google-site-verification: google6aa299f8b1246e02.html window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date());

Sharing is caring!

I’m gonna get all psychic up in here and predict that you’re planning a 3 days in Ho Chi Minh itinerary.

Freaky how I knew that huh? LOL.

In all seriousness though, Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) is an awesome city to explore. 

Granted:

It might not seem like much when you first arrive. Because truthfully? Yeah, Ho Chi Minh city isn’t exactly pretty. 

But looks aren’t everything, people! 

It’s what’s on the INSIDE that counts, or in Ho Chi Minh’s case, it’s what’s tucked away behind narrow alleyways and antiquated colonial apartment buildings. 

That’s why:

I’m here to help you look past Ho Chi Minh’s slightly grimy exterior and into the wide array of super fun activities here instead.

So get pumped!

Because I’m about to show you some of the coolest hidden gems, craziest experiences, and most mouth-watering, foodie hot spots that this brilliantly bonkers city has to offer.

And now:

Without any further ado or unnecessary verbiage, let’s jump right into this insanely epic, totally fun, and super amazing, Ho Chi Minh City 3 day itinerary (Okay, it may not be ALL that but definitely get ready to pump this Vietnam itinerary party with me).

***PSST…Not sure where to stay in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam? Then check out The Reverie Saigon (a worthwhile, luxury splurge where rooms start at $250 per night), Ma Maison Boutique Hotel (an elegant, boutique hotel in an authentic, Saigon neighborhood, where rooms start at just $36 per night), and Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel (Rooms at this modern hotel with a rooftop pool start at $84 per night).***

Since I am incapable of making it rain money, there’s a high chance that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

The beauty of Chùa bà thiên hậu temple in Ho Chi Minh City.
The beauty of Chùa bà thiên hậu temple in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 1 of this 3 Day Ho Chi Minh Itinerary

GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!

I’m sorry, but did you really expect me to resist such an easy joke?

Anyway, all lame attempts at humor aside:

While you’re in Vietnam, forget about having eggs and bacon for breakfast.

Yeah:

The Vietnamese don’t really have any specific breakfast foods. They do, however, LOVE noodle soup for breakfast. 

Therefore:

Head on down to Pho Quynh, a popular street food spot that is much beloved by both tourists and locals alike!

And trust me:

Pho pho breakfast (see what I did there) will definitely kick start your day and help give you enough energy to make even the Energizer bunny jealous.

But:

if you really can’t stomach it, fear not because western-style breakfasts are easy to come by in Ho Chi Minh.

And a fantastic place to enjoy one is at the uber-adorable Note Coffee Cafe.

Brimming over with pastries aplenty, the real star of this quaint little eatery is their one and only, egg coffee! 

Yup:

This decadent, thick, creamy, beverage-slash-dessert is much more common in Ho Chi Minh than Hanoi, so lap it up while you can. 

However:

Do you know what makes Note Coffee Cafe even cooler? The fact that is literally covered, floor-to-ceiling, in post-it notes from past customers. 

And yes:

Participation is encouraged, so feel free to leave a post-it note of your own behind.

Who knows, it might even be the start of a mega-cheesy romcom style love story! 

Okay:

Now that our tummies are full, it’s time to hit our first landmark of the day – Ben Thanh market.

The electric glow of Ben Thanh market in the evening.
The electric glow of Ben Thanh market in the evening.

It’s best to take a Grab here (the Vietnamese equivalent of Uber) since it’s about a fifteen-minute walk; a distance that is no easy feat given the city’s sweltering heat and life-threatening traffic. 

Trust me:

It won’t take you long to realize that Saigon is definitely NOT a pedestrian-friendly city.

Now:

Ben Thanh market is the oldest market in all of Ho Chi Minh City, something that is a miracle in and of itself since it’s actually burned down a bunch of times and was even scheduled for demolition in the 70s.

Fortunately for us:

This market is still very much standing. Therefore, feel free to shop for hippie pants and fake Chanel handbags until your little heart’s content.

A word of warning though:

As is the case in most touristy markets, vendors here will try to rip you off. So, embrace the subtle art fo haggling and avoid paying WAY too much for that faux-Dolce and Gabbana watch that you have your eye on.

