There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Ho Chi Minh City each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year (national)
The European New Year is especially celebrated by the younger generation in Vietnam. In Ho Chi Minh City, as in other major cities, youth meet in the centre for a drink. Around midnight, the streets fill: everyone awaits the countdown and the traditional fireworks.January 28: Lunar New Year (national)
Tet, or the (Chinese) New Year lunar calendar, is a major event in Vietnam. The festivities begin every year on the first day of the first lunar month and last one week. During the Tet holiday, shops close, people return to their hometown to visit their parents and pay homage to their ancestors. Families and friends gather for sumptuous traditional meals. The houses are decorated with yellow flowers—one of the largest flower markets in the country is in Ho Chi Minh City. Not to be missed!April 6: Anniversary of the death of the first Hung Emperor (national)
The death of the first known king of Vietnam is celebrated on the tenth day of the third month of the lunar calendar. On this holiday, many celebrations are held throughout the country.April 30: Anniversary of reunification (national)
This date marks the end of the two conflicts in Indochina, led by France and then the United States. Hanoi's troops having liberated the former Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City), it is here that the most significant military parades take place, as well as sports races.May 1: International Labour Day (national)
Even if it is declared a public holiday, this day is far from a day of relaxation in Vietnam! Numerous tourists, notably from China, enjoy visiting the country at the beginning of May. Shops, restaurants, and tourist sites are in full swing!First week of June: Annual Festival of Southern Fruits (local)
Hoa Loc mango, An Phuoc plum, Star apple, dragon fruit, mangosteen Lai Thieu: the fruits of southern Vietnam are an invitation to travel and exoticism! There is a floating market, a parade of giant fruits, and culinary workshops. This festival is an explosion of colours and flavours to promote the benefits of this region of Vietnam and the local agriculture.September 2: National Day of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (national)
This holiday commemorates the Declaration of Independence of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam by Ho Chi Minh with official speeches and military parades. Big cities are adorned with the colours of the country and pay tribute to the founder of the current Vietnamese Communist Party and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (became Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1976).September 5-9: Fishing Festival (local)
The fishermen of the Saigon River are honoured at this traditional festival in Can Gio in the coastal district of Ho Chi Minh City. Nautical competitions, seafood and fish tastings, as well as tribute ceremonies to whales, considered a sacred animal in Vietnam, mark the festivities.October 4: Mid-Autumn Festival (national)
On the occasion of the feast of the moon, the Vietnamese eat crescent-shaped cake made of sticky rice stuffed with lotus seeds. In the evening, children carry lanterns in the shapes of dragons, unicorns, and carp through the streets, accompanied by the sound of drums and cymbals. Dance performances and traditional music are also held outdoors during the day.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||22/72||33/91||14/0.5||Good period to go|
|February||23/73||34/93||3/0.1||Good period to go|
|March||24/75||36/97||12/0.4||Good period to go|
|April||25/77||36/97||42/1.6||Not the best period to go|
|May||25/77||34/93||220/8.6||Not the best period to go|
|June||25/77||33/91||329/13.0||Not the best period to go|
|July||25/77||32/89||314/12.3||Not the best period to go|
|August||25/77||32/89||268/10.5||Not the best period to go|
|September||24/75||32/89||334/13.1||Not the best period to go|
|October||24/75||32/89||268/10.5||Not the best period to go|
|November||24/75||32/89||113/4.4||Good period to go|
|December||23/73||32/89||55/2.1||Good period to go|
The Tan Son Nhat International Airport is located about 7 kilometres (4 miles) northwest of central Ho Chi Minh City.
Rickshaws are rare, forget about tourist folklore—opt instead for the bus, the perfect way to explore the city and its surroundings.
The city of Ho Chi Minh and the surrounding districts are connected by more than 150 bus lines.
The most important lines run generally from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.
The most touristy lines are line 152, which connects the airport to the Ben Thanh Market, crossing the whole city centre; line 11, which runs as far as the Dam Sen theme park; line 30, which connects the Suoi Tien hotel area to the Hung Temple; and line 19, which connects the centre to the university.
The price of a ticket varies between VDN 3,000 and 10,000 on average, according to the line used and the distance travelled. You can purchase your tickets directly from the bus driver, or at a point of sale located at the bus station in Ho Chi Minh City.
Taxis are a good way to travel to Ho Chi Minh City, if you take into account the potential difficulties related to traffic. Caution: stay away from unofficial taxis. Taxis must be equipped with a meter. The price of a trip is negotiable. On average, count on VDN 12,000 for the first 700 metres, then VDN 18,000 per kilometre in a 7-seat taxi.
The motorcycle taxi is a quick and inexpensive way to travel in Ho Chi Minh City. Motorcycle taxis are usually parked on the sidewalks of the city and are identifiable by the second helmet the driver is holding. To ensure that it is a motorcycle taxi, ask ‘Xe Om?' (Pronounced ‘Che om?' and meaning ‘motorcycle taxi?') to the driver. The price of a moto-taxi ride is about half the price of a car ride, about VDN 7,000 per kilometre. This means of transport is reliable. It is preferable to agree on the price and settle the race before leaving.
Once in Ho Chi Minh City, do not hesitate to get in touch with tourism professionals to advise you and to help you organize your stay.Saigon Tourism
Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
See your doctor before you travel. It is recommended to take out health insurance covering medical expenses abroad and the costs of repatriation before a trip to Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.Vaccinations
The update of diphtheria-tetanus-polio vaccines before departure is recommended.
Other vaccinations, such as those against hepatitis A and B and typhoid are also recommended (see your physician).
For long stays, it is recommended to get a rabies vaccination.
For more information, contact the Air France Vaccination Centre:
It is recommended to drink bottled water.
Since June 30th, 2016, French citizens no longer need a visa for journeys less than 15 days (travelling included).
For longer stays, or to cross borders within 15 days, a visa is mandatory.
There is a 30-day waiting period to re-enter Vietnam after your visit if you do not hold a visa.
French passports must be valid for 6 months after the end of your stay in Vietnam. To travel serenely in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam, follow the travel advice of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays/vietnam
Here are some sentences in Vietnamese which could be useful during your stay in Ho Chi Minh City:
Hello: Xin chao
Good evening: Chuc ngu ngong
Good bye: Tam biet
No, thank you: Toi khong muon, cam on
Thank you very much: Cam on
I don't understand: Toi khong noi tieng viet
Could you repeat that?: Ban co the lap lay
Please: Xin moi
What time is it?: May gio king?
Excuse me?: Xin law
Airport: San bay
Train station: Tram
Hotel: Khach san
Hospital: Benh vien
Bank: Ngan hang
Telephone: Dien thoai
I am (...): Toi (…)
I'm looking for (...): Toi nhin (…)
What is the price of (...)?: Bao nhieu (…)?
Do you have (...)?: Ban co (…)?
Where can I find (...)?: Noi ma toi co the tim thay (…)?
Where can I buy (...)?: Noi ma toi co the mua (…)?
I would like (...): Toi se (…)
Tipping is not mandatory in Vietnam, but it is appreciated. You can leave an additional 10 to 15% of the amount of the bill in bars and restaurants. Tips are also welcomed by staff at hotels and spas, and by tour guides and taxi drivers.