Top tips to experience life in Ho Chi Minh (Sai Gon)

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Have a sip of morning coffee

Drinking coffee in the morning has become a way of life for the Saigonese. Step out to meet the early risers who enjoy sipping hot coffee and chatting with their peers on plastic stools on the sidewalks before the city awakes and the traffic takes over.


A cup of black or white coffee, the city's beverages of choice, ranges from VND10,000 to VND15,000 ($0.44-0.66), just half the price you'd find in Hanoi.

Indulge in sidewalk food stalls

Taking to the streets and eating like a local is an experience no tourists should miss in Vietnam.

When it comes to street food, Saigon will absolutely trigger your appetite.

Sweet soups, iced flan, grilled corn, grilled Vietnamese pizza, spicy mango salad, rice paper salad, pennywort juice, sugarcane juice, duck fetuses and Vietnamese sandwiches are the top 10 must-try street food dishes while in Saigon.

This is something all locals do for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just an afternoon snack. It's easy to experience the street food culture in Saigon: find yourself a small plastic chair, sit down, place your order and away you go!

Grab a taste of nightlife

Take a stroll down the city’s popular walking streets – Nguyen Hue and Bui Vien – where the party goes on into the wee small hours when most parts of the city are fast asleep.

Put on your coolest outfit and wander into a world of beer clubs, bars, pubs and coffee shops, while shaking up the night to loud music, blinking lights and cheering revelers. This is a version of Saigon you won't see during the day with a frenzied and excited atmosphere.

Recently, Ho Chi Minh City was voted the PLACE to go for nightlife in Southeast Asia by Rough Guides, the respected U.K. travel magazine.

Photo by Cao Anh Tuan


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