I had the pleasure of experiencing life in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam for two months as I taught English at a summer season camp within the coronary heart of the town. Earlier than arriving, I’d heard nothing however glowing opinions of Vietnam, and I used to be anxious to expertise solo feminine journey in Ho Chi Minh!
Reader Mail: Hello Trisha! I adopted your Southeast Asian adventures in 2011 and I used to be tremendous amazed on how you might be nonetheless touring thus far! I’m beginning my solo feminine journey in Ho Chi Minh and can go all the best way to completely different SEA international locations. I do know you might be an professional on this however I’d like to ask some questions! Is it secure? What are your important ideas? I hope you’ll get to reply this query! Extra energy to your weblog!
I’m glad you select Vietnam to your solo feminine journey escapade! I really like Ho Chi Minh and it’s one of many international locations I’ve visited greater than as soon as. I’ve numerous articles about Vietnam however on this submit, I invited a fellow solo feminine traveler who has expertise in Ho Chih Minh Vietnam
Brittany Varano runs the weblog Lifetime of Brit the place she shares her adventures as an American girl touring solo. When you have extra questions, please be happy to succeed in out with me through Instagram, @psimonmyway.
Good luck and I hope you make it to HCMC! Now I give the ground to Brit.
🇻🇳 Ho Chi Minh Vietnam suggestions
Solo feminine journey in Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, also called Saigon, is Vietnam’s bustling capital within the south. House to a darkish but fascinating historical past comprising of French colonization and the Vietnam Struggle, as we speak it’s a contemporary hub within the nation the place the standard and new collide.
I had the pleasure of dwelling and experiencing life in Saigon for 2 months as I taught an English summer season camp within the coronary heart of the town. Earlier than arriving, I’d heard nothing however glowing opinions of Vietnam, and I used to be anxious to expertise solo feminine journey in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis for myself!
It didn’t take lengthy for me to fall in love with life in Saigon. The town has a full of life and vibrant ex-pat scene making it really easy to make mates, an abundance of insanely scrumptious avenue meals, and an reasonably priced and straight-up enjoyable lifestyle.
However earlier than I knew it, my two months in Saigon had been up, and it was time to say goodbye to my pretty little life in Vietnam. Now I’m right here advocating all my fellow solo feminine vacationers – Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is definitely worth the hype, and I’ve a sense you’ll fall in love identical to I did!
Scared to journey alone? Why not be a part of my journeys?
Change the best way you journey and spend your cash on journeys that matter – journeys that you’ll always remember. My group journeys are extremely centered on accountable journey, supporting native communities, and avoiding the compulsory touristic circuit.
📅 Greatest time to go to Ho Chi Minh Vietnam
The perfect time to go to Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is through the dry season of December to April. This era is usually thought of the most effective time to go to Ho Chi Minh Metropolis weather-wise. The dry season sees much less rainfall and humidity, making it extra comfy for exploring the town and fascinating in out of doors actions.
Throughout these months, temperatures vary from a snug 21°C (70°F) to 34°C (93°F). The cooler months, significantly December and January, are particularly nice.
The most cost effective time to go to Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is through the moist season of Could to November. Journey prices, together with resort and flight costs, are typically decrease throughout these months. It’s a superb time for budget-conscious vacationers.
The moist season is characterised by brief, heavy afternoon showers. Mornings typically stay sunny and clear, so sightseeing continues to be very possible.
The countryside and pure landscapes round Ho Chi Minh Metropolis are significantly lush and delightful through the wet season.
👉🏽 See additionally: Touring Vietnam alone for 1 month: native household keep, volunteering, and extra!
🛺 Getting round Ho Chi Minh Vietnam
Getting round Ho Chi Minh Vietnam affords a wide range of choices, every offering a novel expertise of the town’s vibrant and bustling nature. Listed below are among the most typical and handy methods to navigate this dynamic metropolis:
Probably the most standard and quintessentially Vietnamese modes of transport is the motorcycle taxi, domestically referred to as Xe Ôm. These are usually not solely ubiquitous and versatile but in addition fairly reasonably priced, usually costing round $1-$3 for brief journeys.
