Getting Lost in Ho Chi Minh City and Experiencing What Vietnam’s Greatest City Has to Offer

If there was one great success story of international tourism in the last few decades, it was undoubtedly that of Southeast Asia. Formerly considered off the beaten path by all but the most seasoned and confident of travelers, Southeast Asia has become a regular destination for even those who have rarely ventured outside of North America or Europe. There are good reasons for that, too, with natural beauty and vibrant cultures combining to make for some truly unforgettable vacation destinations.

That is not to say that Southeast Asia has been thoroughly plumbed by travelers from the rest of the world, though. In fact, there are some prime spots that still see relatively few arrivals from elsewhere, whether because of inaccessibility or other factors.

With Myanmar now opening up to outsiders, it might be thought that this is the biggest development of this kind of recent times. In fact, though, an even more momentous one is now occurring, as people from elsewhere in the world discover the charms and rewards of setting down in Ho Chi Minh City.

The largest city in Vietnam by a good bit, Ho Chi Minh City, or “hcmc” as it is often abbreviated, is a bustling place of around eight million inhabitants. For years, even those who had their sights set on exploring Vietnam tended to overlook Ho Chi Minh City, often thinking of it as too formidable to come to grips with.

That is starting to change, and quickly, however. As tourists have increasingly contributed to the economies of other cities and towns in Vietnam, busy, business-minded Ho Chi Minh City has started to become more accommodating as well. While it can still be difficult to find someone who will be able to communicate in a particular language at times, it is much easier today for outsiders to enjoy Ho Chi Minh City than in even the recent past.

That process of acclimation has been helped, undoubtedly, by the presence of websites and other resources that also strive to lend a hand. Getting lost in Ho Chi Minh City is part of the excitement of the experience, but doing so with the help of a good guide often turns out to be even more rewarding.