Sign In | Join now! It's free!Help |

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Ho Chi Minh City vacation


lanvht
Hochiminh City, A useful guidance for independent travelers 5 stars
Also known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is changing at a pace that would shame the most reckless of motorcycle taxi drivers. Business towers, office blocks, glitzy shopping malls, high-end real estate developments, urban regeneration projects, visually stunning new bridges -- you name it, this city has got it and is about to get much more of it. While all the progress is sometimes mourned by old timers, life is never dull when you're in the thick of it. In fact, it's the city's limitless vitality that furnishes much of its allure.

1. Hotels
Luxury
Park Hyatt Saigon
Probably the most prestigious address in Saigon, the city’s Hyatt is a five-star hotel among the cluster of properties flanking the Opera House and Lam Son Square, ideal for business travelers and tourists who like to vacation in splendor. Rooms run from functional luxury to unforgettable opulence. There’s a giant pool to lounge by and a high quality spa for pampering. The hotel’s 2 Lam Son Bar could well be one of the most stylish lobby bars in the world, while its restaurants are among the best high-end options in the city.

Deluxe
Hotel Nikko Saigon
This recent addition to the business hotel scene offers spanking new rooms with a contemporary trim and an average room size of 40 square meters. They're among the most spacious in their class in the city. The hotel is located near the Saigon River and close to all the action downtown. Restaurant options include Ming Court (Chinese) and Fuji (Japanese).

2. Dining
Cuc Gach Quan
Despite serving some of the best Vietnamese food in the city in a serene converted house, Cuc Gach Quan’s location on the outer limits of District 1 is often a deterrent to short-term visitors. It shouldn't be. As it is at many Vietnamese restaurants, the menu is tome-like. Homemade tofu is creamy and pliant and sure to convince the doubters. Other highlights include soft shell crab and beautifully textured red rice. An extensive wine list and reasonable prices make it even more imperative to steer a course here.

Monsoon
With its airy setting and immaculate interior design, Monsoon feels like a top-end venue, but stays true to the Asian street dining idea of great food at low prices. With Cambodian, Vietnamese, Burmese, Thai and Laotian offerings, it’s the only place in town where diners can mix and match a banquet from across mainland Southeast Asia.Top picks include a sweet pork curry from Myanmar and a flawless take on Khmer fish Amok.

Banh Xeo 46A
It’s not hard to see why the banh xeo ("sizzling pancake") has become such a hit with foreigners. Unlike some Vietnamese creations, there are no challenges or nasty surprises. Rice flour, water, turmeric powder (the source of the pancakes' vibrant yellow coloring) and coconut milk are combined to make the batter, which is stuffed with fatty pork, shrimp and bean sprouts, then pan-fried. The crisp result is served alongside a veritable hedgerow of aromatic herbs and dipped in nuoc cham (fish sauce thinned with water and lemon). The result is one of the most addictive treats in the Vietnamese culinary armory -- this is one of the best venues at which to get hooked.

3. Nightlife
Chill Bar
This is Saigon’s most opulent sky bar. Since opening in October 2011 it has earned a lofty reputation with great cocktails and good food. The A-list Vietnamese celebs and models who have made this their watering hole of choice may beg to differ, but the real star of the show is the stunning view over Saigon.

Yoko
Saigon may be a party city, but cerebral types can have a tough task tracking down bohemia. Hipster hangout Yoko, however, offers respite from all the dumb fun.

While some of the cover bands are merely so-so, this is the place where Saigon musicians convene for some decent sets and jam sessions.

Throw reasonably priced drinks and comfortable sofas into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for a cool, unpretentious, bar -- a simple, but rare concept in HCMC.

Lush
Every upwardly mobile metropolis needs a place for its beautiful people to preen and this is Saigon’s. Most nights of the week the city’s stylish set check each other out over expensive cocktails on the crowded terrace, one of the classiest pick-up spots in town. Top international DJs don’t tend to make the detour from Bangkok, KL and Singapore, but when they do they usually end up here, meaning there’s a better than average hits-to-misses ratio with the music. Tuesday’s Ladies Night is a particularly popular weekly event.

4. Shopping/Attractions
Ben Thanh Market
The daddy of Saigon’s many markets, Ben Thanh is by far the most popular tourist shopping spot in the city. From buckets of jumping frogs in the wet market to clothes, fabrics and souvenirs in the teeming narrow alleys, this place puts the "Ay!" into buying. Prices are somewhat higher than at markets elsewhere and only the hardest of bargainers are rewarded with anything approaching a good deal. Nevertheless, it’s a lively experience and several great food stalls at the back of the market make it a fine place to take a crash course in Vietnamese street cuisine.

