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Talk:Ho Chi Minh City

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Reputable Taxi Companies[edit]

According to some locals (and my friends who work here, and some frequent visitors), Mai Linh Taxi should also be avoided because they usually take up a longer route or get you around to jack up the meter. And yes, it has been quite some time I've been going here and I get the same experience; I've tried Saigon Air, Mai Linh and Vinasun, and Mai Linh usually gives the highest fare.

Most of the time the drivers ask for an additional 4-10 thousand VND too and after they turn on the meter, that's the only English phrase you will hear from them (other than the "Invoice?" question); unless you know Viet they will not speak anything else anymore. Note that these are the actual Mai Linh taxis, not those fake ones.
I think we should remove Mai Linh from the reputable taxi list. (Reason I posted it first here is that the company has been in the page for so long already, or maybe I'm just an isolated case. Also, I find elsewhere that they find the Mai Linh more reputable than Vinasun so I'm really in doubt with this.) --Nettai 01:39, 29 October 2012 (EDT)

Saigon and Ho Chi Minh[edit]

Shouldn't this page be at Saigon, per the article naming conventions? Very few travelers call it HCM City, and even official signs and train schedules say "Saigon". I think Saigon is the most common English name for this place. --Evan 16:30, 10 Aug 2004 (EDT)

As a general Wikipedia user, I feel like an encyclopedia should strive to maintain an aura of objectivity rather than becoming political. In this instance, clearly that weighs in favor of titling the article "Ho Chi Minh City," even while noting that most locals refer to the center of the city as "Saigon" and causing "Saigon" to redirect to HCMc. Renaming the article Saigon would undoubtedly be interpreted as a political move, and I think users who are in favor of it should acknowledge that fact.

Yeah, even though (as I recall) I'm the one who started this page as HCM, I think we should just go with Saigon.
Technically, HCM and Saigon are a bit different -- HCM is a municipality which encompasses the district of Saigon. So we could have an HCM article and a Saigon article under it, but I don't think that's necessary. -- Paul Richter 20:10, 10 Aug 2004 (EDT)
I'll cast a dissenting vote here: HCMC is the official name of the city and we should respect that in the title. In the content Saigon can also be used where applicable. Jpatokal 21:55, 10 Aug 2004 (EDT)
"Official" doesn't factor. We use the most common English name for article titles, not the official name. See Wikitravel talk:article naming conventions for discussions about this. --Evan 02:28, 11 Aug 2004 (EDT)
I'm maybe a bit paranoid and over-reacting but I think because the America and some scum bags(note, only SOME, not all) in California don't like the name Ho Chi Minh City (that's why after 30 years IATA code is still "SGN" instead of "HCM"). And to Evan, on the URL to naming convention "This version of Wikitravel is in English (but see language versions of Wikitravel), so article names should be in English. If a place doesn't have a name originally in English.." and the official name of the place right NOW is Ho Chi Minh City. Also HCMC beat Saigon on my Google News test (majority of saigon news is miss saigon, beer saigon, or "US Embassy in Saigon, South Vietnam, at 4 am April 30, 1975. It’s the holiday season"..,etc , not the place itself. And also majority if not ALL news services such as CBC, BBC, AP,etc use the word Ho Chi Minh City, not Saigon.
I'd be interested to see some numbers on HCM City being the most common English name for the city. Also, please, don't bandy about the "official" name; it doesn't factor at all. See why Wikitravel doesn't use official names for details. --Evan 22:09, 11 Dec 2004 (EST)
Update: I did a search on Google News got 1200+ hits for "Ho Chi Minh City", about 1000+ for Saigon (factoring out "Miss Saigon", "Beer Saigon", and "Little Saigon"). Most of the other hits talked about the "fall of Saigon", which would be historically accurate. Anyways, I think that's definitely good enough to leave this article here -- but we should make sure to have a redirect. --Evan 22:15, 11 Dec 2004 (EST)

Weasel coffee[edit]

I just googled and found some pages that say that the coffee fruit is eaten by weasels, not rodents. In Indonesia they have kopi luwak, which is passed through civets. Civets and weasels are both carnivores, not rodents. -phma 20:10, 10 Sep 2004 (EDT)


You can actually obtain a visa at the border if you are a citizen of Sweden, Norway or Denmark and if you intend to stay for less than 15 days. I just did it myself today (Nov 27, 2010) so I am 100% sure it works for at least Swedish citizens coming in by plane. Perhaps it is different crossing the border by land?

