Tag Archives: ho chi minh

5 Things to do in Ho Chi Minh

On rainy days such as these, sometimes visiting Sihanoukville or Kep might not be in your plans. So how about a trip to Ho Chi Minh? There are many things to do in Ho Chi Minh that may be suitable if you plan to travel. If you read our previous post on a road trip to Ho Chi Minh, it shouldn’t be a challenge now for you to explore this city.

Here are some things you might want to do during your visit to Ho Chi Minh.

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh

things to do in ho chi minh

  1. Visit the War Remnants Museum – The War Remnants Museum is easily one of the top visited sites in Ho Chi Minh. The museum features exhibits that are related to the Vietnam War, as well as some exhibits that relate to the first Indochina War. A quick look at the outside area, guests can easily see tanks and airplanes on display.
  2. Visit the Cu Chi Tunnels – These tunnels are well known as a key attraction in Vietnam. The Cu Chi tunnels were once used by the Viet Cong soldiers as their hiding spots during the times of combat. It also served as supply and communication routes for North Vietnamese fighters. Definitely something to note down when listing things to do in Ho Chi Minh.
  3. Check out the Jade Emperor Pagoda – Also known as the Jade Emperor Temple, the pagoda is located in Ho Chi Minh and was built by the Chinese community sometime in 1909. It is known for being one of the spectacular and atmospheric temples that Ho Chi Minh boasts of.
  4. Haggle with sellers at Ben Thanh Market – One of the better known markets in Ho Chi Minh, Ben Thanh Market offers an array of goods to sell. It is one of the historic structures that have survived in Saigon. Plus, it is one of the best areas to find souvenirs, local handicrafts, textiles, and even some local cuisine.
  5. Go around Dong Khoi – If you fancy some less local shops, you can easily find high end brands along Dong Khoi. Dong Khoi is also known for having many French colonial buildings, and was once the centre of glamour at the time when the French was in Vietnam.
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Along Dong Khoi

These attractions are mostly located within or nearby District 1. It is relatively easy to access these attractions on foot, or on taxi. And if travelers arrive on bus, the buses stop at Pham Ngu Lao, which is where several major hotels are located. You can easily check bus schedules for bus routes leaving from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh, or Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh.

You can also check out the BookMeBus website if you plan to venture out and find trips from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh or anywhere else.

Travel through Cambodia with Virak Buntham buses

Virak Buntham buses is known as the first bus operator to offer night buses in Cambodia. It boasts of having comfortable and quality service to all its travelers. With its many routes, travelers can journey to any place of their choice and simply rest while on the way.

virak buntham buses

What do you get when travelling with Virak Buntham buses?

In case you wish to travel on board Virak Buntham buses, you are often provided with the following perks:

  • complimentary WiFi
  • complimentary water
  • comfortable accommodations

Other important information are as follows:

  • Passengers should be at the terminal 15 minutes before departure.
  • Tickets are VOID if passengers do not arrive on time.
  • Children over 5 years of age require tickets.
  • Passengers availing Pick Up services should be ready at the hotel or guesthouse’s lobby an hour before departure.
  • Passengers MUST present printed Online Tickets for inspection at the terminal prior to boarding.
  • Smoking inside the bus is prohibited.
  • Pets, weapons, illegal products and substances, and hazardous materials are not allowed on the bus.
  • Strong smelling food items (i.e., durian, prohok) are not allowed on board the bus.

Route updates

To avoid confusion regarding certain routes from Siem Reap, here are some updates that might be helpful when booking bus tickets with Virak Buntham buses:

  • Siem Reap to Bangkok/Pattaya route departs at 4:00 AM and uses the sleeping bus. It is not a direct bus. Passengers will be transferred to VIP Van (15 seats) at the border.
  • Siem Reap to Bangkok route departs at 8:00 AM and uses a 41-seat bus. It is a direct bus. The bus will stop at three different locations namely Kao San, Train Station, and Pharum Kao (airport).
  • Siem Reap to Sihanoukville route:
    • Departs at 10:30 PM and uses a luxury bus. It is not a direct bus. Passengers will be transferred to VIP Van (11 seats) in Phnom Penh.
    • Departs at 11:00 PM uses a Sleeping bus, but it is not a direct bus. Passengers will be transferred to other bus in Phnom Penh.
    • Departs at 12:00 AM uses a Hotel bus, but it is not a direct bus. Passengers will be transferred to VIP Van (11 seats) in Phnom Penh.
  • Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh route departs at 7:00PM, 10:30PM, 11:00PM and 12:00PM, but is not a direct bus. Passengers will be transferred bus in Phnom Penh.
  • Siem Reap to Koh Kong route:
    • Departs at 7:00PM and uses a sleeping bus. It is not a direct bus. Passengers will be transferred bus in Sihanoukville.
    • Departs at 11:00PM and uses a sleeping bus. It is not a direct bus. Passengers will be transferred to VIP Van (11 seats) in Phnom Penh.
  • Siem Reap to Mondulkiri route departs at 12:00PM and uses a sleeping bus. It is not a direct bus. Passengers will be transferred to VIP Van (11 seats) in Phnom Penh.
  • Siem Reap to Kampot, Kep, and Ha Tien routes depart at 7:00 PM and uses a sleeping bus. It is not a direct bus. Passengers will be transferred to Van (15 seats) in Sihanoukville.
  • Siem Reap to Phu Quoc Island route departs at 7:00PM and uses a sleeping bus. It is not a direct bus. Passengers will be transferred to Van (15 seats) in Sihanoukville on to the ferry.

These are not the only routes available for Virak Buntham buses. You may check out more information from this page on our website.

Road Trip to Ho Chi Minh

If you are in Phnom Penh and would like to take a quick trip out of Cambodia, one of the nearest countries to check out is Vietnam. A road trip to Ho Chi Minh is always doable, for starters, since it is less than a day away.

There is much to be learned about Ho Chi Minh, and that can be covered in following posts. But for the curious traveler, the average trip would be something like this:

road trip to ho chi minh

What happens on a road trip to Ho Chi Minh?

  1. First, you buy tickets from the bus of your choice at BookMeBus. – There are several bus operators with trips to Ho Chi Minh, such as Khai Nam, Mekong Express, Kumho Samco, Phnom Penh Sorya, Sapaco, and Airavan Express.
  2. You prepare your ticket ahead of time. – Please check out the Notice area of the bus you chose since some bus companies require printed tickets, while others accept eTickets.
  3. Arrive at the bus terminal at least 15-30 minutes. – It is always important to be prompt. Some bus companies will wait for you, although most leave on time.
  4. Settle down and enjoy the trip. – You can enjoy complimentary WiFi, cold bottled water, and refreshing napkin during your trip. However, services vary based on the bus company of your choice.
  5. Bus stops at Bavet. – On Cambodia’s side, the bus often does a quick stop at restaurants in Bavet, before moving forward to the international border gate.
  6. Crossing the borders. – Passengers then cross Bavet and into Moc Bai, the international border gate on Vietnam’s side.
  7. Immigration processing and moving forward. – If you have your papers ready, you can easily cross the borders without any problems, and then you can get back on the bus.
  8. Arrival at Pham Ngu Lao. – After a few more hours on the bus, you finally reach the heart of Ho Chi Minh, which is at Pham Ngu Lao, where pretty much all buses stop.

Now you are ready to prepare yourself for a trip to Ho Chi Minh. The process is really not that difficulty, in fact, after a couple of times crossing borders, you will be a pro at it.

So take a chance, go on a road trip to Ho Chi Minh, and see what the other side has to offer.

Have happy and safe travels!