Saigon Insight

18199185_10211459963886697_6664819048824375394_nGet inspired by world’s 2nd most dynamic city in the happiest country in Asia. Here are the official recommendations listed.

Places marked with the red star (*) are all located within 0,5km walking distance from Bui Vien/Pham Ngu Lao. Click links for more informations.

0.Sim Card Options -Four different choices of prepaid sim cards for Vietnam listed

1.GETTING AROUND IN SAIGON 

  • Green Ride* Eco-bus goes through the city center at any time from 23.Sept. Park only VND6.000 takes around 20-25mins.
  • Sightseeing Bus*Hop on hop off city bus. Bus No. 35 at Ben Thanh Station
  • City Bus Lines* Here you find the destinations of the city bus of the 23/9 Park station listed
  • Cyclo  Fun ride to get around. Agree on a fix price with the driver
  • Motorbike Taxi at corners (Xe Om)Agree on a price in advanced. 1-2km can start by VND20k/30k. Even 2 passengers are possible. (Good for combined destinations)
  • Grabcar/Grabbike  Great app for cheap and safe rides & pay cash.  Type in your start and destination and see how competative the rides are. You pay a fix price for any traffic situation and drivers are in the “focus”. You can rate each driver which is important for them
  • TaxisThe green taxis of “Mai Linh” have the best reputation. The white Vinasun taxis are often a good alternative. 
  • Saigon Scooter Centre: Great rental & one way scooter drop off service
  • Saigon Motorbike Rental: $* 203 Bui Vien, Dist1.

2.EXCHANGE MONEY

2. SIGHTSEEING & HOTSPOTS

  • Central Post Office: 1 Cong Xa Paris, Dist.1
  • Notre Dame Cathedral: 1 Cong Xa Paris, Dist.1
  • Emperor Jade Pagoda: 73 Mai Thi Luu, Dist.1
  • War Remnants Museum: 28 Vo Van Tan St, Dist.3
  • Museum of Ho Chi Minh City: HCMC Museum, 65 Dist.1
  • Bitexco Financial Tower/Skydeck: (52nd floor) 36 Ho Tung Mau Street Dist.1
  • Ho Chi Minh Square: Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Dist.1
  • Ba Thien Thau Temple: 710 Nguyen Trai, Dist.5
  • Fine Arts Museum: 97A D Pho Duc Chinh, Dist.1
  • Saigon Opera House:Intersection of Le Loi and Dong Khoi St | Lam Son Square, Dist.1
  • Independence Palace: 106 Nguyen Du, Dist.1
  • Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine: 41 Hoang Du Khuong | Trs, Dist.10
  • Zoo & Botanical Garden: 2B Nguyen Binh Khiem Str. Dist. 1
  • San Art Laboratory: 7 ward 19, 48 Me Linh,Dist.1
  • Museum of Vietnamese History: 25/2 Nguyen Bỉnh Khiem, Ben Nghe, Dist.1
  • Fine Arts Museum: 97 Pho Đuc Chinh, Nguyen Thai Binh, Dist.1
  • Turtle Lake-(Local hang out spot): Turtle Lake phuong 6, Dist.3
  • Upscaled StreetOxford Street Of Saigon: Dong Khoi Street, Dist.1
  • Cho Lon China Town wholesale market: Phuong 2, Dist.6 
  • Chua Buu Long Pagoda: Nguyen Xien, Long Binh, Dist.9
  • Ben Thanh Market*: Close to Le Loi & Le Lai St. Dist.1
  • Thai Binh -Wet Market*:Cong Quyng, Dist.1