Reunification Palace
The striking modern building was built on the site of the palace of the French governor-general of Cochin China in the early 1960s and its design (by Paris-trained Vietnamese architect Ngo Viet Thu) remains one of the finest examples of modern architecture in the city. When a North Vietnamese tank crashed through the wrought iron gates on April 30, 1975, it sounded the death knell for the South Vietnamese government. A sample of the tank still sits on the lawn while attractions inside include the grand Presidential Receiving Room and an eerie basement with telecommunications center, war room and network of tunnels.

This article is written by Ha Nguyen from Vietnam Heritage Travel Company for full story and more pictures please visit

http://touroperatorvietnam.com/vietnam-news/travel-news/what-to-do-in-hochiminh-city-a-useful-guidance-for-independent-travelers.html


More

lanvht
Hochiminh City named as the top food street destination. 5 stars
Virtual Tourist, the leading free, travel-oriented community has recently named Ho Chi Minh City among the world’s top ten cities for street foods. It was also recommended on Reuters’ Travel Picks column.

“Vietnamese cuisine has received some major street cred in recent memory (Anthony Bourdain's praise comes to mind), and a quick visit to HCM City's Ben Thanh or Binh Tay Markets explains why,” the travel site introduced about Vietnamese foods.

The Virtual Tourist team praises the street food heritage in Ho Chi Minh City for embracing a mix of cultures, primarily the city’s French colonial background with Vietnamese spices and ingredients. Dishes that get special mention from the team are Pho, Banh Mi(Vietnamese-style baguette), Bo la lot(seasoned beef wrapped in betelleaf), Spring rolls and Com tam (steamedbroken rice with a fried egg on the top).

Virtual Tourist also gives advice to tourists coming to the country for the first time.If hygiene is a concern, travelers are advised to always choose popular, crowded stalls with high turnover.

Other cities in the list are Bangkok, Singapore, Penang, Marrakech, Palermo, Istanbul, Mexico City, Brussels and Beachside Ceviche in Ambergris Caye. This is not the first time HCM City is votedas the top haven for street food. Earlier this year, the city was ranked among the world's top ten cities for street foods by the US’s monthly culinary magazine Food & Wine. The popular travel guide book Lonely Planet also listed Banh mi as one of the most scrumptious street foods around the world.

Vietnamese Spring Roll
The fried version with minced pork is called chả giò (southern Vietnam), nem, or Nem rán (northern Vietnam); it has been mistakenly referred to as an egg roll or spring roll on some restaurant menus. Central Vietnam has its own version of a "fried roll" called "Ram." "Ram" is always made from whole shell-on shrimp or chopped deshelved shrimps and some green onion, wrapped in rice paper and deep fried. "Ram", like most food items from central Vietnam, are not widely available in Vietnamese restaurant overseas. The collective Vietnamese "egg rolls" are different from the Chinese egg roll in that it is typically smaller and contains ground or chopped protein such as pork, crab, shrimp (but rarely) chicken, taro, glass noodle, wood-ear mushrooms and shredded carrots. It would be more correctly referred to as a "Vietnamese fried Roll". It is sometimes called eggrolls even though no eggs are used in the making. Rice papers are always used as the wrappers in Vietnam. Vietnamese restaurants in western countries tend to use the Chinese eggroll wrappers due to the inavailability of rice papers initially. However, some restaurants have slowly reverted back to using rice papers now that they are widely available.
For full story and more pictures please visit
http://vietnamheritagetravel.com/news/1489-hochiminh-city-named-as-the-top-food-street-destination.html


More

nad_0202
Backpacker
Dear All,
I have plan to visit Vietnam on Oct for 4 days.
My flight will arrive at Ho Chi Minh. I need information about wether, hostel and place with nature culture. If I want to go to Hanoi.. which transportation is better and cheaper?

Thanks n Rgds,
nad


More

lvminh
Hue Cuisin 4 stars
There's nothing much to say but the delicious and versatile dishes. Located in Saigon, the center of Ho Chi Minh city.

Details address will be updated


More

lvminh
Nguyen Hue, Le Loi Street, Sai Gon, District 1 4 stars
It was night 27th of December but the city was still crowded. Atmosphere here is wonderful but I'm a bit worried how could people transport in 3 more years while the government seems not be going to increase the amount of roads or expand existing roads.


More

lvminh
HUE Cuisin 4 stars
There's nothing much to say but the delicious and versatile dishes. Located in Saigon, the center of Ho Chi Minh city.

