What does one expect when visiting Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)?  If you’re a fan of cheap street food, Vietnamese coffee, or intense humidity, check out photos and words below from my recent trip, Explore Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

explore ho chi minh city saigon

Explore Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

I actually wrote this post and published it, but because I didn’t log in to WordPress, everything got lost… so here I am starting over… fuck.

So how much were tickets and when did I book?  Tickets to HCMC were $600 mid August.  I booked about a month before when a deal popped up on Escape Houston.  The flight itinerary was HOU > NRT > HCMC and then from BGK > NRT > HOU.  The stipulation was to find another flight to Bangkok Thailand.  This was easy because flights from HCMC to Bangkok was $50 to $75 USD all day.  Law decided to tag along since we’re both in funemployment phase… kinda but not really…

It was a full flight on ANA’s Boeing 777-300ER except there was so much room for activities…

Our flight to NRT was almost 14 hrs so I may have watched 5-6 movies…

Our 3.5 hrs layover in NRT we decided to venture outside the terminal and grab some food…

We arrived around midnite in HCMC Saigon and took a cab to our hostel….

The private room we booked at the hostel was on the 3rd floor of a 5 story house…

After checking into our hostel, we decided to check out the neighborhood….

Pho Di Bo Bui Vien or Bui Vien Walking Street has a bunch of bars/pubs at night where locals and tourists eat and drink while people watching…

Random white guy in a dress. No big deal….

The start of day 2.. we didn’t have an itinerary to follow so we just walked around and went to places people recommended…

This is Bui Vien Walking Street during the day.  A night and day difference….

A nearby daytime fish market in the district we stayed in… 

Mopeds were the main methods of transportation in Vietnam.  It’s the quickest way to get around Saigon…

Life in Saigon…

While exploring Saigon, we walked past this barbershop…

A three story McDonald’s with a drive thru on the right side…

The famous Cho Ben Thanh…

One of the biggest day time markets in Saigon… it’s also one of the more expensive ones because it’s a big tourist attraction….

Food vendors were aggressive in trying to get your business… I guess what seems aggressive to me is normal over there…

The biggest post office in Saigon…

While it is still a tourist attraction, it still serves as a working post office…

After our daytime jet lagged nap, it was time to go out and chill at Bui Vien Walking Street.  We didn’t eat anything for dinner so we got some bar street food.  After a few beers, Law and I decided to follow a pub crawl around….

You can see Law in the foreground to the left while a drunk tourist picks up a random local kid…

I was still hungry and wanted to try Vietnamese pho.  Luckily, there was a pho restaurant near the hostel.  The prices converted was $2-3 USD per bowl… about $5 USD cheaper than bowls in the U.S.  Law didn’t eat that night, but we did come back in the morning so he could try it out…

We grabbed some coffee next door at Luke’s Cafe afterwards to begin our day.  The prices were almost competing with U.S. prices… I wouldn’t recommend this place for coffee sadly…

I went to visit my cousin’s relatives and they took us out for lunch…

This place was known for their Hai Nam chicken…

After lunch, they showed us their $1M 6 story flat… 

Day 4 came and we started off with breakfast at Hoa-ma restaurant.  They only had one dish to serve which consisted of a baguette, eggs, and combination of meats.  I believe it was 50.000VND which is a little less than $2 USD…

I’m pretty sure this was a boss man with a stack of bills in his pocket…

Don’t worry, Law did not eat again right after our previous meal… I actually went to visit a relative and met him up at this Vegetarian restaurant near our hostel….

Later on we met up with Khanh in Nguyen Hue Walking Street…

Stephen Huynh was also there at the time of our Saigon visit…

Khanh and Stephen had just came back from Da Nang from teaching a Wedding Workshop.  If you didn’t know, they’re actually a big deal in Vietnam…

Stephen treated us out for some buffet for dinner.  Even cheap food is pretty good in Saigon…

Day 5 we tried out the Day Market food near our hostel.  The bun thit nuong tasted fresh and for $1.50 USD, it was the best…

For lunch, we ate at Bun Moc Thanh Mai, per Stephen’s recommendation…

We didn’t need to explore much around Saigon because everything was walking distance from our Hostel.  A night market was set up for the weekend that day…

The cowboy themed bar had a live band from the Philippines.  The music was great for a normal bar…

Day 5, Law and I spent the day at Khanh’s family restaurant… 

Their restaurant and home reminded me of a resort with all the trees and greenery…

Thanks Khanh for feeding us and letting us chill at your crib…

Prepare for food porn…

Before getting married….

After getting married…

Khanh’s family took us out to a private European themed venue.  It was a little weird it’s in the middle of the nowhere, but it was interesting to see…

Overall, I really liked Saigon. Our next stop, Da Nang!

If I had any recommendations for Vietnam would be to rent a moped or to buy one if you’re there for a 2+ weeks.  We didn’t get to drive or ride any mopeds while in Saigon, but will definitely next time.  I spent around $10-15 USD per day in Saigon… maybe less.  Of course walking around saved us a lot of money and eating street food too.  HCMC or Saigon is more of a fast pace city where it can get expensive depending on the area you’re in.  Even more expensive than the U.S.  The next post will be from our trip to Da Nang, Vietnam… I should start editing those photos soon…

As always, thanks for taking the time to read or scroll through the photos.

Danh Phan
http://www.dtphan.com
http://www.instagram.com/dtphan