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Once affectionately called “Diamond of the Far East”, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam at its liveliest. It’s an energetic city of commerce that has driven the country forward with its high-octane energy. Also known as Saigon, it has a complex history and plenty of culture dating back hundreds of years. Today, Ho Chi Minh City is a popular tourist destination due to its charming culture, classic French architecture, elaborate pagodas, sleek skyscrapers, and fantastic restaurants which offer a combination of French, Chinese, and local Vietnamese cuisine.
Add in to this combination with the ridiculously good-value for money of everything ranging from food, transportation, and accommodation, its friendly locals would always welcome you to explore this Vietnamese gem of a city with open arms. Saigon will never disappoint you whether you're exploring the city by a private car, minivan, or motorcycle with a local!
Ho Chi Minh City is an immense city of historical importance for Vietnam. Places such as the Thich Quang Duc Statue, and the weapon-concealing bunkers in the city can explain the dark and emotional past the city went through before it got to how it is today.
However, to get to know the lifestyle of the locals, places such as the Nguyen Thien Thuat Apartment is a great start. A relic of Old Saigon smack-dab in the middle of this modern metropolis, you will get to know how different generations of a family can live together in one place.
Another good way to observe the local life of the city is to go to its markets. Big, bustling markets such as Ban Co market and Ho Thi Ky Flower Market are some of the places where life is at its most vibrant and energetic
Some say that the best way to get to know a city and its people is through their food, and Saigon is definitely no different.
Nowadays, Vietnam is becoming increasingly popular on the world stage for its coffee. Those looking to grab a quick coffee or just chillax your way through the day, cafes such as Cheo Leo Cafe are definitely worth a visit. For those looking to go on street food trails, Saigon definitely has some of the best in the world and will definitely not disappoint those looking for a full tummy.
Located 75 Kilometers from Saigon (approximately a 2 hour drive), the Cu Chi Tunnels were a spectacular network of connecting underground tunnels containing hospitals, meeting rooms, sleeping quarters, kitchens, and even entire underground villages. Along the way to the tunnels, you can even stop by and see how local businesses such as rice noodle production, and rubber extraction function the Vietnamese way.
During the war, it can be described as a hidden underground city which played a vital role during the Vietnam War as it was used by the Vietcongs to attack their enemies. For History buffs, this is a great place to know even more about the Vietnam war and the country, and you can get to experience and process what it’s like to live inside the complex tunnel system.
The Mekong Delta is a extensive maze of rivers, rice paddies, and traditional Vietnamese stilt houses. This massive river delta has plenty of things to see that will give you an incredible insight to the rural Vietnamese lifestyle. The Mekong Delta is the perfect place to enjoy a breath of fresh air and immerse yourself in the picture-perfect countryside.
You can hop on the boat, glide along the coconut plantations and visit local businesses along the way such as a straw mat weaving house, local brick factory, and a coconut processing plant where you can dig in on some lip-smacking coconut candies. If that does not sound good enough, you can hop on a rowboat and paddle your way through the river and indulge yourself in the serene countryside!
Saigon is definitely among one of the most energetic cities around with so many amazing things to do, and hidden gems to be discovered. However, our team of friendly Local Experts in Saigon will help you do just that. Come with us to see Saigon from the eyes of the locals!