Questioning what to do in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis? Use this information to seek out transformational actions and excursions in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis to fit your tastes and journey fashion. We additionally embody our ultimate itinerary for two or 3 days.
What’s in our information to Ho Chi Minh Metropolis?
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Throughout the previous a number of years, we’ve visited Ho Chi Minh Metropolis extra instances than we are able to rely. Severely. We don’t know what number of it’s now. Throughout these visits, we’ve had an opportunity to discover totally different neighbourhoods, see probably the most and least touristy sights, take a number of nice excursions, eat at an enormous vary of eating places, and actually get a really feel for the town.
However we additionally bear in mind what it was like the primary time we touched down in Saigon, because it’s nonetheless domestically recognized.
There was an enormous sense of overwhelm and awe. Hundreds of thousands of individuals and scooters all over the place! No sidewalks and no crossing lights! Insufferable warmth and torrential rain, typically on the identical time!
Saigon isn’t like all metropolis we’d seen earlier than and we needed to re-learn loads of what we thought we knew about journey earlier than we may actually begin to take pleasure in it.
This information is your shortcut to skipping among the overwhelm and discovering the Saigon that we all know and love at present.
It’ll provide help to to:
- Plan a transformational itinerary that works together with your pursuits and journey fashion
- Resolve how lengthy you want within the metropolis
- Skip the overwhelm and dive proper into this wonderful metropolis
- Work out the place to go subsequent
So, learn on to your information to…
What to do in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis
The Story of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis
The largest metropolis in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh Metropolis has an official population of around 13 million people and is likely one of the most densely populated cities on this planet.
However, after all, it hasn’t all the time been like that.
There have been settlements within the Saigon space way back to the 4th Century, and till the seventeenth Century, Saigon was initially part of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and was then a small fishing port referred to as Prek Nokor, that means forest metropolis.
Waves of Vietnamese migrants populated the town and ultimately, Vietnamese nobles took the realm from Cambodia, which was too weak on the time to object.
Dwelling with the French
Within the mid-1800s, the French colonized Saigon, bringing some the distinctive structure you may see there at present. Within the mid-Fifties, an influence wrestle among the many French, Ho Chi Minh, and Vietnamese emperor class resulted within the division of Vietnam into the communist north and the capitalist south.
The American Battle
In fact, these factions didn’t play properly collectively and Saigon was embroiled within the Vietnam struggle from the late 60s to the early 70s. Regardless of the south having help from American and different overseas forces, the northern Viet Cong had been victorious in 1975, once they captured Saigon, successfully ending the struggle.
Because the Viet Cong moved in, foreigners and southern Vietnamese scrambled to go away, resulting in a wave of migration that established Vietnamese populations all around the world.
What was then referred to as Saigon was mixed with different neighbouring areas to kind the brand new Ho Chi Minh Metropolis – named for the well-known communist chief Ho Chi Minh.
Nonetheless, the identify Saigon, normally referring to the central areas of the town, continues to be extra generally utilized by locals.
The Period of Tourism
Within the 80s, when the Vietnamese authorities began to open up the nation, Ho Chi Minh Metropolis started rising at a livid tempo and nonetheless continues on that trajectory at present. The inhabitants has far outstretched the town’s infrastructure, resulting in excessive inhabitants density, treacherous site visitors, air pollution, and flooding.
It has additionally accountable for turning Saigon into the colourful, culturally various metropolis that you just’ll discover in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis at present.
The place to Keep in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis
A Fast Information to Saigon Neighbourhoods
Earlier than deciding what to do in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, it pays to have an understanding of how the town is laid out. Saigon is large and site visitors is loopy, so that you’ll have to plan actions by their location to make the perfect use of your time.
Saigon is split into giant areas which are recognized just by their district quantity. From reserving inns, to seeing points of interest, to discovering eating places, the district quantity is used to provide you a basic thought of the situation. So, earlier than planning for you Ho Chi Minh Metropolis itinerary, you’ll want know what every district is like.
District 1 – Vacationer & Industrial Centre
Smack dab within the centre of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, District 1 accommodates virtually the whole lot a first-time vacationer will wish to see or do. It’s also the hub for many inns and vacationer eating places within the metropolis. Nonetheless, District 1 is large – it could take 20 minutes or extra to get from one finish to the opposite on a motorcycle, and far lengthy on foot or in a automobile.
