Located 7 kilometres from Ho Chi Minh City is Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport, Vietnam’s busiest airport accommodating up to 20 million passengers a year. With a geographical location so close to the capital, it’s an easy place from which to reach all Ho Chi Minh City’s big ticket attractions.
There are a few facilities in the airport, with two terminal buildings hosting a variety of shops, cafes and restaurants. These sell souvenirs, snacks and coffee. The most interesting places to visit are outside the building. One of the most iconic and cultural landmarks, Jade Emperor Pagoda, is 5 kilometres away. One of the most important shrines in Ho Chi Minh City, it was constructed in the early 1900s to honour the supreme Taoist god. This serene, ornate temple is filled with deities, statues and intricate wood carvings. Discover the decorative tile works and a dedicated room filled with ceramic figures of 12 women. Each one represents a year in the 12-year Chinese astrological calendar. Outside tranquil ponds are abundant with turtles with their shells etched with messages of luck. Adventurers wishing to discover the capital’s military history should head to Ho Chi Minh City to the War Remnants Museum. With several themed rooms, outdoor zones featuring military aircraft, tanks and equipment, the area will fascinate the most ardent of enthusiasts. Fortunately, visitors staying close to Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport won’t have to venture far for a tasty meal. Both inside the terminal buildings and nearby, there are a variety of food outlets and restaurants which offer a variety of cuisines to suit all tastes and budgets.
Reaching District 1, Ho Chi Minh City Centre is easy by taxi. They are available from outside the terminal buildings and offer metred fares which are usually reasonable. There are also pre-paid taxi counters within the terminal building. Shuttle buses and the Airport buses operate into the city centre. Visitors interested in shopping and local attractions should disembark at Cho Ben Thanh Bus Station. It is within walking distance of the main sites.
TânSơnNhất International Airport dates back to the 1930s when the French colonial government decided to construct a small airport near Saigon. By 1956, a 2,190-metre runway had been built, and the airport rapidly became the principal gateway into Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, the facility was utilised as an airbase for both the South Vietnamese Air Force and the U.S Air Force. It soon became one of the busiest military bases in the world. Since then the amount of traffic passing through the airport has rapidly increased, reaching full capacity of 20 million passengers in 2013.