From sandy Phu Quoc we flew back to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon in Vietnamese. Saigon was actually renamed to Ho Chi Minh City after the war, after the former president. We were dazzled by this beautiful city with on the one hand its modern skyscrapers with spectacular rooftop bars and on the other hand the little street markets and chaotic every day life of the locals. We loved this place so much that we actually contemplated the idea of perhaps moving here for a couple of months! 😊
What to do in Saigon?
War Remnants museum
This is a must if you visit Ho Chi Minh and want to understand more about the history of Vietnam and the war with the US. It was super interesting to understand the Vietnamese point of view. Some parts of the museum are very shocking though, with numerous photographs of the impact of chemicals that the Americans used on the Vietnamese people. There is also a reconstruction of the Phu Quoc prison, with horrifying stories and pictures. We learned so much during this visit, and would highly recommend it to anyone!
Ho Chi Minh is full of cute little streets and street markets where you can spend hours wandering around. We had so many coffees because we wanted to try all the cool little bars, and Camille was in heaven hopping from boutique to boutique.
Experience the nightlife
Ho Chi Minh is full of amazing rooftop bars, offering spectacular views over the city. And the little streets become vibrant party zones at night! People are super social here so make some friends and hit the club!
Cu Chi Tunnels
This network tunnels were used by the Vietnamese during the war with the US. You can actually go inside them to see how they transported people and goods, and how they set up traps. It takes more than half a day to see this, because the tunnels are outside of the city so we would only recommend this if you have enough time.
Where to sleep?
Saigon is literally FULL of backpackers hostel, most of which are of pretty good quality and super cheap (around 20 to 25 USD for a good room with bathroom). You will not spend a lot of time in your hotel here so there’s no need to crack your budget for a room. We would recommend staying around the Pham Ngu Lao area, which is super lively and where most young tourists stay. Below is one hostel where we stayed, super well located and amazing value for money
- Long Hostel – great atmosphere and super clean rooms, which come with breakfast. Beware however, not all rooms have a window so make sure to ask for one.
Where to eat?
- Propaganda Bistro: amazing place for lunch! Delicious Pho and curries!
- The View Rooftop Bar: The is THE place to eat and to have a drink around the Pham Ngu Lao area. You have a great view over the city, the food is amazing, and it’s much cheaper than the fancy rooftop bars in the center!
Where to have a drink?
- Air 360 Sky Lounge – Perfect to watch sunset and for a spectacular view over the city. Bear in mind they have quite a strict dresscode (no flip/flops or sandals for men 🙂 )
- Pub Street in Pham Ngu Lao area: super lively at night, full of restaurants and bars.