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Ho Chi Minh City

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Ho Chi Minh City Location and History:

Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam, its economic and cultural hub. The city was once formally known as Saigon; it was a Cambodian city until the Vietnamese successfully annexed it in the 17th century. When the French took over in the 19th century, they made Saigon the new colony’s capital, a status it retained after independence and throughout the Vietnam War. In 1975, the Communists took over and renamed the city Ho Chi Minh City, after the revered father of Vietnamese Communism.

The city can be found in the southeastern region of Vietnam, more than 1,100 miles to the south of the current capital Hanoi, and is located near the Mekong Delta.

Ho Chi Minh City Climate and Weather:

Ho Chi Minh City’s tropical climate has two seasons: a rainy season from May to November, and a dry season from December to April. The city’s average temperature is 82 °F (28 °C) – this can reach a high of 102 °F (39 °C) at the peak of the dry season, or drop to a low of 61 °F (16 °C) in December. Ho Chi Minh City gets an average of 70 inches of rain annually, with an average humidity of 75%.

Getting around Ho Chi Minh City - Ho Chi Minh City Transportation:

Taxis in Ho Chi Minh City are cheap and comfortable. Taking a taxi will set you back about 15,000 dong for the first 1.5 kilometer (about 85 US cents), plus 9,000 dong per additional kilometer.

Xe om, or motorbike taxis, are easy to find all over the city, and are surprisingly safe. Drivers will supply you with a helmet to wear for the duration of your trip.

If you’re inside the city center, most of the sights are close enough to reach on foot, if the humidity doesn’t bother you.

Ho Chi Minh City Attractions:

The French left behind a great many colonial-era buildings, many of which lend an old-world dignity to the city center. Avid shoppers can visit Ho Chi Minh City’s markets, which offers a good assortment of swag at exceptionally low prices. For tourists seeking to relive the Vietnam War, the War Remnants Museum and the Reunification Palace give visitors a look back through Communist eyes. Ho Chi Minh City is also a great jump-off point for tours throughout the country.
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