Conventional taxis are one other handy choice, significantly appropriate for longer journeys or when touring in teams. Providing the consolation of air con and security, respected corporations like Vinasun and Mai Linh cost round $0.50-$0.70 USD per kilometer.
The town’s public bus community, whereas not as quick, is a cheap alternative, costing as little as $0.30 per journey. Buses present a extra eco-friendly approach of journey and are geared up with English signage, making them pretty tourist-friendly.
For these in search of a extra cultural expertise, cyclos or pedal rickshaws, provide a leisurely approach to see the town. Ideally suited for brief distances and slow-paced sightseeing, a typical cyclo journey may cost a little round $5-$10 USD, relying on the space and your negotiation expertise.
Alternatively, renting a automotive with a driver, a extra comfy choice for households or teams, particularly for day journeys outdoors the town, can range in worth however usually begins at round $50 USD per day.
For the extra adventurous, bicycle leases can be found, providing a novel and eco-friendly approach to discover the town at your individual tempo. Rental prices are normally round $1-$2 USD per day.
Lastly, Ho Chi Minh is a walkable metropolis for brief distances, particularly within the central districts, permitting you to immerse themselves within the native environment for free of charge. Nevertheless, given the town’s dense site visitors and restricted pedestrian infrastructure, be very cautious when strolling.
🧭 Greatest issues to do in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam
Generally known as a really low-cost metropolis, actions in Saigon are tremendous low-cost with excursions ranging from $29 USD. Listed below are the most effective issues to do in Ho Chi Minh the place you’ll get the chance to fulfill fellow vacationers:
1. See the Traditional Ho Chi Minh Vietnam Points of interest
As with all new journey vacation spot, visiting the principle vacationer sights is a should! A number of the finest issues to do in Saigon embrace:
- Snapping a pic in entrance of the Tan Dinh Pink Church.
- Sending a postcard from the Previous Put up Workplace.
- Marveling on the French-built Notre Dame Cathedral.
- Seeing the intense yellow Metropolis Corridor and the historic Ho Chi Minh Statue.
- Taking a tour of Independence Palace to study the Vietnamese aspect of historical past.
- Visiting the Jade Pagoda and Buu Lengthy Pagoda.
🛵 One of the simplest ways to see the highest sights of Ho Chi Minh is thru a motorcycle tour with locals! These motorbikes are secure as accident insurance coverage can be lined.
2. Discover the nightlife in Bui Vien
Bui Vien Road is Ho Chi Minh’s loopy backpacker avenue and the place the motion occurs because the sunsets. Right here you’ll discover the most effective hostels to fulfill fellow solo vacationers, enjoyable bars and golf equipment, and scrumptious meals.
The road is known for its nightlife, with a plethora of bars, nightclubs, and pubs that keep open till the early hours of the morning. It’s a spot the place the social gathering environment is sort of all the time in full swing, attracting a various worldwide crowd.
Bui Vien affords a variety of eating choices, together with Vietnamese avenue meals, worldwide delicacies, and cafes. It’s a superb place to pattern native dishes at cheap costs.
Whereas it’s a hotspot for worldwide vacationers, Bui Vien Road additionally attracts locals, providing a novel mixture of Vietnamese and world cultures.
🎉 In case you are doing solo feminine journey in Ho Chi Minh, that is the easiest way to fulfill folks. A nightlife tour in Saigon is a must-do, and it’s additionally very enjoyable and reasonably priced!
3. Eat avenue meals and purchase souvenirs at Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market is among the metropolis’s oldest surviving landmarks and hosts an area market promoting varied wares and goodies. At night time the market transforms right into a avenue meals fest the place you’ll be able to pattern many Vietnamese classics.
