When planning your trip to the South of Vietnam, you have a variety of choices of where you may want to go and what you could do in Ho Chi Minh City, so tailoring your tour could be the best way to get the most out of your experience. This Ho Chi Minh City Private Tours information and guide will brief you on what you need to know about the city, what you can do, and where you could visit so that you can plan your trip according to the time and budget you have.
Different Types of Private Tours
Many travel agencies provide private tours in and near Ho Chi Minh City. Each provider will have their itinerary of the tour and what they might include in a trip, but all will make sure you will get to see the attractions and enjoy delicious food.
There are different types of transportation to take you around the city, but the most common is by a motorbike or Vespa. You can also get some exercise while sightseeing with a bicycle tour or slowly going through streets and watching people rushing by on a rickshaw – the favorite transportation of the noble in the past in Vietnam.
If you travel in a large group, you can hire a van or bus to go to places as well; they are quite comfortable and are air-conditioned so you can run away from the hot weather in Vietnam. Besides these on-land vehicles, you can use the speedboats and sampan to discover rivers and nature in the Mekong Delta.
Our Private Tours in Ho Chi Minh City
A half-day sightseeing and discovering Vietnam history and local cultures on a scooter city tour. Places that you will visit on this tour are the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, War Remnants Museum, a hidden temple, and a local coffee house.
A 4-hour tour to experience the nightlife and Vietnamese foods. On this motorbike tour, you will see the historical landmarks and city in different lights, visit the red light, and join the locals with their dinner rush.
I Love Food Tour
A 3-hour tour to enjoy and discover Vietnamese foods; perfect for any food lovers. You will get to enjoy the local foods, like pancakes, grilled pork vermicelli, hot rice rolls, seafood street BBQ, and draft beer with our local tour guides. If you have any specifications regarding your diet and allergy, tell us in advance, and we will tailor the tour that suit you.
Saigon’s Other Side Tour
A 3.5-hour tour sightseeing and exploring what is not usually in the guidebook and off-the-beaten-path places. Sitting on the back of a motorbike, you will get to see the unseen Saigon, learn about the local cultures, travel in the back alleys, and visit a floating market.
Cu Chi Tunnels Tour
A half-day tour. You will be taken to one of the less-visited Cu Chi Tunnels, a place that has special meaning to the Vietnam War. You will learn Vietnam’s history by seeing, listening to stories, discovering the tunnels, and witnessing how people survived the war in such a strategic place.
Mekong Delta Tour
A full-day tour. This tour will be an excellent getaway from the bustling city, taking you to the countryside, streaming along calm rivers, tasting the specialties in the areas, and sharpening or showing off your cooking skills.
Reviews from previous guests
We are pleased to have received much positive feedback on our tours and services over the years. Here are a few:
“A refreshing and adventurous night in Ho Chi Minh City.”
“My unforgettable experience with “I Tour Vietnam.”
“Amazing family vacation in Ho Chi Minh City.”
“Our amazing trip to Cu Chi Tunnels.”
“Saigon’s Other Side – Memorable Tour”
“Nice concept with the community in mind.”
“We “really love” i Tour Vietnam!!! Must-do for foodies!”
If you have joined our private tours before, please leave us feedback in the comments below. It’ll help our travelers know what to expect from taking a private tour in Ho Chi Minh City with us.
Ho Chi Minh City Overview
Ho Chi Minh City is a city in the South of Vietnam. In the 17th century, the Vietnamese migrated to the South and started to live there. The Nguyen King began to exploit the area by establishing a tax station for the people in businesses and trades passing through it. The city and its neighbors were called Gia Dinh at the time.
It was not until the 19th century when the French Indochina colonization started that the city was renamed Saigon. The city was rebuilt and rearranged to be a metropolitan, center of the colony. The city in its prime time was even called “la Perle de l’Extrême-Orient” – Pearl of the Far East, or “le petit Paris de l’Extrême-Orient” – Little Paris of the Far East.
Because of the vital city location, a place that could affect international trade and politics at the time, Saigon had turned into the center of the Vietnam War in the 20th century. After the successful operation of the People’s Liberation Armed Forces of South Vietnam in 1975, ending the war, Saigon’s name was changed to Ho Chi Minh to honor the first president of Vietnam and what he did to the country on July 2nd, 1976. Presently, the city is still known and called Saigon by people from around the world and even by Vietnamese.
The city has a large population of about 8.3 million people (2016). As a center of Vietnam’s economy, people from the countryside and other regions have come to Ho Chi Minh City to make a living adding to the prominent population growth, and the city has become a cultural hotspot.
You should make a trip to Ho Chi Minh City, not only because it is the most developed city in Vietnam but also because there are a lot of attractions where you can learn the history of Vietnam and enjoy the best quality services in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City is a place where you can see skyscrapers, old houses, and small temples scattered around the city, a place where modernization and traditions collide and harmonize. One more reason is that it is easy to travel to Ho Chi Minh City because there is the Tan Son Nhat International Airport with daily flights in and out of the city and the country. The transportation system in Ho Chi Minh City is getting more developed each day so that you can travel from other cities with planes, trains, buses, motorbikes, and boats.