However:

Even if you don’t buy anything, Ben Thanh market is still a fun, albeit slightly stressful, experience that is indeed, one of the totally touristy things to do in Ho Chi Minh city.

Okay:

Back in the Grab you go. Except this time, we’re heading to Saigon’s very own Notre Dame cathedral. 

Completed in 1880:

Homesick Frenchies modeled this cathedral after the Parisian original since they were homesick AF and just wanted a little piece of Paris in good ol’ Saigon (Side note – this city used to be known as ‘the Paris of the Orient’).

Admittedly though:

This church is definitely much less impressive than its French counterpart.

Yet:

it’s still pretty cool and definitely one of the most famous buildings in all of Vietnam. 

Sadly though:

You can’t go inside since the cathedral is currently being renovated. Therefore, this stop will be a quick, wham, bam, thank you, mam.

Not quite as magical as the one in Paris, but Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame still has a charm about it.
Not quite as magical as the one in Paris, but Ho Chi Minh’s Notre Dame still has an exquisite  charm about it.

However:

Just to the right of the cathedral, you’ll also find the Saigon post office.

Okay:

I know its totally weird to recommend a post office as part of this 3 days in Ho Chi Minh itinerary, but hear me out.

Because Saigon’s post office is totally different.

It verges on the edge of being mythical since it sits inside this exquisite, colonial-style building that just oozes out obscene amounts of charm.

Step inside and you’ll be greeted by a HUGE portrait of Uncle Ho, who sagely gazes down upon the whirlwind of frenetic activity that is all around you.

***PSST: While you’re here, you can purchase opera tickets and a SIM card for your phone. Just be sure to bring your passport since you’ll need it to get your SIM card.***

Once you’ve endured the chaos of the post office:

You’ll be delighted to learn that the soothing calm of book street is literally right next door.

Yes book lovers, you heard me right. 

Book Street, or Nguyen Van Binh street, is dedicated entirely to books, books, and, oh yeah, more books!

Better yet:

it’s pedestrianized, so you can happily saunter along the road without worrying that a rogue scooter might mow you over.

There are also a variety of different book vendors here, some of which sell antique (aka old) books. 

Therefore:

Depending on how patient you are, you just might be able to find yourself an out-of-print gem or two. 

Next:

Walk, or Grab it, on over to Nguyen Hue street, which is about a kilometer (3/4 of a mile) away.

At the top of the street is this absolutely gorgeous town hall that, unfortunately, you’re not allowed to visit.

That’s why:

It’s best to continue on a bit further down the road until you find a statue of Ho Chi Minh enthusiastically saluting his surroundings.

Believe it or not:

Good ol’ Ho didn’t always look this warm and welcoming, In fact, the original statue had an infinitely more austere looking facade that was completely overhauled in 2015 (If only they had given him some jazz hands too. SIGH). 

Anyway:

Continue past Uncle Ho and be on the lookout for Cafe Apartment (42 Nguyen Hue).

Yeah:

This place is sheer, unadulterated, Instagram paradise.

Originally built in the 1960s:

This structure was first used as housing for members of the US military during the Vietnam War.

Eventually:

This dilapidated apartment complex was transformed into a series of chic cafes and boutiques that still retain some of the charm of the building’s broken down exterior.

That’s why:

A trip here is hands-down one of the coolest things to do in Ho Chi Minh City!

Therefore, you absolutely CANNOT leave without visiting:

  • Dosh  Donuts (3rd Floor) – Unicorn cakes and donut-topped milkshakes? YES PLEASE. This super sweet little cafe is 100% worth the diabetes risk. 
  • Thinker Dreamer Coffee (4th Floor) – The perfect place to grab an iced, Vietnamese coffee.
  • Partea (4th Floor) – Tea lovers, fear not because you too can join the Partea (sorry not sorry) in this English-style tearoom. It’s super kitschy and cute, with more varieties of tea than you ever knew existed.
  • Ailuros Fashion Boutique (9th Floor) – All my fashion lovin’ homies out there will ADORE this edgy boutique (FYI, you can take the elevator to the 9th floor for a nominal fee). And even if their stuff isn’t to your taste, it’s all good since you’ll love the amazing views from their balcony
The quirky charm of Ho Chi Minh's Cafe Apartment.
The quirky charm of Ho Chi Minh’s Cafe Apartment.