Ben Thanh Market affords a vivid glimpse into the native tradition. It’s a spot the place locals store and socialize, giving guests an actual style of every day life in HCMC.
One of many highlights of Ben Thanh Market is its meals part. Guests can bask in a wide range of Vietnamese avenue meals and conventional dishes, making it a improbable spot for meals lovers.
The market operates all day, with completely different sections opening at completely different instances. The daytime market runs from early morning till early night, whereas the night time market, situated outdoors the constructing, begins within the late afternoon and continues effectively into the night time.
🍲 The market can get fairly crowded, particularly throughout peak hours and on weekends. For a extra genuine expertise, do this avenue meals tour in Ben Thanh with an area.
4. Discover Ho Chi Minh’s Chinatown in District 5
In District 5, you’ll discover Ho Chi Minh Metropolis’s colourful Chinatown and extra improbable Saigon sightseeing alternatives! Remember to try Thien Hau Temple and Binh Tay Market and pattern some scrumptious dim sum at Tien Phat Dim Sum.
5. Seize a espresso within the picturesque Cafe Flats on Saigon’s Strolling Road
An condo complicated that after housed US army personnel through the conflict after which Vietnamese officers after the conflict, as we speak you’ll discover solely cute and stylish boutique outlets, cafes, and eating places.
After you are taking a stroll alongside Saigon’s well-known Nguyen Hue strolling avenue, cease for lunch or a cup of espresso on the Cafe Flats.
6. Go to the highest of Bitexco for sweeping metropolis views
The Bitexco Monetary Tower is a trademark of Ho Chi Minh’s skyline and as soon as held the title as the town’s tallest skyscraper. On the high of the constructing’s 68 flooring, you’ll discover the Bitexco Skydeck, an remark platform open to vacationers. Entry is $8 USD.
Professional tip: Go to the Eon Heli Bar situated one story under the remark deck as a substitute. Right here you’ll pay about $9 USD for a cocktail, and also you’ll get to get pleasure from comparable metropolis views whereas sipping a cocktail!
7. Go on a meals tour of Ho Chi Minh’s finest eats
It’s no secret that Vietnam has a popularity for killer dishes and avenue meals, so clearly consuming all-you-can must be on the high of the checklist for issues to do in Vietnam! There are lots of organized avenue meals excursions you’ll be able to select from or choose to hop round your self!
Some must-try eating places in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam embrace:
- Ban Xeo 46A: Vietnamese seafood savory pancake
- Banh Mi 362: basic banh mi chain
- Cong Caphe: Vietnamese espresso chain, get the coconut espresso!
- Pho Hoa Pasteur: among the finest Pho within the metropolis
- Propaganda: stylish Vietnamese restaurant
- Be adventurous and go to the native Seafood avenue market.
- Vinh Khanh is considered one of Saigon’s finest locations for native avenue meals and recent seafood.
Experiencing avenue meals tradition in Vietnam is a lot extra than simply shopping for meals from a avenue vendor – it’s a lifestyle. Within the evenings, huge teams of mates sit at low hanging plastic chairs, sipping Tiger or 333 beer, ordering plate after plate of basic Vietnamese dishes.
🍲 I extremely advocate making an attempt something and all the pieces from basic sea snails, giant grilled prawns, expertly seasoned clams, recent crab claws, and extra! Take a look at this cool backstreets of Saigon meals tour!
8. Take a day journey to the Chu Chi Tunnels
On the outskirts of the town, lie the Cu Chi Tunnels, a community of underground pathways that had been as soon as utilized by the Viet Cong troopers through the Vietnam Struggle. The tunnels acted as hiding spots throughout fight and as a way to move provides and messages between fighters.
At present you’ll be able to take a tour and take a look at squeezing into the tiny tunnels your self! Excursions are sometimes along with a visit to the Mekong Delta, the place you’ll sail alongside a maze of waterways set in opposition to lovely inexperienced rice paddies and rural villages.
