Ho Chi Minh City (or HCMC for short) previously known as Saigon is the biggest city in Vietnam. It’s loud, busy, and hectic but we absolutely love it.
After 3 weeks in Australia we arrived in HCMC and found the nearest cafe, as we sat outside and watched the utter chaos of the morning rush our we said to each other “it’s nice to be home”.
Things To Do:
Like all of Vietnam, it’s cheap to treat your self. Massages start at 150K per hour and a Manicure and Pedicure combined is around 120K. Go to Bui Vien road where there are lots of places to chose from.
You can also treat yourself to something new at the day and night markets at Ben Thanh Market, or in our case, practically a whole new backpack worth of stuff. It is tourist central and prices reflect this, make sure you haggle to avoid getting ripped off, only pay what you think it’s worth.
HCMC is full of old French architecture, visit the central post office and then the Notre Dame cathedral next door for some great examples of this. (A postcard to Europe will take around 10 days to arrive.)
The Saigon Skydeck ads a bit glamour to the city skyline, you can ride the elevator to the top floor for some amazing night time views over the city. Entrance cost 200K.
Independence Palace is it the heart of the city, entrance costs 40K, it only takes around 45 minutes to see everything, the view from the central balcony is beautiful.
Where To Eat:
Vietnamese – Ben Thanh Market, Đường Lê Lợi, Bến Thành, Quận 1. Inside during the day then spills outside for an even bigger night market.
Mexican – La Fiesta, 33 Đặng Thị Nhu, Nguyễn Thái Bình, Quận 1. Visit during the day for lunchtime specials, (Closed Mondays).
Indian – Spice India, 1B Bùi Viện, Phạm Ngũ Lão. Also do takeaways.
Healthy – Terrisa, 255 Lý Tự Trọng, Bến Thành, Quận 1. Good smoothie shop for when your regretting all that cheap Saigon beer the night before.
We were tired and jet lagged when we arrived at HCMC international airport, we made the mistake of going to the taxi counter and paying 220K for a taxi at 3am.
On our way back to the airport we took an Uber which only cost is 87K.
Where To Stay:
We’ve been to HCMC twice, in 2016 we stayed in a tiny dirty room that cost over £40 per night. This time we stayed in the beautiful Little Brick Hotel, which only cost £19 per night on Hotels.com (including an upgrade to a king room).
Rooms were massive and spotless, breakfast was perfect and the hotel was within walking distance to everything.