. 

Okay:

We’re gonna venture away from Cafe Apartment now because when lunch calls, I listen.

So, to get to our ultra-fab, lunch spot du jour:

Make a left onto Mac Thi Buoi street, turn left onto Dong Khoi Street (it’s just one block), walk straight ahead for about a hundred meters, and then turn left AGAIN, into a little arcade where hawkers are selling art and boho Bali-style bags. 

If you say ‘L’Usine’ to any one of them, they’ll immediately point you towards a staircase that will in turn, lead you to a heavenly cafe-slash-bistro-slash-lifestyle boutique (whatever that is). 

It’s a charming, rustic and, altogether DELICIOUS restaurant that serves a variety of Western and Vietnamese style entrees (Get the Grilled Four Cheese Sandwich with Truffle Honey since calories OBVIOUSLY don’t count on vacation).

Their cocktails are also pretty delicious if you’re in the mood for a midday tipple (Don’t worry, I’ll keep it on the DL. Besides, it’s gotta be five o’clock somewhere).

However: 

They are closed on Mondays (sob). So, if you find yourself in need of another place to eat, you can always head to Vo Roof instead.

To get here:

Just walk up Nguyen Hue street and enter Vo Roof Garden (It’s just two doors down from Cafe Apartment). 

Not only is the homemade, central Vietnamese food here delicious, but you get a pretty sweet view of walking street too.

Added bonus?

This rooftop bar is one of the cheapest on the entire street, so three cheers for saving money!

Now, depending on where you had lunch:

You can either head back to or stay on walking street and continue on towards Bitexco tower. 

If you have any trouble spotting it, it’s that giant skyscraper that kind of resembles a lotus, with an enormous helipad sticking out of the side. 

Yeah, not exactly difficult to find, even if you’re totally directionally challenged like me.

From here, you’ve got two options:

You can head up to the Saigon Skydeck on the 49th floor and enjoy some stunning panoramic views of the city.

Or:

You can go up even further and enjoy a nice cocktail at the Hellibar as you relax and look down at the bustling city below.

The former costs 200k dong (roughly $9) whilst the latter is free – but of course, DUH, you’ve gotta order something. 

However:

Ultimately, the final choice is yours my friends, so choose wisely. Unless of course you want to ruin your entire vacation!

Just kidding!

This decision is clearly NOT that serious (Go for option B! Come on, you know you want to! Trust me, all the cool kids are doing it. LoL. Yup, peer pressure at its finest).

The quirky beauty of Bitexco tower in the distance.
The quirky beauty of Bitexco tower in the distance.

Once you’ve had your fill of dynamic, aerial views:

It’s just a short walk to our next stop, 14 Ton That Dam. 

Now:

This building is kind of similar to the Cafe Apartment except that its much less well known and therefore, WAY #edgier. 

It’s also full of tiny stores where you can go and do a bit of epic *excited voice* THRIFT SHOPPING! 

Hell to the yeah!

So, whether you’re in the market for some retro t-shirts or are desperately searching for an awesome pair of authentic Levi cutoffs to call your own, you’ll definitely be able to put together one hell of a vintage ensemble after shopping here. 

But:

Even if you don’t like to shop, the building is still worth checking out since it’s creepy but in a very, very cool way. 

PLUS:

Waaaay less tourists actually know about this place, so you’ll become this ultra-cool hipster by association. 

See, dreams really do come true here at Girl with the Passport.

From here, we’re gonna switch it up a bit since our next stop on this 3 days in Ho Chi Minh itinerary has a distinctly more sombre tone.

So, when you’re ready, take a Grab over to the War Remnants Museum in District 3. 

Not surprisingly:

The Vietnam War was one of the most important conflicts of the 20th century and irreversibly changed the face of this entire country. 

That’s why:

This museum attempts to educate people about the war and its associated atrocities.

