This week, I am focusing on the amazing city of Ho Chi Minh as an alternative to beach weddings/elopements (go on… check it out over on the ‘gram @rachelhendersonshawweds). Whilst not for everyone, I love a bustling city and night time rooftop events overlooking all the city lights are just SO DAMN COOL! For those of you interested in an Asian city wedding, i’d love to chat so get in touch. Below are my favourites of HCMC to get those planning juices flowing…
Things to do in Ho Chi Minh
I have always held a very special place in my heart for Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon). I love Vietnam in general, but for some reason this place just feels like *my* place. There are so many incredible things to do in Ho Chi Minh and below are just a few.
The little local haunts are by far the best place for you to find the most incredible food for a few dollars. Nothing beats sitting on a tiny plastic chair, drinking cold Bia Saigon and waiting for your (they will be amazing) noodles. If you want to dress up, sit on an adult sized chair and it’s a special occasion, my HCMC ‘fancy fave’ has to be The Racha Room. Along with the hipster decor (i’m talkin’ bout you, graffitied exposed brick) it serves incredible food and very cool cocktails.
To feel like you are out of the city (when you’re really not), head to L’Usine (Dong Khoi). With its fairy lit interior and gorgeous balcony, it’s the best place to relax with a glass of wine above the busy streets.
For a long, lazy lunch, head to Hoa Tuc located in a cosy courtyard for some gorgeously fresh vietnamese food.
Last, but by no means least, head to Nguyen Hue Boulevard for something a little more quirky (and instagrammable, if that’s your thing) by way of No 42. The incredible, old building is jam packed with cafes, restaurants and boutique shops. The food (especially Sushi) is diiiivine and each restaurant sits just a handful of people. The small balconies overlook the Boulevard for some fabulous people watching with your al fresco dining.
Do and See!
Vietnam, for me, is all about the food (as you can see from the above!). My, hands down, best foodie experience in Ho Chi Minh is the back of the bike tour. You get to meet fab locals who drive you around on… you guessed it… the back of their bike to sample a number of amazing local dishes. I’d recommend the evening tour for the general fabulousness of seeing the city at night as you wizz around on your bike. Plus, it’s maybe more acceptable to enjoy ALL the beer, although it’s your holiday so no judgement to day drinkers!
For the adventurous fitties
For those who are a little more adventurous (and fit!) a cycle trip along the Mekong river is a must, one of my most cherished experiences of all time. Ranging from 1 to 15 day tours (we did the 3 day and probably should have prepped more…SORE!), you cycle off the beaten track and really see a beautifully untouched side of Vietnam you would likely never get to see otherwise. I am desperate to do this again but with a bit more training and definitely the right gear!!! For the love of god take cycling gloves and padded shorts!!!
Something for the history buffs and culture vultures
If you’re interested in history, a trip to the Cu Chi tunnels and War Remnants Museum are essential and likely firmly on your list already. So, sorry for stating the obvious. Set aside at least half a day for each, and then plan something a little more light hearted in the afternoon. It would take a brave soul to attempt both in the same day, keep it a bit lighter and spread them out!
As well as being a beautiful building to see, the Ho Chi Minh Opera House showcases some amazing shows. Put on your glad rags and go see a cirque du soleil style performance or ballet… language doesn’t have to be a barrier.
And for the final relaxation
Finally, after all the sight seeing and cycling a local massage is a must. The city is full of vietnamese spas and you can usually book on the spot… so step inside and relax!