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Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City
Area: 2,098.7 sq. km²
Population: 9,123.4 thousand habitants (April 2019)
Airport: Tan Son Nhat International Airport with E-visa and Vietnam visa on arrival service.
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Hoa, Khmer, Cham...
Administrative divisions:
  • Districts: District 1, District 2, District 3, District 4, District 5, District 6, District 7, District 8, District 9, District 10, District 11, District 12, Tan Binh, Binh Thanh, Phu Nhuan, Thu Duc, Go Vap, Binh Tan,Tan Phu.
  • Rural districts: Nha Be, Can Gio Hoc Mon, Cu Chi Binh Chanh.
Geography
In the core of the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is second the most important in Vietnam after Hanoi. It is not only a commercial center but also a scientific, technological, industrial and tourist center. The city is bathed by many rivers, arroyos and canals, the biggest river being the Saigon River. The Port of Saigon, established in 1862, is accessible to ships weighing up to 30,000 tons, a rare advantage for an inland river port.
 
Climate:The climate is generally hot and humid. There are two distinctive seasons: the rainy season, from May to November, and the dry season, from December to April. The annual average temperature is 27°C. The hottest month is April and the lowest is December. It is warm all year.
 
History
Many centuries ago, Saigon was already a busy commercial center. Merchants from China, Japan and many European countries would sail upstream the Saigon River to reach the islet of Pho, a trading center. In the year of 1874, Cho Lon merged with Saigon, forming the largest city in the Indochina. It had been many times celebrated as the Pearl of the Far East. After the reunification of the country, the 6th National Assembly in its meeting of the 2nd of July, 1976, has officially rebaptized Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City. The history of city relates closely with the struggle for the independence and freedom of Vietnam.
 
Tourism
Today, Ho Chi Minh City is the big tourism center in Vietnam, attracting a large of visitors with many boutique and luxuy hotels in Ho Chi Minh city. The city has various attractions as Ho Chi Minh Museum, formerly known as Dragon House Wharf, Cu Chi Tunnels, system of museums, theatres, cultural houses... Recently, many tourist areas are invested such as Thanh Da, Binh Quoi Village, Dam Sen Park, Saigon Water Park, Suoi Tien, Ky Hoa... which draw numerous tourists.
Despite its quite recent past, Ho Chi Minh City nevertheless possesses various beautiful buildings, displaying a characteristic combination of Vietnamese, Chinese and European cultures. These include Nha Rong (Dragon House Wharf), Quoc To Temple (National Ancestors Temple), Xa Tay (Municipal Office), Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theatre as well as many pagodas and churches (Vinh Nghiem, Giac Vien, Giac Lam, Phung Son pagodas...). After more than 300 years of development, Ho Chi Minh City presents many ancient architectural constructions, famous vestiges and renowned sights. It is remarkable for its harmonious blending of traditional national values with northern and western cultural features.
 
Transportation
Ho Chi Minh City is the main junction for trains, roads, water, and air transportation systems for domestic trips and for foreign destination.
Roads: Ho Chi Minh City is 1,730km from Hanoi, 99km from Tay Ninh, 30km from Bien Hoa (Dong Nai), 70km from My Tho, 125km from Vung Tau, 168km from Can Tho, 308km from Dalat, and 375km from Buon Ma Thuot. The City has National Highway 13 which connects Vietnam with the rest of Indochina.
Train: Thong Nhat express train connects Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, vie many provinces in Vietnam.
Air: Tan Son Nhat International Airport, 7km from center of city, is the biggest airport with many domestic and international routes. There are flights from Hanoi and Danang to Ho Chi Minh City and between the City to many regions as well a lot of countries on over the world.

