Local Host Picks
ROOFTOP GARDEN BAR AT THE REX HOTEL
Home to the infamous “Five O’clock follies” and a favorite hangout for American officers during the Vietnam War, this rooftop bar still evokes memories of a time long past. The furnishings are a bit kitschy, but that is part of the charm. Stop for a drink or dinner and enjoy the great city views.
LOCAL MARKET IN CHOLON
Cholon is the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City and gets its name from Cho Lon, which means “big market” in Chinese. This intriguing area is teaming with restaurants, temples, shops, and buzzing markets. The two primary markets are Binh Tay and Ben Thanh. These massive markets offer similar products and are a great place to experience the local culture, browse the many stalls, and sample great authentic local cuisine.
CYCLO RIDE AT NIGHT
This city comes alive at night, and a “cyclo” ride is the perfect way to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. Sitting in the front of this 3-wheeled bicycle gives you a great view as you slowly meander through the streets. Although a rare occurrence, some “cyclo” riders may try to charge you too much or take you to places you don’t want to go, so make sure to negotiate the price and clearly state your destination before the ride begins.
DONG KHOI STREET
Running from the Notre Dame Cathedral to the waterfront, this shopping area is well known for the quality of its goods. Here you can buy custom made silk garments that rival those of Hong Kong for a reasonable price. The workmanship is extraordinary. Among other items for sale are jewelry, handbags, tablecloths, ceramics, and scarves. If shopping isn’t your thing, this is still a great place to take a stroll to explore the city.
SAIGON SAIGON BAR
This popular rooftop bar, in the iconic Caravelle Hotel, offers sweeping views of Ho Chi Minh City. Stop by for a drink at dusk and enjoy the spectacular view as the sun sets and the city lights up. Live music is featured nightly. You don’t have to dress up, but no shorts please.
TON THAT THIEP STREET
Ton That Thien Street is a great place to shop for Vietnamese and propaganda posters. You can also find funky lacquer ware and costume jewelry shops.
TAKE IN A SHOW
Enjoy acrobats, contemporary dancers, jugglers and martial arts experts, with musical accompaniment at a performing arts show. The A O Show (pronounced Ahhh! Ohhh!) has been performing to rapturous acclaim since 2013. Depending on the time of year the troupe may offer performances of My Village or The Mist, which are equally engaging. Each show takes the audience on a journey of Vietnamese life.