For vacationer functions, District 1 might be divided into two predominant sections.
Town centre space of District 1 is the industrial and monetary hub. It’s the place you’ll discover probably the most upscale inns, high-end buying, fashionable espresso outlets, and fantastic eating. In District 1, you’ll see numerous vacationers however can even rub shoulders with the well-to-do Vietnamese locals.
To see this on a map, seek for The Previous Compass Cafe, which is within the coronary heart of this space of District 1.
For those who keep in District 1, you’ll be inside straightforward strolling distance of most Ho Chi Minh Metropolis points of interest.
We’ve solely stayed in District 1 as soon as, and although it was handy location, we felt it lacked a little bit of the unique appeal of the opposite districts.
Simply southwest of the town centre, there’s a giant space which homes many of the mid-range and finances inns in Saigon. That is the Backpacker District the place most vacationers keep once they come to the town. You’ll discover tons of of choices for lodging right here, plus extra eating places and bars than you might attempt in a yr.
To view this space on a map, seek for Bui Vien and September twenty third Park. A lot of the inns are within the wedge-shaped space between.
At night time, Bui Vien Road is closed off to site visitors and turns into a heaving get together district, with all of the bars blaring music and scantily dressed ladies waving you inside their locations of employment.
Sure, it’s as yucky because it sounds. It’s straightforward to keep away from by selecting a resort on one of many quiet again alleys a brief stroll away from Bui Vien.
We’ve stayed on this space too many instances to rely. It’s nonetheless our favorite as a result of there a lot life, each native and vacationer, to look at and luxuriate in.
District 2 – Expat Dwelling
On this district, particularly across the Thao Dien space, you’ll discover a lot of Saigon’s expats from world wide. For those who’re planning an extended keep in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, an Airbnb in District 2 is perhaps a sensible choice.
The district has loads of Western and Vietnamese eating places, most of them within the mid-range to upscale market. There are additionally numerous low-key bars which are good for a quiet night out. And should you’re within the temper for a film, head to the Vincom Mall the place you may catch a flick in a contemporary cinema for about $4.
We’ve solely stayed in District 2 as soon as, in an Airbnb in a shared residence. It gave us a window into the lifetime of an expat in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, however we’d solely advocate it for longer stays within the metropolis.
Binh Thanh District – Native Tradition
To not be confused with Ben Thanh (which is an space of District 1), Binh Thanh is the place to go should you’ve had it with vacationers and wish to immerse your self within the native tradition of the town.
There aren’t many conventional vacationer points of interest on this district, however you’ll discover loads of hole-in-the-wall eating places, avenue meals, native parks, and markets to entertain and educate you.
Our Lodge Picks for Ho Chi Minh Metropolis
For those who’ve learn the part above about Saigon neighbourhoods, you’ll know that we advocate staying in District 1.
For those who’re on the lookout for finances or mid-range lodging, you’ll discover the largest choice within the “backpacker space” close to Bui Vien Road.
For upscale lodging, the town centre and varied areas alongside the river are your finest wager. For a longer-term Airbnb, you’ll discover the perfect choice in District 2.
Listed below are some fast suggestions for you:
- Hostel: Vy Da Backpackers 2, 8.8, comfortable beds in excellent location with rooftop backyard, from $4
- Finances: Nest Hotel, 8.8, further comfortable beds in clear trendy rooms in ultimate location, from $19
- Finances: The Art – G9 Homestay, 9.4, trendy rooms with kitchenettes in native neighbourhood, from $28
- Boutique: Christina’s Saigon, 9.4, spotless trendy flats & suites in quiet location, from $56
- Luxurious: Fusion Suites Saigon, 9.1, trendy high-end rooms and on-site spa, from $141
Sensible Journey Recommendation for Saigon
The best way to Get Round
As you may see from the map, Saigon is a sprawling metropolis. What you received’t see on the map is the snarl of vehicles and motorbikes on the roads, making driving painfully gradual and strolling throughout the road a life-threatening problem.
When you can stroll between most points of interest in District 1, bear in mind that it takes about twice as lengthy to stroll anyplace as it will in a typical Western Metropolis. Add to that the almost-constant oppressive warmth and humidity of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, and also you’ll wish to have one other type of transport!
