There are plenty of tourist activities and experiences to enjoy on a business trip to Ho Chi Minh and you will have the opportunity to meet many other interesting solo travellers along the way. Tourism is the country’s fast-growing industry and the infrastructure is already good.
Ho Chi Minh is a bustling city with increasing global business. It has comfortable hotels with Wi-Fi and excellent conference facilities. In restaurants, some English is spoken or diners are offered an English translation of the menu. The most popular way to get around the city is by ride-share – usually on motorbikes rather than in cars!
Ho Chi Minh is only 300 years old and was the city of Saigon. Its rich historical past as a former French colony and city influenced by the Americans blends perfectly with the modern city which has been a melting pot of Vietnamese, Chinese, Cambodian, Khmer and Indian cultures. This fact is reflected in its ancient religious monuments which include pagodas and churches. Ho Chi Minh is a great city for bleisure as there is so much to see and do to enrich your travel experience.
Ho Chi Minh is fast emerging as a major business hub in south-east Asia and it offers its corporate visitors a great opportunity to work and play. If you are visiting the city as a solo traveller, either on business or during a long layover, here are seven great ideas of things to do in a day or less that will help you explore the city and its culture.
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What better way to get your bearings than exploring the city at your own pace and hopping on the brightly-coloured bus to see all the popular sites which include: Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Central Post Office, Independence Palace, War Remnants Museum, Ben Thanh Market, Nguyen Hue Street walking street, Bitexco Financial Tower, Underground cuisine Taka Plaza, Huyen Si Church, Bach Dang Pier and the Opera House? You will be given a city map and there is an audio guide on board, plus free Wi-Fi.
Passenger Pithrianey Dyllarra had these comments to make about the tour-
‘ Thrilling and recommended!! It gives you all the must-visit places at a glance and I suggest taking a trip in the evening’.
Distance from the city centre: There are various pickup points around the city
Distance from the airport: 8km – 20 minutes by taxi
Duration: Minimum of an hour, but as long as you like
Discover the hidden underground world of the Cu Chi Tunnels. The tunnels were used by the Vietcong guerillas during the Tet Offensive in 1968. The tunnels are a series of underground chambers stretching for 30 kilometres and you can now visit sections of the tunnels and crawl through the small spaces to experience the living conditions of the Vietcong during the Vietnam War.
Visit My Tho city and enjoy a short bicycle ride around the village to meet its people. before jumping aboard a boat for a relaxing cruise along My Tho River (Mekong Delta). Admire four beautiful islands – Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix and Tortoise Islands along the way and visit a local coconut candy workshop, before watching a Southern Vietnamese folk music performance.
Distance from city centre: Pick-ups are available from hotels in District 1 Ho Chi Minh
Distance from the airport: 1 hour 40 Minutes from the airport,(51.5km)
Duration of Activity: Full-day activity
Situated 11 km in northwest Tay Ninh and 986 metres high, Ba Den Mountain is nicknamed ‘ the roof of southern Vietnam’ and offers spectacular views.
A recent visitor Thao commented –
‘Breathtaking view !!!!!! From here, one can have a breathtaking view of the surrounding region’
There is plenty else to see as the area is well-known for its spiritual architecture which includes Ba pagoda, the Buddha statue, The Bellm Linh son Long Chau pagoda and Toa Thanh pagoda. There is Kim Quang cave to explore too with great views of Dau Tieng lake!
Distance from the city centre: Shared shuttle bus from the city centre available at € 6.95
Distance from the airport: A drive of 2 hours and 20 minutes
Duration of the activity: 3 hour’s drive from HMC so allow a full day.
This fun day excursion is hosted in both English and Vietnamese. The road journey from central Ho Chi Minh passes numerous paddy fields. In Ben Tre, the group (maximum of ten people) will take the boat ride on the Ba Lai River in Ben Tre – nicknamed ‘the motherland of coconut’, where you will learn how the locals use coconut juice and also make a number of products including coconut candy and coconut oil.
During the river cruise, you will see local life and learn about the fishing boats, fish traps and about handicraft workshops that use coconut shells. You will also be able to see the floating markets. Once onshore you can enjoy a tuk-tuk ride through the coconut groves. Lunch is a traditional Vietnamese meal (vegan/vegetarian available) in a family-run, riverside restaurant before the return boat trip begins
There are more than 360 reviews on the website and this was from Rovie who took the excursion in November 2022-
‘A unique experience to remember. A must-do for anyone visiting Ho Chi Minh. Thank you so much to our guide, Quy, for being our friend during the trip and for accommodating our needs!! We truly appreciate it.
Distance from the city centre: The tour guide can collect you from your hotel
Distance from the airport: The tour guide can meet you in central Ho Chi Minh
Duration of the activity: Full day – 07.00-18.00
What way to enjoy the country’s culture than by sampling its cuisine The tour visits a variety of small restaurants – all well off the tourist track- and you will be able to enjoy at least ten traditional dishes including Bánh Cuốn” – steamed roll with minced pork and mushroom served with local herbs, “Bánh Khọt” – small crispy Saigon pancakes and “Dừa Tắc” – A unique coconut juice mixed with pineapple or kumquat jam.
You will travel from one restaurant to another on the back of a fully insured motorbike and you will be provided with a safety helmet and poncho. Tea, non-alcoholic drinks and local beer are also included in the price.
Michaela wrote a review about the tour that she took in November 2022-
‘Brilliant tour! You eat delicious foods and go to places you definitely wouldn’t on your own. Guides were so much fun and we even got serenaded by some karaoke’
Distance from hotel: Pick ups and drop offs from hotels in districts 1,3 & 4
Distance from the airport: 8 KM – 20 minutes by taxi
Duration: 4 hours
Cost: From $32 SGD
Vietnamese coffee (cà phê sữa nóng) is rich, sweet, flavoursome and irresistible. It is often served with a layer of condensed milk at the bottom of a small glass cup with a stainless still filter sitting on the top – but there are many different types of coffee to enjoy, including iced coffee. This fun activity in English gives participants an insight into the history of coffee in Vietnam and how the modern styles of coffee have developed in parallel to the traditional ones.
Participants can enjoy plenty of great coffee, accompanied by Bánh mì (Vietnamese stuffed bread) or plain butter croissant or fresh fruit. The Coffee Apartment is situated on level 9 of the building so while you drink good coffee, you can enjoy a great 360º view over the city.
Distance from hotel: The Coffee Apartment 42 Nguyen Hue (a.k.a Walking boulevard)
Distance from the airport: 8km- 20 minutes by taxi
Duration: Two hours in the morning – 09.00-11.00
Cost: $27 SGD
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