Reveal The Best Day Trips From Ho Chi Minh City You Cannot Miss
by Hello Vietnam Travel Sep 17, 2019
Ho Chi Minh City has so many things to offer to everyone. Just outside the city, there are tons of things to do. If you want to fill your spare itinerary with something unique and interesting, give it a look through the best day trip options from Ho Chi Minh. Just hours away from Ho Chi Minh, you can take in a variety of attractions and landscapes from beaches, jungles, islands, villages, historical sites and more. Whether you’re traveling alone, with your family, friends or your lover, there are a plethora of unique experiences for everyone.
One of the most recognizable attractions in Ho Chi Minh City
TOP 7 NOT-TO-BE-MISSED EXCURSIONS FROM HO CHI MINH CITY
1. Mekong Delta - A great place to get into authentic local life
Dubbed “the rice bowl” of the country, Mekong Delta is an enticing place to make a day out of the bustling city of Saigon. Tranquil and authentic, this fertile land enchants any travelers for its charming landscapes of winding waterways, jungles and orchards, peaceful atmosphere and a leisurely pace of life.
The area is incredibly vast but it doesn’t take much time to really get a feel for the region. There is no better way to get a glimpse of the delta than taking a boat trip on a traditional sampan or any of our Mekong river cruises and glide through its crisscrossed waterways. For the best experience, make sure to check out some quaint villages set amidst the lush jungle
Further Read: The Best Ways to Get from Ho Chi Minh to Mekong Delta
Local children playing in a lotus pond in the idyllic Mekong Delta
2. Ben Tre
Offering some of the most picturesque scenery in the quiet land of the Mekong Delta, Ben Tre is a great place for a boat trip around the town, perfect for those looking for a true escape from tour-bus bustle. Developing in a more indolent pace, this sleepy town is more authentic than other regions in the delta.
Tourists enjoy a traditional boat trip in Ben Tre
As the home to coconuts with long rows of palm trees stretching as far as your eyes can see, Ben Tre is definitely the coconut capital of Vietnam. Most of the locals in Ben Tre make their living from this amazing product. With no doubt, you can’t miss a visit to some local workshops and factories specializing in making coconut candies. Treat yourself to the fascinating scene of varieties of coconut and how they’re turned into different products from candy, oil to even handicraft souvenirs or furniture.
Suggested Read: A Brief Guide of Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City
Ben Tre - 'The Kingdom of Coconut'
3. Cai Be Floating Markets
This small charming town is just 2-hour drive from Saigon. What makes it an interesting place to explore is the unique and colorful Cai Be floating market. In the Mekong Delta, Cai Rang floating market is the most popular one, still, it may take you a 2-day trip. So, Cai Be floating market is the best option for a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City.
Its own uniqueness and beauty worth a visit. Take a boat through the stunning waterways, observe the fascinating life of the local doing their business on board, you’ll get amazed by the lively atmosphere and stunning scenes of hundreds of boats moving back and forth filled with all kinds of regional products. Feel free to gorge on a haggle right on the boat and treat yourself to some of the treats the market has to offer.
A corner of Cai Be Floating Market in the morning
How to get to Cai Be Floating Market?
- By bus: There are several options to get from Ho Chi Minh to the Mekong Delta by buses such as Phuong Trang, Mai Linh Express or The Sinh Tourists. The price ranges from 60.000 VND to 120.000 VND depending on the seat position.
- By airplane: The Mekong Delta has an airport in Can Tho. The airlines operate from Saigon to Can Tho include VASCO and Vietjet Air. A one-way ticket included taxi fare costs about 600,000 VND.
- By private car: For comfort and convenience, you can hire a private car for a day trip to the Mekong Delta, which may cost you 600.000 VND.
- By boat: There are several cruises operating tours that end at the Mekong Delta with the starting price of around 1.500.000 VND
- By motorbike: If you wish to take the adventure on your own, then rent a motorbike and make your way to the Mekong Delta.
Tourists enjoy fresh smoothies on a boat in Cai Be
4. Vung Tau - A Great Choice for a Local Beach Getaway
You are a beach lover but have not much time to travel around. Fret not as you absolutely find one in the Southeast of Saigon, just 2 hours away from the city. Vung Tau is the most popular getaway for the local and tourists alike during the weekend.
Thanks to its close proximity to Saigon, Vung Tau is the number-one day trip for beach lovers. The beach itself is not a spectacular one compared to other beaches in Vietnam, but its laid-back vibe will make you fall in love with.
Stunning aerial view of coastal Vung Tau city
It doesn’t take you much time to plan out a perfect schedule while in this little quaint town: take a dip in the cool waters, let the tranquility brace your soul and mind, treat yourself with some fresh seafood at one of the great beachfront restaurants, enjoy a beach party with your loved ones right on the beach or delve into some of the city’s famous sites. What’s there not to love?
Many Peoples take pictures with statue of Jesus Christ in Vung Tau, Vietnam
How to get to Vung Tau?
- By motorbike: Follow Highway 1 and cross Dong Nai bridge. Continue your ride until you reach the Vung Tau roundabout. Turn right and follow National Way 51 to reach Vung Tau. It may take you three and a half hours.
