Xin chao. Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, one of the most thriving commercial centres with a rich and colourful culture. We will do everything we can to put you in touch with the pulse of this city, learn as much as you can about the city and make your stay simply great!
Our Guest service Manager and Concierge team are eager to share their local knowledge with you. Your visit will not be complete without a visit to our innovative Concierge Lounge. Here you will gain valuable insights to make the most of your stay and go home with more to share. iPads are available for unique and interactive experiences, such as interactive maps, virtual tours, video recommendations and travel information.
Kick start a perfect day out with a steaming hot bowl of Pho Bo or Pho Ga (Vietnamese beef noodle or chicken noodle, respectively) - Vietnam’s most famous breakfast - then complement it with a strong dose of Café Sua Da (Vietnamese iced milk coffee) at Market 39, located on the lobby level of the hotel. For the more adventurous types who would like to sample other breakfast options, head out and take a morning stroll to Dong Khoi Street. There you’ll find lots of streetside Vietnamese baguette stalls, cafes and noodle stands on every corner. At the beginning of Dong Khoi Street, you can easily spot the historic 130-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral, an essential photo opportunity for any visitor, and interestingly enough, the statue of the Virgin Mary in front of the church caused quite a stir when a ‘tear stain’ appeared along her right cheek in 2005. The incident caused huge traffic jams throughout the city when locals and tourists gathered to witness the ‘miracle’ for themselves. Now head right of the cathedral and you’ll come upon the Saigon Post Office, the building dates back to the early 20th century when Vietnam was still part of French Indochina. Today it remains a fully functioning post office with public telephone booths to make international phone calls, writing benches and tables, and souvenir shops. The outside area between the post office and the cathedral is a popular backdrop for wedding photos so on any given morning you’ll likely see couples posing in their full wedding attire. Continuing on Dong Khoi Street the Saigon Opera House, or Nha Hat Thanh Pho in Vietnamese, will be to your left. “Nha” means house, “Hat” means singing, and “Thanh Pho” means city – the Saigon Opera House frequently showcases Vietnamese opera performances. Interested in seeing a show? No problem, our Concierge can help book tickets for you. Keep pace along the street and you’ll encounter numerous touts beckoning you into their shops with special offers of massage and food deals. It is also worth wandering into some of the various tailoring shops along here to purchase one-of-a-kind pieces that can be customised to fit your body perfectly for a fraction of the price back home. Vietnamese tailors offer high quality workmanship at a great value, and with an impressive turnaround time to boot.
After lunch, head to the Ho Chi Minh City Museum (on the corner for Ly Tu Trong and Nam Ky Khoi Nghia in District 1) for an evocative look into the history of the country, a timeline of when the Vietnamese founded their first nation in the North of Vietnam until the present day. The space occasionally hosts exhibitions featuring antiques collectors with relics and antiques dating back as far as thousands of years. From here, take a five-block walk to the chaotic, but exciting, Ben Thanh Market – erected in 1912, this is one of the city’s oldest historical landmark. The market, a commercial symbol of Ho Chi Minh City, is very popular amongst tourists looking to buy traditional handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs. On your way back to the hotel, don’t forget to stop by the Reunification Palace - a must-see for anyone visiting Saigon. Formerly known as the Independence Palace, the Reunification Palace’s art deco design was created by architect Ngo Viet Thu and was both the home and workplace of the-then President of South Vietnam during the American War. From the palace to the hotel is a short 10-minute walk. Now it’s time to relax after a day of walking and sightseeing at Spa InterContinental, located on the 3rd floor of the hotel. Here your body and soul can relax and rejuvenate. Our spa brings local expertise to life with unique treatments that rely on traditional Vietnamese herbs and plants that, for generations, have been used to heal.
Start your evening off at our stylish Purple Jade bar and enjoy our signature Ductini cocktail while deciding on the plethora of delicious dining choices this cosmopolitan city provides. Right next door, Kumho Link food galleria offers a variety of international cuisines, from Japanese and Chinese to Korean and Western, that’s sure to satiate any discerning palate. However, the gorgeously decorated Mandarine Restaurant is the perfect combination of authentic central Vietnamese food and ambiance, and with just a short taxi ride away, it definitely shouldn’t be missed. away, it definitely shouldn’t be missed.
Dress discreetly while entering temples and other religious places. Always take your shoes off when entering local houses.
It is not usual practice to tip but you can do so when the service is exceptional.
Bring as much change as posible for taxi fare. There are only few reliable taxi companies in town including Vinasun (always park in front of the hotel) and Mai Linh taxi (green color).
Bus is the only form of public transportation in the city, but it is not recommended if you are travelling for the first time to Ho Chi Minh city.
Ho Chi Minh City's weather is mainly warm and humid throughout the year. Bring an umbrella is recommended, as the rain comes unpredictedly from June until October.
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Don'ts when travelling within Vietnam
Don’t carry more money than you need when walking around the streets. Don’t wear large amounts of jewelry. There are two reasons for not doing this: (1) It is considered impolite to flaunt wealth in public; (2) It is more likely that you may become a victim of a pickpocket or drive-by bag snatcher. Don’t take a ride by motorbike taxi (xe om) if you're not familiar with the city. Don't wear singlet, shorts, dresses or skirts, or tops with low-neck lines and bare shoulders to temples and pagodas. To do this is considered unrespected and offensive. Never sleep or sit with the soles of your feet pointing towards the family altar when in someone’s house. Do not try to take photographs of military installations or anything to do with the military. This can be seen as a breach of national security. Never take video cameras into the ethnic minority villages. They are considered to be too intrusive by the local people. Physical displays of affection between lovers in public are frowned upon.
Do's when travelling within Vietnam
Store your passport, cash, credit cards, airline tickets and other valuables in a safe place (in-room safes or hotels deposit facility). Take care of all your valuables. Bring as much as change for taxi fare and other public transportation. Bargain 50% when shopping at local markets. Ask for permission when taking a photograph of someone. Use waterproof sun cream if you plan to spend a good amount of time in the water when you travel to Vietnam. Travel with recommend tour agencies. Dress discreetly while entering temples and other religious places. Always remove your shoes at the front door when entering local’s houses.
Climate & Clothing
Southern Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular has the tropical climate humid and sunny. To enjoy the trip in Ho Chi Minh City the most, don't forget the list of essential items including loose fitting clothes made from light materials such as linen and cotton; comfortable athletic shoes; a light jacket for any special meeting or dinner; a baseball cap and sun cream.
From the airport turn right to Truong Son street, after that turn left on Hoang Van Thu street then turn right to Nguyen Van Troi, go straight till Reunification Palace. Turn left to Le Duan street., InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel is on corner of Hai Ba Trung Street and Le Duan Boulevard shortly after Notre Dame Cathedral.