Accordingly: 

Displays here mainly consist of images and newspaper clippings that were produced during the war, with extremely graphic content found in the Agent Orange exhibit. 

Continue outside and you’ll be treated to an upclose and personal look at some of the battle tanks and helicopters that were used in the conflict.

Also on display here is a replica of the infamous ‘Coconut Prison’ on Phu Quoc island (feel free to be duly impressed by my wealth of knowledge, or lack thereof as the case may be).

Explore Vietnam's haunting past at the War Reminants Museum.
Explore Vietnam’s haunting past at the War Reminants Museum.

Okay:

After all the heart break of the War Museum, I think it’s time for something a bit more light-hearted, don’t ya think?

Great, glad we agree (See, we so “GET” each other).

From the museum, it’s a short, 10-minute to the Saigon Social Club, which sits at the very top of the uber-posh, MGallery hotel. 

It’s quite possibly THE swankiest, most sophisticated bar in all Ho Chi Minh City. 

No, seriously guys, this place is LEGIT.

I’m talking epic, panoramic views that are only enhanced by a ridiculously wonderful glass suspension bridge and a super snazzy swim up pool bar.

And since happy hour here means that you get a whopping 50% off your bill, definitely try to time your visit any time between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

Besides, who doesn’t love a rooftop sunset? Am I right?

Now, after sipping a few cocktails like the total baller that you are, let’s grab some grub at Pizza 4PS, this amazing Japanese-Italian fusion pizza place.

I know it sounds like a bit of an odd combo but trust me, O-M-G does it work!

For one thing:

They make everything here from scratch, including the cheese, which is farmed up in the Dalat mountains. 

They also have some really unique topping combinations like salmon miso cream and mushroom, egg, and spinach. 

YUM!

I know I may be getting a little too excited… but it really is THAT good. 

And while there are a few locations around the city, the Le Thanh Ton branch is the closest to the Social Club.

At this point:

If you’re NOT you’re not in a TOTAL food coma, then you can treat yo’self to a night out along Bui Vien, Saigon’s famous party street.

I’m not gonna lie to you, this place is pretty seedy. 

But it’s also a lot of fun, hence the whole reason why it’s on this Ho Chi Minh itinerary. 

Depending on how you feel:

You can either class it up at the View rooftop bar or swan dive into the madness and mayhem at 96 hotel.

PS:

Miss Saigon and Donkey Bar are two uber fun places to party like a rockstar as you dance your way into day two

Welcome to Day 2 of our 3 Day Ho Chi Minh Itinerary

Rise and shine campers because it’s gonna be a hot and humid day here in Ho Chi Minh city (Get the Groundhog Day reference?)!

So:

Gear up and get ready for day 2 of our 3 days in Ho Chi Minh itinerary.

Now:

After one epic night out on Bui Vien, you might be feeling a little worse for the wear.

And even if you decided to be a granny for the evening, is a delicious breakfast ever a bad thing?

Correct answer? No, always no. Therefore:

Put on a pair of super elastic waist pants (Because yes, we’ll be eating a lot today, like we do every day), head on over to the Elbow Room, (on Pasteur street), and prepare to devour some of THE BEST pancakes of your life.

And trust me:

I’ve had some pretty amazing pancakes in my day, so this is high praise for sure.

But:

If you’re some kind of pancake-hating monster, they have plenty of other options, too.

Once you’ve had your fill of pancakey awesomeness:

You’ll find the Saigon Square Market just a few hundred meters away, a fantastic place to shop ‘til you drop, as it were.

It’s just as popular as Ben Thanh market but with a better choice of items when it comes to clothing and accessories.

It’s also a lot less cramped and sweaty, which can only be a good thing.

Once you’ve haggled your way to bargain shopping bliss:

Grab a Grab (Haha, I crack myself up) and mosey on over to Tan Dinh Church.

In my humble opinion, this is a way cooler than the Notre Dame cathedral.

“Why?” I hear you wonder.

Umm, It’s bright pink! And trust me, everything in life is better when it’s bright pink.

Yeah:

You’ll definitely feel like you’re a Barbie girl living in a Barbie world as you explore this gorgeous, pastel-pink wonder.

