best day trips from Ho Chi Minh city Vietnam

5 Best Day Trips From Ho Chi Minh City For Weekend Getaways

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Romantically referred to by the French as the Pearl of the Orient, Ho Chi Minh City, or known as Saigon, is an ideal base to explore southern Vietnam. From Saigon, you can reach other attractions easily with buses or ferries.

What are the best day trips from Ho Chi Minh city?

Here are some ideas for a perfect weekend getaway from Saigon.

 

Cu Chi Tunnel

Located 70 km Northwest of Ho Chi Minh city, Cu Chi tunnel makes a perfect day trip from Ho Chi Minh city thanks to its location.

As the Vietnamese soldiers used this network of underground tunnels during the war, Cu Chi tunnel has significant historical value and is a symbol of the resilience of Vietnamese people.

best places to visit in Ho Chi Minh city Vietnam

How to get there

Cu Chi tunnel is accessible by car or boat on the Saigon river.

It takes approximately 1.5 hours by car from Saigon to Cu Chi, and it costs around $70 for a car.

However, the easiest and best way to visit Cu Chi tunnel is by an organized tour, which costs only $12 per person including transportation and guide.

 

Vung Tau

Although Vung Tau is not as famous as Mui Ne, this beach destination is an easy getaway from the busy Saigon.

With only 2.5 hours drive, you can relax on the sandy beach with the warm sun, trekking to the lighthouse or having fun at Ho May park. Vung Tau is also an excellent base to visit the beach nearby, Ho Tram.

best places to visit near Ho Chi Minh city

How to get there

Several buses are departing daily from Saigon to Vung Tau, and the cost starts at $4 (100,000 VND). You can also rent a private transfer from Saigon for a round trip at $81.

Another way to get from Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau is by ferry. Greenlines DP offers excellent service at $11 per person, and the travel time is approximately 2 hours.

 

My Tho

How about exploring the beauty of Southern Vietnam with a day trip to My Tho?

Start your day early and hop on a bus tour or scooter to My Tho – a land with the river culture of Mekong Delta region.

Within 2 hours, the bus will take you to My Tho from Saigon. There, you can enjoy the boat ride cruising along the river, or visiting the coconut factory (family business), and trying honey tea with fresh fruits while listening to music.

1 day in My Tho Mekong Delta Vietnam

How to get there

If you decide to go by scooter, you can follow Highway 1A from Saigon to Thoi Son islet and buy a tour to visit the island and surrounding.

However, I recommend taking the one-day Mekong tour because it is, in fact, cheaper than traveling on your own. The tour includes transportation, guide, and lunch.

If you have more than one day, consider taking a 2-day-trip Mekong tour, with a visit to the floating market – an interesting culture of Mekong Delta.

 

Can Gio

Another day trip that you can take from Saigon is Can Gio – a coastal suburban district located southeast of the city.

Located 50km away from the center of Saigon, Can Gio has long been a favorite tourist destination, especially on weekends and holidays.

Visiting Can Gio, you can explore the Vam Sat mangrove forest, or play with the monkeys at Monkey island (Lam Vien ecotourism center), or trying fresh oysters and seafood at Hang Duong market.

best day trips from Saigon Vietnam
Vam Sat mangrove forest is an interesting place to visit in Can Gio.

Thach An island is another great place to visit in Can Gio. Visiting Thanh An Island, you can enjoy a peaceful and calm atmosphere, which is different from the bustling Saigon.

If you’d like to experience the life of salt villagers, you can visit Thieng Lieng village, a small town with less than 200 households.

 

Virgin Mountain

With the height of 868m, Virgin mountain, or Ba Den mountain, is known as the roof of Southern Vietnam.

One of the must-visit spots on the Virgin mountain is Virgin Pagoda.

To get to the pagoda, you can hike or take a cable car or a slide. The slide system has two routes: the upline is about 1,190 m long, and the downline is about 1,700 m long.

It takes about 1 hour to hike up to Virgin pagoda and approximately half a day if you decide to continue hiking to the top of the mountain.

Virgin Mountain Tay Ninh Vietnam

When to hike?

Daytime: Hike from morning or early afternoon, prepare a tent to sleep overnight and get up early to catch the dawn.

At night: Although climbing at night will be more difficult and dangerous but less effort than daytime, and you will be able to catch dawn and see the clouds around 4am-5am on the top of the mountain.

You can climb Virgin mountain all year round, however, if possible, avoid the rainy months from August to November because the roads will be more difficult.

What to bring when hiking?

  • Hiking shoes
  • Drinking water: Minimum 2l
  • Dried food: instant noodles, candy
  • Lightweight T-shirt, pants, jacket, and hat
  • Gloves
  • Individual raincoat
  • General medical supplies, mosquito repellent
  • Lightweight backpack with a tight belt

 

Which one is your favorite day trip on this list? Feel free to share below!

 

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links. We receive a small commission at no cost to you (usually with discount) when you make a purchase using some of the links. 

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