Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

 out of 12  reviews

** HO CHI MINH, VIETNAM **

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 out of 12 reviews
Things To Do
Adventure
History
Affordability
Relaxation
Local Food
Romance
Nightlife
Traveling While Black

12 Reviews

  1. AishaAbroad
    AishaAbroad
    02 Mar 2020
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    It’s fair to say Vietnam is my favourite country in the whole of South East Asia. It is one of those countries that just have a vibrant atmosphere and vibe to it. In the two times that I have been there I have been met by nothing but lovely and kind people. First time I visited Vietnam I stayed in Ho Chi Minh city, which is a city filled with so much character. There is so much to do there, from indulging in street food, to partying with locals and visiting historic landmarks. A must visit, whilst in Ho Chi Minh has to be the ‘War Memorial Museum’, this museum speaks for itself and you’ll have to go there in person to really absorb all of the rich history it has to offer. ‘Bui Vehn’ street is where it is all happening at, night life gets very popping over them sides. As a solo traveller or even group travel I would recommend staying in the District 1 or 2 area. Again Vietnam is one of those places where you can walk everywhere to avoid taxi fees. However, if u did need some sort of transport service, I would recommend downloading the ‘Grab’ app and using a motorbike service if you are not scared haha! In my opinion motorbikes are quickest and most fun ways to travel around in Vietnam. BEWARE: beware of locals with motorbikes pretending to be ‘Grab’ drivers (they are NOT Grab drivers and will try and rip you off at any cost!) only use ‘Grab’ services ordered directly from the app itself and cross-reference the license plate before getting on! Also don’t be alarmed by the lack of a pedestrian crossing system in Vietnam – it really is survival of the fittest in these streets and only the bravest make it across!

  2. author
    ptovacationer
    28 Jan 2020
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    Stay somewhere in District 1. It’s super close to SGN airport, and most of the biggest tourist attractions are there. Ben Thanh markets, city hall, independence palace, war remnants museum, notre dame cathedral, post office, opera house. All these things are walkable in District 1. But it’s also easy to get around via Grab which is their version of Uber. We were there for just 72 hours. Our hotel, Alagon Spa, was just 3 blocks from the Ben Thanh Market. My cousin and I walked to all the above mentioned places in a single day. We paid something like $50 a night for that hotel which was 4 stars. Daily breakfast buffet was included which had a nice mix of Vietnamese and continental breakfast items, hot and cold. There was a rooftop pool and adjoining spa. We didn’t get to use the spa, we tried booking a massage last minute and they didn’t have availability. The most expensive item on the spa menu was a 90 minute treatment that was only like $60. There were plenty of spas in the surrounding area. Also coffee bars and pho spots. We felt relatively safe. About as safe as we feel in touristy spots of NYC. The hotel required you to use your room key in order to operate the elevator.

  3. author
    JChrissy
    09 Jan 2020
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    Traveling While Black

    For some reason, I was worried about traveling to Vietnam even though it wasn’t my first traveling solo. But once I got there I realized I was worried for no reason. I ended up meeting a Vietnamese girl who recommended places and things to me. I rode a motorbike around the city, watched a soccer game in the rain, ate the best pho ever and went out we some people I ended up meeting. The people were all very nice the only thing dangerous were the millions of motorbikes since it’s their main form of transportation.

  4. author
    Annice
    20 Sep 2019
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    Traveling While Black

    Unlike some other places in Asia I rarely saw another black person while I was in HCMC. There were definitely a lot more stares then usual and no attempt to mask any judgments. I was pointed at by girls that seemed to be around my age (24), who I assumed would have been more open minded being in the same generation. I took part in a private guided street food tour and that was definitely my highlight experience. I suggest going on one because it seemed to be a little more friendly with someone who is used to dealing with foreigners. The guide was a great guide who explained he really liked black American culture like hip hop. He also said he had been doing tours for a while and rarely saw black people. While with the guide all evening (tour was about 4hours) I experienced some different food stalls and the last one was the most memorable. When we ordered you could tell the cook was surprised to see a black traveler and was not sure how to respond. The cook watched as I ate, laughed, and interacted with the guide I had developed a connection with through the mutual liking hip hop. Finally by the end of meal he asked the guide if he could translate something to me. He was appreciative I enjoyed his food/culture and was open and friendly by by laughing and having a good time at his shop. And finally if he could take a picture with me. I said of course. I’ve learned while traveling I can only ever be optimistic but if others are not I can’t hold it against an entire people. I would recommend having a thick skin to deal with some of the discomfort and look for experiences that may be a bit more touristy as the people will have more experience dealing with foreigners.

  5. author
    Carolina_Travel_Queens
    05 Dec 2018
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    Traveling While Black

