Ho Chi Minh City is a frantic and chaotic city. Hands down, it also has the craziest drivers I’ve encountered in all my time driving through Vietnam.
Most backpackers visiting the city will probably stay in the area across from September 23 Park, where there are a ton of restaurants, bars, hostels and shops – also where some mechanics just sit around all day waiting to sell and buy motorbikes to and from backpackers.
This is also a great area to stay as it’s relatively close to the main attractions – such as the Opera House, Notre Dame, Postal Office, Independent Palace, Ben Thanh Market and the War Remnants Museum. Of all the attractions listed above, I only visited the War Remnants Museum.
War Remnants Museum
For a very reasonable price of 15,000 vnd I enjoyed the museum more than I thought I would. Having experienced several museums and tourist attractions in Vietnam before, I didn’t have high hopes the War Remnants Museum would’ve had good information or even English translations, but I was wrong.
Most panels had English verses and most of the exhibits were actually photo galleries filled with works from journalists who were documenting the war at the time.
Another favourite activity I did in HCMC was taking a step back from the chaos of the city, driving to the other side of the Saigon River and marvelling at the city’s skyline.
I was lucky enough to have met a local, who brought me to his favourite hangout spot to view the city at night.
He also took me to a back alley for “the best coffee in Vietnam”. Apparently the secret to the coffee is in the filter – they don’t use a paper filter, instead they use a cloth.
True or not, it was a goooood cup of coffee. And I don’t even like coffee! Try it yourself and see if you agree. The coffee shop is called Ca Phe Vot, Google it!