1. Experience the city on wheels
In a city where most of the locals commute on motorbikes, there’s no better way to soak it all in than to hop on one yourself. Should you not know how to ride a bike, fret not! XO Tours is an all-female motorbike company in Vietnam and if you’re in the mood for shopping, eating or sightseeing, they are the ones you should go to. Feeling a lot more adventurous? Rent a motorbike for cheap, and see the city on your own.
An all-female motorbike tour in HCMC. Photo credit: Necessary Indulgences
2. Visit a bizarre theme park
Ever wondered what the cross between the eccentric Haw Par Villa and Universal Studios in Singapore might be? Find out at the Suoi Tien Amusement Park, located in District 9 of Ho Chi Minh City. Unlike a typical theme park, Suoi Tien Amusement Park is inspired by culture and characters from Buddhism. In fact, don’t forget to check out the Unicorn Palace ride, which is supposed to give you a taste of what hell is like after-life!
The unique Suoi Tien Amusement Park. Photo credit: Suoi Tien
3. Wander into a hidden restaurant
As you walk along the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, don’t be afraid to make a turn into one of the many hidden restaurants and cafes located along the way. If you aren’t sure where to start looking, start at Cafe Trầm, which teleports you instantly into a beautiful alfresco area amongst lush greenery and water gardens.
Cafe Tram: a hidden cafe gem in HCMC. Photo credit: Saigon Nezumi
4. Eat like the locals do
We are often advised against trying the local street food as they can be too much for our stomach to handle. The truth is that most of the time, we turn this advice into a convenient excuse for us to stay within our comfort zones. But as hunger strikes, there’s actually a huge variety of street food to sample and indulge in. Oh, and as you roam the streets of Ho Chi Minh City in search of tasty bites, you’ll notice the locals going up to communal tobacco water pipes for a smoke. If you’re feeling gutsy, give it a go too – but beware, it can get mighty strong!
_A mix of street food along Ho Chi Minh City. Photo credit: Way to Vietnam_
5. Watch a show at the Municipal Theatre
Instead of spending time searching for the best show at the Municipal Theatre (also known as the Saigon Opera House), take your chances and buy a ticket to see one with the most interesting poster or name – even if you can’t pronounce it! Watching a performance here is generally quite affordable and you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the majestic interiors and beautiful architecture of this French-influenced structure.
The beautiful Saigon Opera House by night. Photo credit: IRM 2014
When you travel with an open heart and toe outside your comfort zone, your holiday can be all the more rewarding. So why wait? Book your flights, hotels and rent your car with Skyscanner today for the best deals. You can also book on-the-go with our mobile apps!