beaches in central Vietnam

Hon Tre – a beautiful destination in Kien Giang Province
Hon Tre, also known as Turtle Island, lying on a blue carpet sea make up a beautiful picture of nature… It is located from Rach Gia city about 30km. Hon Tre has an area of about 400 hectares, with its beautiful landscapes, such as: Chen dump, Coconut cave, Duoi Ha Ba.
From the center of Hon Tre Town, if you take the trail across the mountain about 30 minutes to Chen dump. This dump is located in the northwest of the island. The dump of 2km in length, have a lot of big rocks look like the cup upside down, so it has named Chen dump. This is the most beautiful beach of Hon Tre as scenes retain the wild character, with many trees swaying shady. Here, visitors can enjoy seafood specialties and natural sightseeing.
Coconut cave of Hon Tre is also quite romantic, the small bay, with boats fishing village so often look to for food, fresh water and rest after the sea voyage far. There are many coconuts grow up the coastal, is a beautiful beach, suitable for leisure fishing. The Duoi Ha Ba (Pineapple – where many of pineapple thorn) has many large old trees. Hon Tre is the beautiful landscape of Kien Giang province, the travel is also very convenient, just over an hour by train is coming, can go on for days.

The ancient village of Nha Trang – Khanh Hoa Province
During the formation of Khanh Hoa, before Nha Trang officially becoming the city, this land has existed for over 300 years. That’s why undergone ups and downs of history, in the heart of this beautiful coastal city still retains an ancient village with very personal what a Central village.
This ancient village is located in Vinh Thanh Commune, Nha Trang city. It is considered the ideal country where located in approximately 4 kilometers from Nha Trang, with a main road that wraps hug all village the road No. 45. The second advantage of this village is the beautiful of Cai river for visitors after while tour participants visit waterways.
In the ancient village area, there existed many old houses based on the Central architecture. Most of the houses were built over 100 years ago, wooden doors and pillars with carvings. The ancient house in Nha Trang are also bold the countryside with garden. Doors are wood panels picky.
To make journeys ancient village, travel go from the wharf at the Thap Ba or in the Ha Ra bridge. From here, the boat will take visitors stroll around the Cai River to watch the goat camp, Ngoc Thao coconut garden, Vinh Phuong wooden bridge and watching the ducks swimming in the river and boats going up and down. Then the boat will stop at the river is Nguyen Xuan Hai’s house. From the river, visitors will enjoy the feeling to walk in the village garden, completely without the usual noisy cities. To visit the old house, the car will welcome guests from hotels in Nha Trang to visit some of the houses located in Vinh Thanh Commune. Usually all the houses here have front garden with many different fruit trees.
Walking on the village way by chariot is a completely new feeling. The driver had more than 30 years of control it will take you to visit the village weaving straw mats and making incense villages. The attraction of the Nha Trang ancient village when walking is the strange hidden to the countryside with “areca front, dust banana behind “.

Cua Dai beach – The beautiful beach in Central Vietnam
From Hoi An ancient town about 4km, you will come to Cua Dai, one of the most beautiful beaches in Central Vietnam with long sandy beaches far away, a slight hitch wave. What a beauty it is! Cua Dai is highlighted by the magnificent house, the newly resorts and modern facilities, surrounded by flowers and colorful radiate fragrance. The atmosphere at Cua Dai is very fresh and soft, feeling relaxed, comfort for guests. There are so many forms of the charismatic entertainment at Cua Dai. When sunrise comes up, from the resort, guests can open the windows with balconies and overlooking the sea to catch the sunrise.
Afternoon is the best time for tourists immersed in the cool blue waters. The waves made people feels excited, relaxed. The sandy beaches sparkling in the bright sunlight and the breeze carries the saltiness of the sea makes people feel more refreshed soul, and enjoyed more cheek. Guests can lie for hours in the sand, listening to the sea breeze vu, hearing the whispering waves, playing your favorite sport and create a separate sky inside drawings, the tower of sand to the sea and the waves lapping at the melt.
Cua Dai is where the Thu Bon River empties into the sea, so there is a lot of fish. One of the most interesting to attract the tourists is the type of fishing, hunting fishing predatory fish like Hanh fish, Hanh Luom, Hong Vuc… Guests can go fishing in nearshore or you can hire a small boat. With its own definition, Cua Dai is made tourists an unforgettable feeling of leaving here.

