that is full of life and intriguing culture. Book your trip with WhatsCheaper.com today!

MUST SEE IN Ho Chi Minh City LIST:

  • 1. War Remnants Museum
  • 2. Saigon River Express
  • 3. Bitexco Financial Tower Skydeck
  • 4. Pham Ngu Lao Street
  • 5. Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre
  • 6. Reunification Palace
  • 7. Notre Dame Cathedral
  • 8. Dem Sen Water Park
  • 9. Cao Dai Temple
  • 10. Dinner on Bonsai Cruise

Ho Chi Minh City EVENT CALENDAR:

  • 1. Tet (Vietnamese New Year) - January
  • 2. Ba Thien Hau Pagoda Festival - February
  • 3. International Women's Day - March
  • 4. Reunification Day - April
  • 5. President Ho Chi Minh's Birthday - May
  • 6. Buddha's Birthday - May
  • 7. Tet Doan Ngo - June
  • 8. Tet Trung Nguyen - July
  • 9. National Day - September
  • 10. Mid-Autumn Festival - October

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Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Towers
88 Dong Khoi Street, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
By Chrystyne Jackson

When visiting Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), make the most of your time with a stay at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers. The 470 spacious guestrooms, studios and suites are divided into two unique areas, the 25-story Grand Tower and the Main Tower.

Guests at the Sheraton with discerning tastes will find exactly what they are looking for in the Grand Tower. These are state of the art facilities with all of the best amenities, including Bose surround sound and 24-hour butler service. Regular guestrooms and suites can be found in the Main Tower. High speed Internet access is available in all rooms.

There is a clothing store, florist, jewelry shop, and gift shop on site, as well as several boutiques. Take a dip in one of the outdoor pools. The Sheraton Fitness Center features state of the art cardio and strength equipment. The Aqua Day Spa offers treatments to relax and unwind you. At the end of the day, socialize over cocktails and light fare at the Nightspot. Mojo is a chic café also featuring light fare. The Lounge offers coffees, premium wines and cocktails. The outdoor Wine Bar is continually voted one of the city’s top 10 places to see. The Lifestyle Bar serves snacks and cocktails poolside. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner of International cuisine at the Saigon Café. Chinese food is featured for lunch and dinner at Li Bai Chinese Restaurant. When exploring Saigon, be sure to visit the Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum, the History Museum, Nam Bo Women’s Museum, and the Ho Chi Minh City Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Make your visit to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) special by staying at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel and Towers. WhatsCheaper.com can assist with booking your hotel reservations. Just click on this link (https://www.whatscheaper.com/hotel.php) to get started today.

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