It’s just beautiful and absolutely one of the most Insta-worthy places in all of Ho Chi Minh city.

Oddly enough:

This church is only open from 8:00 am -11:00 am and from 2:00 pm – 4.30 pm between Tuesday and Saturday.

But whatever.

Regardless of the wonky hours,  it’s still 100% worth going even if you miss this window.

The Pepto Bismal pink awesomeness of Tan Dinh Church.
The Pepto Bismal pink awesomeness of Tan Dinh Church.

PS:

Just around the corner from the church, you’ll find Tan Dinh Market, a small, local market where you’re a whole lot less likely to get ripped off!

Yay! 

You’re still expected to haggle though, but the starting price will be a lot less inflated for things like clothes, shoes, and various other dry goods.

There are even a few stands out front that sell ‘che’, which is a sweet dessert soup. 

Sure:

It might not be to everyone’s taste but it’s definitely worth a try. 

Next up?

Let’s get our spiritual swerve on at one of the city’s most well-known pagodas: the Ngoc Hoang pagoda AKA the Emperor Jade pagoda AKA Tortoise pagoda.

That’s right – tons of adorable tortoises hang out on the grounds! AWW!

Truth be told:

The main chamber is this slightly eerie, incense-filled room with hundreds of statues of Buddhist and Taoist related deities.

Sinners beware because off to the right, you’ll see the ‘hell room’.

It’s filled with gruesome diagrams that explain just how you’ll karmically pay for your wrongdoings.

It’s also presided over by the Taoist God of Hell himself, Thanh Hoang.

After you’ve been scared straight, and have had your fill of divine beings, head back outside to coo over the tortoises one last time!

The pastel, pink perfection of Ngoc Hoang Pagoda.
The pastel, pink perfection of Ngoc Hoang Pagoda.

Geez:

All that afterlife contemplation sure works up an appetite, huh? Good thing we’re stopping for lunch at…Vintage Emporium!

Honestly:

It’s just easier to walk here since there are a lot of one-way streets in the area that make taxi rides infinitely longer than they need to be.

Now:

Walk inside Vintage Emporium and you’ll find a light, airy, and super stylish cafe that serves up yummy, semi-posh food.

No joke:

The Moroccan poached eggs are AMAZING but you can’t go wrong with anything that you order off their menu.

HOWEVER:

If you’d rather go for street food, no worries because I’ve got you covered.

So:

Everyone and their grandma has heard of pho, Vietnam’s national dish.

However:

Far fewer people know about bun thit nuong, a barbecued pork noodle dish that is served with fried spring rolls.

This stuff is beyond delicious AND added bonus, it’s available all over the city.

A particularly good bun thit nuong stand can be found at 15E/18A Nguyen Thi Minh Khai main road (Yes, Vietnamese addresses are very confusing. Wander about halfway down alley 18A and it’s on your left, next door to the MaDAMN boutique.)

But wait, it gets better!

See, just across the street from the bun thit nuong place is Moc Spa, a lovely little spa where you can pamper yourself – because DAMN, you’re worth it.

I love it because it’s much more professional and WAY cheaper than any of those lame, super touristy spas.

Plus:

A hot stone massage here will cost you just $10! Craziness I tell you!

Can I get a hell to the yeah?

Anyway, let’s move on before I over-excite myself.

Okay, so now that you’re nice and relaxed, call yourself a Grab and head over to the Fine Arts Museum.

What? Sounds a bit too stuffy for you?

Pssh, NEVER. Not only is this art collection hella cool, but it’s also inside this HUGE, colonial mansion that is super fun to explore.

In fact:

it’s the largest one in the entire city and…

It’s haunted (insert spooky, evil laugh here).

Legend has it that the house was built by a wealthy man whose daughter was horribly disfigured by some random, god-awful disease.

As a result:

She was locked away in a small attic room, where she slowly lost her mind and eventually died.

After she passed away:

Visitors began seeing a lonely little female apparition wandering through the halls, forever searching for company.

Creepy, right?

As far as I know, no tourists have left the museum possessed… but I make no promises.

The historic charm, beauty, and slight creepiness of Ho Chi Minh's fine arts museum.
The historic charm, beauty, and slight creepiness of Ho Chi Minh’s fine arts museum.

