Welcome to Sai Gon – the largest and busiest city in Viet Nam, surely one of the most worth-going places in Asia. Sai Gon may never let you down with so many unique just-in-Saigon things to try.
Let Hoozing help you find out some of the must-try things that you should experience in Sai Gon.
1. Try Banh Mi Thit
Sai Gon is especially famous for its street foods. You can easily find various types of these foods anywhere anytime in Sai Gon. And among all those kinds of foods, Banh Mi really stands out. It is one of the greatest examples of fusion food done extremely well – a representation of Vietnam, all stuffed into a handheld crusty baguette. Many have called it one of the finest sandwiches in the world, and you won’t disagree when having tried it.
I can suggest you some of the most famous places to enjoy Banh Mi. Banh Mi Huynh Hoa (26 Le thi Rieng, District 1), Banh Mi 37 Nguyen Trai or Banh Mi Bay Ho (Huynh Khuong Ninh, District 1) is really woth-trying.
2. Try bargainning in the market
Don’t be afraid to bargain in Vietnam. Bartering is the way to shop here – in the local markets or vendors, so jump right in, offer a price that you think is fair, and have fun. Be extra careful if prices are absent or not clearly marked – that goes for everything, everywhere, every time.
But if you are looking for something specific, ask a local what the going rate is before you head to the market. It helps to go into the negotiations with an idea of what you’re supposed to pay.
3. Try karaoke
Karaoke is a national pass-time, and bright-coloured signs announce it everywhere. Alternatively, relax and listen to traditional and popular Vietnamese music.
4. Drink Bia Hoi at Bui Vien Street
There is no exact word in English can describe this kind of beer in Viet Nam. It’s nearly the same as draught beer or draft beer in English.
Bia Hơi is far far cheaper than all the other kinds of beer in Viet Nam. It just costs you about 10.000 – 20.000 VND for one can. In addition, bia hoi doesn’t usually leave you with a pounding hangover. It’s low alcohol content means it takes a concerted effort to get drunk enough to feel dreadful the next day. One more thing is that smoking, slurping, dumping chicken bones on the floor — all are acceptable behavior in Bui Vien Street. Nay, they’re encouraged.
5. Stop for coffee
Believe it or not, Vietnam is the biggest coffee exporter in the world. Vietnamese coffee is excellent – and it’s inexpensive and available nearly everywhere. Black coffee with ice (ca phe da) is strong and sweet with an almost chocolate-like richness. Condensed milk can be added, giving you coffee milk ice, or ca phe sua da.
Coffee shops are a huge part of the city’s culture. From street vendors to side-walk shops, it’s hard to beat having a coffee and watching Ho Chi Minh City go by. Prices range from 33 cents from a street vendor, to $3 or more at the top-end places.
6. See Sai Gon from above
Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Saigon is pretty much flat. But it can be admired from above at the Bixteco Financial Tower. All it takes is a $10 USD elevator ride to get to the Saigon Skydeck. I wholeheartedly recommend it as one of the coolest things to do in Ho Chi Minh.
On clear days, the view is spectacular. There also is a small museum inside, with a nice exhibit on the Ao Dai, the traditional dress worn by Vietnamese women. It is a nice way to learn a bit more about the culture and way of life of the country.
7. Scooter tours
Exploring the streets from the back seat of a scooter is an exhilarating way to get a feel for a city with nearly 5 million motorbikes. To get your orientation fast, jump on an organised tour with an emphasis on food, nightlife, iconic sights or unusual attractions; a guide can help you discover the hot spots. Note that motorbike helmets are compulsory in Vietnam.