- By bus: There are some bus lines from Ho Chi Minh to Vung Tau and vice versa such as Phuong Trang, Hoa Mai, Thien Phu (60.000- 80.000/ticket)
- By car: You can hire a private car for this day trip and stop anywhere you want (around 1.500.000- 2000.000 VND)
Charming beach in Con Dao Island, Vung Tau
5. Can Gio Island - Monkey Island and Gorgeous Mangrove Forest
Can Gio Island, also known as Monkey Island is a cluster of small islands just away from the mainland near Ho Chi Minh City. Just 50 kilometers from Saigon downtown, this biosphere reserve is a great option for a day trip from Ho Chi Minh. This nature reserve is home to diverse varieties of mangrove plants and hundreds of monkeys and crocodiles.
You can hire a canoe to venture deep into the island or simply walk around to see crocodile reserve or have fun with naughty monkeys. It is a good idea to bring along some fruits or snacks to feed these hungry monkeys. Around the island, you also find many interesting things to enjoy: visit Vam Sat eco-site and climb up to Tang Bong Tower for the panoramic view of the mangrove forest, learn more about Vietnam War with a visit to Rung Sac Guerrilla Base or enjoy a boat tour around the island.
View from observatory, boat on river, mangrove forest, Can Gio, Vietnam
How to get there to Can Gio?
- By bus: From Ben Thanh bus station, take the bus #20 to Binh Khanh ferry station. Take a ferry ride across Nha Be River to Can Gio District. From here, take another bus #90 to Can Thanh, stop at Lam Vien Can Gio.
- By motorbike or car: Pass through District 7 to reach Binh Khanh Ferry Station. Continue your ferry ride (4.500 VND/ motorbike, 28.000/car, 1.000/person). Once crossing the bridge, go straight until Monkey Island.
- Entrance fee: 70.000 VND for foreigners; 35.000 VND for locals
- Parking fee: 20.000 VND/car; 5.000 VND/motorbike
- Opening Hour: from 7 am- 5 pm daily
- Tips: If you go with your local friends, ask them to pay for the ticket with the local price. It’ll save you half.
Interesting War Museum in Can Gio
6. Cu Chi Tunnels - Travel back in time the stunning Vietnamese historical site
Cu Chi Tunnels are one of the top tourist attractions near Ho Chi Minh City and a great choice for a day out of the city center. This stunning historical site is more than just a tourist attraction, it’s an undying history. This incredibly massive underground network will inspire you from the very first sight. For more impressive experience, take a sneak-peek experience and crawl down the tunnels, you will get a true insight into the harsh life of Vietnamese soldiers during wartime.
How to get to Cu Chi Tunnel?
- By car or motorbike: For a half day tours, drive for one and a half hours to reach the entrance of Ben Dinh. If you want to take a full day trip, then Ben Duoc is a perfect place to start your adventure which offers more awesome experiences.
- By bus: First, take bus #13 from 23-9 park to Cu Chi bus station. Continuing moving to bus #79 from the station to Ben Duoc. The total time to travel to the Tunnels is around 2 and a half hours.
- By boat: Apart from road, you can get to the Tunnels by waterways by taking one of boat tour services such as Saigon River Tour or Saigon River Express.
Notes: Entrance fees:
- Ben Dinh: 110,000 VND/person
- Ben Duoc: 90,000 VND/person
A guide demonstrating how a Vietcong hide into the Tunnel
7. Ba Den Mountain
Ba Den Mountain, also known as Black Virgin Mountain offers some of the best views in all of Southern Vietnam, especially suitable for adventure seekers. Located in Tay Ninh Province, some 100 kilometers northwest from Ho Chi Minh City, it is the highest mountain in the southeast of Vietnam. This off-beaten-track destination is worth a day trip thanks to its tranquil scenery, beautiful Buddhist temples, and impressive trekking trails. If you’re fit enough, give it a try to conquer the summit and enjoy the breathtaking views that the mountain has to offer.
A Beautiful Pagoda on the top of Ba Den Mountain
How to get to Ba Den Mountain?
- By bus: First, from Ben Thanh Market, take the bus #4 to An Suong Bus Station (5.000 VND/ticket). Continue getting on another bus (Dong Phuoc Bus is highly recommended) to Tay Ninh Province (50.000VND/ticket). From here, you can take a “xe om” (around 50.000 VND) or a taxi (around 150.000 VND) to get to the mountain.
- By motorbike: Follow the national highway #22 to Go Dau District of Tay Ninh Province until Go Dau intersection. Continue to turn right to Tay Ninh city on the national highway 22B. Upon your arrival in the city, drive eight kilometers further and you will reach Ba Den mountain.
Cable Cars to Ba Den Mountain
Grab one and add any trips you want to explore in your Vietnam itinerary. These are some of the best places for a day trip to make the most of your time in Saigon. Make sure to check out one or some of them, you just don’t want to leave! For more useful guides and travel ideas in Indochina, feel free to check out our Mekong Cruise Tips and Blog Posts!