Source: Get Vietnam Visa

The best guide for shopping in Vietnam

The best guide for shopping in Vietnam
I'm not usually one to shy away from shopping. In fact, I'd say I'm very partial to the occasional guerilla style sweep of local shopping haunts.
But as a bona fide western consumer I know that it's not uncommon for foreigners - often accustomed to a more rigid and predictable retail environment – to be confronted by a vastly different experience in Viet Nam.

When venturing out into Hanoi's famed old quarter, it's rare to encounter the scientifically perfected techniques designed to encourage hapless retail victims such as myself into spending more than intended. There are no set prices, comfortable changing rooms or fancy window dresses on these chaotic streets. Hence why many foreigners are overwhelmed by the prospect of haggling over a pair of counterfeit New Balance sneakers, only inches away from rush hour traffic, hastily stacked shelves bursting with merchandise all the while having the occasional street chicken meander between your legs.

When I arrived in Hanoi with Vietnam e-visa at Noi bai airport, I was plagued with conflicting feelings. Yes, there was a burning curiosity to discover Hanoi's bustling retail scene, but there was also a childish fear of an unknown retail landscape so vastly different. For the first time ever, I was actually scared of shopping altogether. For many, this can often be the case: so many things to buy, so vast a cultural distance keeping them out of reach.

Viet Nam has long been a renowned hub for producing cheap and quality leather goods, art, textiles and shoes. Whilst the initial prospect of shopping amid the chaotic and seemingly lawless streets of the Old Quarter can be overwhelming, the payoffs are there to be made earned. For the newcomer and western retail-agoraphobes, here are some tips for shopping in Viet Nam.

Use basic Vietnamese
Knowing one, or even a couple of basic phrases may disguise your image as a hapless and unwitting cash cow waiting to be slaughtered. For example, even a simple "bao nhieu tien" (how much is this?), or a few light hearted "oi gioi oi" can help you walk away in fabulous counterfeit Vans for as low as US$9.
I'll concede that this won't always work and for those willing to go nuclear you can always try the patented ‘walk away' technique. But try to keep it light and friendly. A smile always helps.

Be prepared to bargain
You don't have to be in Viet Nam very long to realize that street vendors lining the streets of the Old Quarter will charge according to their perception of your ability to pay means-tested prices or, as I like to call it, the ‘foreign premium'.
According to my Vietnamese friends, foreigners can be charged upwards of three to four times normal rates. A business negotiations lecturer once told me that my BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) is the buffer between my personal valuation of something and the price at which I would walk away (or a cheaper price I know I can attain elsewhere).
Research roughly how much you should be paying for things you want (your walk away price). Consulting your Vietnamese friends or your tour guide is an ideal way of doing this. Often, if not always, you'll be more confident being able to bargain things down if you know how much its worth.

Learn by example
Whilst I'll admit my retail prowess is yet to fully take flight here, I've had the benefit of good coaching from my Vietnamese friends. In my first month, a language lesson I organized near Hang Dau Street quickly became an excuse to go shopping and get my tutor to help me bargain for shoes. Shopping with your Vietnamese friends can be profoundly helpful demonstration of how to bargain, in addition to being a rather amusing social occasion when you're forced to try it for yourself.
Obviously, you should only use these tips when you're shopping around street vendors – i.e. places without printed price tags. Otherwise, don't look surprised when the assistant at the VinCom perfume counter looks unamused when you try to bargain for a bottle of Aqua di Gio.

Value vs cost
Ultimately, it's inevitable that you'll pay a higher price for something and it can suck to feel like you've been ripped off.
To this, I say that value is in the eye of the beholder (more so for rich travelers than expats being paid in dong). Sure, you paid more than you should have, but how much did you want it? How much less did you pay than you would back home?
Value is in the eye of the beholder and at the very least, knowing how much you value something might soothe the humiliating feeling that you've been swindled, after you've proudly flaunted your counterfeit Ray Ban Clubmasters purchased for VND100,000, only to be told you could have had them for VND20,0000.

Source: Get Vietnam Visa

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