The Best Time to Visit Ho Chi Minh City
November to April is the time you should visit this city. Ho Chi Minh City is in the South of Vietnam, which is closer to the equator and makes the weather in the city hotter than in the North of Vietnam. However it is not as intense, it is mostly hot and humid all year round. The rainy season lasts from April to October with a little chance of typhoons from August to October; after that, the weather gets cooler; sometimes the temperature drops to 18 degrees Celsius at around the end of the year to the Tet holiday in February.
Vietnam has many events and festivals all year round; the locals celebrate both traditional events that comply with the Lunar Calendar and Western holidays like New Year’s Eve, Valentine, Halloween, and Christmas. To witness these events and festivals in Ho Chi Minh City, around December through February is the best time when people are busy preparing for the big festivities. Some holidays you may want to note when making a trip to Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City are:
New Year – 1 day off
Tet holiday – lasts for about 2 weeks and usually falls in February
Hung King’s Commemoration – 1 day off usually falls on April
Reunification Day and Labor Day holiday – 2 days off in a row on the 30th of April and the 1st of May
National Day – 1 day off on the 2nd of September
Besides, there are also days to celebrate specific vocations like medical care and education, and people working in those professions will have their holiday.
For more information on when to visit Ho Chi Minh City, read our guide on the best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City.
Get discounted tickets to travel to Ho Chi Minh City:
What to Do When Visiting Ho Chi Minh City
With most tours to Ho Chi Minh City, people will visit historical landmarks, and museums, and enjoy foods the local way or by attending gourmet festivals featuring foods and drinks from other regions and countries around the world. The city gets more vivid and busier at night with the red light district, beers, bars, street foods, and some shows open from dusk till late at night.
There are other entertainment activities in Ho Chi Minh City like theatres, operas, orchestras, plays, live concerts of DJs and singers, art galleries, and exhibitions.
Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City could also be an addiction; there are malls with many international brands, tailors making ao dai, customized suits, and selling the fabric used to make ao dai. Besides non la – the conical hat, some Vietnam souvenirs you should have on your list are Vietnamese calligraphy writings, stamps, pottery, embroidery, and Vietnamese specialties like mung bean cake, coffee, and dried fruits.
If you are learning Vietnamese or have an interest in acquiring Vietnamese, it is an excellent chance to buy some Vietnamese books on Book Street at Nguyen Van Binh, District 1. Here you can also find some old books in Vietnamese and other languages.
If you merely want to relax on your holiday with high-quality services, you can easily find hotels in Ho Chi Minh City with great reviews such as the InterContinental, Caravelle, Reverie, and Sheraton, or indulge yourself with a day at the spas, or a hot spring resort near the city.
Ho Chi Minh City Attractions
Ho Chi Minh City was the city for the French government during its colonization, so you will see a lot of architecture greatly influenced by the Western style when visiting this city. Many of those buildings have been reinforced and are now used as museums. Some schools, markets, and houses in Ho Chi Minh City still keep the old design and even the tiles that the French used in these buildings. Some familiar famous French architectures you may have known are the Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office.
You can also explore the religious aspects of Vietnam when visiting many temples in Ho Chi Minh City. Buddhism is the dominant religion, even for people who are not Buddhist followers; they still practice some Buddhist principles in their daily life. Especially in District 5, you can find many small temples, shrines, and assembly halls. This is where Chinatown in Ho Chi Minh City is located; the immigrants from China were here at the time of the 19th century.
Day Trips from Ho Chi Minh City
Around Ho Chi Minh City, there are many places to visit, and worth making a day’s trip, too. You can enjoy the sun and the sand on a beach, hike a mountain, explore the wild nature in a national park, or float down a river on a sampan and try delicious tropical fruits. These places are about 50 – 200 km away from Ho Chi Minh City, taking you about 1 – 3 hours to go there and get back to Ho Chi Minh City within a day but wouldn’t miss anything on the way.
When making your trip to Vung Tau, you may want to visit Binh Chau Hot Spring and spend some time relaxing there. If you have some time to spare and want to enjoy the local foods with a countryside view, you can also go to restaurants like those in Binh Duong or Mekong Delta; they usually have other activities in their restaurants for visitors like fishing and riding a boat.
Summary of Ho Chi Minh City Private Tours
The exciting yet full of hidden traditions and the unseen city will be different every time you visit. Ho Chi Minh City with its rich history, beautiful scenery, and excellent services is worth putting on your travel list. It is getting around the city and nearby places that are an adventure; there are many things to see from historical landmarks to learning about the Vietnamese lifestyle. The local foods range from savory, desserts to vegan, anything that suits your taste. There is a little bit for everyone in this beautiful land so make a trip here and discover whatever you may want to discover. We hope this Vietnam travel guide will help you plan your Ho Chi Minh City private tours with us.