Skating - Ho Chi Minh City (Sagion) - Vietnam                                                                                                                             Return

HoChiMinh City in Vietnam is Great. OK, traffic is "challenging", yes that is true. (I was told that on average 5 people a day are severly injured in traffic accidents in HCM). The roads in places are a bit rough, true. And the killer is the heat, during the day it is so hot. It can hit 40c, the tempature at road level is more like 50. And on the asphalt, that is hot. I was skating on Sunday here, and it was so hot that parts of the road had soften so that my blades actually sunk into the road surface. The first time it happen I was skating along, sweating, turning red, when if felt like I had hit a pothole. I almost went down, but being flexed - at least a bit - I was able to recover. I looked back around and could not see a hole. I figured I hit a rock or something. When it happened again a bit further down the road, I went back and could see where I had sunk into the road. Later at a traffic light, I was waiting, melting in the heat, I had trouble getting started, I look down and see my wheels buried in the asphalt. That is hot. I talked to some friends there later about this and was told some road repairs are made with a material that softens up when it gets very hot.

Traffic is very heavy,  but for me that was a lot of the fun. It is mostly small motorcycles, some carrying as many as 4 people. But the people are so friendly, many come by and slow down to my slow speed and chat, or say hi. Other come over and try their English out. People here are so friendly.

Mostly I recommend skating in the early evening when the sun is just going down. It is cooler then, you can still see the road - look out for holes and rough spots.

The other weather condition to look out for is rain. There is lots of rain here, and the problem is with all the traffic there is a good deal of oil on the road. When it rains the roads with the oil and water, are very slick. Stay off until it dry's up. Which once it stops raining will be very quickly.

There are lots of places to skate. Downtown is the most fun, small streets, full of shops and people. Around downtown there are lots of tree lined streets that are really pretty to skate down. China town is busy and full all different kinds of shops and markets. And there are lots of temples that are just great.

I skated to one large temple, and once I showed up on my skates I had a large crowd of new friends stay with me every minute until I had rested, looked around, had some tea with them, and finally left an hour or so later.

Skating down the street and you get thirsty, stop and get a coconut from a street vendor and have a drink. Tired? Stop and have a shampoo, head massage and facial, cheap and relaxing!!

Ho Chi Minh, except for the heat - and rain, gets top marks, great streets, friendly people, fun places to go and see. Excellent!!


Category Description



Road Surface

Describes road surface conditions


The road surfaces here we experienced were, let me say, challenging. There are good spots, but staying focused all the time was important.

Road Conditions

Is there enough room for skating on the road? Are intersections crossable?

The roads were pretty busy, but I never had a problem skating. Roads were wide enough for the most part so we could share with cars. Traffic always was friendly towards us. Traffic is HEAVY so we had to keep our eyes, and ears, open. There are lots of bicycles, so that is fun, skating with them. There are lots of small motorcycles, that is fun to.

Traffic Conditions

Describes level and condition of traffic. Is the traffic heavy, fast or erratic.

Traffic was HEAVY, BUT it was slow, but even so we had to keep our eyes, and ears, open. But everyone was friendly and unlike the USA no cars tried to frighten us or make as to hit us. The roads were always busy, but we never had a problem with cars when skating. People would come up on their motorcycles and say HELLO and the like. Many people on the sidewalks would wave, and the few who knew a bit of English would want to chat.

Driver Attitudes

Describes how drivers react to and treat skaters


We were polite skaters in HCMi, (as always) and everyone was friendly and unlike the USA  and no cars tried to frighten us or make as to hit us. The roads were always busy, but we never had a problem skating.

Danger Level

Describes overall danger of skating in this location. Everyplace is dangerous to street skate. Street skating means crumbling roads, bad drivers (or worse), air pollution and even nature. But some places are more dangerous than others

Roads could be tough here. Most of the main roads are in "OK" condition, but there are still cracks and rough areas around.

Criminal Factor

How serious is crime in this location.


