Saigon Guru

The Vietnamese Đồng

The Vietnamese currency is the đồng, and it is represented by the symbol ₫. A rough guide: US$1 = VND20,000. Yes, that’s 20 thousands Dong. Well technically it is about US$1 = VND22,000 but rounding off makes it easier to remember and calculate. A common myth: You can use US dollars freely and they are legally accepted. Major Denomination The major denomination of the dong is 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, 500,000 in...

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Where To Stay: Top 5 Hotels In Ho Chi Minh City

Location dictates the prices of hotels. PERIOD. So where should you stay in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)? In HCMC most of the hotels concentrate in District 1. In HCMC the city is divided into districts. District 1 is the city center (Click here for city map). Stay here. Don’t stay at places near the airport or other districts. The prices are not that much different most of the time when compared...

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How to: Take a taxi from Tan Son Nhat Airport (Ho Chi Minh City) safely

If you have cleared the customs without incidents, then congratulations and welcome to Saigon. Phew! You have survived thus far! DO NOT RUSH TO EXIT INTO THE ARRIVAL HALL YET! A lot of people still refer to the city as Saigon, rather than the mouthful Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)/Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh (TP HCM). Saigon was renamed to Ho Chi Minh City in 2 July 1976 in honour...

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Top 5 Must Bring For Visiting Ho Chi Minh City

I am sure there must be one thousand questions in your head right after booking your flight. The very first question being where should I stay?… There are literally THOUSANDS of hotels in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) and I am not joking. Ranging from a few dollars for a hammock rental by the highway to five stars hotels. Before we jump to accommodation, let’s deal with what you SHOULD pack....

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How to: Moving around within Ho Chi Minh City. Taxi/Grab/Xe Om

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to tell a taxi driver where you want to go in Ho Chi Minh City. They usually give you the blank look or the lack of acknowledgement from the taxi driver puzzles whether he understood you. GRAB – A God Send But luckily with technology comes conveniences never before. Today, there is a taxi or motorbike taxi app called GRAB. Enter the address...

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Your Guide to Ho Chi Minh City

You probably landed here because you are planning to visit Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam in the near future. Or you are already in Vietnam and feeling lost. Vietnam is a beautiful country and Vietnamese are one of the most friendly and welcoming people I have ever encountered. And Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is most likely the first city where you will land first before heading out to...

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Understanding The Vietnamese Mentality

No matter where you are from, Europe, America, or even Asia, cultural shocks will definitely hit you even before arrival. Climate and safety will be your other concerns during the trip. Please do not be surprised when you enter the cabin of the aircraft to find some people sitting on your allocated seat. This happens 70% of the time I travel to Vietnam. I do not have a good explanation but from what...

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Top dangers and how to stay safe in Ho Chi Minh City

Petty crime It is usually more dangerous in the bigger cities than the smaller towns. In smaller cities and smaller towns the community is much smaller and everyone seems to know everyone…. The most common mishap in bigger cities like Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is being snatched of your belongings by motorbike thief. Tourists, expats, and even the locals are of no exception to this most common form of crime. Almost...

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How to: Clear Tan Son Nhat Airport (Ho Chi Minh City) Under 30 minutes

Background The international airport of HCMC (Ho Chi Minh City) is Ton Son Nhat International Airport. It was built by the French back in the 1930s and later on it was used as a military airfield during the Vietnam war (renamed to Tan Son Nhut), and it became famous after footages of refugees trying to escape towards the end of the war…. Even today you can still see the remnants of...

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