Fly To Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City’s turbulent history and subsequent rapid development in recent years has transformed it into one of the most fascinating cities in South East Asia. Known to many war veterans as exotic ‘Saigon’, Vietnam has shaken its former image as a hostile war zone to the quintessential backpacker destination it’s recognised as today.
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Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South Africans do require a Visa to visit Vietnam; however this can be obtained on arrival. Just make sure your passport is valid and it has at least 6 months remaining in it.
- The South African Embassy to Vietnam is in Hanoi: 3rd Floor, Central Building, 31 Hai Ba Trung Street, PO Box 102, Hanoi, Vietnam. Phone-+84-4-936-2000.
See and do
Venturing into Saigon’s heart is the best way to introduce your senses to all there is to offer. From the crowded streets with mopeds buzzing to and fro, to the backstreets lined with exotic spice shacks; Ho Chi Minh City really is a ‘bucket list’ destination.
The state owned museums offer some insight into the cities past and the remnants of war. There’s even the original tank which rolled into the city marking an iconic end to the war in 1975. The War Remnants Museum displays house everything from American military hardware from Howitzer’s, jets and tanks to journalistic exhibits and first-hand accounts from those that fought in the war. One should be warned that graphic pictures and communist propaganda are the order of the day in the museum.
With its French Colonial architecture, evidence of its communist past and modern day Coca-Cola capitalism side-by-side, Ho Chi Minh City really is a spectacle for all who have the fortune of visiting. Winters are mild and pleasant in this equatorial region, but watch out for hiked prices and crowded hotels over the ‘Tet’ holiday (Vietnamese New Year).
Of course no trip to Vietnam would be complete without sampling the local cuisine that put Saigon on the map. Buy some authentic Vietnamese food from a ‘hole in the wall’ for the authentic taste experience.
Comprehensive yet chaotic, transport is available any time of day to just about any place in and around the city. Adventurous travellers won’t mind hopping on the back of a moped for a bargain trip across the urban sprawl. For the cautious, taxi cabs are available for a reasonable price.
Tan Son Nhat Airport – SGN
Food and beverage: The airport lacks larger chains of restaurants, though has food vendors outside.
Currency Exchange: Money changing facilities are available on arrival in Ho Chi Minh City.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be reported to your individual carrier. Only luggage lost within the terminal should be reported in the airport itself.
Airport Hotels: The closest hotels to the airport are the Grand Silverland, Nhat Ha3, and the Thanh Thu Hotel.
Car Hire: Why we wouldn’t recommend renting a private car in Vietnam, it is possible to hire a car with a driver.
Airport Hub: Tan Son Nhat International Airport (code SGN), is a hub for Air Mekong, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, VASCO, VietJet Air and Vietnam Airlines.