Sep 2, 2016

City Guide - Ho Chi Minh City


Sprawling Ho Chi Minh City is awash with energy. Boasting French colonial architecture amidst oriental pagodas, and a fascinating history alongside the many signs of a booming present day economy – it is a juxtaposition you need to explore. Find out more in our city guide.

Eat

Nineteen Restaurant at the Caravelle Saigon hotel is a seafood buff et delight. Italian at Opera in the Park Hyatt is superb, La Villa and Chanh Bistro are top-notch French eateries, Noir nails it for fusion and Ichiba Sushi Vietnam is renowned for its sashimi. The adventurous may care to try deep-fried snake (good for virility), fertilised duck eggs, and scorpion and snake wine. Coff ee is an art form here too, with iced coff ee preferred due to the humidity.

Stay

The Caravelle Saigon has been a staple of the city since 1959 and Saigon Saigon Bar was the preferred watering hole of foreign journalists during the war. Opposite the Opera House, the 24-storey luxury hotel boasts commanding views from its 335 luxury rooms.

Play

Get up early, grab a vintage Vespa (and helmet) and hit the streets. Chinatown – known as Cho Lon - on the west bank of the Saigon River is a good place to start.

The art galleries and museums – headlined by the Fine Arts Museum and History Museum – are a treat and a free guided tour of the Reunifi cation Palace is a must, as are visits to Notre-Dame Cathedral, City Post Office and Municipal Theatre - aka the Opera House.

Shop

For top-end retail head to Diamond Plaza, Vincom Centre or Saigon Centre, or shop like a local in Trai Street. Fashion can be found in Nguyen Hue Street and antiques at Le Cong Kieu. Be ready to haggle at Ben Thanh Market and Tan Dinh Market in District 1 and fi nish your day with a mani/pedi in the Pham Ngu Lao area and a drink at the Temple Club or on the roof top bars at the Caravelle, Rex or Majestic hotels.