Details address will be updated


More

Alucard
Nguyen Hue Flower Street 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Alright I know that I already wrote about the super high prices in Vietnam during Tet holidays and all that, but there are still so many good and of course positive things about this festival in Vietnam, which deserve a visit. One of them is Nguyen Hue Street in the centre of Saigon, which is turned to be a Flower Street every Tet Festival. About a week or so before the Lunar New Year, Vietnamese people set up the whole Nguyen Hue street with flowers, plants, other traditional and cultural stuff like bamboo bridge, water jar with coconut ladle according to a drawn plan, which won in a yearly competition before the Tet holidays. The whole street turns in to be really colorful and is the place for displaying every great-shapped plant and hand-made pottery and all that. If you want to have great photo shoots from this street, you better visit it in the morning or early afternoon than in the evening and make sure you will not visit it during the weekend, as it will be flooded with people.

More

Alucard
SaiGon 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I have wrote a lot about other cities but totally forgot about this beautiful city, where I was born. While Hanoi is a smaller city where you can savor more traditions and the obvious traces of the red-tape which can be found in any capital city, Saigon is in continuous transition as it takes in the best and worst sides of “doi moi” movements (renovation of the country) based on the market economy rules. Saigon has seen itself grow at a rapid pace and its skyline is constantly changing as multinational interests seem to be “fighting for a seat on a plane into the country”. For us, nothing has changed much. The streets still swarm with life. There are still those, who buy and sell and bargain, cook and wash, eat and drink, sleep and live on the streets. Despite the large amount of money being thrown around, the filter effect is yet to manifest itself and thousands of people have to survive on virtually nothing while the peple at the top of it enjoy enormous profits. I guess this is just the same everywhere in the world, then at the end, the poor just gets poorer an the rich just gains their earnings. I still love this city a lot, but it is kind of sad to look at poor people trying to earn a living in this growing metropolis. You may want to come to Saigon and discover both sides of the society there. I mean, just don’t simply go to big restaurants and hotels and parks and all that, you might want to pay a visit to the other side of town, where you have the chance to see how a lot of people are really trying to survive.

More

Alucard
Sinh Café 4 stars
This is originally just a normal coffee shop, located in this back-packers’ district. They then came up with this idea about organising coaches for very cheap price for back-packers or tourists to travel to other cities and regions all around the country. These coaches are not anything like some normal cheap public buses (xe dò). They all are air-conditioned and very comfortable for travelers for long trips. You can buy a ticket from Saigon to Mui Ne for 50.000 dVN / person. It is definitely way cheaper than hiring a car for yourself or flying. By the way, they also have guides that will give you necessary hints during your trip.

More

JayJay
Getting around in Ho Chi Minh City 4 stars
Ho Chi Minh City (known by its friends as Sai Gon) is a compact metropolis of more than seven million people. Getting around the city can be tricky, especially during times of high traffic (seven to nine A.M. and four to six P.M.). Pushcarts, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, and an ever-increasing number of cars vie for the same pieces of road. The best way to acclimatize yourself is in a taxi. At least, then, there is a barrier between you and traffic. It is much cheaper and faster to hire a xe om (motorbike taxi). However, weaving in and out of traffic on the back of a small motorbike is not for the faint of heart.


More

Alucard
Air pollution in HCMC 2 stars
Unlike many European cities HCMC is a city of houses, sky-scrappers and lots of transportation means. You can of course find some big parks in this city, but there are not enough to get the air back to normal standard. What I mean is that the air in HCMC is pretty much polluted. What you may see very often is that locals especially women are riding their motorcycles and wearing cotton masks around the city. Locals claim about the polluted air in the city pretty much a lot, but they cannot live without these motorcycles. Some cannot afford good and new motorcycles, they use their super old ones and these pollute the air even more. As a result of that, Vietnamese people have a lot of problem with their throat, their nose and have a lot of headache the whole time. It is pretty bad about the polluted air in big cities in Vietnam, but the sights are still good enough in the countryside to attract a lot of tourists and visitors from all around the world.

More

Alucard
Crazy traffic in HCMC 2 stars
There are already more than 4 million registered motorcycles in Hochiminh City and eight motorcycles are getting registered every two minutes in this city. That is also the reason why traffic jam always takes place during the rush hours. If you go out at about 7.00 A.M. or about 6.00 P.M., you can easily get caught in rush hour traffic. Even though the Vietnamese government has already tried too much to overcome this problem, traffic jams are still very bad in big cities especially in HCMC and Hanoi. When you visit HCMC, make sure that you will not go out and happen to be on Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, Truong Chinh Street or Hoang Van Thu Street during the rush hours as the most terrible traffic jams always take place on these three streets. If you get stuck in one of those streets, you can forget about your appointment and know that you will have to stay still for at least one or two hours.

