Where is Ho Chi Minh City (aka “Saigon”)?
As the largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh doesn’t disappoint when it comes to having a “true” experience in a metropolitan area. The city has everything that a traveler can hope for whether it be having tradition cuisine, seeing historical landmarks, or simply enjoying a stroll through the park with the locals. Getting to Ho Chi Minh is easy seeing as it is the biggest city in Vietnam and coming from Da Lat, it cost about 220,000 VND/10 USD. We took a “sleeper bus” and it took about 7 hours, including a stop at a rest area to have dinner. I personally loved Ho Chi Minh since I love big cities and I find that in these settings, you can have a full-filling day by just walking around the city all day. In addition to just walking around, I was even able to go for a run when I was here and even though it wasn’t as long as a run in Da Lat, the sights and sounds didn’t disappoint.
The city has everything that a traveler can hope for whether it be having traditional cuisine, seeing historical landmarks, or simply enjoying a stroll through the park with the locals.
Is it safe?
I am starting to sound like a broken record here, but I can’t reiterate enough how careful you need to be with the traffic here! Remember what your mom said when you were growing up and look both ways before crossing the street and don’t wear earphones when walking through traffic. I was walking to the river to start my run and I was wearing my earphones and I almost got hit by a motorbike twice. Sorry Mom! I learned my lesson.
I was walking to the river to start my run and I was wearing my earphones and I almost got hit by a motorbike twice. Sorry Mom! I learned my lesson.
As for being out at night, stay in well-lit areas with a lot of people and be careful of people trying to pick pockets or steal. I heard about a couple phones being lifted off people, but it could be due to the fact that alcohol was involved in the equation. Overall, Ho Chi Minh City never made me feel uneasy since there are already so many tourists and ALSO because I don’t put myself in situations where I would feel at danger. Just stick with people and look up when crossing the street.
What is there to do?
Oh my this city has so much to offer when it comes to keeping busy. You can see historical landmarks, museums, the nightlife and even get a day tour to the Mekong Delta. When I was here, I stuck to the typical sights and sounds including City Hall, Saigon Central Post Office, Saigon Notre-Dame Church, Pham Ngu Lao Street, and even took a trip to see the Mekong Delta. I loved this city because there was something different always going on. My personal favorite was the fact that everyone would gather in the park after the sun went down to have a zumba dance class.
Oh and did I mention that eating here is another thing you can do all day, every day? I love love LOVED this Bo Kho so much and wish I could have it right now! Eating this is a must when in Ho Chi Minh City.
Oh and as I said earlier, day tours to the Mekong Delta are really easy and really cheap (178,000 VND/8 USD).
I loved this city because there was something different always going on.
Where can I stay?
Okay, so I stayed at three hostels because I just could NOT make up my mind when I was in Saigon, but they were all decent. If I had to rank them from best to worst, it would go like this:
- Hideout Hostel – Great location, very social and clean. 178,000 VND/ 8 USD per night
- Eco Backpackers Hostel – Location was great and it wasn’t too expensive. The rooms and bathrooms were super clean, but it was NOT social here since you each have a cube to sleep in. 156,000 VND/ 7 USD per night
- Rou Hostel – Location was fine and it was cheap. The major downside was the fact that it was above a restaurant and so the atmosphere was humid with lingering scents of cooked meals. Additionally, the bathroom wasn’t that clean and I avoided taking a shower at that hostel. 112,000 VND/ 5 USD per night