Ho Chi Minh City is great for a weekend of sightseeing, eating and partying. Here are some places you can go
By Cheryl Chia
Ho Chi Minh City is a great place for a quick weekend getaway. The food is good and cheap due to the currency exchange rate.
There is also much nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City, and a lot of cultural sights to take in during the day. I should know; I lived there.
Here are eight places you should visit when you take a trip to Ho Chi Minh City.
1. Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1
If it’s your first time to Ho Chi Minh City, the backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao is great. It is about 20 minutes from the airport and it is surrounded by bars and cafes.
Pham Ngu Lao is also walking distance from a lot of sights. Luxury hotels such as the Caravelle Hotel are also in this district.
2. Ben Thanh Market, District 1
A large market in the middle of District 1, Ben Thanh Market sells wet goods such as fish and seafood, cooked food items, dried goods, souvenirs, tourist clothing, cushion covers and decorative items.
Beware of pickpockets. Always remember the entrance you came in from.
3. Pho Hoa, Pasteur Street
This is as local as it gets. The best pho [say “fur”] in town can be found at Pho Hoa on Pasteur Street. Dip the fried dough sticks [much like our eu char kway] in the soup for the most authentic local dining experience. Located at 260C Pasteur Street, Dist 1.
4. Trois Gourmands, District 2
This place may be a bit far from the centre, but if you love French food, this is the place for you. Imagine a seven-course meal for a mere US$45.
Everything is full-sized and you’ll eat until you burst. Located at 18 Tong Huu Dinh, Thao Dien, Dist 2.
5. Cu Chi Tunnels
Take one of the tours from the backpacker district to the Cu Chi Tunnels, for about US$6, and see the ingenuity of the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. The complex underground tunnel network helped them to avoid the attacks above, on the ground.
Some of these tours will also take you around the city to see the Notre Dame, the Post Office and the Reunification Palace.
One of the better clubs in Ho Chi Minh City, the drinks here are cheap and the music is fairly good. It has a mixed crowd of expats and young Vietnamese. Ladies, take note, Tuesday is ladies night here. Visit www.lush.vn for more information.
7. Saigon Square 1 and 2
If you want to do a spot of shopping, try Saigon Square 1 and 2 for some cheap buys. These places also carry a few ‘over-runs’ from branded goods such as Forever 21 and Banana Republic. So, if you are lucky, you might find a good steal.
8. Nha Hang Ngon, Pasteur Street
If you love Vietnamese street food, you have to visit Nha Hang Ngon. Try the Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio – a rice noodle dish with pickled vegetables, grilled pork and Vietnamese nem, all drenched with a bowl of tangy fish sauce. Located at 160 Pasteur St, Dist 1.
Republished from Issue 41.