Ho Chi Minh City travel {5 tips}

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello friend. Today I decided to post my overdue travel post + {5 tips}. I am going to Western Australia for my next holiday and it will be less than two weeks from now. So I'd better posted my last travel trip before it gets really expired :).

I traveled with my girl friends to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon/HCMC) at the beginning of this year. Asian travelers often neglect about this city because when talks about traveling to Vietnam, they will rather visit Hanoi or Hue; for its cultural insight and UNESCO heritage places. However HCMC has a character and there are few things that are fun to explore too.

While writing this post, I was thinking to give a gastronomy tips rather than about places to go (there are plenty information about places to go and Trip Advisor is an excellent resources).

Tip1; Tropical fruits look more appealing in HCMC.
You won’t miss Ben Thanh market because of its location. It is HCMC main traditional market and the landmark of the city. This place is very touristy but still worth to explore. I was especially fascinated with their tropical fruits selection. Name them Ciku, Duku Langsat, Rambutan, Mangosteen  (I am sorry if I am not able to translate in English) but I tried them and love them all. You should too.

Tip2; Vietnamese drip coffee is a real kick!
Some of you may not a coffee drinker or tea is your preference instead, but you have to try at least once for Vietnamese drip coffee and of course, by having them in the local coffee shop.  Vietnam has massive choices of coffee flavors and different intensity level. The local coffee shop has a unique way to arrange their seats, they are all facing the street, it is a funny fact but everyone seems enjoying their coffee by seeing the motorcyclists rather than their companion .

Tip3; It is not only about Pho (Vietnamese beef noodle) and Bahn Mi.
Pho and Bahn Mi may beyond common to serve in Vietnamese restaurant in other countries, however when I visited HCMC I found several interesting locals food beside those two. My favorite one is Chom Tam (broken rice serve with pork dishes). Broken rice used to consume by only poor people, because the price is cheaper and doesn’t contain less nutrient. Nowadays, the dish is widely sells in the restaurant as a normal meal. They have massive choices of side dishes which is mostly pork, you name them; pork sausage, minced pork, pork belly, etc. The sweet savory taste from the pork dishes combine with sours pickle vegetables is really heavenly.

Tip4; Street snacks are fun to explore.  
However, please be prepared that the street snack is not always hygiene. If you feel it is not your preference, there are also plenty of patisseries (thank you for a strong French influence) in the downtown HCMC. They mostly served homemade macaroon and cakes. They are worth to visit after a long walking day exploring the city and you feel  to refill your sugar intake.


Tip5; Silly but true, you should try French cuisine while you are in HCMC.
Honestly I only tried French cuisine one time, because If I would like to go for 5 course menu in Kuala Lumpur, it will cost me super expensive, but in HCMC it is as affordable as eating out for ordinary meal in the Kuala Lumpur decent restaurant. We went to French restaurant called La Villa  own by French chef. I highly recommended this place because of the food quality, hospitality and wide choices of cheese trolley.

That’s about it. I really hope you enjoy my few gastronomy tips, and the next time you visit HCMC you will at least know what to expect. Last but not least, practice your ‘crossing’ the road skill because you can’t avoid this… Happy Monday!

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