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Vietnam is easily one of my favorite countries to travel and bargain in. The people are great and there are some great markets like Ben Thanh Market. Backpackers love stopping over in Ho Chi Minh and honestly, you really should add it to your list if you are hopping around Southeast Asia.
Ho Chi Minh is known for its awesome nightlife, historic architecture, shopping, and mouth-watering foods. The cost of living is also very affordable, and that’s why many digital entrepreneurs set up a base here to grow their business. For shopaholics, there are many places to find a bargain such as Ben Thanh Market. It doesn’t matter what your preferences are, this place has something for everyone.
Getting to Know Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh is named after its independence leader and one of the most famous and respected figures in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh. You will no doubt see his photograph thousands of times during your time in Vietnam, it’s everywhere…you can’t miss it.
The city itself currently seems like it is living in 2 different decades of old and new. Technology and tradition, rich and poor; a hectic blur of motorbikes which makes crossing the road an extreme sport.
Getting Around Ho Chi Minh City
One of the best things about Ho Chi Minh is that it is very easy to navigate around the city. Be warned that the traffic is intense and it can be pretty chaotic, but there are many modes of transportation you can use to get around town.
XE OM (Motorbike Taxi)
This is a common mode of transport, also known as motorcycle taxis. It is an economical transportation option and you can move through traffic easily. For safety, a helmet will be provided to you, you have to just focus on learning hand signals as most local XE OM drivers don’t know English very well. So having some useful language travel apps ready to use can be really helpful.
The bus is the most used mode of transport, and it is a great option if you want to explore the city. The buses are equipped with comfortable seats, and the prices are low, which makes it very economical to travel around town.
Taxis are convenient and comfortable and they are easily accessible. If you stay in a popular hotel, you may get a taxi easily just by standing outside the hotel’s gate, and they should be willing to take you just about anywhere you want to go.
Types of Lodging in Ho Chi Minh
There are different types of lodging options available in Ho Chi Minh City for all types of travelers, but especially the backpacker community.
Hostels are popular options and perfect for solo travelers and backpackers on a budget. Not only are hostels an affordable choice, but they can be a lot of fun because you can meet travelers from around the world and socialize. There are many great hostel options in Ho Chi Minh.
Who wouldn’t love to have an entire apartment to yourself? Airbnbs offer a nice alternative to hotels due to their home-like atmosphere. They are spacious, comfortable and you will get to experience the local vibe of the city. You can search great Airbnbs in Ho Chi Minh.
Extended Stay Apartments
If you are planning a long-duration visit or don’t know exactly when you will be leaving, then you should consider Extended Stay Apts. They are economical options and great if you plan to be staying in the city for quite some time.
Chain hotels are best for people traveling on business or those who like to stay in a more familiar type of hotel. Although, the chain hotels still may be different than what you are used to at home. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of these hotels but other travelers may be interested in staying at one of these.
If your main priority is the experience and facilities, then boutique hotels are perfect for you. They offer premium amenities and most will offer quality local food at their restaurants. They also tend to have a nice vibe to them and local feel.
Popular Neighborhoods In Ho Chi Minh City For Visitors
There are many different neighborhoods in Ho Chi Minh to explore, typically referred to as Districts. The good thing is that each area offers different attractions and highlights. Here are some popular things to see and do in major tourist districts of Ho Chi Minh.
Ben Thanh Market
Located in District 1, Ben Thanh Market is the perfect place for people who want to do a bit of bargain shopping. This market has a really fun atmosphere to it, and it’s one of my personal favorites during my travels. You can find stalls selling all types of apparel, accessories, shoes and more along with different arts, crafts and other souvenirs. There are also local fruits, spices and different kinds of nuts for sale as well as some street food and beer options.
District 1 is a popular area for tourists because there are many other things to see and due in this area beyond just Ben Thanh Market. So the area has many budget-friendly hotels to choose from.
Nguyen Hue/Dong Khoi
If you want to experience the luxurious side of Ho Chi Minh City, then Nguyen Hue/Dong Khoi is a popular area to explore. It is the heart of District 1 and here you will find premium boutiques, big shopping malls, and luxurious hotels. It is also a hub for cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy some pretty great Vietnamese food.
Pham Ngu Lao/Bui Vien
Another popular area to stay if you are on a budget in Ho Chi Minh city is the area of Pham Ngu Lao/Bui Vien. It is a busy place and has some pretty great nightlife. You will find a number of budget hotels, bars, and restaurants here which makes it an economical option.
Where to Stay Near Ben Thanh Market?
Adora Art Hotel
If you are visiting Ho Chi Minh with your family, friends, or in a group, then this is a perfect choice. It is located within a 3-minute walk of the Ben Thanh Market, so you can explore the place better.
Grand Silverland Hotel
Located only 2-minutes walking from Ben Thanh Market, this hotel provides some great amenities such as free WIFI. You will get access to swimming pools and free afternoon tea will also be provided.
Prei Nokor Hostel
This is a perfect place for solo travelers. It features a beautiful garden area and the rooms have different facilities such as wardrobe, showers and some rooms have also a terrace.
Ben Thanh Hostel Saigon
In this hotel you have free WIFI, a lounge area, and it provides easy check-in and check-out. This hotel is nearby to many tourist attractions such as Tao Dan Park, Museum, which makes it a great option for explorers. LINK
Where Do You Want to Stay in Ho Chi Minh?
There’s a reason Ho Chi Minh City is so popular with travelers to Southeast Asia. I certainly wasn’t disappointed! Definitely plan to spend some time here and explore the area. There’s some great food, friendly people, and awesome bargaining.