So, after you’ve endured all the creepiness you can handle:

It’s time for dinner. And you have two epic, totally different options to choose from, because yeah, I’m nice like that.

If you’re feeling like you want to party the night away along backpacker street, then I suggest lining your stomach first at Asian Kitchen.

It’s nothing fancy but it’s authentic and has a HUGE menu to choose from (The tofu eggplant and chicken curry are both REALLY good).

It’s also just off of Bui Vien street and right next door to some of the best bars in Ho Chi Minh City, making it super easy to party it up afterward.

However:

If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, then head to Hoa Tuc (It’s still affordable, BTW – literally everything in Vietnam is. Happy days!).

Fun little factoid for ya:

‘Hoa Tuc’ literally means poppy in Vietnamese and is a throwback to the time when this place was actually an opium refinery!

Cool right? Now:

The food here is fancy Vietnamese and the cocktails kick butt – especially the chili and pineapple martini.

So:

While it’s difficult for me to pick just one thing to order, I think I enjoyed the baby spinach and asparagus salad with egg tofu, beetroot, and pumpkin seeds the most.

YUM. Now, to finish the day off right:

Head over to Mac Thi Buoi street and the stretch in between the Hai Ba Trung and Nguyen Hue intersection specifically.

This is the perfect place to go If you want to relax with a few drinks but don’t necessarily want to attend an all-out, crazy AF, backpacker party,

Personally:

I loved the Rum Bar, which is perfect if you’re looking for an authentic, Saigon street drinking experience (although perhaps stick mainly to beer and drink the dodgy bathtub spirits at your own risk).

However:

Malt Bar is another great option since they have fun games like darts and shuffleboard, as well as a menu brimming over with great drinks options, OBVI.

But, if cocktails are what you’re after:

Then there’s no place better than Lost Drink & Chill. I mean, they serve SPARKLY DRINKS and drinks that come with their own fog!

Need I say more? And if you’re up for it:

Be sure to try their signature cocktail, Pandora’s Box, before you collapse into your bed after this incredibly long, fun-filled day!

We’re in the Home Stretch! Day 3 of Our 3 Days in Ho Chi Minh Itinerary

A day trip to the cu chi tunnels is a must-see for anyone doing a 3 days in Ho Chi Minh itinerary.
A day trip to the cu chi tunnels is a must-see for anyone doing a 3 days in Ho Chi Minh itinerary.

Ok, so for day 3, we’re gonna start by going on a little day trip!

Wahooooo! Because trust me, it’s gonna be fun!

I mean, a visit to the cu chi tunnels really is one of the most interesting things to do in Vietnam, and a total Ho Chi Minh City must.

See:

During the war, guerilla troops actually created an extensive network of underground tunnels that ran throughout the country.

Once completed:

These tunnels were then used to transport supplies, plant booby traps, and even launch surprise attacks on enemy troops.

Yeah:

It was a pretty genius strategy if I do say so myself – and a real testament to the power of human endurance since many fighters didn’t see the light of day for months at a time.

Now:

Since the tunnels are about a 90-minute drive from the city center, the whole trip should take you about six hours.

Therefore:

If I were you, I would definitely consider joining a tour since that will make getting there a whole lot easier.

Most tours start at 8:00 am and begin with an introduction to the tunnels where you can learn more about the badass guerilla fighters who used them.

Heck:

You can even crawl through them and get a small idea of what life was really like down there.

Claustrophobes, this one is not one for you!

Yeah:

It’s a tight squeeze to say the least, even if you haven’t been pigging out on Vietnamese food for the past two days.

You’ll even get the chance to embrace your inner James Bond and fire an AK47 for a hot minute.

Talk about a rush! Now, depending on traffic:

The bus should have you back in the city around 2.30 pm, meaning that you have plenty of time to check out a few local gems and visit the tallest skyscraper in Southeast Asia.

Now:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing that all this crawling around and machine gun firing has made you pretty hungry huh?

Well, trust me, I definitely won’t let you starve. Nope, not on my watch!

