We actually only stayed in Ho Chi Minh City for a week as our Cambodian Visas needed renewing and we had been offered the chance to house/pet sit in exchange for free accommodation. We have put together a Ho Chi Minh City four day itinerary for you. As we are now living in Cambodia I imagine we will be visiting Vietnam again. If you have any recommendations we’d love to hear them in the comments!
Spend some time bartering at Ben Tanh Market, it’s right in the centre. Just be prepared to haggle HARD the prices are high! (Lots of food options- just follow the crowd of locals if you’re not sure where to go!)
Just a short walk from the market you’ll find yourself in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral. This is one of the many iconic spots in HCMC. Unfortunately it was under construction whilst we were there so we hope you have better luck. None the less it’s the perfect example of french influence in Vietnam.
Once your’e done checking the cathedral out you can look to your right and you’ll see the central post office. It looks almost like a train station from the outside, upon entering you’ll be greeted by a striking entrance hall. Walking in will make you feel as though you have gone back in time! There are a couple of little gift shops and what is great is that the post office still functions so you can grab a postcard to send home whilst you’re there!
Bike tour! As we we’re limited on time and wanted to see as much of the city as possible we took the ‘unseen Saigon’ tour with Scooter Saigon Tour. It cost us $27 each but was well worth the money. We spent 4 hours being driven around on the back of a bike, weaving in-between all the traffic was just half of the fun! Just a few of the things we got to see included: Cambodian market, Saigon’s biggest flower market, Ghost building, Ten thousand Buddha temple, Oldest apartment buildings in HCMC, Burning monk monument and more!
Visit the war remnants museum. The countless photos taken by international war photographers illustrates the horrors of the Vietnam war. Whilst it is emotional to see it shows you how far Vietnam has come since then.
After brushing up on your history take some time to chill out at Anna Sanctuary Wellness Spa. For just $5 you can use the infinity pool for as long as you like, they even supply towels so you don’t have to lug yours around with you!
Do some shopping! I very quickly realised there are a LOT of shops in HCMC! I started my day off at ‘The new playground’ it’s full of quirky independent local brands at a reasonable price! After leaving here just across the road is Vincom Centre. An older mall but had some of my favourites like ZARA and Pull and Bear.
Once I was done here I took a 10 minute walk to Saigon Centre, this is a big modern mall, again with a few well known brands and also a great Japanese department store called Takashimaya. En-route to this mall I also found lots of little quirky independent shops that I stopped to take a look in. While strolling around HCMC you’ll find at least one shop you’ll want to look in!
Lastly again another 10 minute walk away I went to this address (recommended by the home owner of where we were staying) 42 Nguyen Hue Ben Nghe Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh. Next door to Lucky Plaza, it looks like an old building with lots of banners hanging outside, where you would park a scooter downstairs, go in and walk up the stairs (If you take the lift you’ll miss everything!) This is where all the cool little independent boutiques are. It’s also great for food and coffee.
We mainly spent our time either eating at Crescent mall food court (only a 10 min walk from where we were staying) or getting a takeaway (lazy we know!)
If you make a trip to the food court we highly recommend the ‘Bamboo Dim sum’ Stall. Not only is the Dim sum amazing but also be sure to try their beef noodle soup- YUM!
Got a sweet tooth? ‘A little something’ serves the most amazing waffles and ice cream!
If you fancy a take out we recommend you download the ‘Vietnammm’ app. Our favourite meal was from Baba’s Kitchen (Indian food).
Before we got to our house sit we had to book a hotel for a couple of nights- don’t do what we did and book ourselves into a sex hotel because we didn’t read the reviews! Luckily we saw the funny side and if you want to have a laugh check out our Vietnam instagram stories! @myermatttravel
That sums up our Ho Chi Minh City four day itinerary! If you’d like to read more about our adventures in Asia you can click here to see the best budget activities in Phnom Penh or click here to find out the top 10 things to do in Langkawi!