When is the Cheapest Time to Fly to Ho Chi Minh?
Vietnam, like most countries with a tropical climate, has a wet and a dry season. Return flights to Ho Chi Minh City are substantially cheaper during the wet season (from May until November) as rain storms can be intense. Since doing anything during the summer rains can be impractical, we recommend trying to find the best balance between ticket prices and good weather, visiting at the beginning or end of monsoon season.
When is the Best Time to Book your Flight to Ho Chi Minh?
For the best budget-friendly deals, we recommend booking your return Ho Chi Minh flights three or four months in advance, although if you’re feeling spontaneous there is generally a cheap last-minute flight to be found. A fantastic time to visit Ho Chi Minh is around Tet (Vietnamese New Year) which falls in January or February and whose festivities make the entire city buzz with life and celebration.
Flying to Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN)
Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) is the busiest airport in Vietnam, transporting over 30 million passengers a year, 10 million of whom are international travellers. SGN serves both Ho Chi Minh City and the rest of south-eastern Vietnam.
When travelling from the UK to Ho Chi Minh City, there are various airports that you can depart from, including London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh. If you want to avoid connections, the only direct flight to Ho Chi Minh departs from London Heathrow and is operated by Vietnam Airlines. All other routes departing from UK airports require at least one connection and are run by a variety of airlines, including Air China, Etihad, Malaysian Airlines, Emirates and Cathay Pacific.
On Arrival and Getting Around the Airport
An extremely modern and spacious airport, Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) is very easy to navigate and enjoyable to spend time in. There are two terminals, one for domestic flights and one for international, and both are comfortable and equipped with top quality amenities. Along with the usual restaurants, cafes and duty-free shops, there are sleep zones kitted out with reclining chairs and pay-to-use sleep pods, access to free Wi-Fi and finance facilities. Also available are a foot spa, free showers and mobile charging stations.
Getting to the City from Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN)
SGN is situated six kilometres north of Ho Chi Minh City and there several transportation options available, all of which get you to the city very quickly. From inside the terminal, you can rent a car from a number of different rental companies- be warned, though, that only recently have foreign drivers been allowed to drive in Vietnam, so some companies may offer you a car with a driver. If you prefer to take public transport, the airport bus, route #152, is the cheapest option and it passes by many of the major hotels. There are also many taxis available- for the best rates, choose a taxi parked directly outside the terminal rather than a private company.
Why Visit Ho Chi Minh?
Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as it is still known to some, is a true sensory experience. The moment you step out of the airport you’ll be inundated by the sights, sounds and smells of this vibrant and buzzing metropolis. Wander the topsy-turvy streets and you’ll begin to notice the prominent scars that have been left behind by its turbulent past - something that the Vietnamese don’t try to hide, but rather embrace and learn from. Make sure to visit the fascinating War Remnants Museum whilst you’re there to learn about and pay respects to the many victims of the country’s history.
Once you’ve been able to appreciate some of the events that have had a part in shaping this fantastic city, make sure to check out the wondrous architecture scattered throughout the city streets. Admire the French influences left over from the colonial era in the Notre Dame Cathedral before marvelling in the beauty of the Jade Emperor Pagoda.
Don't Forget Before you Fly
When travelling to Vietnam as a UK national, you must apply for a visa beforehand. Pay close attention to whether you are applying for/issued a single- or multiple-entry visa, and always adhere to the period for which your visa is granted. Your passport must also be valid for at least six months from your arrival date, and be in good physical condition.
The official currency is the Vietnamese Dong. Be careful when exchanging currency upon arrival as using anything other than an official money exchange counter is illegal and risky. ATMs are also widely available and US dollars are accepted in many places.