VIETNAM

HO CHI MINH CITY

Tradition-meets-modernization in Saigon; A city bustling with an thriving culinary scene, energetic culture and rich history

 

With a population of nearly 8 million inhabitants and an almost equal number ofscooters, mopeds and motorcycles all competing for space on the ultra-busy streets,bustling Ho Chi Minh City is quite literally a metropolis on the move.The most westernized of Vietnamese cities, Saigon, as it is still commonly known, is acity of contrasts; a place where ultra-modern shopping malls, skyscrapers and fashionablerestaurants vie for space with local street vendors and retailers selling all manner of wares and old-school roadside cafes making delicious Vietnamese iced coffee (cafe sua da) and otherliquid refreshments. Packed with first-rate museums and elegant French-era colonial architecture, HCMC is dubbed Vietnam’s, “culinary capital”, so make sure you immerse yourself in a selection of authentic South Vietnamese dishes like Pho, Banh Xeo, Com Tam and Banh Mi. Away from the city centre, Cholon, where the treasure trove of temples are best explored on foot, is one of the most vibrant Chinatowns in South-east-Asia whilst Ben Thanh Market is the perfect place for a spot of retail therapy and souvenir-hunting.

With so much to see and do, here is always something going on in Saigon. 

 

BUCKET LIST

Daily Noodles at The Lunch Lady
Endless Wine & Lunch at Kiki's Taverna
Late Lunch & Beach Party at Nammos
Sunday Sunset Party & Live Music at Scorpios
Beach Day & Lunch at Spilia or Fokos Taverna
Dinner & Dancing at Sea Satin Caprice
Explore Chora & Grab a Bite at Jimmy's Gyros
Visit"Little Venice" & The Kato Mili Windmills
Show More

STAY-SEE-DO

ACTIVITIES

Cu Chi Tunnels

Expansive network of underground tunnels used during the Vietnamese war. Half day and full day group/private tours are available from Ho Chi Minh City. 

Cao dai Temple

Beautiful temple worth the day trip to see.

War Remnants Museum

Eyeopening War museum containing exhibits about the Vietnam war. Popular amongst Western tourists. 

Nguyen Hue Street

Closed off to cars, Nguyen Hue Street is a pedestrian road that is beautiful to walk at night.

Vietnam Vespa Experiences

Luxury vespa scooter tours offering specialized tours for everyone in your group.

SHOP

Ben Thanh Market

Large indoor market selling anything from clothes to food.

Libe Workshop

Minimalistic vietnamese

designer.

 

L'Usine

Kokois

Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street

Shopping street with a variety of options for everyone.

Charles & Keith

HOTELS

Flipside Hostel

Luxury in Platys Gialos

Saigon Backpackers Hostel

New luxury beach hotel in Platys Gialos Beach

Park Hyatt

★★★★★

Posh luxury hotel with upscale dining, spa & infinity pool

Mykonos Blu Grecotel

★★★★★

Romantic, Luxury in Psarou Beach

REX

★★★★★

Ornos Beach, Family-Friendly Resort with a Private Beach

★★★★★

Luxe, romantic private beach retreat with breathtaking sea views, pools & spa in Ornos Bay

BARS RESTAURANTS

TOP SPOTS

AUTHENTIC EATS

The Lunch Lady

A legendary street food stand serving only one dish per day. The lunch lady herself changes the menu each day and picks a new dish to make. 

Cuc Gach Quan 

Famous restaurant hidden inside a countryside style home in the middle of the city. Beautiful architecture and homemade meals.

Propaganda Cafe 

A trendy bright colorful cafe located in district one.

Banh Xeo 46 Dinh Cong Trang 

Delicious Banh Xeo (vietnamese fried dough) spot.

Qua Hoa Dong 

Thanh Binh 

Ngoc Chau Garden 

Traditional vietnamese food off of the famous walking street Nguyen Hue.

 

Banh Mi Hoa Ma 

A go to breakfast spot

Banh Mi Huynh Hoa

This holy in the wall (literally) always has a long line of locals waiting for their delicoius Banh Mi. 

Bun Thit Nuong Chi Tuyen

A cheap lunch spot where locals go to eat.

Pho Le 

A traditional Pho spot popular amongst locals and travelers. Open late!

COFFEE SHOPS & CAFES

Cong Ca Phe

Cozy cafe overlooking central Saigon. Must try the coconut coffee. 

The Workshop Cafe 

Industrial style cafe where you can get a perfect cup of coffee.

Che My 2 

Dessert cafe close walk to Ben Thanh Market and backpackers district.

Che Hien Khanh 

Milkbar 

Healthy international open air cafe.

INTERNATIONAL CUISINE

Pizza 4P's 

Causal and rustic restaurant serving Pizza as well as other well executed dishes.

Sushi Hokkaido Sachi

Japanese restaurant with fresh seafood and sushi. 

The Deck Saigon 

Romantic riverside restaurant, perfect for a quiet evening away from the center of the city.

Baba's Kitchen 

Indian restaurant with an inviting atmosphere, delicious food and vegetarian options.

NIGHTLIFE

The View

Rooftop bar.

La Fenetre Soleil

Jazz bar/club.

Lam Son Bar (in Park Hyatt) 

Club with live DJ's.

Sheraton Hotel

Rooftop bar.

The Social Club

Wine bar and lounge.

 
 
 

Glow Skybar

Rooftop bar

 

Pham Ngu Lao Street 

Backpacker street with numerous outdoor bars and hookah spots.

Prudential Tower 

Rooftop bar.

SURVIVAL GUIDE

What to Pack

Shorts and tee shirt. Something to cover your shoulders and knees when visiting temples.

Transportation

Hire a Private Driver
Motorbike Taxi
Walking

Taxi

Etiquette

Currency: Dong
Language: Vietnamese

 

Weather

Ho Chi Minh sees its hottest temperatures during the months of May-October. This conicides with its rainy season as well. Apart from that temperatures remain in the 70s year round and it is relatively dry.

When to Go

There is always something to do in Ho Chi Minh city year round. However, avoid the rainy season it is best to go from November- May. 

Getting There

Arriving by Air: SGN, located about 45 minutes outside of the city, is a domestic and international airport. For example, flight time from Hanoi is about 2 hours.  If you choose to take a taxi into the city centre it should cost around 150,000-170,000 VND (6-8 USD). There is a bus (N0.109) that will take you into the city centre every 15-20 minutes. 

Arriving by Train: The Saigon Railway Station is located in District 3. Trains are much slower than flights but are a interesting way to see the countryside of Vietnam. The journey from Hanoi will take you about 34 hours if you choose to go by train. Flights often times end up being less expensive than the trains so make sure to keep that in mind when booking!

 
 
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