Enter Grab. Seize is a ride-hailing app much like Uber however with the bonus of permitting you to hail vehicles or motorbikes to drive you round. Automobiles are extra comfy however can take 10 instances longer to get locations due to the town’s site visitors.
If there are just one or two of you, hail a few Seize bikes as a substitute. Relying in your driver, the journey might be thrilling / scary, so ensure you’re feeling courageous! However, the associated fee for a journey clear throughout District 1 is normally underneath a greenback, so it positive beats strolling.
How Many Days Do You Want in Saigon?
What number of days must you keep in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis? The reply is dependent upon your journey fashion and what you love to do.
For those who thrive on the thrill of a giant, busy metropolis, are on the lookout for nightlife, or wish to discover an limitless array of classy cafes, rooftop bars, and unimaginable eating places, then you definately’ll wish to spend at the very least 3 days in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis.
Alternatively, should you’re on the lookout for fascinating tradition experiences or wish to get out in nature, then you may lower your journey to Ho Chi Minh Metropolis a little bit shorter, to go away extra time for Vietnam’s different points of interest.
For me, Saigon is a little bit an excessive amount of of a giant noisy metropolis and there’s not quite a bit (beside the meals) to carry my consideration right here. I favor to get out and in as rapidly as potential!
When’s the Finest Time to Go to?
We’ve got been to Ho Chi Minh Metropolis always of yr and there actually is not any unhealthy time to go to. Since this isn’t a metropolis you’ll wish to spend an excessive amount of time strolling round, and many of the points of interest are indoors, the climate doesn’t have an effect on your go to as a lot as it’d in a extra outdoor-focussed metropolis.
What’s the climate like?
Saigon has two distinct sorts of climate: scorching and dry or scorching and moist. Once you’re planning your itinerary, it doesn’t matter what time of yr you journey, it’s important that you just make allowances for the energy-sapping qualities of all this scorching climate. Typical vacationers discover that they’ve much less power through the day and have to plan extra time to relaxation and recharge.
The dry season in Saigon runs from November to April, and also you’re virtually assured limitless sunny days. In winter, you may also get some (comparatively) cool climate, with temperatures peaking within the excessive 20s. Spring through the dry season might be painfully scorching.
Wet season, from Could to early November, and brings some reduction from the limitless warmth of spring. Normally, rain is available in violent downpours that final solely an hour or so. Later within the season, the rain might be extra fixed and a few metropolis streets might grow to be flooded and impassible.
Excessive season in Saigon
The most well-liked vacationers season in Saigon is from December to February, through the Christmas, New 12 months’s and Tet seasons. There’s a vibrant, competition ambiance within the metropolis throughout these months, with decorations and celebrations all over the place.
Costs for lodging do rise throughout excessive season and also you’ll should e-book forward to safe the perfect properties.
Your Ho Chi Minh Itinerary
Right here’s our really useful itinerary to your 2 or 3-day keep in Saigon. The sections beneath provides you with particulars on all our steered actions, plus some extra you may slot in when you have time.
2 Days in Saigon
- Morning: Free or Self-Guided Strolling Tour
- Afternoon: Battle Remnants Museum
- Night: Street Food Tour
- Morning: Cafe Residences
- Afternoon: Markets and Procuring
- Night: AO Present & Rooftop Bar
3 Days in Saigon
Our 3 Favorite Issues to do in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis
Delight Your Style Buds on a Meals Tour
3 hours, $35–$45, book ahead
A meals tour is a perfect introduction to Vietnamese tradition and the culinary delights you’ll discover within the nation. Saigon is so large and unfold out that discovering the perfect meals stalls and sampling the native favourites can be virtually unimaginable by yourself.
On a meals tour, native specialists will take you to their favorite foodie spots and train you about how every meals pertains to Vietnamese tradition. Plus, you’ll stuff your face with a lot yum!
Take a Free Strolling Tour
9am or 2pm, 3 hours, by donation
Although Ho Chi Minh Metropolis isn’t very walkable — suppose 7 lanes of site visitors squeezed into roads solely 4 lanes extensive — lots of the predominant sights, just like the Battle Remnants Museum, the Central Publish Workplace, and Ben Thanh market are all shut collectively.
