We arrived in Ho Chi Minh in the early evening after a long flight from Istanbul. We checked into the beautiful Intercontinental Saigon and were immediately blown away by the service. They graciously upgraded us to a club room which had access to the club lounge on the 19th floor which had views overlooking the entire city.
We were introduced to some of the hotels’ leadership team and enjoyed some cocktails while we chatted with them about some of the must-dos during our short visit. For dinner, they recommended a restaurant nearby, Hoa Tuc, and cocktails at the rooftop bar at the Caravelle, a historic hotel that was a major communications hub during the Vietnam war. Both recommendations were fantastic – the restaurant’s ambience was wonderful with outdoor seating and lighting in this little courtyard down an alley. The food was absolutely delicious and was such a great way to start our time in Ho Chi Minh. The atmosphere at Saigon Saigon, the rooftop bar, was amazing. They had a live band and singers playing Latin music and views overlooking the heart of the city. I tried their peach Moscow mules, which was delicious and we even danced a bit (Havana oh na na…) 💃🏼
The following morning we got up early to go on a cyclo tour the General Manager had recommended to us. The hotel team arranged it with the GM’s ‘guy’ who took great care of us. They showed us all the major sites of HCM and it was pretty crazy cycling next to thousands of motorists and scooters as they started their day. We checked out the War Museum, The Palace, Flower Market, a local coffee shop, and Ben Thanh market. After the tour, we shopped in the market, successfully bargaining our way to buy a few things.
We then were on the hunt for the best bahn mi for lunch. We stopped into a place that was busy with locals, but were a bit disappointed as it wasn’t quite what we were looking for. We then shopped for a bit more – finding a couple boutiques and bought this cool map of old Ho Chi Minh again for our travel wall. We passed by My Bahn Mi, which was on my list to check out and decided to give it a shot even though we weren’t super hungry. It was incredible and probably the best bahn mi I’ve ever had. A must try if you’re ever in Ho Chi Minh!
We headed to the pool for a few hours to cool off and relax. We then got ready for the evening and headed up to the lounge to enjoy a few cocktails before dinner. That evening we headed out to district 3 and tried out Pho Hoa Pasteur, a local favorite which was delicious and very authentic. I wanted to also try out another restaurant nearby so I dragged Cole for a second meal where we got some drinks and appetizers. We then walked around a bit of the area which was buzzing with locals enjoying the start of their weekend.
We had a flight midday Saturday but got up early so we could have another bowl of pho, this time for breakfast to be a real local. We then headed to the airport to check out our next destination – Singapore!