⚔️ I visited Cu Chi tunnels on a scooter however you can even go on a automotive or higher but, a luxurious ferry journey that features a go to to the villages.
9. Traverse by the Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is an unlimited community of rivers, swamps, and islands with a novel panorama that’s each picturesque and various. It’s residence to a wealthy biodiversity, together with varied fowl species, reptiles, and aquatic life, making it a haven for nature lovers.
The delta affords a glimpse into the standard Vietnamese lifestyle, significantly the agricultural and agricultural life-style that’s central to the nation’s heritage.
One of many highlights is the area’s floating markets like Cai Rang and Cai Be. These bustling markets are usually not simply vacationer sights however very important points of native commerce and every day life.
🚣♂️ It’s comparatively near HCMC, making it a super vacation spot for day journeys or longer stays. In case you are solely visiting for a day, join this Mekong Delta full-day tour!
10. Go to the Cai Rang Floating Market
Cai Rang Floating Market is among the largest and most genuine floating markets within the Mekong Delta. It affords a glimpse into the standard lifestyle within the area, the place commerce and every day actions are intertwined with the rhythms of the river.
The market is a dynamic place the place distributors promote a wide range of items from their boats, together with recent produce, home goods, and native delicacies. It’s a novel procuring expertise in contrast to any typical market on land.
🌸 The market is most energetic within the early morning, round 5 AM to 9 AM. To catch the market at its peak, plan to reach early. I did a Cai Rang Floating Market tour with a go to to close by villages for a full day!
This checklist solely scratches the floor of the numerous unbelievable issues to do in Saigon! Nevertheless it’s an incredible place to start out first-timers excited to see Ho Chi Minh Metropolis’s essential sights.
🚫 What ought to I watch out of in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis?
Alright, so we’ve already established that solo feminine journey in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is completely secure and advisable, however there are nonetheless a couple of key issues to recollect when visiting.
You know the way it’s while you’re a solo girl touring around the globe!
Be conscious of the way you costume
A normal security journey tip for ladies, however simply be conscious of the best way you costume. Vietnam is a little bit of a conservative place, so chances are you’ll get some stares in case you have numerous pores and skin exhibiting, and also you’ll additionally want one thing that covers your shoulders and knees when visiting temples.
All that to say, I didn’t have any downside carrying shorts or tank tops within the metropolis, however I wouldn’t push it a lot farther than that. And also you’re undoubtedly going to need shorts and a few brief sleeves as a result of it’s a scorching place!
Petty theft is widespread
As secure as I felt in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam, petty theft might be an important factor to be careful for. You’ll need to preserve your eyes in your costly objects like your cellphone, pockets, and bag. Scooter seize and runs and pickpockets are fairly widespread.
The perfect factor to do is to maintain your cellphone tucked away from the surface world and to keep away from carrying any flashy jewellery or costly issues. I might put my cellphone within the waistband of my shorts, out of my arms and pockets, and it was high quality. I additionally wore a backpack, so it wasn’t really easy to seize off of me.
Petty theft is nothing to concern, actually simply one thing to know so you’ll be able to put together your self! I by no means had any private expertise myself of pickpockets or theft, and in the event you take minor precautions, you’ll be all good!
You’re going to get numerous consideration for being completely different
In the event you’re not Vietnamese, you’ll very doubtless get numerous consideration it doesn’t matter what you do. It’s normally not damaging however entails numerous staring, folks keen on chatting with you, and possibly requests for pictures.
In the event you’ve by no means traveled to Asia earlier than, this could be a very overwhelming expertise at first! I do know it made me just a little uneasy – like why had been these folks paying a lot consideration to me?
Nevertheless it will get simpler, and a well mannered agency no is your finest software to keep away from pictures you don’t need to take. And if that fails, confidently stroll away.