So whilst you may discover strolling round by yourself extra of an journey than you bargained for, a strolling tour makes excellent sense.
Not solely will your information provide help to cross the road with out being run down by a scooter, they are going to present you probably the most fascinating spots within the metropolis, provide help to perceive the historical past and cultural context of what you’re seeing, and be capable to offer you suggestions for what else to see, do, and eat throughout the remainder of your time in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis.
You’ll get greater than your cash’s price, particularly should you go for a free strolling tour!
Strive Saigon Free Day Tours, who will present your round the primary sights, or tailor a tour only for you. Whereas the excursions are free, be ready to provide your information a beneficiant tip on the finish to thank them for his or her time and information.
Have Your Coronary heart Damaged on the Battle Remnants Museum
Open 7:30am–6pm every day, 1–2 hours, 40K VND ($2)
There are specific locations world wide (suppose Auschwitz or Cambodia’s Killing Fields) which are must-see locations, regardless of being very troublesome to deal with. The Battle Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is one among these.
It tells the story of the Vietnam Battle from a far totally different perspective than the American struggle films takes. As an alternative of tales of heroic troopers, the museum exhibits the influence of the struggle on the traditional individuals who lived by it. For sure, it’s a gut-wrenching journey into the devastation struggle may cause.
Don’t miss it.
Finest Actions & Excursions
If you wish to see Saigon from an area’s perspective, one of the best ways to try this is on a tour. Excursions are very cheap in Vietnam, so even should you’re on a finances, it’s properly well worth the cash for the depth of experiences you’ll get.
Get Your Motor Operating on a Saigon Metropolis Motorcycle Tour
8am or 2:30pm, 3.5 hours, $27, book ahead
You will have heard that the site visitors in Saigon is insane – and that’s completely true. Don’t fear although, on this tour you received’t be driving your personal motorcycle, however you’ll get to journey on the again of a motorbike pushed by an area pupil and information.
On this tour, you’ll get away from the standard vacationer haunts within the metropolis centre and go to a Saigon moist market, see among the most lovely structure within the metropolis, and go to necessary cultural and historic sights.
Take it Sluggish on a Cyclos and Markets Tour
8am, 3 hours, $36, book now
For an eco-friendly tour of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis’s predominant points of interest, attempt an old style cyclo journey. In case you don’t know, a cyclo is a standard 3-wheeled cycle with a carriage on the entrance for a passenger.
This tour will take you round to the town’s largest sights plus a number of off-the-beaten-track spots, just like the chook park, pet avenue, and artwork avenue – all within the consolation of your personal cyclo!
Ignite Your Urge for food at a Cooking Class
9:30am, 2pm, 6:30pm, 3 hours, $33, book now
Whereas we love meals excursions, studying to prepare dinner the native specialities your self is even higher. A cooking class in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis will introduce you to probably the most beloved native meals, provide help to perceive the tradition higher by it’s meal-time traditions, and offer you a a brand new ability to take dwelling with you.
We love the sound of Lua Le’s cooking college, the place the emphasis is on home-style dishes and the social elements of cooking and consuming collectively. Contact the college for a vegan / vegetarian possibility.
Finest Markets in Saigon
Ben Thanh Market
One of many largest vacationers points of interest in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Ben Thanh Market is healthier as a touristy expertise than it’s for getting your buying accomplished. There are such a lot of stalls promoting such a spread of clothes, dwelling items, souvenirs, meals, and different objects, it’s a little bit overwhelming.
As you cross by the slender aisles, stall-holders name out “good day miss”, “wish to purchase one thing?”, and “what are you on the lookout for?”. To really benefit from the expertise, keep in mind that each one that calls out to you is a human being, with their very own private story.
On the very least, smile and reply “no thanks” as you cross by. For a deeper expertise, cease and chat to a couple sellers and see what you may study life as a marketeer in Saigon.
When shopping for, bear in mind to discount – costs are inflated for vacationers, so you must be capable to get 30–50% off the unique worth.
