About brien a
Lives in Melbourne, Australia
Since Jan 2012
35-49 year old male
Mostly travelling for leisure, I stay in reasonable, good value, budget hotels and try to live like a local. With work I travel a little and tend to stay in the recognized branded hotels in the city centres. My favourite haunts are Vietnam and Portugal.
Flea & Street Markets
Observation Decks & Towers
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings
Bars & Clubs
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Architectural Buildings, Government Buildings, Historic Sites
City Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Boat Tours, Water Sports, Sightseeing Tours
Gift & Speciality Shops
Best pho in Saigon? you decide! Its easy to get to by taxi and is a great way to start your day. DIve in and try all the accompaniments.....it wont cost more than $5-6 per head
Your second shopping trip. this time its cheaper tourist goods with some additional 'pushy' sales people thrown in. Visit the fish and meat market at the back on Le Thanh Ton and pick up your gifts for home at knockdown prices. The inside is the haggle zone and outer corridor the 'fixed price' zone for those less confident
Head here to get your bearings. Get a great view across this low-rise city and see the river in all its glory. well worth the visit and allows you to plan your next stops and maybe even get some great photos.
The main shopping strip. This is a mix of western-ised stores blended with local shops selling almost everything. A good place to start your shopping trip to compare prices and see what the average tourist is buying.
This is right near Ben Thanh market and not far from the hotels, yet is hidden down a laneway and a real gem of a find.....if you can be a detective! Great food and real delicacies at reasonable prices. try it all!
Love the old place....although there's not much to see these days. I guess the big Uncle Ho picture is the big draw card but if you get a few minutes its well worth a quick visit and right next to the cathedral (two for one!)
I loved this place. An old theatre with some unique and wonderful performances. Its just magical and don't worry that its all in Vietnamese as the actions are universal and the stories romantic and humorous. Just great value for money and something that will stay with you forever.
After all your hectic day walking and shopping....relax and unwind with the cocktails at the Chill Skybar. So long as its not the weekend, you'll find it a nice place to wrap up the day with amazing views, great drinks and a slice of modern Saigon.
This is a little bit touristy but critical to hearing all the legends and heroics that went into survival of the Viet Cong and local people of Cu Chi. The tunnels are accessible for a real claustrophobic experience (don't worry...there's escape hatches!) and mock ups of the typical 'traps' and buildings used during the war. Don't expect anything other than the patriotic propaganda about how the enemy were defeated but its great value and worth the slow bus ride to see it.
Day or night this is the heart of the 'backpacker district' serving locals and tourists alike. Here you can get a green papaya salad in the park or get drunk in one of the many bars! Watch out for drunkards late night/early morning and don't be offended by the locals offering girls or drugs.....you are a tourist and they wish you to spend your money!! just walk by and ignore them and they'll leave you alone. Some nice hidden cafes in the first floor and craft shops but again this is a western shopping area and so prices are set accordingly.
Its not the best museum....not the best kept and without the best artifacts but its a good example of the Vietnamese side to the war story. We've all seen the hollywood films and now its time to hear the Vietnamese side of what went on. Some great photo opportunities although the tanks and aircraft aren't in the best condition. The photo gallery is pretty good with some great reportage from both sides. You can double this up with the museum of Ho Chi Minh city which is around the corner. If nothing else its a quiet place to gather your thoughts and relax a while in the heat
Why not stay a while in Pasteur and visit the BBQ garden where the magical scene comes alive at night with fairy lights and some music. Set yourself down at the grill where you cook your own meats in the centre of the table and enjoy the ambience and escape from the city's hustle and bustle. Entrance on the corner of Le Thanh Ton and Nam Ky Khoi.
Start you final day in the same style as the first.....Saigon's best Pho?? time for you to decide! Its a little harder to find as google maps has it shown on the wrong side of the road but its alomst opposite the shopping centre. Its more local and don't expect them to speak English. Just point to the Pho you want and just wait for the serving hatch to produce your delights. Tasty and delicious, its a must try for any Pho 'nut'
Well, it WAS a palace once upon a time. Showing its age now the palace is as it was in the 1970s when the country was reunified (hence the name!) Go and see the bedrooms, the basement bunkers and the rooftop helicopter pad where the American's evacuated from. You can see that it was once a modern status symbol of a wealthy nation that has now been overthrown by Hanoi as the seat of government. Enjoy wandering its quiet hallways and gardens and imaging you are back in the 1960 Saigon at its peak of modernity.
Another shopping centre.....this time its high end shopping! Get your designer goods and expensive gifts here. Just walk between here and Le Loi towards ben Thanh market to get the majority of shopping centres covered. There's Parkson, the Tax Centre as well as Saigon Square and Taka Plaza to take you from Gucci to 'Guchi' in 2 hours!
If your feet are hurting then why not take a trip along the Saigon river. Its not the most beautiful river but you'll see how the richer side of Saigon residents live as well as see some interesting views of the city. Relax with a coffee or beer and enjoy the breeze as you travel sedately up and down the river for about 1-2 hours
Ever wanted to buy a 'genuine Vietnam war zippo lighter'? This where to come.....helmets, fatigues, Zippos, or bullets....you can get them all here. There's no guarantee that they are genuinely 1960-70s but if you believe its genuine....then what the heck! Worth the walk to wander up and down the aisles of war memorabilia and general survival equipment. Good place to go for camping supplies and travel goods as well.
One of my favourite restaurants in HCMC. They serve a variety of dishes from around the country and its always well cooked and tasty. Service can be variable but generally good. Prices are reasonable and expect to pay around $10 per head for a good meal