So, if you’re feeling the HANGER building up within, then haul ass to Banh Mi Huynh Hoa (right on Le Thi Rieng street) for a sandwich that you won’t soon forget.

Look for number 26, which will be SUPER easy to find since there is always a huge line out the door.

See, clearly, I’m not the only one here who thinks the food here is BANGIN’!

But don’t worry about a long wait because the line here tends to move pretty quickly.

I mean:

I honestly don’t know whether the employees here are humans or just straight-up sandwich-making MACHINES.

Anyway:

There is only one type of sandwich on the menu here. And like all good banh mis, it consists of a crusty-on-the-outside, fluffy-on-the-inside baguette, deli meat, pate, and a dash of chili, just to add a little extra flavor (This last bit is optional – and the only modification that you can request without getting a blunt ‘no.’).

However:

What really sets this place apart is the fact that the sandwiches here are stuffed with WAY more meat than anywhere else.

They also make a wicked awesome pate here that is the stuff gastronomic dreams are made of.

But sadly veggies, this one ain’t for you.

Fear not though because like always, I’ve got your back.

For a seriously tasty, totally meat-free sandwich, head to My Banh Mi at 57 Nguyen Du instead.

I know it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but their nut-based pates, roasted tofu, and signature sauces are TO DIE FOR.

I promise, even your meat-eating friends will want one of these.

So,

After that epic sandwich, are you ready to take on the tallest building in Southeast Asia?

Heck yeah, ya are!

The electric glow of Landmark 81 along Ho Chi Minh's skyline.
The electric glow of Landmark 81 along Ho Chi Minh’s skyline.

Finished in 2018, Landmark 81 is a stunning, modern, art-deco masterpiece that can be seen from just about anywhere in the city.

It’s the proverbial crown jewel of Vinhomes Central Park, a luxury housing project owned by Vingroup (They actually own about half of Vietnam. Seriously, they also have Vinmalls, Vinschoosl, and even Vinfast cars and scooters).

To marvel at this modern masterpiece:

Just take a grab to Vinhomes and enter the mall on the ground level.

Once inside:

You’ll see an information desk, right next to the ice rink, where you can purchase tickets and access the elevator that will take you straight to the observation deck.

After you’ve paid (Tickets cost a hefty $45, FYI):

You’ll be taken through security and given the chance to pose for an ultra-corny photo in front of a green screen (I took a hard pass on that).

Later on:

The awe-inspiring magic of photoshop will transform your snapshot into a lovely picture of you standing in front of Landmark 81.

So, say “Cheese!”. Or not.

I legitimately hate all those forced, overpriced photo ops and generally consider them a HUGE waste of time, but that’s just me.

Anyway:

Photo op complete (or not as the case may be), you’ll then take the elevator to the top, where you’ll see a gift shop (like any good capitalist tourist spot), a bar, and some virtual reality games where you can (virtually) jump off the building.

Yowza. Talk about intense.

Well, after you’ve casually simulated jumping off the tallest building in Vietnam (or not if you’re not a crazy person), it’s time to head outside to the viewing platform.

Are you ready?

Now, the observation deck is split into two levels and terrifyingly enough, the glass floor on the first level actually appears to crack when you step on it.

Don’t worry though:

This is just a clever, electrically-powered illusion (I’m sure you’ve seen the hilarious videos of people freaking out on Facebook. Not gonna lie, I laughed at their expense).

Ho Ch Minh's beautiful skyline at sunset.
Ho Ch Minh’s beautiful skyline at sunset.

To get to the second level though:

You’ll have to put on this oh so flattering orange jumpsuit and harness.

Yeah, it’s unclear why – maybe they really cheaped out on the glass panels.

Either way:

It adds to the feeling that this is all one giant adventure. Kind of like the Amazing Race, only without the epic cash prize at the end.

Once you’ve suited up and ready to go:

Rock those stairs like a total boss and savor the incredible, 360° views of Ho Chi Minh City.

After you’ve safely made it back on solid ground:

Hop in a taxi and head on over to Thu Thiem River Park.

I know it doesn’t look like much, but this scenic, riverside spot is the perfect place to sit and watch the sunset beneath the horizon.

