Holiday Destinations / Asia / Vietnam / Travel Guide / Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City
Hone your haggling skills and bag epic bargains on almost anything from souvenirs to designer bags and get ready to brave the chaotic whirlwind of motorbikes, merchants, and visitors that give life to this hot, noisy, fascinating city that is HCMC. Welcome to former Saigon!
Not everything in Ho Chi Minh City is about noise. The city is known for its countless spas. A great excuse to take a pause from the intense city exploration to pamper yourself and come out reinvigorated, ready for yet another adventure. The spas are cheap. You could spend an entire day relaxing at a spa right in the city centre for almost next to nothing, at least compared to UK or US prices.
The infamous Cu Chi Tunnels are right at the top of most visitor’s to-do lists. The vast network of tunnels that allowed the Vietnamese to evacuate and shelter entire villages or to mount surprise attacks on the US army is open to visitor on guided tours that will allow you to crawl into the tunnels and listen to the guide recounting horrific wartime stories.
Inescapably surrounded by mopeds, only one thing makes sense. Hope on one yourself. It is the best way to see the city and rides are really cheap.
Vietnam is as much about its history and astonishing natural beauty, as it is about its food. There’s plenty to choose from, at great value. Some of the restaurants recommended by our clients in the past include Shamballa Vegetarian Restaurant and tea House, Com Nieu Sai Gon, and Home Finest Saigon Restaurant. However, we update our recommendations quite often, so don’t forget to ask when speaking to our Vietnam Holidays specialist.
Insider’s tip. Most visitors end up in District 1 when visiting Ho Chi Ming City. Head to District 3 instead. It is cheaper, less busy, and the food is far better. For simple and to-the-point tips on visiting HCMC, Roads and Kingdoms article is quite useful
In many of our recommended itineraries and escorted tours we include a trip to the Mekong River Delta from Ho Chi Ming City.
Board a private boat to Ben Tre to visit the coconut gardens and stop at a local home to sample tropical fruits and coconut jams. Afterwards, paddle in sampans (small rowing boats) past coconut trees along the Mekong Delta. Take a tuk-tuk tour around the villages and learn about rural life and the industry created around coconut products like brooms and coconut fibre mats. Eat lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the Delta, sampling regional specialties such as the famous elephant ear fish. Cruise the major waterways to Ben Tre boat pier, then return by bus to Ho Chi Minh City.
We know Vietnam from personal experience and have done ourselves most of the activities we recommend here. If you’d like more information, tips and advice, and help planning and booking your holiday in Vietnam, feel free to get in touch by chat, phone, videoconference, or email. We are always here to help.
Travel Designer and Founder at Travelisto
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