Ho Chi Minh City, as it is officially called, is a sprawling city located on the delta of the Dong Nai River however even locals still call it by its original name, Saigon. With the rapid industrialization recently of Vietnam a number of port facilities have been built along the channels of the Dong Nai River and usually they are referred to by the name of the nearest town, like Phu My. Currently there are a number of locations where cruise ships can dock. These are all working industrial ports where cruise terminals are generally not available, but Vietnamese government is planning expansion to meet the growing demand.
The SPCT Port facility is one of the locations where cruise ships have docked and is about fifteen to twenty miles from Saigon’s CBD. Larger cruise ships are currently using the SP-PSA Saigon International Terminal which, by road, is over thirty miles from Saigon.
In either case there is virtually little within five miles of the cruise ship docking area to accommodate visitors and getting into Saigon will require either a tour or a taxi. Most cruise ships offer tours into Saigon along with excursions to the Mekong River and more.
Transportation – Most cruise passengers take advantage of buses arranged by their ships. Usually taxis are available and a one-way trip into Ho Chi Minh City will cost about 700,000 Dong or about US$30 (be sure and confirm the price before starting out). Additionally Grab (a Vietnam service similar to Uber) is popular in Vietnam so if you are inclined refer to their app (https://www.grab.com/vn/en/). We have heard that Grab drivers are a bit scarce near the port but common in the city.
Currency – Currently the US Dollar is worth about 23,000 Vietnamese Dong but the good news is the Vietnamese gladly accept American Dollars. Credit cards are welcome at many businesses but ATM’s can have major charges for transactions.
Attractions – The primary destination is Saigon where you will find notable landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, the War Remnants Museum, Independence Palace (former Presidential Palace) and many cultural centers. Saigon is also a shopper’s paradise with bargains found everywhere. The city has a number of major markets with An Đông Market being the most popular for general merchandise. There is also Đồng Khởi Street an upscale shopping and restaurant neighborhood.
Be sure and see more at Visiting Saigon.