Closed listings[edit]

The following listings have closed. Should they reopen or relocate, please re-add to the appropriate article:

  • Heart Of Darkness [1], 17b Le Thanh Ton. Based on the Cambodian equivalent, this is a friendly mid-range bar. Broadly a dance-centric "teacher-friendly" expat bar, but plays to all-comers.

Renaming of Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City[edit]

Until recently, the article said:

Saigon was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City on May 1st 1975.

This was changed [2] to:

Saigon was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City in June of 1976.

WikiPedia:Ho_Chi_Minh_City#Current_Vietnamese_name says:

On May 1, 1975, after the fall of South Vietnam, the now ruling communist government renamed the city after the alias of their leader, Ho Chi Minh (chu nom: 胡志明).

So I attempted a compromise:

Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City after the Fall of Saigon in 1975 [3]

That was changed back, so then I tried:

Following the Fall of Saigon in 1975, Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City [4]

Now, the following change has just been made and reverted [5]:

As from June of 1976, the Government of Vietnam decided to change the name of Saigon-Gia Dinh city into Hochiminh city. It's so stupid that someone always states that "Following the Fall of Saigon in 1975" as in this website; if you're a resident of Saigon, you have to know that.

For me at least, "dating" the change with respect to directly related major events/circumstances seems more important than knowing exactly what day of the week it was (especially when it was 30 years ago).

Suggestions welcome. ~ 04:13, 23 January 2008 (EST)

Food Prices[edit]

130'000 dong is £4, there is no way that's budget in Saigon. You can get food for 30'000 dong in places like the Sinh Cafe, and pretty much all the restaurants we went to in Saigon, even near the Continental we only spent 60k dong for a meal. This was in September 2007 Eraserhead1 16:43, 4 March 2008 (EST)

Tourists/Locals in bars section[edit]

Who separated the bars section? It's bad enough just segregating tourists and locals, but to have done such a bad editing job of it. It's embarrasing.

Political debacle[edit]

In the Museum of Vietnamese History listing there has been an edit war over this phrase... "unfortunately they are accompanied by signage which is both in poor English and full of risible Marxist distortions. Read up on Vietnamese history first or you'll have no idea what you're looking at." Please discuss any changes to the phrase here, before this turns into a mindless edit war. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 06:43, 22 April 2009 (EDT)

What??? Having been I can confirm the "risible Marxist distortions" do not exist. IF noting how much the country suffered during the 'Vietnam' (or 'American' war) is risible & Marxist then I really wonder about Wikitravel, and whatever barrow pushing is going on. In fact the signs & guides are very restrained in what they could say. I hope other peopel will keep their political opinions to themselves and just report what may be of use to visitors. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)
Part of the problem here is that the phrase "risible Marxist distortions" looks troublingly like good travel writing, and that its removal looks motivated by either politics or a misunderstanding of what travel writing is supposed to be. That and the fact that the original writer of said phrase was someone who was actually making a lot of positive contributions to the site... --Peter Talk 19:42, 19 July 2009 (EDT)

There is no need for discussion. There is no constrovercy. This is because these signs do not exist. Maybe they did. BUT THEY DO NOT NOW. Please do not revert back to previous content. If WIkitravel refuses to up-to-date contribution then it is a very low quality, inaccurate & useless. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

When there is disagreement, then there is need for discussion. That's just how a wiki works. The problem is that we get a lot of well-meaning edits from contributors seeking to remove (neuter) text that might be seen in anyway controversial. Instead of just removing the offending text, why not try replacing it with something just as lively. --Peter Talk 16:00, 22 July 2009 (EDT)
On VirtualTourist, a couple of the reviews (from as far back as 2006) note that this is the exception to the rule among HCMC museums, in that it's clear of propaganda. The printed guidebooks I've skimmed also don't have any mention of it. I'd suggest we leave it out — other HCMC museums are so full of said distortions that the original contributor may have conflated the history museum with another. Gorilla Jones 18:33, 22 July 2009 (EDT)

Thank you Gorilla. I am amazed that other people who have not visited the museum consider they are in a position to comment on what is present. I understand Wikitravel wants people to contribute, and surely those with first hand experience must be valued. Having been to the museum just under 3 weeks I ago there was nothing that could be described as risible, marxist or distortions. I will change the article now.