Watch out of taxi scams
A ceremony of passage whereas visiting Vietnam is to hop on a Seize motorcycle taxi to get throughout the town. They’re exhilarating, extraordinarily low-cost, and truthfully just a little scary at first. The primary site visitors rule in Vietnam is that there is no such thing as a site visitors rule, making a chaotic frenzy of bikes on the street!
However simply be cautious of any taxi scams or motorcycle drivers making an attempt to select you up that aren’t your precise driver or from an official firm. I like to recommend downloading the Seize App and utilizing that to e book your rides.
The app tells you the motive force’s opinions and license plate quantity and allows you to share your location with a good friend. The drivers additionally ought to have official Seize gear, so you realize they’re legit and secure.
Nights out are okay and tremendous secure
Among the finest issues to do in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is to indulge within the vibrant night time scene on Bui Vien and past, and fortunately you don’t want to fret about going out as a girl.
Simply comply with customary feminine security protocol when out ingesting – don’t let your drink out of your sight, attempt to meet mates on the hostel to exit with, and keep away from strolling alone at night time in your approach again to the hostel.
Medicine are an enormous factor in Vietnam too, and also you’ll most likely run into folks on the streets providing them to foreigners strolling by.
Whereas legal guidelines in Vietnam are fairly strict in opposition to medicine, police are inclined to look the opposite approach and don’t strictly implement drug legal guidelines like in different SE Asian international locations.
However please be cautious, these medicine aren’t all the time what you’re instructed they’re.
📍 Which district is finest to remain in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis?
Selecting the place to remain in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is a frightening activity due to how giant and unfold out the town is. There are 24 whole districts/neighborhoods, and every one has its personal distinct vibe and checklist of issues to do.
As a vacationer, I like to recommend staying in District 1, 3, or 5. These are the new spots (1 and three are the town middle, 5 are near the middle however much less crowded and quiet) and can present the most effective place to remain in Saigon.
Every district in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis affords a definite expertise:
District 1 is finest for first-time guests and those that need to be near main sights
District 1 is the town middle, residence to main vacationer sights, bustling markets like Ben Thanh, and landmarks such because the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Opera Home.
Vacationers who need to be in the midst of the motion, near procuring, eating, nightlife, and cultural websites. You’ll discover a vary of choices from luxurious inns to funds hostels. Beneath are the most effective inns in District 1:
District 2 is right for a extra westernized, expat-focused expertise
District 2, particularly the Thao Dien space, is standard amongst expats. It’s recognized for its tranquil residential streets, worldwide eating places, and stylish cafes. Vacationers in search of a extra upscale and worldwide setting, or these on prolonged stays.
Right here, you can see a mixture of mid-range and boutique inns:
👉🏽 See additionally: How dwelling in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis modified this American household’s lifestyle
District 3 affords a quieter stick with easy accessibility to the town middle
District 3 is understood for its French colonial structure, charming streets, and a extra laid-back environment in comparison with District 1. It’s finest for these on the lookout for a central location with a quieter, extra native really feel.
Serviced residences and upscale inns are widespread right here:
District 5 immerses you within the cultural richness of the town’s Chinese language neighborhood
District 5 is known for its vibrant markets, particularly Binh Tay Market, and Chinese language temples. It affords a glimpse into the town’s multicultural heritage. This space is finest for these keen on tradition, historical past, and meals.
On this district, there are extra budget-friendly choices and conventional guesthouses:
🏿🏻 The right way to meet folks in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam
The perfect a part of solo feminine journey in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is assembly different vacationers from all walks of life! And it’s truly fairly simple to fulfill new mates right here if you realize the place to look. Listed below are some recommendations on the best way to meet different folks in Saigon.
Keep in a hostel
One of many best possible methods to fulfill fellow vacationers on the street is by staying in a hostel, and it’s even higher in the event you keep in a shared dorm.