Binh Tay Market
The cultural coronary heart of Chinatown, Binh Tay Market (also referred to as Cholon Chinatown Market), is the place the locals go to buy. A lot of the market is devoted to wholesale, so don’t be shocked in case you are not in a position to purchase among the stuff you see. You’ll nonetheless expertise strain to purchase from the stall holders although, so don’t count on a quiet wander across the market.
For avenue meals lovers, the meals courtroom at Binh Tay Market is perhaps extra engaging than the products inside. There’s a wide selection for Vietnamese and Chinese language-influenced meals on provide, all ready for locals and at native costs. There will probably be loads of issues to eat that you just don’t acknowledge, so be courageous and dive in!
Dan Sinh Market (Battle Surplus Market)
For one thing a little bit totally different in your market buying journey, go to Dan Sinh, the Battle Surplus Market. Right here, alongside industrial provides bought by native enterprise homeowners, you’ll discover each conceivable knick-knack associated to the American Battle. Rusty canine tags, clunky navy boots, military inexperienced jackets, lighters, canteens, hammocks and oh a lot extra.
Virtually none of it’s authentic, and the whole lot comes at an inflated worth, so ensure you recognize what you’re getting and what you’re keen to pay earlier than you begin to discount!
Museums & Points of interest
The Reunification Palace / Independence Palace
7:30am–11:30am & 1pm–5pm every day, 1–2 hours, 40K VND ($2 USD)
An impressive Sixties modernist constructing, The Reunification Palace is the place the place the Vietnam Battle ended, with a tank smashing by the entrance gate and a soldier unfurling a Viet Cong flag on the balcony. Earlier than that fateful day, it had been used because the presidential residence, and was decked out within the newest 60s finery. Going inside is like stepping right into a Bond movie, one the place the baddie and his henchmen have very costly style. This can be a Ho Chi Minh Metropolis landmark to not be missed by structure buffs!
Central Publish Workplace
Open 7am–7pm weekdays, 7am–6pm Saturday, 8am–6pm Sunday, half-hour, free
Although it’s one of many predominant stops on any tour of Saigon, the Central Publish Workplace isn’t tremendously thrilling. Certain, the 1800s colonial structure is spectacular and the portrait of Ho Chi Minh framed by a number one line of archways is hanging.
However after a couple of minutes inside, you may discover probably the most diverting a part of your go to is to face again and watch as vacationer after vacationer tries to take simply the fitting selfie for Instagram.
There’s a small market inside as properly however should you’re on the lookout for bargains, you received’t discover them right here.
By the best way, it’s nonetheless a working publish workplace, so at the very least you may mail a number of postcards dwelling throughout your go to.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Closed for renovation, 10 minutes, free
Proper subsequent to the Central Publish Workplace, the Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica was in-built the identical interval by French colonists. Regardless of the French having way back been run out of city, the Cathedral nonetheless operates and lots of Catholic Vietnamese attend mass every Sunday.
The pink brick landmark appears to be perpetually underneath building and is closed to guests whereas the work continues. The surface, although picturesque, received’t take quite a lot of minutes to go searching.
Jade Emperor Pagoda
Open 5am–6pm every day, half-hour, free
Not like the publish workplace and cathedral, the Jade Emperor Pagoda is a little bit trek out of the centre of city and we solely advocate visiting should you’re a die-hard Buddhism or pagoda nut.
Whereas the inside is fascinating, it’s moderately small and cluttered. The pond exterior is overflowing with turtles, most in a tragic state, which doesn’t appear very form contemplating the Buddhist custom to us – however no matter.
Loads of locals go to wish to the Jade Emperor for fertility or assist with their love lives. In the meantime, vacationers snap images and speak too loudly.
Museum of Vietnamese Historical past
For many of us, our information of Vietnamese historical past begins and ends with the Vietnam struggle. A wet afternoon within the Museum of Vietnamese Historical past will deal with that!
It covers hundreds of years of historical past, and generally is a bit complicated and overwhelming for the Vietnam historical past novice – rent a information to point out you round to get a greater sense of an important milestones within the historical past of this nation.
Uncommon Issues to do in Saigon
Condominium Cafes & Boutiques
Hours range, 1–3 hours, free to browse
In Saigon, you’ll not discover the trendiest cafes and boutiques at avenue stage. Lots of the finest are hidden away inside Saigon’s previous, run-down residence buildings, that are perpetually underneath menace of being torn down and redeveloped.
