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Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon, has a wide variety of options for hotels, guesthouses, and hostels. From a humble dorm bed to 5 star luxury suites. Most of the sites that are of interest to traveler’s can be found in District 1, or D1. I’ll break it down into 6 different areas that will help you decide which location is best suited to you.
The Dong Khoi area is at the center of Saigon’s District 1 and close to many of the top sites of the city so it makes for a perfect base, if you’ve got the budget. Dong Khoi, Nguyen Hue, and riverside has the highest concentration of 5 star hotels in the city, but if you dig around you can find some midrange places too as well as Airbnb’s. Nice streets and sidewalks that are usually clear of motorbikes, the finest restaurants in the city, with a huge variety of cuisine from Vietnamese to Indian, Japanese, Argentinian, and some very smart cafes.
Rooftop bars at some of the most iconic hotels in Saigon, trendy nightclubs, and beautiful French colonial architecture that blends with the modern. You won’t get a sense of every day Saigon in this neighborhood but you’ll be pretty comfortable.
You really can walk to most of the popular landmarks or sites from Dong Khoi. Being a place that attracts traveler’s with large budgets expect a fair amount of attention from motorbike taxis, massage hostesses, shoe cleaners, and sunglass salespeople. And always guard your personal items. Stay away from the edges of sidewalks when checking messages or google maps on your phone or taking selfies.
On Dong Khoi Street you’ll find some of the cities iconic hotels, near the Saigon River, more classics and more 5 stars.
Near the War Remnants Museum and just outside District 1 in District 3 is another area worth considering for it’s good selection of midrange and moderately priced hotels. You might want to use a taxi to get to some of the sites but you’ll be in a less touristy area, with some great restaurants, food streets, and a more local feel. A little closer to the airport too!
The Ben Thanh Market area is loaded with conveniences from a great variety of Vietnamese, Malaysian, Japanese, and Western restaurants to money changers located on the streets directly across from the west and north side of the market and tour booking services everywhere. Don’t forget the market itself where you can bargain hard for a variety of clothes, shoes, souvenirs, and sample Vietnamese food. This is great shopper’s area with streets surrounding the market holding potential bargains on shoes, clothes and other items and within a short walking distance to the modern Saigon Center shopping mall and the Saigon Square bargain center. There’s also a night market that opens after 6pm. If you like attention you get loads of it at Ben Thanh!
Located between the Dong Khoi and Pham Ngu Lao/Bui Vien backpacker area, this is a perfect location for covering off sites and close enough to long distance bus pick-up locations to travel beyond Saigon.
A 5 minute walk to the Bui Vien backpacker area if you want to be close to the action but not right in the middle of it and about 10 minutes to Ben Thanh Market is Co Bac/Co Giang.
This neighborhood has a few budget options in some of its lanes and streets and will also make you feel less like a visitor and more like a resident with it’s traditional feeling neighborhood and a morning market where you can pick up some fruit and street food. This area also has a vibrant street food scene at night and a mix of old school and newer cafes and restaurants.
I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.
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