Still often referred to by it's old name, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a clamorous, chaotic sensory feast. Discover the best top things to explore now!
Once you get used to crossing its busy streets, certain Saigon neighbourhoods are great for walking. The downtown District 1, from Dong Khoi Street to Ben Thanh Market, has dozens of tightly packed attractions. Shoppers will love the glitzy malls and designer boutiques, especially along leafy Dong Khoi Street. Here are some more of our favourite spots to spend a couple of hours just people watching and chillaxing!
Saigon’s “Backpacker Area” includes Bui Vien, De Tham, Pham Ngu Lao and the surrounding streets in District 1. Home to cheap eats, even cheaper beer and a friendly communal vibe, the action often continues late at night with happy travellers spilling out onto the streets, especially on weekends! Many of the bars also have live sporting events shown on TV, so if your favorite team is playing somewhere in the world, chances are you’ll be able to catch them here. You’ll also find a world of cuisine, from Indian to Japanese to Mexican and everything else in between with most meals coming in at USD 5 or less.
The last few years have seen residential spaces being turned into cute boutiques and trendy cafes in response to super expensive rent on the ground floor. Walk along Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, and remember to look up – chances are you’ll find tons of little boutiques selling clothes, homeware and souvenirs and fun cafes with Instagram-ready interiors just waiting to be discovered. A favorite among hipsters is the apartment building at 42 Nguyen Hue, right next to the Fahasa Book store, home to floors upon floors of little spaces just waiting to be explored!
Apartment building at 42 Nguyễn Huệ
Inside, you’ll find a range of cafes and one-of-a-kind clothing stores with names like: Sài Gòn Ơi, Thinker and Dreamer, Trà sữa Bông Gòn, Partea, Buihaus, The Market Concept, Mango Tree, Boo, Saigon – Vieux, The Letter, Mêlee, Orientea, Met Sign, Delight Kafe and Tea and more!
Located in the alley numbered 3A on Ton Duc Thang Street (District 1), just opposite the Saigon River, 3A Station is a hipster’s delight. A block of converted warehouses is now home to trendy cafes, restaurants, art galleries, boutiques and more. Spend a happy hour or two wandering around the shops here and share the space with photography enthusiasts drawn to the colourful street art.