airport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

The 8 Best Day Trips from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Exploring the Mekong Delta in Vietnam
Exploring the Mekong Delta in Vietnam | © D'July / Shutterstock
Ho Chi Minh City is a maze of condensed madness – a cement metropolis of unimaginable scope and vitality. But it’s also too much for many people, so let’s have a look at the best day trips for you to escape Saigon.

Ba Den Mountain

Hiking Trail, Shrine
Save Place
Ba-Den-Mountain_Vietnam
Hiker at the top of Ba Den Mountain in Vietnam | © Tri HT / Flickr
This dead volcano, also known as Black Virgin Mountain, has some of the best views in all of southern Vietnam. The mountain carries significant religious meaning to the people in the area, even starring in a myth about a girl who killed herself here. The drive takes approximately two hours from Ho Chi Minh City. You can hike the mountain if you wish, but many people opt for the cable cars instead.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Photo Opportunity, Scenic

Can Gio Mangrove Forest

Forest
Save Place
Can_Gio_mangrove_forest
Can Gio Mangrove Forest in Vietnam | © Tho nau / WikiCommons
The Cần Giờ (cun yuh) Mangrove Forest is a UNESCO biosphere reserve 40 kms (25 miles) south of Ho Chi Minh City that features a unique wetlands ecosystem and a number of rare plant and animal species, including saltwater crocodiles and many kinds of migratory birds. It’s possible to get to this area on your own, but we recommend you go with a trusted tour company to get the most out of your excursion.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Scenic

Cu Chi Tunnels

History Museum
Save Place
Cu-Chi-Tunnels_Vietnam
Tourist in Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam | © dronepicr / Flickr
These tunnels played a vital role during Vietnam’s long fight for independence – first from the French, then from the American-backed government in Saigon. At Củ Chi, you really get a sense of just how difficult these years were for the guerilla fighters that lived there. Keep in mind, though, that if you have even minor claustrophobia, then you’ll probably want to avoid this day trip. There are some very tight spaces.
More Info
Sun:
7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mon:
7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue:
7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed:
7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu:
7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri:
7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat:
7:00 am - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Historical Landmark, Hot, Photo Opportunity

Vung Tau

Natural Feature
Save Place
Crab_Vung-Tau_Vietnam_Matthew-Pike
Delicious crab meal at Vung Tau beach, Vietnam | © Matthew Pike / Culture Trip
Vũng Tầu is likely the most popular day trip destination for locals in Ho Chi Minh City. It’s only two hours away by bus or shuttle, so it makes for an easy escape from the heat and pollution of Saigon. The beach itself isn’t as spectacular as others in Vietnam, but you’ll love the laid-back vibe of this sleepy little town. We highly recommend you try some fresh seafood along the beach or at one of the many restaurants in town.
More Info
Sun - Sat:
12:00 am

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

White Sand, Photo Opportunity, Crowded

Cai Be Floating Market

Market
Save Place
Cai-Be-Floating-Market_Vietnam
Cai Be Floating Market in Vietnam | © Mckay Savage / Flickr
Though not as large as Cái Răng floating market, Cái Bè is much less touristy and also an hour closer to Ho Chi Minh City. The action starts early, with the first vendors arriving at 3am – but don’t worry, they’re still around at more reasonable hours as well. At this market you’ll see wholesalers selling fruits, flowers and seafood. It’s more of an experience to observe rather than a place for you to actually shop.
More Info
Sun - Sat:
12:00 am

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Photo Opportunity

Cat Tien National Park

Park
Save Place
Crocodile-Area_Cat-Tien-National-Park_Vietnam
Looking for crocodiles at Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam | © C/M/E / Flickr
If you’re really looking to get into nature, then Cat Tien National Park is for you. The park has various types of old growth forests and some fascinating wildlife – things like gibbons, sambar deer, wild boars, black-shanked doucs and even crocodiles. However, the drive does take approximately four hours, so you might want to consider making this into a two-day journey. It’s doable in one, but eight hours on the road really detracts from the experience.
More Info
Sun:
7:30 am - 6:30 pm
Mon:
7:30 am - 6:30 pm
Tue:
7:30 am - 6:30 pm
Wed:
7:30 am - 6:30 pm
Thu:
7:30 am - 6:30 pm
Fri:
7:30 am - 6:30 pm
Sat:
7:30 am - 6:30 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Peaceful

Ben Tre

Market, Natural Feature
Save Place
Ben-Tre_Boat_Tour_Vietnam
River tours in Ben Tre, Vietnam | © Dan Searle / Flickr
Most tour companies highlight tours to Mỹ Tho, but those are pre-packaged excursions where giant tour buses bring hundreds of tourists to the same spots day after day. It’s cookie-cutter travel. Bến Tre, on the other hand, is less developed and more authentic. The town is famous for their coconut candy, and you can visit the factories where they make this treat – also the farms where they collect the coconuts. And it’s easy to arrange for a sampan ride through lush river canopies just like you see on every travel brochure about the Mekong.
More Info

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Scenic

Cao Dai Temple

Buddhist Temple, Church, Mosque
Save Place
Cao_Dai_Temple_Tay_Ninh_Vietnam
Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, Vietnam | © Jean-Pierre Dalbéra / Flickr
This temple is the home of the Cao Đài religion – also known as Caodaism – which is a fusion of beliefs from Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity and Islam. Started in 1926, the approximately 4.4 million adherents of this belief system denounce materialism and practice the Karmic law of rebirth. The main draw at this temple are the daily masses, which feature bright colors and fascinating rituals.
More Info
Sun:
6:00 am - 5:00 pm
Mon:
6:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue:
6:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wed:
6:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thu:
6:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri:
6:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sat:
6:00 am - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Atmosphere:

Peaceful, Architectural Landmark, Touristy