Yes, I think this is the definitely the right decision - I'd agree with the article at [6] that it is definitely one of the better museums in terms of content and guiding people through the history of the country, and it would be a shame to put visitors off completely.

Hair Salons[edit]

Under the list of things to Do are hair salons. There are a handful of "beauty salons" on or near Bui Thi Xuan St. in District 1 that appear like car show rooms filled with young women in tight dresses sitting around reading magazines, but not cutting hair. I inquired with a guide and also a cab driver and was told that one could get a hair cut at these establishments as an opening to something illegal. I'm wondering if this should be appended in the article to reflect this "confirmed" observation.

According to the Wikitravel:Sex tourism policy, it's not our job to list brothels, but I've added a note. Jpatokal 22:56, 2 September 2009 (EDT)
Shouldn't the "Happy Ending Massage" parlor be removed then? 11:07, 22 February 2010 (EST)

Saigon River[edit]

This listing was recently removed by an anon user, anyone know if it should? --Stefan (sertmann) talk 10:16, 27 May 2010 (EDT)

  • The Saigon River. Believe it or not, the Saigon river is for swimming! Many a traveler rave to their friends and family about this opportunity to have fun with the locals. It is considered rude to done a traditional bathing suit; instead the custom is to wear jeans or slacks and a shirt or blouse - essentially you should look like you just finished work and really want to go for a swim. The park in front of the Renaissance Hotel offers nice views and access to the river. Make sure you know how to cross the road before attempting to get there. Expect to encounter some beggars in the park.

Apartments by the month were removed[edit]

I had added a section under "Sleep" for monthly apartments. I've lived in HCMC for 4 months and found searching for apartments to be difficult and the least available resource on the internet. I added the following apartment that I have stayed at which caters to travelers/foreign guests. It was deleted though, is there a reason for this? I would love more information like this to be available on wikitravel personally.

Grace Apartment, 231/7A Le Van Sy St, Ward 14, Phu Nhuan Dist, HCMC, +(+84 8) 39918456 (). $300-$700/mo.  editGreat apartment catering to foreigners. About 10 minutes outside of Dist 1 (far side of Dist 3, easy to get to). They have a gym, rooftop garden, laundry. Great rooms. Prices as of late 2010: $300 for single room, $500 for 1 bdrm w/ kitchen (very nice rooms), and $700ish for larger rooms.

Airport Taxi[edit]

Actually there is no need to panic when taking a taxi from HCMC airport: if you do not mind paying USD 11 for a ride to the city center, select one of the taxi stands on the arrival side, between the customs and the exit. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by JeanLouisV (talkcontribs)

Dai Nam Tourist Park[edit]

I'm putting this under "discussion" instead of the actual page, because what I have to say about this place is my own opinion. I'm not sure if Wikitravel follows a "neutral point of view" policy or not, so I'm leaving the page unedited.

Words cannot express how disappointing this place is. We went as a group (myself, a Canadian, with 5 locals from Vietnam who had never been there before), and the whole park was virtually empty. Most of the attractions cost extra on top of the entry fee (the go-cart track was 100,000 VND for a 5 minute spin, entry to the zoo was 100,000 VND, and so on.) I felt rather embarassed for my Vietnamese hosts, and we ended up leaving after viewing the temple (presumably the only thing included with the park's entry fee.)

Considering that there's a much cheaper, more authentic, and less "westernized" Vietnam just outside of the park gates, who would bother with this place, especially with the long commute from HCM? This is a tourist trap in full force and should be avoided at all costs.

Now, with all that being said, I'm sure most of it isn't appropriate for the actual article, and I'm not sure what pieces should go in or not. So, I'm leaving this report here and we'll see what the public thinks is a good idea to include in the article. SirCyan 05:56, 28 December 2012 (EST)

Street Food[edit]

Does anyone else think the few paragraphs about food hygiene in the budget section are out of place and misleading? The practices listed are not common to all or even many street food vendors and also happen behind the scenes at food packaging plants and restaurants! they are also not unique to Saigon or even Vietnam. Does anyone else think these comments are out of place? if so, I'll happily slim them down. Caffeinate me 11:27, 13 March 2013 (EDT)

Street Food[edit]

Deleted those few paragraphs since they are completely unnecessary and describe the exact situation in much of the world. I'm sure the original author(s) will just add it back though.


Hi! Nice to see your updates here! Please keep it up. Are you planning on working on more pages? If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me. Warm regards, IBAlex (talk) 20:03, 5 June 2014 (EDT)