For the cutest cafes you’ve ever seen, head to the now-famous Cafe Residences at No. 42 on Nguyen Hue Strolling Road. To enter, stroll down an unlikely wanting alley and both mount the dingy staircase or pay for a journey up in an untrustworthy-looking elevator.
Then wander from flooring to flooring, popping your head inside anyplace you see an indication for a restaurant or boutique. We advocate the third-floor donut store Dosh, for wonderful views, wonderful drinks, and probably the most Instagrammable donuts you’ve ever seen.
For those who’re into trend, don’t miss the boutique buying at two of Saigon’s hottest trend flats. There you’ll discover clothes created by unbiased designers who’re on the chopping fringe of Saigon’s trend scene.
- Ton That Thiep residence is at 42 Ton That Thiep, Ben Nghe Ward
- Ly Tu Trong residence is at 26 Ly Tu Trong, Ben Nghe Ward.
Museum of Conventional Drugs
Each day 8:30am–5pm, 1 hour, 120K VNK (6 USD)
Need to discover hundreds of years of medical historical past? The three,000+ artifacts at Saigon’s Museum of Conventional Drugs date all the best way again to the stone age. You’ll discover organized explanations in English and the entire thing is housed in a beautiful conventional wood home. To high all of it off, there’s a Cham tower the place you may view a number of Cham linga.
Craft Beer Crawl
Hours range, 3 hours, costs range
Do you know that Ho Chi Minh Metropolis has Asia’s finest craft beer scene? The growth started a number of years in the past, when some enterprising expats determined they had been sick of consuming Bia Saigon and 333. It didn’t take lengthy till new breweries had been popping up all over the place, and now, you may simply spend an entire night going from brewery to brew pubs across the metropolis.
Don’t miss Pasteur Road Brewing, which began all of it, Winking Seal, which is perhaps the friendliest of the lot, and Coronary heart of Darkness, which has probably the most wonderful bottle labels. In fact, all of them present top-notch beers for each palette!
Issues to do in Ho Chi Minh at Night time
Get Excessive because the Clouds
Open 9:30am–8:45pm every day, 1 hour, $10, book ahead
It’s exhausting to get a way of the expanse of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis from the bottom. Buildings rise excessive out of slender streets and the noise and chaos pulls your consideration to the trivialities of day-after-day life. See the town from above provides you a giant image view and also you get a way of the hundreds of thousands of lives enjoying out beneath you, one story at a time.
One of the standard spots to encourage rooftop awe is the Saigon Skydeck at the Bitexco Tower, which was, till just lately, Saigon’s tallest constructing. The Skydeck provides you a 360 diploma view of Saigon, for a 200,000 VND ($10) entrance charge. It’s also possible to skip the Skydeck and go to the fiftieth flooring restaurant and bar. There’s no charge for entry however you’ll should order some drinks after all.
It’s also possible to get excessive on the latest tallest constructing, the Landmark 81, which is even taller than the well-known Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. This constructing accommodates a high-end shopping center, state-of-the-art cinemas, Vietnam’s most luxurious resort, plus an eightieth flooring deck for viewing, outfitted with telescopes and touchscreen info.
Shout from the Rooftops
1–2 hours, costs range $10–$50
For those who favor a extra alcoholic rooftop expertise, go for cocktails at one among Saigon’s many rooftop bars. The Lodge Des Artwork Social Membership is an oasis within the sky, full with breathtaking infinity pool.
Watch the sundown with a signature cocktail at Skyloft by Glow, the place the coolness vibes flip clubby because the night attracts in. For a extra elegant expertise, attempt the Rooftop Backyard on the Rex Lodge, which is open all day and is the right place to connect with your internal Sixties movie star.
AO Present on the Saigon Opera Home
6pm most days, 1.5 hours, from $30, book ahead
For a touristy however enjoyable expertise that’s family-friendly, take a look at the AO Show on the Saigon Opera Home. That is two occasions in a single. First, you’ll get to see the design and structure of one among Ho Chi Minh Metropolis’s most recognizable landmarks, the French Gothic opera home.
Second, you’ll expertise the delights of the AO Present, the place proficient younger Vietnamese folks inform the numerous tales of life in Vietnam by track, dance, and acrobatics.