PickPockets abound! I have heard so much about them. I have had my pocket picked once in HCM. I guy on a bicycle bumped me on my left side, as I turned to look at him, a guy ran up and took my wallet out of my left pocket. My friend Ray has been pickpocketed twice in HCM. Now I keep my wallet buried deep and have been ok since then.

Cool Factor

Is this a cool place to skate.

The coolest. Skating through downtown, down tree lined lanes, stopping and chatting with friendly people. Tired? stop and have a coconut to drink at one of the many drink stands.

Fun Factor

Is this a fun place to skate.


Yes, skating in and out of the slow traffic, down the long lanes is fun. Skating in the early evening is really fun.. It was so much fun to pass people and see there surprised expressions. Everyone, even the police were very nice to us.


Are there sidewalks, and if there are what are they like? Often having sidewalks can be worse than not having them. With a bad sidewalk drivers may assume you should be using it - no matter how dangerous it is to use, and react very badly when they see you on the road instead of the sidewalk.


I think there might have been lots of sidewalks, but the roads were so cool, I never thought to try them.


Any other conditions or issues that were found while skating here




A summarization of the skating experience at this location.

This is a great place, fun busy roads, cool places to skate to and through. I love it here. I have skated here several times and I can not wait to go back!!

Desire to Return - Overall Rating

The bottom line. Is the place good enough that we want to return here to skate it more. With all the above taken into consideration how much are we looking forward return and skate this location further.

Return? Love to, looking forward to! The roads were challenging, the people are great, the traffic exciting, friendly and fun. Great places to see and skate.

Country Information

Hanoi Photo Gallery HCM Photo Gallery



 Country Information



Airport Pick Up

Please arrange car pick up to and from airport.

Airport Tax

Airport tax is USD10.

Business Hours

Government offices are open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (with a one-hour lunch break) from Mondays to Fridays; closed on Saturdays and Sundays.Banks are open 7:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 7:30-11:30 a.m. Saturdays. Shops are generally open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Sundays, sometimes with a lunchtime closing


Normal business attire consists of a suit and tie for men and suit or dress for women. During the hotter months, formal dress for men is a shirt and tie or golf shirt and slacks, depending on the situation. The trend in the south is to be more casual, as suit jackets are worn only on very formal occasions and first meetings.


VND (Vietnamese Dong)

Custom Rules and Regulations

Alcoholic Beverages: 3 litres of spirits under 22% alcohol and 2 litres of spirits over 22% alcohol.

Entry Requirements

A visa must be obtained prior to arrival. Check visa validity and conditions carefully.

Please have two passport photos ready.

Getting a single-entry visa for a month's stay in Vietnam is fairly easy. But extensions are generally not given while inside the county. People who want to spend more than four weeks in Vietnam can fly to Bangkok or Vientienne to get an extension. Visa regulations may change, so contact a Vietnamese Embassy near you for details. It is also good to bring extra photos with you.

Health Risks

Drink only bottled water. Bring your own medicine and prescription drugs. Have your immunizations updated, and if you intend to visit remote places, you should also consider having a doctor prescribe pills to prevent malaria.




The official language is Vietnamese (Quoc Ngu) -- a hybrid of Mon-Khmer, Tai and Chinese. English is increasingly favored as a second language. In addition to English, many Vietnamese officials and businessmen speak some French, Russian or Chinese.

Local Climate

Hanoi has a mean temperature of 63 F (17 C), while the annual average temperature is 74 F (23 C). Vietnam has three climate types. In the north, temperatures are sub-tropical. The central and southeastern areas have a tropical monsoon climate, with high temperatures and abundant rainfall. The southwest has distinct wet and dry periods but with higher temperatures than in the north. The typhoon season on the central and northern coasts occurs between July and November.


Drug smuggling carries the death penalty.

Name of Airport

Noi Bai International Airport

Phone adaptors

Power adaptors


VND (Vietnamese Dong)

Useful Links

Government of Free Vietnam
Vietnam General Information
Airport of Vietnam
Vietnamese Law
Vietnamese Business Online

Useful Numbers

Dial 113 (Police); 114 (Fire) or 115 (Ambulance).






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