3. SHOPPING, CLOTHING & SOUVENIRS: 

  • New Taka Plaza*: At underground Sen Hong in 23/9 Park Dist.1
  • Saigon Square: Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Dist.1
  • Bin Tay Market: 57 Thap Muoi, | Ward 2, Dist.6
  • Nguyen Tri Phuong MarketHuge local market: 10 302 Nhat Tao, Phuong 8, Dist.10
  • Nguyen Trai Street: Fashion & Gifts Street for local prices
  • Shoe Factory Outlet*212B/D90 Nguyen Trai, Dist.1 (https://factoryoutlet.asia/en/)
  • Sportswear & Equipment Street: Huyen Tran Cong Chua St. Dist.1
  • U.Best House*Outdoor/Trekking Equipment: 163 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Dist.1
  • T3L Men’s Clothing*: 102/1B Cong Quynh, Dist.1
  • Tailor Hoang Dung*: 270 Bui Vien, Dist.1. Tel: 2240 5990 8am to 8pm
  • Vietnamese Antique Street: Le Cong Kieu Dist.1
  • Viets Corner Flea Market: 39F Suong Nguyet Anh | Dist.1
  • T&V Tailor – Trendiest designs: 39 Dong Du, Dist.1. Tel: 3824 4556
  • Anupa Boutique –Traditional Ao Dais for little girls (anupa.net): 9 Dong Du, Dist.1
  • Hello Weekend Flea Market (Weekend):Hoa Lu Stadium, 2 Dinh Tien Hoang, Dist.1

4.CITY TOURS:

  • Vespa Adventures*:  169 De Tham, Dist.1
  • Vintage Car Tour: http://www.saigon2cvtour.com/
  • Vietnam Jeep Tours: 228 Pasteur, Phuong 6, Dist. 3
  • Nhieu Loc Canal: Peaceful boat cruise trip bookable (+84) 08 3911 8987
  • Saigon Hotpot: Free local tours by volunteer students.+84 124 366 0255
  • XO Tours: 12 Ton Dan, Dist.4
  • Back of the Bike Tours:  68 Nguyen Hue, Ben Nghe, Dist.1
  • Saigon River Tour: 10B Ton Duc Thang, Dist.1

5. SPECIAL MODERN & OLD FASHION CAFES: 

  • The Note Coffee* Great Egg Coffee/ Coconut Coffee: 183 Bui Vien
  • Mockingbird Cafe Fascinating building & atmosphere:4th floor,14 Ton That Dam,Dist.1
  • Thi Fi CafeVietnamese Retro Cafe in the same building:3rd floor,14Ton That Dam,Dist.1
  • The Workshop Cafe Fascinating self made coffee: 27 Ngo Duc Ke Street, Dist.1
  • Cua Hang Cafe 81 – Vietnamese 60’s coffee shop (insider) 216B Nguyen Van Nguyen, Tan Dinh Ward, Dist.1
  • Kamakura Cafe :Modern Japanese Cafe: 21 Phan Ke Binh,P. Da Kao, Dist.1
  • Tram Cafe – Beautiful peaceful garden cafe (insider): 100 Tran Huy Lieu Phuong 15 Phu Nhuan-Dist.
  • Ut Lanh* Vietnamese 70’s style coffee shop: 283/37 Pham Ngu Lao street, Dist.1
  • Au Parc Cafe Bistro cafe at the nice park: 23 Han Thuyen, Dist.1
  • I.D. Cafe Individual lounge Cafe: 34D Thu Khoa Huan Street | Dist.1
  • L’usine Cafe Fashion & Cafe at once: 70 Le Loi, Dist.1
  • Saigon Oi Cafe Great view at night inside the unique Cafe Apartment(Insider) Floor 5, 42 Nguyen Hue, Dist.1 | Floor 5

6. MASSAGES/SPA’S

  • Serenity $*: 246 Bui Vien, Dist.1
  • Coco $$*: 148/9 Bui Vien, Dist.1
  • AAA Spa $*: 133 Bui Vien, Dist.1
  • Quynh Nhu Spa Foot Massage: 141 Ham Nghi, Ng Thai Binh, Dist.1
  • Da Huong Yuan $:15 B5, Le Thanh Ton, Dist.1
  • Cat Moc Spa: 61-63 Tran Dinh Xu, Dist.1
  • Kennoya Foot Massage $$: 44 Ton That Thiep St Dist.1
  • Jolene Spa $$: 193 Ly Tu Trong | Ben Thanh Ward, Dist.1
  • Xong Hoi Massage Kiem Anh Duong $$blind masseurs: 297/24 Vĩnh Vien, phuong 05, Dist.10

