Saigon through a foreigner ‘s eye


Saigon is a fun place to be in Vietnam. Through a scope of a writer in Lonely Planet, he pointed out some of the best places for foreigners to hang out in Saigon, Vietnam. Hopefully, after this article, you will be able to form a plan for your fun trip in Saigon.

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Saigon through the scope of a foreign writer

Notre Dame in Saigon @ Audley Travel

James Pham was born in Vietnam but grew up in the United States. Now a freelance writer, James chose to return to Saigon to explore this place in his own way, especially the street food corner. Climbing on his small bike, he goes to find better places to eat every day.

When James takes you to Saigon to play, he often takes them to a favorite foot massage at Nguyen Van Dau Street, Binh Thanh District. Massage price here is only 13 USD (300,000 VND) for 1.5 hours included tip. This is a way to help you recover from a long flight, then people can drink a cup of hot ginger tea.

James and his friend went to the bar in the tallest building in Saigon to enjoy a drink while watching the city. Here you can admire the old corners of Saigon with the lush yellow houses, the tree-lined boulevards, and a new Saigon in the impressive skyscrapers.

In order to find a cheap place to eat and not street food, James went to the popular restaurant. They are small but different dishes, cost per meal only about 1.5 USD (35,000 VND). You can find popular dinners everywhere in the city, most notably near the university. Your job is to pick the food you want. In addition, out of the office rice is also an interesting choice. Your meal will include soup, vegetables, and salads with rice for just a cup of coffee.

If you want to shop, James suggests the Koko is addressing in Thao Dien. It is a lounge/bistro on the ground floor with a retail store offering a variety of fashion items. The product here is unique and suitable for the tropical weather of Vietnam. L’Usine is also a similar store but sells the right items as presents. James also pocket another address is Phuoc Garment on De Tham Street.

With a more luxurious experience, James thought of booking a hotel room in the city center to try to get away from a typical Saigon with its construction sites, motorbikes or parties, late-night karaoke. One of the places where James chose to have a view of the river is Le Meridien Saigon, where there is also a 9th-floor swimming pool and a very nice breakfast buffet.

Other attractive eating places in Saigon are Blanc, where diners order dishes by the name of the dish, or Deck with steak cooked on hot stones, with seats overlooking the romantic river view.

The journey through Saigon continue

The street of Saigon @ Time Travel Turtle

To escape from crowded streets, James likes to go along the Saigon River to the north to Thanh Da Peninsula, 20 minutes from the city center. The scenery is as peaceful as the Mekong Delta with rice fields, palm groves, hammocks on the river. James also chose to go to An Lam Sai Gon River, spend a day swimming, watching the boats crossing and enjoying the Vietnamese or European food.

James loves Saigon so much that he can walk around the streets with a motorcycle. Despite the rainy days, floods, motorbike more difficult but it gives him a sense of freedom between the city’s ramshackle. What is not satisfied is the price of imported food. The street food is cheap, but as many expats (foreigners working in Vietnam), James still loves imported items such as cheese, steak, almonds … He found many gourmet stores. I like it but always pay a decent amount.

The life of the people of Saigon is always “moving”. People usually work six or seven days a week, so the city never stops. Working hard but also fun all the cafes, restaurants, entertainment in Saigon is never lacking. James, once you have broken the language barrier, you will see the Saigon people are very open and friendly.

When James wanted to leave the city, he chose to go to sea. Saigon is a transshipment place so visitors can pick up airplanes to reach many beautiful beaches such as Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Con Dao or Cambodia within an hour. In addition, visitors from Saigon can take the train, car to Vung Tau or Mui Ne just a few hours.

James also shared that he would not do anything in the morning without coffee, which could also be the reason why Saigon coffee is everywhere. James spent time rummaging around the corner of the city. He went to the traditional cafés selling traditional brewed coffee, presenting only a few plastic chairs for guests at Notre Dame Cathedral or hot chocolate cup made from cocoa grown in the Mekong Delta.

Hopefully, you are able to enjoy your time in Saigon!

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