More

Alucard
Banh Xeo - Rice Pancake 5 stars
Banh Xeo originally comes from the South. It is not famous only for its delicious taste, but also for the particular cooking process. At first, the mixture of rice flour, dissolved in water and coconut cream is poured into a hot large pan with a bit of boiling oil. That sudden contact makes the noise which people use the sound “xeo” to name the cake. The mixture will be quickly (to avoid the cake to be overcooked) flattened out. Then the filling will be added like pork meat in thin slices, shrimps, mushrooms, onion and soybean sprouts. Banh Xeo is served with lettuce, basil and different kinds of herbs, accompanied with a bowl of well-prepared fish sauce. There are two famous restaurants for this special pancake in Hochiminh City. One is Banh xeo Dinh Cong Trang at 46 Dinh Cong Trang, Dist. 1; the other one is Banh Xeo A Phu at 29 Nguyen Van Nghi, Dist. Go Vap and 10 street 3/2, Dist. 10. I hope you will enjoy this kind of delicious pancake.

More

Alucard
Au manoir de khai 5 stars
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
This restaurant is very easy to find, located on the corner of Dien Bien Phu and Le Qui Don Str. The building is a French villa, that wonderfully retains its original colonial beauty. At this restaurant you can enjoy the original flavours of authentic French cuisine in the middle of Saigon. The food is great, the ambience is super warm and home-felt and the atmosphere is just as romantic as possible in candle light.

More

Alucard
Nhac Tre No. 1 4 stars
If you are into night life, I suggest this bar, a combination of café bar, karaoke bar, live music, restaurant, video music and discotheque. This is a really modern, unique and imposing bar with hundreds of drinks, cocktails, wine and beer and with a large variety of European, Asian and Chinese food. There are three bars of this kind at three different locations: 01 Le Thanh Ton Str., 261 Nguyen Van Troi Str., and 97 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Str. So take a look when you are in town.

More

Alucard
Thong Nhat Conference Hall 5 stars
Thong Nhat Conference Hall, also known as Reunification Hall or Independence Palace, is located at 106 Nguyen Du Street in Ho Chi Minh City. After the reunification, the Independence Palace became the headquarter of the City’s Military Administration Comittee. The political consultation for national unification was held in this place, which was then renamed the Thong Nhat Conference Hall. The site has now become a historic, cultural relic attracting domestic as well as international visitors.
I did not really like it there, when I was there for the first time around 10 years ago. But it has changed dramatically since then. They have the whole place renovated and have tried their best to keep the place as clean as possible. Nice try to change the place, you should check it out too, when you have a chance.


More

Alucard
Nguyen Hue Flower Market 5 stars
This is one of the biggest flower markets in HCMC and only takes place in a short periode of time before Tet Holiday. About a week before the lunar new year’s eve, all famous famers bringing their flowers and displaying them along the Nguyen Hue Street. They can also form a small imaginary flower village in the middle of this street. This market is different every year, and obviously it becomes more beautiful and professional. At this market, vietnamese people also purchase beautiful flowers for their house during the Tet Holiday.

More

Alucard
Cho Dem HCMC 5 stars
Cho Dem means markets at night. There are markets this kind in HCMC that I know about. One is located right next to Ben Thanh Market, starts at 6 PM till early morning. One is on 3 thang 2 Str., next to Ho Ky Hoa entertainment park, starts at just the same time like the other one. In the night-market that is next to Ben Thanh Market, there are a lot of different kinds of food stores from Pho, Hu Tieu to different kinds of sweetend porridges. The other market is on the other hand famous for clothes and household utensils. Nothing fancy but really special and you can shop there really late at night till early morning. Try them out, especially the night-market next to Ben Thanh Market because the food there is really great.

More

Alucard
Cho Binh Tay, District 5, HCMC 5 stars
Cho Binh Tay is the second biggest market in Vietnam. Cho Binh Tay is located in the 5th district, where most of the inhabitans are chinese people coming to Vietnam a long time ago. In this market, you can find whatever goods that you need for a really cheap price. Sellers here are mostly chinese people but they all speak fluently vietnamese and english. They are just like other sellers all over the country really friendly and helpful. I remember going there to buy a scale with my cousin. All the sellers showed us their best products, tried to get us to bargain with them and also tried to offer us a cheaper price than other rivals. I think that most tourists would not know about this market but the Ben Thanh Market. I, however, find this market better with really fair prices for mostly everything.

More



About us | Terms and Conditions | Imprint

Copyright © 2006-2017 Paperball GmbH and their respective owners - All Rights Reserved.