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Ho Chi Minh City

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About Destination Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, commonly known as Saigon or by the abbreviations HCMC or HCM, is the largest city as well as the biggest developed metropolis in Vietnam. Following the fall of Saigon in 1975, Saigon was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City. However the old Saigon name is still used by both Vietnamese and foreigners, especially when referring to the most central part of the city to which most tourists flock.

In 2015, Ho Chi Minh City was estimated to contain 8.2 million residents, which was up from 7.4 million in 2010 and 5.3 million in 2000. Thus, the city is both large and growing, but in one respect, it is smaller than it seems — the official statistics include both registered residents and migrant workers. On the other hand, the city is actually larger than the official resident count in that its metropolitan area includes over 10 million people. Finally, we can add over three million tourists to the total number of people actually present in Ho Chi Minh City during any given year.

Time to travel

Ho Chi Minh City’s climate is classified as tropical wet and dry, meaning that it is warm all year round and divided into two distinct seasons, the wet season and the dry season, rather than spring, summer, fall and winter. The rainy season lasts from May through October, and the dry season runs from December to April.

Over 1,800 mm (70 in) of rain falls during the wet season, and there are about 150 rain days per year. Wet-season months see between 200 and 300 mm (8.5 to 12.5 in) of rain on average, with the wettest month being September, which receives an average rainfall of 327.1 mm (12.9 in). Dry season months vary more in how much rainfall they see. The transitional month of November gets 117 mm (4.6 in), while the “semi-transitional” months of December and April get around 50 mm (2 in). The three driest months are: January, with 14 mm (0.5 in) of rain; February, with 4.1 mm (0.16 in); and March, with 10.5 mm (0.4 in).

Seventy percent of rain days include a thunderstorm, but rain showers usually only last for a couple hours. Most tourists visit between November and March to avoid the wet season, though it is not hard to “schedule around the raindrops” in most cases. From July to November is typhoon season, which also tends to shrink the tourist crowds.

The average humidity level averages from 78% to 82% throughout the year, but it is not uncommon for it to range from a comfortable 46% to a “very humid” 98%. Only rarely, however, does it reach 100% or drop below 36%.

The average daily mean is 28º C (82º F), and temperatures are relatively stable throughout the entire year. Average daily highs range from 31º C (87º F) in December to 34.5º C (94º F) in April. Average daily lows run from 21º C (70º F) in January to 26º C (78º F) in April. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Ho Chi Minh City is 40º C (104º F), and the lowest temperature on record is 14º C (57º F).

Plan your trip

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Points of interest

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    The Reunification Palace (formerly known as Independence Palace), proudly designed by a Vietnamese architect, is considered as the famous historical witness survived after two wars against the French and American colonists of Vietnamese people. It was served as presidential home and workplace in the past.

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