Street vending is an essential part of life in Ho Chi Ming City. Vendors operate from either a shop or stall on the side of the street, or from portable carts or bikes. They can sell anything, with fruit, flowers, hot meals, and domestic products all commonly sold.
Hi. I'm planning a trip to HCMC. What would you recommend to do or see there? -M
Go to the city Opera House, please go! On May 9, there’ll be Europe Day concert, including Mozart’s piano concert and many opera arias. So exciting! And the next show on May 19, Touching the past, a Vietnamese symphonic music and contemporary dance concert.
Go eat bún bò and cơm sườn, Sài Gòn flavor are the best, trust me 🤣 To me, bún bò street food versions 15~20k VNĐ are best of the best 🤣 Here are some food streets: Sư Vạn Hạnh, Phan Xích Long, Nguyễn Tri Phương, Tô Hiến Thành, Bùi Viện… And also, in District 4 there are so many good places to eat.
Around District 1 and 3 there are beautiful buildings, coffee shops, and clothing stores on streets like Nguyễn Đình Chiểu, Lê Văn Sỹ, Huỳnh Văn Bánh, Cách mạng tháng 8, Hai Bà Trưng, somewhere near Bến Thành market… (even cheap ones!). And there are chances you may find running exhibitions. If you like clean and modern places, go to District 2 or 7.
Go to museums: War Remnants Museum (Bảo tàng chứng tính chiến tranh), Fine Art Museum (Bảo tàng Mỹ thuật TPHCM), FITO museum (Bảo tàng Y học cổ truyền), National Museum of Vietnamese History (Bảo tàng lịch sử Việt Nam), Gia Long Palace (Bảo tàng TPHCM or Dinh Gia Long), Ao Dai Museum (Bảo tàng áo dài), The Factory Contemporary Art center….
Explore landmarks: Independence Palace (Dinh Độc Lập), Bến Nhà Rồng, Central Post Office (Bưu điện Sài Gòn), Thảo Cầm Viên, Bitexco Financial, The HCM Children’s house (Nhà thiếu nhi Thành Phố) on Nam Kì Khởi Nghĩa street - impressive newly built architecture….
Go to pagodas: Vĩnh Nghiêm Pagoda, Bửu Long Pagoda, Giác Lâm Pagoda, Thiên Hậu Temple, Jade Emperor Pagoda (Chùa Ngọc Hoàng), Xá Lợi Pagoda…
Or churches: Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica (Nhà thờ Đức Bà), Tân Định the pink church, Hạnh Thông Tây the one and only Byzantine church that is so god damn beautiful inside, Chợ Quán church which I don’t know why they all think it was designed in Gothic style but apparently it was Romanesque architecture, Ngã Sáu church here comes another “Gothic” church do they even know what Gothic arches look like, Huyện Sỹ Church now this is truely Gothic church with a palette of the sweet Rococo style, Cha Tam church yes this is a Gothic church too and it was mixed with Asian architecture…………….. oops, sorry when it comes to these things all the rants just come pouring out 😂
Go shopping at weekend market: The New District (Dist 4), Hello Weekend Market (Dist 1), Saigon Flea Market (Dist 7), Saigon Urban Flea Market (Dist 2), The Box Market (Dist 1)…
Go to department stores: Vincom, Vincom Mega Mall Thảo Điền (you can go ice-skating here), Takashimaya at Saigon Centre, Cresent Mall, Diamond Plaza, SC Vivo City, Aeon Mall (cheap cheap cheap things and foods everywhere), E-Mart, The New Playground…
If you’re tired of the city and just want to find some peace or go on an adventure: around Thủ Thiêm tunnel, Nhiêu Lộc canal, Snowtown in Dist 2, Family Garden Thảo Điền, Rin Rin Park, Củ Chi tunnels, Fosaco tourism village, Cần Giờ ecotourism, Bửu Long ecotourism, Dừa Lửa Island…
And if you want to take photos go to: District 5 (China town), Long Island castle (expensive place), bridges (Starlight Bridge - Cầu Ánh Sao, Thủ Thiêm Bridge, Sài Gòn bridge, Phú Mỹ bridge, Mống Bridge…), reed fields (near Phạm Văn Đồng street, or district 9, 2…), Nguyễn Huệ walking street and Saigon Garden next to it, Nguyễn Văn Bình book street (of course you can also drown yourself in piles of books here), parks (you can also eat street foods and drink coffee), Saigon Outcast, Rubik Zoo….
By the way here are some nice bookstores: Cá Chép bookstore, Kim Đồng bookstore (Cống Quỳnh st), Nhã Nam Thư Quán, Saigon Artbook….
Phews! That’s it. Don’t forget to watch your stuffs carefully while travelling. And remember to check the opening hours. Have a safe and fun trip!
I think some of you know I make jewelry and SID will be selling our stuff at our pop up shop in Canada next weekend! With that being said, I have been on the hunt for new material to start creating stuff here in SE Asia. After some good research I found 2 good locations I thought I should share with you guys, in case some of you dress makers, jewelry makers and what-ever other makers that could benefit from this:
DQM aka Dai Quang Minh
Chau Van Liem- Ward 14 (approx. 20 min from center of Saigon)
This craft market is huge and you can find a lot of great things such as: jewels, gems, beads, fabric, embroidery, zippers, charms, etc…Outside of the market is an alleyway with more shops as well.
Neuih Tam St- District 5 and about 8 mins from DQM
This street is lined with a lot of gold and silver shops but there are definitely some awesome bead shops. I would say DQM is cheaper though.