Ho Chi Minh: 5 things to do in the land of the motorbikes

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly called Saigon, in Vietnam is home to 4 million motorbikes, with at least 1300 being added every day. But people don't flock here to witness how a country operates with more motorbikes than cars. People flock to Vietnam because of the cuisine, the coffee culture, and it's history.

These are five things that you can do when you visit Ho Chi Minh, one of the biggest cities in Vietnam.

1. Ooooh la la. The COFFEE.

Coffee in Vietnam is addicting. For an Asian country, you would't even think that they'd drink this much. What I like the most is that that they have so many coffee shops! And the coffee doesn't have to be Starbucks nor Coffee Bean for it to be bought. In fact, the corner coffee stalls and pop-up coffee shops get more people than Starbucks. And why wouldn't they? The coffee is better and cheaper.

Try Cafe Vy at the corner of Le Thanh Ton, near the Ben Thanh Market. You'd also be amazed how one small coffee stall will be able to accommodate so many people.

Name:
Cafe Vy
Address:
277A Lê Thánh Tôn, district 1 (Lê Anh Xuân), Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
HP:
Foursquare.com

2. French + Vietnamese Food Fusion? Why not?

Au Parc Cafe near the Notre Dame Church is the perfect example of an Asian and French Fusion restaurant. Their menu consists of Vietnamese Pho, but at the same time, French gourmet. And, they do both dishes really well.

Name:
Au Parc
Address:
23 Hàn Thuyên, Quận 1, Tp. Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
TEL:
+84 8 3829 2772
HP:
Foursquare.com

3. Shop til you drop at the infamous Ben Thanh

Chợ Bến Thành (Ben Thanh Market), Foursquare.com

Chợ Bến Thành (Ben Thanh Market), Foursquare.com

The Ben Thanh market is a whole new world at night. In the morning, you have a building filled of goodies - from toiletries to dry goods, fruits and vegetables to computer tech, name it and they have it.
But at night? Well, they occupy the next street and sell freshly cooked food! You also have cheap souvenirs and Vietnamese coffee. It's worth a visit if you're ever in the area.

Name:
Chợ Bến Thành (Ben Thanh Market)
Address:
Lê Lợi (Bến Thành), Ho Chi Minh City, Tp. Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
HP:
Foursquare.com

4. Go artsy fartsy or go reminisce history

Bảo Tàng Mỹ Thuật (Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts), Foursquare.com

Bảo tàng Chứng tích Chiến tranh (War Remnants Museum), Foursquare.com

Ho Chi Minh is home to the art museum and to the war remnants museum. Feast your eyes on art and culture, and then head to the war museum where you will relive what happened to the country when they were under the American regime.

Name:
Bảo tàng Chứng tích Chiến tranh (War Remnants Museum)
Address:
28 Võ Văn Tần, phường 6, Quận 3, Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
TEL:
+84 8 3930 6325
HP:
Official Foursquare.com

5. Feel at war in the Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnel, Foursquare.com

Cu Chi Tunnel, Foursquare.com

Not to be violent or anything, but being in a place such as the Cu Chi tunnels will make you feel like you're somewhere else back in time. You will get to experience going under their very small tunnels, and if you want, you can even shoot some of their old guns.

Name:
Cu Chi Tunnel
Address:
Tỉnh Lộ 15, Củ Chi, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
TEL:
+84 8 3794 8823
HP:
Foursquare.com

Conclusion

Vietnam is a delightful country with so many sights to see. And this is only the surface of Ho Chi Minh, if you have more time, you should try exploring more areas on foot. You will get to appreciate a country's culture if you just get lost, wander and watch people.

Author

Geninna
5 things I can't live without: coffee, books, my iPod, wifi, and my husband :D Born and raised in Manila, Philippines but I've lived in Qatar, Indonesia, and the UAE. I am currently living in Romania, and I have been on vacations to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam :) And does a stop over in Bahrain and Germany count?