Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

Saigon Streets
chaotic streets of Saigon

The scene above epitomises the streets of Ho Chi Minh City: traffic everywhere! The sound of horns blaring every second, scooters and bikes coming at you literally from every direction, not caring much about pedestrians on pavements. “Oh there’s an empty spot on the pavement, I’ll just park my bike.” Seriously!

My last trip to Vietnam was in Autumn last year, a last minute decision to show my family a part of Asia they’d not experienced before. We shaved 3 nights off our time in Bangkok and spent it in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

Mekong River Trip

The family absolutely loved it; with just 3 days, we went down the tourist route and took a trip out to the Mekong river and crammed a whole lot into our second day. We had a wonderful time on the river:

  • fresh coconut water straight out of the coconut was served on the boat which was an absolute treat for the kids
  • stopped off at an old temple with newly built statues of Buddha
  • visited a couple of islands, enjoyed some lovely tea and honey
  • and the highlight of the day – lunch on the Mekong
Elephant Fish

We had fresh rice springrolls filled with elephant fish meat (above), vermicelli noodles and salad. It was absolutely delicious and one of the recipes I’ve been meaning to post for a long, long time! I’ll get around to it soon!

Ben Thanh Market

The rest of our time in Saigon was spent eating and shopping! I’d booked us into a hotel that was just a 5-minute walk away from the Ben Thanh Market – a shopper’s paradise. We had a whole lot of fun bartering with the shopkeepers, by the third day, I was a pro, but sadly, it was time to go home!

There was just so much to buy; everything and anything you can think of! There was food, household items, beautiful crockery, clothes and shoes. We kept looking around in amazement, and my daughters insisted on getting some extensions!

Unfortunately, we were also just 2 months into our 6-8 months of travelling. That seriously curtailed what I could buy because we had to think about carrying it all around! 

In the end, it was easier said than done, we ended up couriering (is there such a word?) 2 suitcases back to my inlaws’ when we landed at Heathrow, enroute to Spain.

Vietnamese Coffee

Vietnamese Coffee

You cannot go to Vietnam without either falling in love or hating Vietnamese Coffee – sigh, another post that’s been in the wings forever! I grew up in Singapore, so condensed milk in my hot drinks is very natural to me and because I do love my coffee strong, the Vietnamese coffee has always been a big favourite. It’s dark, it’s strong, it’s sickly sweet and it’s sooo yummy!

We had an amazing time in Vietnam, my experience was made extra special by the awe and enjoyment on my children’s faces! Below are just a few more pictures of our time there, I hope you enjoy them!

Vietnamese Recipes

If you fancy some Vietnamese recipes, check out my Vietnamese Page, for yummy dishes like:

Vietnamese Braised Fish
Quick and Easy Vietnamese fish recipe, rich, concentrated, caramelised flavour, perfect with some steamed rice and green vegetables.
Get the Recipe!
Vietnamese Braised Fish
Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Salmon and Shiitake
Easy recipe for Vietnamese Spring Rolls with salmon and shiitake – great appetiser recipe for anytime of the year!
Get the Recipe!
Vegan Vietnamese Tofu and Eggplant
This Vegan Vietnamese Tofu and Eggplant (Cà Tím Xào Đậu Hũ) is a really easy recipe to put together, and perfect with just some boiled rice.
Get the Recipe!

30 thoughts on “Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam”

  1. Shannon Peterson

    Oh my gosh, fresh coconut water out of the coconut?! That sounds delicious! And the fish!

  2. What an amazing experience this must have been. I’ve never tried Vietmaness food before but I can tell just by the pictures that I would very much enjoy everything!

  3. I have never been to Vietnam before nor have I have tried Vietnamese food before. I think the food sounds great though. I’d love to try some of it sometime.

  4. My goodness, that sounds like a wonderful experience despite the traffic related issues around. The pictures are so interesting & I love Asian foods so much and those Vietnamese Snacks looks great as well.

  5. Karlyn Cruz

    I like to try the fresh spring roll. I’ve never been into Vietnam but sounds like a cool place to go with!

  6. Eating and shopping is always a fun time for me. 🙂 The pictures look great, thanks for sharing them!

  7. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    Thanks for the awesome shots. I felt like I’ve been there before because of your adorable photos!

  8. You really enjoyed your Vietnam trip, based on your story and pics. Love the experience for sure.

  9. So many things to do and see in Vietnam! I would really like to go to the local vendors and markets and purchase authentic items if I ever got the chance to go.

  10. Krystle Cook

    This looks like it was such a fun experience. I would love to be able to take the time and visit Vietnam. Now I definitely have to try the coffee when I go too.

  11. I would love to take a visit to Vietnam one day. Drinking from a coconut sounds like something my kids would enjoy too!

  12. Elizabeth O.

    Sounds like you had a fantastic time in Vietnam! Ho Chi Minh sounds like the perfect place to experience Vietnam, especially with all the lovely food. I’m glad you decided to go here otherwise you would have missed such a lovely experience!

  13. I am used to having condensed milk on hot drinks too! I am from the Philippines and some of the tradition are somehow the same with other Asian countries. I love food and the tradition that goes with it when I travel.

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