We noticed the AO present in Hoi An and had been pleasantly shocked by how pleasing it was!
Tickets can promote out rapidly at busy instances of yr so book ahead if it is a must-see attraction for you.
Bui Vien Road
8pm til late, 1 hours, free to wander
To expertise the tackier aspect of Ho Chi Minh nightlife, head all the way down to Bui Vien avenue (aka Backpacker Road, aka ) after darkish. Within the night, the busy thoroughfare is closed off to most site visitors, and the bars that line the road compete to see who can play louder membership music and who has extra scantily clad waitresses.
It’s each bit as unhealthy because it sounds, however makes for an fascinating spectacle nonetheless.
Aware & Wellness Actions
Deal with Your self to a Therapy
All day, 1–2 hours, costs range
There appear to be virtually as many spas in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis as there are motorbikes, however it may be very exhausting to discover a good one. A budget locations are typically staffed by ladies who’ve little or no coaching and your therapeutic massage will probably be disappointing at finest. Some even nonetheless provide “extras” that must be averted in any respect prices.
There are many wonderful spas within the metropolis too. However it may be powerful to seek out them! Strive the standard Vietnamese providers at My Spa, the place the masseuse are expert practitioners and the merchandise are all natural. Head to Cat Moc Spa for a full vary of magnificence and aesthetic therapies, or the extremely rated Saigon Heritage Spa for among the finest massages within the metropolis.
For those who’re on the lookout for one thing within the various drugs realm, like reflexology, acupuncture, or reiki, take a look at the vary of therapies at Mandala Wellness. We all know the homeowners properly and might attest to their integrity and caring natures.
Unwind at a Yoga Class
All day, 1–2 hours, costs range
Previously few years, the yoga scene has exploded in Vietnam. Whereas a number of years in the past, there have been solely a handful of yoga studios across the nation and locals didn’t actually know a lot in regards to the observe, now, virtually each Vietnamese lady we speak to says she practices yoga. This speedy growth has led to numerous choices, each good and unhealthy, for doing yoga in Saigon.
For a properly rounded choice of lessons, in lots of types and for all ranges, head out to the Yoga Pod in District 2. They’ve properly educated lecturers and also you’ll get a top quality yoga class there. In District 1, there’s Yoga Living, which is an efficient place to sweat out your stresses, although the standard of the instructing workers ranges fairly a bit and lessons maintain as much as 50 folks.
A Remaining Be aware About Your Saigon Itinerary
We all the time have a good time after we go to Ho Chi Minh Metropolis however, particularly in your first go to, it may be loopy overwhelming! There may be a lot of the whole lot: noise, site visitors, music, folks, smog…
Due to that, spending time right here might be extra exhausting than journey in a extra laid-back area. Ensure that, if you’re planning your Ho Chi Minh itinerary, you bear in mind to go away further time for stress-free and recharging – you’ll want it! You might miss out on a number of further experiences however we assure you’ll benefit from the ones you do get to an entire lot extra!
Extra Saigon Journey Ideas
Books to Learn in Saigon
There’s nothing fairly like a superb novel or non-fiction e-book that can assist you perceive the guts and soul of a metropolis like Ho Chi Minh. Listed below are a number of nice books we propose you learn earlier than or whilst you’re in Vietnam.
The Quiet American
by Graham Greene
One of the well-known books set in Vietnam, The Quiet American takes place in Fifties Saigon and tells the story of a younger man who needs to assist finish the battle in Vietnam between French colonists and the Viet Minh.
It’s an atmospheric story that provides you with extra perception into the historical past of the town and Vietnam as an entire.
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, this thriller truly takes place in Los Angeles simply after the Vietnam Battle.
It’s an examination of the influence the struggle had on numerous Vietnamese immigrants and exhibits how each struggle has two distinct aspect, every believing they’re in the fitting.
Studying The Sympathizer provides you with an important understanding of what Saigonese households suffered within the aftermath of struggle.
Saigon: An Epic Novel of Vietnam
by Anthony Gray
Going down over 5 many years, this novel begins in Saigon in 1925 and follows Joseph Sherman as he returns to the nation, first as a vacationer, then as a soldier, and eventually as a reporter.