In a hostel, you’re put nose to nose with different like-minded folks additionally itching to discover the town and make mates. And most hostels have shared lounges that may assist join you with others who is probably not staying in your room.
Go to expat hangout spots like Saigon Outcast, Indika Saigon, and so forth.
Saigon Outcast and Indika Saigon are two prime examples of killer locations to fulfill different expats. Saigon Outcast hosts a wide range of occasions each month and has a Fb web page you’ll be able to comply with to remain updated.
Indika is a hopping bar well-known for his or her free flows (all you’ll be able to drink) evenings and is a good place to fulfill new mates.
Be part of Ho Chi Minh Fb Teams
Fb teams are a good way to attach with fellow solo feminine vacationers both after you’ve arrived or earlier than you are taking off! Fexpats is solely for feminine expats trying to reside within the metropolis lengthy or brief time period and has tons of useful recommendation.
And I really like the Solo Feminine Traveler Community for any solo journey journey as a result of it’s a neighborhood of different avid solo vacationers with tons of expertise and connections all through the world. Be part of a couple of of those teams and put out a submit to arrange a meetup!
Go on an organized tour
I’ve all the time discovered that occurring an organized tour is a good way to fulfill folks since you’ll be spending a couple of hours with different backpackers, permitting you to strike up some conversations and hopefully make some good connections.
A number of the finest excursions in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis are the Chu Chi Tunnels I discussed above, a metropolis meals tour, and a conventional Vietnamese cooking class.
There you will have it! My final information to solo feminine journey in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis and Vietnam usually. Secure and blissful travels!
🆚 Is it higher to remain in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh Vietnam?
Selecting between staying in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh Metropolis in Vietnam relies upon largely in your private pursuits, the experiences you’re in search of, and the environment you favor.
Each cities provide wealthy cultural experiences, however they’ve distinct characters and sights. Hanoi, the capital metropolis, is understood for its centuries-old structure, a wealthy historical past deeply embedded in its streets, and a extra conventional and cultural ambiance.
It’s residence to historic websites just like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Previous Quarter, and quite a few temples. The town can be well-known for its street-side cafes, puppet theaters, and the scenic Hoan Kiem Lake. Hanoi is famend for its conventional Vietnamese delicacies, with well-known dishes like Pho and Bun Cha.
The town experiences 4 distinct seasons – a scorching summer season, a cool and dry winter, and transitional intervals of spring and autumn.
Previously referred to as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is the business hub of Vietnam, recognized for its dynamic and quickly modernizing character. It’s extra Westernized and bustling in comparison with Hanoi.
Well-known for landmarks just like the Cu Chi Tunnels, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Struggle Remnants Museum. The town additionally boasts a vibrant nightlife and a thriving meals scene. The culinary expertise right here is various, with a mix of conventional Vietnamese and worldwide influences.
Ho Chi Minh Metropolis has a tropical local weather, typically hotter and extra humid, with two essential seasons – the moist and the dry season.
In the event you’re extra keen on exploring Vietnam’s wealthy historical past and conventional tradition, Hanoi could be the higher alternative. For these in search of a extra trendy metropolis expertise with full of life nightlife and a cosmopolitan environment, Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is preferable.
Contemplate different locations in Vietnam you intend to go to. Hanoi is a gateway to Northern sights like Halong Bay and Sapa, whereas Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is nearer to the Mekong Delta and seashore locations like Phu Quoc.
When you have a robust desire for cooler climate, Hanoi’s winter could be extra comfy for you, whereas Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is usually heat year-round.
Brit is a contract journey author and the blogger behind lifetime of brit and is hooked on solo feminine journey and funds backpacking. Initially from Madison, Wisconsin, she stop her skilled job in advertising and marketing to reside and train English in South Korea for 2 years, the place she found her love of writing. Now location impartial, she’s happiest sipping scorching espresso, mountaineering by epic landscapes, and taking footage of lovely sights.