After two days in Ho Chi Minh City, I could definitely imagine to live there for a little bit. The city has a lot to offer. On the other hand, it’s not for everyone and I’ve heard that many people didn’t like it.
On one hand, two days were definitely to short to explore all of it. On the other hand, I’ve seen a lot for that short time. I continued my travels on my own in Ho Chi Minh City. Ok, I wasn’t all by myself. One of my closest friend’s uncle has been living in HCM for many years now and took care of me. I was picked up for breakfast and we had dinner together. Moreover, he showed me around the city with his motorcycle. Exploring a city by bike is much more fun. Luckily, there was uber bike, which I’ve used quite excessively during my stay. No wonder, because Saigon is the biggest city of Vietnam! I accidentally caught a public holiday which I celebrated together with my friend’s uncle’s friends. I can tell, it didn’t get boring in Saigon (from now on I will use Ho Chi Minh City, which I prefer)
Noodle soup for BREAKFAST
I love Asian breakfasts. By now, you should know that I prefer salty dishes. As soon as I step onto Asian ground, I crave one of the delicious noodle soups for breakfast. And for that Vietnam is a dream – everyday a delicious Phở-soup! But Vietnamese not only eat Phở for breakfast, but also other dishes like Bánh cuốn – a kind of a wrap of rice with grounded pork and mushroom filling. Due to French influence, you’ll also find a lot of European breakfast choices.
VIETNAMESE Breakfast in HCM
Pho!! Phở Bắc Hải Gia Truyền – 140B, Nguyễn Cư Trinh, Quận 1, Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh
Bánh Cuốn Hải Nam – 11A Đường Cao Thắng, phường 2, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh
Jade Emperor Pagoda
I prefer to explore a city on my own and just walk through the streets with my camera in my hand. Of course, I also visit the one or other touristy attraction. I highly recommend a visit of the Jade Emperor Pagoda. Here you’ll find impressive wood carvings and a reflective atmosphere.
- Address: Jade-Emperor Pagoda 73 Mai Thi Luu St., Dakao Ward, District 1, Đa Kao, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Are 50 METER of FABRICS enough?
Personally, I could’ve bought lots of fabrics. Unfortunately, I was a little bit limited since I was traveling with hand luggage only. But I still had a little bit of space for some meters of fabrics. I bought some beautiful fabrics on the market in HCM – silk, satin and linen (they’re still waiting for getting fabricated by myself). Vietnam is one of the biggest textile producers, silk in specific. Moreover, I bought locally. It couldn’t get better.
- Silk costs around 7€/meter. Satin is less expensive which you’ll get for 4€/meter. Special textiles, with embroideries for example, were a bit more expensive, 20€/meter. That’s not a lot though.
You can buy fabrics on the famous Ben Thanh Market. Best is, to compare different prices and qualities. I’ve come across Chợ Tân Định Markt, which I highly recommend. I don’t know how many kilometers of textiles you’ll find there. The market lies a bit outside the main centre but it’s definitely worth a visit. The prices are great!
Chợ Tân Định Market 48 Mã Lộ, Tân Định, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Ben Thanh Market Đường Lê Lợi, Bến Thành, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh
The pink TAN DINH CHURCH
What looks more like a Disney-castle in Paris is actually a real catholic church. In fact, also one of the oldest churches of Ho Chi Minh.
- Address: Tan Dinh Church Nhà thờ Tân Định, 289 Hai Bà Trưng, Phường 8, Quận 3, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh
How to get around in HCM: CALL A BIKE!
My days in HCM were definitely too short. The city is huge, which is why I decided to take a uber bike (no advertisement!) once in a while (ok all the time). All you need to order one is data on your phone. I spent approximately 1,20€ / ride.
Eating in HCM
After a good breakfast, I only got a little snack for lunch (i.e. steamed dumplings – yummy!). We went our for dinner in the evening. Luckily, my friend’s uncle knows a couple of good places. When living in HCM, you specifically look for hygienic restaurants.
On our first evening, we ate at Tan Hai Van Restaurant,which I highly recommend. The prices are good and you’ll sit in a typcal Vietnamese restaurant. On my second evening, he brought me to a more fancy restaurant, the Món Ngon Việt Nam, lead by a famous TV cook from Vietnam. The restaurant serves old traditional specialities from whole Vietnam.
More reStaurant Recommendations in HCM
Tan Hai Van 158 Nguyễn Trãi, Bến Thành, 1, Hồ Chí Minh
Gourmet! Món Ngon Việt Nam 72/1 Trần Quốc Toản, phường 8, Hồ Chí Minh
Giac Lam Pagoda
Well, I’ve visited quite a few pagodas in HCM. I loved the buildings and every architecture was different. The Giac Lam Pagoda is a small oasis in the middle of the city. You see how happy the buddha is resting there.
- Addresss: Giác Lâm Pagoda 565 Lạc Long Quân, phường 10, Tân Bình, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Vinh Ngiem Pagoda
The Vinh Ngiem Pagoda is located in a much more calm area. The whole building is beautiful.
- Address Vĩnh Nghiêm Pagoda 339 Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, phường 7, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh
Have you already visited Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)? How did you like it?
- From Hanoi to the famous Ha Long Bay
- Ninh Bình – the North & Southeast-Asia’s most famous Pagoda
- Central Vietnam – most scenic morning & a sea of butterflies
- Ho Chi Minh City: The pink church & how much textile fits in a trolley
- Hoi An: the mecca for tailoring & the best Banh Mi Phuong
- Back in Hanoi & the nightlife at Bia Hoi Street