He turns into embroiled within the turbulent world of Saigon’s most influential households and witnesses the largest turning factors in Vietnam’s twentieth Century historical past. This one provides you with a deeper perceive of what led to the Vietnam Battle and the way politics turned the world the other way up for hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese folks.
(Associated: In case you are a reader, take a look at this book-lovers guide to Ho Chi Minh Metropolis.)
Day Journeys from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis
Mekong Delta Velocity Boat Tour
8 hours, 4.7/5 stars, $109, book ahead
Just a few days within the chaos of Ho Chi Minh Metropolis might be fully overwhelming – a speedboat journey on the Mekong would be the excellent antidote.
Alongside the river, the one sound you’ll hear is the motor out of your boat and on the oohs and aah of fellow passengers as you cross impossibly thick tangles of rainforest alongside the shoreline. Conventional stilt huts alongside the riverside are an eye-opening reminder that Saigon is dwelling to the very poor in addition to the very wealthy.
Once you disembark, you’ll get to satisfy native villagers who earn their dwelling off the land.
Mekong Delta Non-Touristy Bike & Boat Trip
9 hours, 4.3/5 stars, $40, book ahead
For a barely extra lively Mekong Delta journey, get out on this bike and boat journey from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis. You’ll row by slender jungle-lined canals after which cycle nation lanes, with solely native farmers and children biking to highschool for firm.
Bike to an area market, go to the well-known Cao Dai Temple and have lunch at an area restaurant earlier than motoring alongside the extensive Mekong River to get a glance an area life.
Cu Chi Tunnels 1/2 Day Guided Tour
6 hours, 8am every day, from $15, book ahead
You’ve in all probability heard of the Cu Chi Tunnels — however do you actually know what they’re? On this half-day tour, you’ll discover the tunnels and study in regards to the individuals who survived by going underground through the struggle. You’ll additionally get to benefit from the peaceable environment of rural Vietnam!
The place to go After Saigon
Although you may simply take a day tour of the Mekong Delta from Saigon, there may be a lot to see right here, and a lot sheer magnificence within the limitless canals and rice fields, that it makes a wonderful vacation spot for a number of days.
Can Tho makes a picturesque in a single day cease, whereas Ben Tre and My Tho provides you with an opportunity to boat by the wilds of the delta. Tan Lap Floating Village is an eco-tourism vacation spot that can present you the symbiotic relationship between folks and the water on this area.
For an area perspective (and to make planning super-easy), take a look at this immersive 2-day tour from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis.
For those who’re on the lookout for a superb place to interrupt up the journey in direction of central and northern Vietnam, take into account Mui Ne, a stretch of seashore resort only a half-day from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis. Low– and excessive–finish lodging line the seashore and there are different points of interest, just like the Mui Ne Sand Dunes, that you just received’t wish to miss.
For a full-on seashore resort vacation, go to Phu Quoc, a sun-drenched island on Vietnam’s southwest coast. That is the place rich folks from throughout Asia come to play and it’s a scorching vacation spot for Western vacationers too.
Simply don’t count on a abandoned island expertise. Phu Quoc is constructed up with resorts, casinos, and different cheesy vacationer points of interest. Nonetheless, it nonetheless has among the finest seashores in Vietnam.
As a lot as we love Vietnam, we might love Cambodia only a tiny bit extra. Shhh, don’t inform our Vietnamese buddies!
For those who’re doing a full Southeast Asia journey, then plan to move to Cambodia from Ho Chi Minh Metropolis. There are a number of methods to get to go. Taking the bus to Cambodia is the most affordable, if not the simplest. Or, you may e-book an affordable tour of the Mekong Delta which is able to drop you off in Phnom Penh on the finish. Now that’s an environment friendly use of time and money!
Extra Transformational Journey Ideas
We’ve got spent a lot time in Vietnam that we’ve written sufficient about it to publish a e-book. As an alternative, it’s all on this website without cost. You’re welcome!
Strive these posts to maintain planning your journey.
We hope this information to what to do in Saigon is a helpful beginning place when planning your journey to the town. Our objective is to assist each reader discover the perfect, most transformational actions at their vacation spot. Tell us by e mail or Instagram when you have any questions.
♥ Glad transformational travels, Jane & Stephen
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