7. PARKS

  • Binh Quoi Park: Binh Quoi Street, Thanh Da Island, Binh Thanh Dist
  • Ho Ban Nguyet Park-Ton Dat Tien Street, Dist.7
  • Van Thanh Park- Phuong 22, Binh Thanh, Dist.1
  • 23. September Park*Locals do fun sports & hang out (local spot): Close to Ben Thanh

8.REGULAR EVENTS & DO’s & WORKSHOPS

  • Saigon’s Book Street: Idyllic street to read books: Nguyen Van Binh Street, Dist.1
  • Pool Party*: Every Sat. at New World Hotel from 3pm – 10pm (insider): 76 Le Lai Dist.1
  • Lush Club Ladies Night Party: Every Tuesday at Lush (insider): Ly Tu Trong, Dist.1
  • A and O Show: ( 3 different shows)  7 Cong Truong Lam Son Dist.1
  • Water Puppet Show:55B Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Dist.1
  • Salsa Nights: Every Fr. At Hard Rock Cafe or Liberty Riverside Vertical Sky Bar
  • X-Rock Climbing: Phan Dinh Phung Sports 75 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Dist.3
  • Water Ski Viet Nam: Nguyen Duc Canh, Phu My Hung Dist.7
  • Paintball Club: 19,Street 48, Hiep Binh Canh, Thu Duc Dist.
  • Laser Tag: VND40k/15min5th floor, Alta Plaza, 91B2 Pham Van Hai, Tan Binh
  • Jump Arena Trampoline Park Vietnam:  63 Xa lo Ha Noi, Thao Đien, Dist.2
  • Saigon Leather Workshop: 116/19A Tran Quoc Toan, Dist.3
  • Beer School: Sign up at Pasteur Street Brewing Company
  • Water Ski: Nguyen Duc Canh, Phu My Hung, Dist.7
  • Art Workshop at Get Your Art On: 6 Le Van Mien Dist.2
  • Saigon Cooking Class: 74/7 Hai Ba Trung, Dist.1
  • Overland Club: 36bis Huynh Khuong Ninh, Dist.1  Tel: 3820 9734  Japanese home cooking class every Sunday 1.30- 5pm
  • Rock Climbing & Skating, Youthclub atmosphere Saigon Outcast: (Insider)188 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, Dist.2

9. BARS & PUBS: 

  • Ong Cao Craft Beer $$*  Great variations of craft beer140 Bui Vien, Dist.1
  • The Gin House $$$: 28/3A Ton That Tung. Dist.1
  • Level 23 Nightspot & Wine Bar $$$: Sheraton Hotel, 88 Dong Khoi Street, Dist. 1
  • OMG Bar* $$Casual Rooftop Bar: 15-17-19 Nguyen An Ninh – Dist.1 | Rooftop
  • Buddha Bar & Grill $$: 7 Thao Dien, Dist.2
  • Go 2 Bar* $$Nightbar outside in the busy Bui Vien Street: Corner Of Bui Vien and De Tham 
  • Munich German Sportsbar*185/10 Pham Ngu Lao, Dist.1

10.  SKYBARS & ROOFTOP BARS: 

  • Glow Skybar $$$: 93 Nguyen Du, Dist. 1
  • Shri Bar Centec Tower $$$ 72-74 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Dist.1
  • Air 360 Sky Bar $$$: 136-138 Le Thi Hong Gam St., Dist.1
  • Chill Sky Bar $$$*: 76A Le Lai, Dist.1
  • Social Club $$$:  76-78 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Dist. 3
  • Upper Saigon Restaurant $$$: 308 Dien Bien Phu, Dist.3
  • Chanh Bistro $$: 43-45 Ho Tung Mau 6th floor, Dist.1
  • The View Rooftop Bar* $$: 195 Bui Vien, Dist.1
  • Broma Not A Bar $$Livebands on a rooftop, often visited by many backpackers and expats: 41 Nguyen Hue Street, Ben Nghe Ward, Dist.1

11. CLUBS: 

  • Apocalypse Now $$: 2B Thi Sach Street, Dist.1
  • Xoxo Club $$$- Vietnamese upscaled clubbing (insider): 136-138 Le Thi Hong Gam
  • Canalis Club $$- Popular Viet club (insider): 147 Hai Ba Trung, Phuong 6, Dist.3
  • Observatory $$-Alternative:5 Nguyen Tat Thanh, 12 Quan,Phuong 12, Dist. 4
  • Spark Nightclub $$: 107 Pasteur, Dist.1
  • (Look up for updates about Saigon Parties/Events at anyarena.com)

