Ho Chi Minh (most Vietnamese still call it Saigon) was not my favourite stop on our 7-day trip in Vietnam but it wasour best option to flight back home. And indeed, we felt the city was very busy and noisy and unfortunately not charming but I was still happy to pass by: Ho Chi Minh has a vibrant night life and an interesting history.
We took a short flight from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh. Beware that the Nha Trang airport is quite far away from the city. It was our first time with VietnamAirlines and it was a convincing one!
Restaurants: Not much to recommend. We didn’t spend much time and we actually got sick after a sushi restaurant… I would still advise you to eat like a local at the Ben Thant Market, the most famous market in the city.
Bars: We were a bit happier here! My boyfriend loved the beer from the local brewery (Heart of Darkness) served at Propaganda I loved the view and the music (but not really the prices) in Glow bar. We both at fun at the Crazy buffalo in the backpackers district.
Hotel: We had a bedroom (without window) at the Alagon Saigon Hotel & Spa. The room was not very big but cute. We spend a lot of time on the rooftop because of its (cold) pool, (warm) jacuzzi and happy hours on cocktails. The breakfast was very good and there was a lot of choice.
Check out my tips for restaurants, bars and hotels here.
- City walk: We visited the main downtown landmarks in one afternoon: the Independence Palace (and its famous portal destroyed by the communists from North Vietnam), the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon (apparently the one in Paris served as an inspiration for this one…), the central post office, the nice city hall, the Nguyen Hue avenue (the Champs Elysées of the city) and it view on the Bitexco tower. Nothing amazing but worth the walk.
- War Remnants Museum: a very good museum (actually the highest rated attraction in the city according to my travel guide) to finally understand a bit more what was at stake during the war between the US and Vietnam. Lots and lots of photos (a very interesting section dedicated to war journalists) to illustrate this first mediatised war. Some pictures not easy to watch, mainly the ones illustrating the exactions of the soldiers and the effects of the Agent Orange. U.S. military tanks, jets, helicopters are also visible outside the building.
There’s probably much more to see in Ho Chi Minh and I may be back to explore Southern Vietnam when visiting Cambodia. But I cannot say that I feel in love with the city.