    First we want to say if you are planning to visit Ho Chi Minh being black just brace yourself…..
    Orginally we planned to stay in HCM for a month or two but that trip was cut very short. When we travel while abroad we generally don’t stay in the touristy areas. For the best experience of the culture we generally try to divide our time up in the areas with the working class locals then we also stay in the higher luxury class areas. When we arrived to HCM we saw one black person at the airport… The first home we arrived to was in an alley way. Lots of traffic NON STOP!! At night the rats came out and they were huge! We ended our stay there very short and went to a different area it was much better but one thing didn’t change about the experience in both areas….. The stares. we got stares from locals and/or other Asian tourist all the time. It was unbelievable!! I’m sure they were also shocked to see black people in that area as we saw zero the whole time. They pointed. They laughed. They took videos and photos.Walking past some locals they rubbed our skin and stared at their hands as if our color would rub off. We had one local walked around us doing a whole 360 just to stare!! We asked a local why does this happen and she begin to tell us that most people never seen many black people. She explained in her 23 years she has only seen one black person physically other than on TV. She also mentioned how Africans are in HCM selling drugs and scamming there so a lot of locals are very judgemental and assume we are Africans. We felt it wasn’t cool to judge all different black people no matter what country they are from just because you have encountered a bad few. We explained to her how we have people ask for photos and she didn’t believe us until she witnessed it for herself. She was overwhelmed for us!! LOL We also experienced locals telling us to get away from their food stall. Grab drivers cancel rides when they arrived and saw we were black even some Grab driver give us nasty customer service until he found out we were American then became extremely nice! HCM traffic was the scariest experience yet and the food wasn’t our favorite although we did find a few things that we enjoyed. We traveled on the Mekong River which was a great experience and the people in the villages were even more shocked to see black people so they rubbed our skin, took photos, and even grabbed our hair without permission. It is very hard to teach kids stranger danger in HCM because they just snatched the kids to take a photo and rubbing all on their face and skin. At one point we had to tell them no. We feel more black people should get out to HCM and break these barriers and judgemental views. Show them that black is beautiful and we are more than the negative things they assume. Check out our YouTube on the food tour we took in Saigon which was definitely a highlight of our stay in Vietnam.

  6. Vanessa_Boyce
    13 Nov 2018
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    I visited Ho Chi Minh as part of an Asian trip and I was amazed at how affordable it was. Food, accommodation and activities were all very affordable. My favourite part of the trip was a scooter food tour throughout the city. We used Saigon Buddy Tours and our guides were enthusiastic university students. They were very interested in finding out more about our country and were very knowledgeable about the city. During the tour we tried several different street foods and even got an opportunity to cook an item. You can view more of this tour here https://www.facebook.com/saigonbuddytours/

  7. author
    Tirag18
    15 Jun 2018
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    I spent almost a week in Ho Chi Minh. I stayed at both the Sofitel Hotel and the Central Palace Hotel. Both had good breakfast and nice pools. They are both in District 1, which is a popular touristic area. I visited the Post Office, the Notre-Dame Cathedral , and even took a tour of the Mekong Delta, which I would highly recommend. There are a lot of things to do in Ho Chi Minh. There are about 10 districts in Ho Chi Minh and millions of people living there. I stayed mostly in one district but you definitely should try to visit the others if you can as there is a lot to see. Be careful crossing the street just cross and don’t try to rush, as everyone basically travels by mopeds and scooters. Crime rate is very low in Vietnam so it’s pretty safe. There are ample restaurants, the ones I enjoyed were Banh Mi Huynh Hoa and Bep Me in. Also try the Street Night Market if you want options. I did some shopping in Ben Thanh Market, remember to bargain, bargain, bargain. For nightlife I went to SOHY, very nice rooftop bar. Ho Chi Minh is a cool city, definitely looking forward to going back.

  8. Compass_Q
    Compass_Q
    17 Apr 2018
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    Go to Ben Thanh market! I went back there three times in my few day in Ho Chi Minh. You can find every souvenir, traditional clothing, spices, misc., full food court, everything. And it’s extremely inexpensive. Take a tour of monkey island which includes a tour of a Vietnam war recreation. Very educational. Walk up and down the streets of District 1 and see all of the amazing street vendors.

  9. luthexplorer
    luthexplorer
    24 Mar 2018
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    Saigon is one of my top cities I love the vibe and the locals are friendly and super helpful. Ho Chi is Vietnam’s old capital. I enjoyed my stay it’s a huge expat destination so you will tons of travelers that work and live in the city. One thing I will recommend is hide are you valuable items. Don’t go walking down the street with cell phone because it will be taken right out of yours hands.

  10. author
    Nakaminhu
    01 Mar 2018
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    Ho Chi Mi City is amazing. The city is crazy busy with a level of traffic I have never seen in my life. The city is infested with scooters driven by mom with dad, baby, and uncle in the back seat. Good luck crossing a street. My hotel had no windows and I guess that’s common and it is partly due to the high cost of real state in the city. I spend two days and this what I did: a guided visit the Cu Chi tunnels which were used by locals during the Vietnam war. This was a very interesting experience. Our guide was a war veteran and shared a lot of personal stories. Bui Vien Walking Street is a must a see with plenty of shops, clubs, and restaurants. The street food market offers cuisine for every taste but we should definitely try Vietnamese pizza and raindrop cake. Pho 2000 is a world-famous noodle restaurant and apparently, Bill Clinton is a fan. There is a picture of him on the wall. Overall, I had a lot of fun exploring the city and trying exotics dishes and fruits. Durian, anyone? :)

  11. Theadventurouscast
    Theadventurouscast
    22 Feb 2018
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    We were in Ho Chi Minh City in January. It is a very historic place to visit. We walked around the city our first day and just discovered nice places. We stopped at the war museum, which was very sad, but informative and well planned out. The locals were so friendly and the food was delicious. We did not have internet connection on our phones and did not bother to purchase any because we wanted to actually enjoy everything that was around us. We used the good old maps that were provided by the hotel and walked around using our feet. The markets are very busy, but cheap and good eats. I recommend trying Vietnamese coffee, if you’re as much a coffee lover as I am. I would be aware of the traffic thought, it seems like no one wanted to stop for you to cross the streets.

  12. Christyn_
    Christyn_
    11 Dec 2017
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    Ho Chi Minh City is a tropical fruit lover’s dream (mangos, pineapples, sugar cane juice, coconut water.) The food is amazing, the weather for NYE was perfect. I highly recommend the War Remnants Museum. It was probably one of the few museums that I walked through in entirety and read everything. It’s the sad truth that I wasn’t taught in school about the war…
    I also recommend taking a scooter tour around the city and the Mekong River Delta tour.

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