12. LIVE MUSIC: 

  • Carmen Bar: 8 Ly Tu Trong, | Dist.1
  • Saigon Ranger: 5/7 Nguyen Sieu, Ben Nghe, Dist.1
  • Yoko: 22A Nguyen Thi Dieu, Dist.3
  • Thu Bar*29 Do Quang Dau, Dist.1
  • Indika Saigon: 43 Nguyen Van Giai, phuong Dakao, Dist.1
  • Seventeen Saloon: 103A Pham Ngu Lao Street, Dist. 1
  • Acoustic Bar: 6E1 D Ngo Thoi Nhiem, Dist.3
  • Sax N Art Jazz Club: 28 Le Loi Street, Dist.1

13. EATS AT NIGHT

  • Phu Nhuan District At Night (Local’s busy eatery & beer street)

14. INTERNATIONAL EATS

  • BLOOM SAIGONBrilliant fusion charity restaurant in a villa: 3/5 Hoang Sa, Ward Dakao, Dist.1
  • 4p’s Pizza- Japanese Pizza $$: 8/15 Le Thanh Ton, Dist.1
  • JJ’s Fish and Chips: 130 Ton That Dam, Dist.1 Tel: 01262 909077
  • Dong Bac Dumplings* $ – Fresh & cheap N.China dumpling: 195Bis Bui Vien, Dist.1
  • Sushi Nhi $ Budget Sushi: 25 Nguyen Cong Tru Street, Binh Thanh Dist.1
  • Sushi Ko $ Budget Sushi: 122/37/15 Vinh Khanh Street, Dist.4
  • Sorae $$$*: Amazing Japanese Restaurant 76A Le Lai Str. Dist.1
  • Chanh Bistro $$:International food with great view. 44 Ho tung Mau
  • Vietnamese Chocolate Shop: 46 Truong Dinh, Dist. 1
  • Marou Maison Chocolaterie: 167 Calmette, Nguyen Thai Binh, Dist.1

15. PHARMACIES & HOSPITALS

16. Somewhere between the kind Saigoneers:

Saigon is a safe place to visit! Saigoneers are mostly warm hearted, friendly and helpful. Even though it is never wrong to be cautious the healthy way. There seem to be snatchers doing their thing. Strong touristic frequented areas like Ben Thanh Market or Bui Vien are their hot spots at day and night. Two guys on a motorbike slowly come closer and snatch what they get and ride off. They target cellphones, bags/purses that are easy to snatch off ones who seem unmindful or little too loose with it. Also a few other situations can lead to wrong directions. Do not worry, it happens in certain cases only. I listed easy and safe basics that keep you in your Zen mode.

Good news for since 1.February 2017:
Citizens from 40 countries can apply for e-visas for USD25 starting on 1.February. Included on the list are China, Japan, South Korea, U.S.A., U.K., Germany & Sweden, all major target markets for Vietnam’s tourism. 

Complete list: Azerbaijan, Argentina, Armenia, Ireland, Poland, Belarus, Bulgaria, Brunei, South Korea, Germany, Chile, Colombia,Czech Republic, Cuba, Denmark, Timor Leste, United States of America, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Myanmar, Mongolia, Japan, Panama, Peru, Finland, France, The Philippines, Romania, Spain, Sweden, China (not applicable to Chinese e-passport holders) Uruguay, Venezuela, Norway, Slovakia

Applying for e-visas, foreign citizens can access websites http://www.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn or http://www.immigration.gov.vn

POPULAR PLACES TO BE OUT OF TOWN:

  • Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Mekong Delta/Can Tho
  • Vung Tau Province & Beach
  • Saigon Lake House
  • Can Gio Monkey Park- Be with free running monkeys & feed crocodiles
  • Mango Park to see animals and ride an ostrich (If you are under 1,75m)
  • Con Son Secret Island -Ba Ria-Vung Tau, 230KM from HCMC

I would highly appreciate to receive your feedback or recommendations to the list. For further questions please email me: josef.thangluu@gmail.com

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