Vibrant Vietnam! With the arrival of Vietnam Airlines at Heathrow’s Terminal 4 on the 31st of March, discovering the gateway to South East Asia is easier than ever with daily direct flights to As we welcome the newest airline to join the LHR family, we’re showcasing Ho Chi Minh City- one of the most popular Vietnamese destinations for both business and leisure passengers alike.
Ho Chi Minh is a resilient city, rich in history and full of hope. Formally known as Saigon, it’s the largest city in Vietnam. With a population of over seven million people it’s a city on the move and it’s moving quickly!
Reasons to visit
From its wide, elegant boulevards to its historic French-colonial buildings, the city has a rich history marked by remnants of its struggle for independence. The mix of modernity and antiquity makes for an ideal destination for anyone searching for an off-the-beaten path journey where contrast abounds. From the bustling commercial centre where you can enjoy culture, food, shopping and nightlife, to the serene village life in rural outskirts hugging the Mekong River, there’s something for everyone.
Best time to visit
Vietnam has a tropical climate so the dry season between December – April is the recommended time to visit. This period is the hottest time of the year with average temperatures of 28 °C to 39 °C and lows of 16 °C in late December. Humidity is moderate in December and decreases from January into April.
Booking your flight from Heathrow with Vietnam Airlines
Enjoy Vietnam Airlines luxurious new fleet of 787-9 Dreamliners offering four services to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City each week. Flights start from £539 economy return and are available to book online today. Vietnam Airlines are also part of the Skyteam programme- join today to start earning points and status credits on flights with any of the Skyteam partners. Visit their website for more information.
Eating in Vietnam
Phở, Bánh mì, fresh spring rolls…need we say more? Vietnamese cuisine is famous for the use of deliciously fresh and fragrant ingredients, and there is something to suit most palates. Ho Chi Minh is particularly famous for its high quality street food. Our favourite places to dine are below:
Bar: Saigon, Saigon
The Vietnamese Dong (VND). 1 GBP = approx. 32,000 VND. The US dollar is also widely used in the city. To make things simple and easy you can pre-order and collect your currency at Heathrow, using Travelex. Secure yourself a better rate online before you fly and don’t forget your Heathrow Rewards card when collecting your currency to claim your points.
Where to spend your VND
For local crafts and textiles as well as mementos to bring home to remember your trip, look no further than Ben Thanh Market. With numerous vendors bartering for your VND, you could spend hours bargaining for goodies!
Notre Dame Cathedral – Built between 1877 – 1880 in the Paris Commune Square, it’s a great example of Neo-Romanesque architecture. Crowned with two square bell towers, it serves as a memorable remnant of the French colonial empire.
The Independence Palace – Formally known as the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam and Headquarters of Saigon Government during the Vietnam War, this is a historical landmark visited by large number of tourists every year. The Palace stands today as an architectural symbol of peace, marking the end of the war and the inception of Ho Chi Minh City.
Cu Chi Tunnels – A 200km long cobweb-like network of underground tunnels served many functions as meeting, living and fighting quarters during the Vietnam War. Descend into the tunnels and experience what is was like to live in these restricted conditions. Located 70km North West of the city, the Cu Chi Tunnels can be easily visited via bus.
War Remnants Museum – A deeply moving museum showcasing the impact of the Vietnam war on the people of Saigon. The museum has a large collection of military equipment and other artefacts used in the war. Note- this museum may not be suitable for young children.
Day trip on the Mekong – A body of water over 4,000 long, winding through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam! It is used as a major part of Vietnam’s trading route. The Sinh Tourist (as well as other guides) offer fantastic sightseeing tours of the Cai Be Floating Market where you can watch locals selling, buying and exchanging goods from their boats. Boat rides transport visitors through the local villages and some also include cooking classes, where you can learn to make local delicacies.
Did you know…Vietnam is the second largest exporter of rice and cashew nuts in the world!
- Hello -xin chào (sin chow!)
- How much? Bao nhieu (bow nyew) – will be useful for visits to the Ben Thanh Market.
A Visa – Visas are required to visit Vietnam. If you have a UK passport, further information on how to obtain one can be found on the UK Govt website.