Truth be told:

The whole area is really just a bunch of food carts and teeny-tiny plastic chairs lined up in front of the river.

But:

There’s something kind of magical about this place since it sums up life in Saigon perfectly.

You’ll also see lots of young people here picnicking, drinking. and perhaps even doing a bit of canoodling while their parents aren’t looking.

The pushy food cart ladies might also make you buy something.

If they do:

Then just grab a fresh coconut or a ca phe sua da and sip it down as you watch the setting sun,

Now:

For dinner tonight, we’re going to Quan Bui, an authentic Vietnamese restaurant that is hidden away in one of Saigon’s many, charmingly dilapidated old apartments.

So:

Snag a taxi back to District 1 and enjoy a wonderful, home-cooked Vietnamese meal in this quaint and cozy restaurant.

Whatever you do though:

Do not leave without ordering their spectacular spring rolls. Oh, and the clay pot chicken is really good too. And the fried tofu…

Okay:

I could go on about this place all night, but I won’t. Just come hungry and leave HAPPY so that you’re fully prepared for our next activity…KARAOKE!!

Sure:

I know karaoke isn’t for everyone.

But:

By the end of your 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City itinerary, I can guarantee that you’ve heard tone-deaf people croaking their hearts out in all sorts of weird and unexpected places – like in petrol stations and in street food stalls.

Bitexco and the urban beauty of Saigon in the evening.
Bitexco and the urban beauty of Saigon in the evening.

That’s why:

It’s only fitting that you should try it for yourself, don’t ya think?

Sure:

You might feel like a bit of a tool at first.

But:

You’ll eventually get comfortable with it and start to unleash your inner Whitney in no time at all.

Personally:

My fave karaoke spot is Kingdom Karaoke on Pham Viet Cham street.

I mean:

The staff are friendly, the karaoke is reasonably-priced, and there is a large selection of English songs to choose from (God knows I can’t sing in English so no WAY could I do it in Vietnamese).

The furniture here is also OTT gaudy and done in classic, European style.

So:

Feel free to lounge around like a total baller as you sing about your broken heart or your massive amounts of bling (It really just depends on what type of karaoke-er you happen to be…).

However:

If you don’t fancy singing your heart out like a second rate, Beyonce wannabe, then you can always head to Khoai for an after-dinner drink instead.

FYI:

‘Khoai’ is Vietnamese for ‘potatoes’. And we all like these tasty little carb bombs, am I right?

Now:

This quiet little ruin bar is just a short taxi ride from Landmark 81 and a massive recreation of one of Budapest’s most beloved watering holes.

That’s why:

You’ll see garden furniture hanging from the ceiling, find random graffiti all over the walls, and even have adorable kitties greet you while they roam free!

No potatoes to be found though – go figure.

But, It’s cheap, it’s unique and they have a Jenga set.

So legit, what’s not to love?!

And..there you have it. The not-so-epic conclusion of my 3 days in Ho Chi Minh itinerary.

I know I’ve babbled my way through 5,000 words of Ho Chi Minh related bliss, but I sincerely hope that I’ve given you some kickass info to help you plan an epic trip to this crazy fun city. 

Because honestly? There are so many amazing experiences waiting for you in Saigon that you need to start getting those suitcases packed, STAT!

And if this post leaves you even moderately inspired to travel to Vietnam, then pin this now and read it again later! Pretty please, with sugar on top?

Visiting Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam but have no idea what to do or where to go? Then check out this fantastic, 3 day Ho Chin Minh itinerary! It's filled with expert tips, secret tricks, and hidden gems that will all help you make the most of your time in Vietnam. You'll also learn about some of the best places to eat and even discover some top tourist attractions that really are worth a visit! #VietnamTravel #VisitVietnam #HoChiMinh #VietnamGuide
Visiting Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam but have no idea what to do or where to go? Then check out this fantastic, 3 day Ho Chin Minh itinerary! It's filled with expert tips, secret tricks, and hidden gems that will all help you make the most of your time in Vietnam. You'll also learn about some of the best places to eat and even discover some top tourist attractions that really are worth a visit! #VietnamTravel #VisitVietnam #HoChiMinh #VietnamGuide
shares