We’ve teamed up with Active Asia. We wanted to rediscover the romance and freedom of travelling, to encourage others to get off the tourist trails and to uncover a city in a totally unique way. So, we’ve put 10 questions to the locals to help mould your own, unique journey, and to enable you to uncover all the local secrets. Places you may not find on google.
Where’s the best place to grab a bowl of Pho?
Pho Minh is the place to go for your quintessential Vietnamese pick-me-up breakfast Pho, a tiny & the oldest restaurant serving only Pho. I’ve hesitated to tell about Pho Minh before, since the owners are very happy with their long-time local business. They only buy enough ingredients for the day & when they run out, they’re done for the day! (normally by 10am) This tiny restaurant has no menu, full of locals which means no English is spoken. Just sit and go with the flow & enjoy!
Where’s the best place to go for a leisurely stroll?
Head to Book Street and take a stroll through the charming little street with locals, heading towards the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral stopping and enjoying the unbelievable treasures at the bookstores. Ask a passer-by where they think is the best place to go for a coffee.
Where’s the best place to immerse yourself in the coffee culture?
One of Vietnams oldest cafes, Cheo Leo has been traditionally brewing the best coffee for almost 90 years with a romantic, historical set up – with not a lot of stand room, go out on the road side with little stools and enjoy the local bantering that goes on.
Where’s the best place to go for nightlife?
When in Saigon, do as the Saigonese do & head to Nguyen Hue Street, a buzzing walking street that is as laid back by the day as it is lively by night. There is more than enough to keep you here for a full day, from dawn till dinner & into the early hours-this is the epic centre of Saigon’s nightlife. Ask a local what their favourite bar is and grab a drink there.
Where’s the best place to sample Banh Mi?
The thick, sweet and impressively strong beverage is a staple found through Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. If you’re a curious coffee Huynh Hoa does the best Banh Mi around. You’ll know you’ve arrived at this little hole in the wall sandwich bar by the scores of motorbikes out the front. Grab a classical Banh Mi, arguably the best one in town. Ask the person behind you in the queue where’s the best place nearby to sit and watch the world go by, then go there, Banh Mi in hand.
Where’s the best place for echoes of old Saigon?
To get under the skin of Saigon’s past head to Jerome and Juliette late night bar, or as we know it today Saigon Saigon rooftop bar. The beloved high-society bar at the Caravelle Hotel is adorned with illustrations by many famous identities, including comedian Bob Hope, director John Fred, Noble Prize-winning author John Steinbeck and Richard Nixon, who stayed in 1964. This is the place to step back in time to the pre-war Saigon era.
Where’s the best vegetarian restaurant?
For the most deliciously vegetarian dishes, Tin Nghia has some mouth-watering creations that you absolutely must try. Think fragrant, spice infused dishes inspired by far flung corners of Asia – this is one very special family restaurant. Tin Nghia chefs don’t use recipes or measuring tools to cook their dishes, they’ve had 100 years of practice to make it perfect.
Where’s the best place to get a manicure?
Taking nail artistry to a whole new level MERCI nails in Saigon is arguably the best place in Vietnam to experience waterless manicure & pedicures.
Where’s the best place to browse for antiques?
Cho Ve Chai market is buzzing every Sunday morning. Head there early to find a little gem and talk with antique dealers while they are setting up for the day. Think rows of stalls selling vintage military surplus from the Vietnam war, jewellery, homewares & collectables – it’s hard not to spend hours browsing. Ask a vendor where the best art gallery is and then check it out.
Where’s the best rooftop bar?
Cho Ve Chai market is buzzing every Fast becoming one of Saigon’s top haunts, head to The Lighthouse on the 6th floor of a multi-storey building for a fun, chilled out vibe, cocktails & 360-degree views of the city – especially stunning as the sun goes down.
We’ve also made it super easy for you to take these tips away with you!
View online for a more environmentally friendly way to travel or download the 10 Ten Questions / Saigon printable pdf.
A helping hand when printing:
Just change your printer settings to print on both sides of the paper and flip on the short edge. Fold in half and enjoy!
Pop your email down below to see more 10 Ten Questions. We’ll send you new questions and answers from our friends and partners in Asia to help you unlock the best kept secrets of some of the most amazing cities in Asia. We always encourage starting conversations and discovering where they will take you.
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