I had the pleasure of experiencing life in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam for two months as I taught English at a summer time camp within the coronary heart of town. Earlier than arriving, I’d heard nothing however glowing evaluations 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 so far! I’m beginning my solo feminine journey in Ho Chi Minh and can go all the best way to completely different SEA nations. I do know you might be an knowledgeable 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 in your solo feminine journey escapade! I really like Ho Chi Minh and it’s one of many nations I’ve visited greater than as soon as. I’ve plenty of articles about Vietnam however on this publish, 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 lady touring solo. In case you have extra questions, please be happy to achieve out with me by way of 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 referred to as Saigon, is Vietnam’s bustling capital within the south. House to a darkish but fascinating historical past comprising of French colonization and the Vietnam Warfare, at present it’s a contemporary hub within the nation the place the standard and new collide.
I had the pleasure of residing and experiencing life in Saigon for 2 months as I taught an English summer time camp within the coronary heart of town. Earlier than arriving, I’d heard nothing however glowing evaluations 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. Town has a full of life and vibrant ex-pat scene making it really easy to make pals, an abundance of insanely scrumptious avenue meals, and an reasonably priced and straight-up enjoyable way of life.
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 well 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.
📅 Finest time to go to Ho Chi Minh Vietnam
One of the best time to go to Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is throughout the dry season of December to April. This era is mostly thought-about 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 town and fascinating in outside actions.
Throughout these months, temperatures vary from a cushty 21°C (70°F) to 34°C (93°F). The cooler months, notably December and January, are particularly nice.
The most cost effective time to go to Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is throughout the moist season of Might to November. Journey prices, together with lodge and flight costs, are usually decrease throughout these months. It’s a superb time for budget-conscious vacationers.
The moist season is characterised by quick, heavy afternoon showers. Mornings typically stay sunny and clear, so sightseeing remains to be very possible.
The countryside and pure landscapes round Ho Chi Minh Metropolis are notably lush and delightful throughout 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 gives a wide range of choices, every offering a novel expertise of town’s vibrant and bustling nature. Listed below are a number of the most typical and handy methods to navigate this dynamic metropolis:
One of the crucial well-liked and quintessentially Vietnamese modes of transport is the motorcycle taxi, regionally referred to as Xe Ôm. These aren’t solely ubiquitous and versatile but additionally fairly reasonably priced, sometimes costing round $1-$3 for brief journeys.
Conventional taxis are one other handy possibility, notably appropriate for longer journeys or when touring in teams. Providing the consolation of air con and security, respected firms like Vinasun and Mai Linh cost round $0.50-$0.70 USD per kilometer.
Town’s public bus community, whereas not as quick, is a cheap alternative, costing as little as $0.30 per experience. Buses present a extra eco-friendly method of journey and are outfitted with English signage, making them pretty tourist-friendly.
For these searching for a extra cultural expertise, cyclos or pedal rickshaws, supply a leisurely option to see town. Superb for brief distances and slow-paced sightseeing, a typical cyclo experience may cost round $5-$10 USD, relying on the gap and your negotiation abilities.
Alternatively, renting a automotive with a driver, a extra comfy possibility for households or teams, particularly for day journeys exterior town, can range in value however sometimes begins at round $50 USD per day.
For the extra adventurous, bicycle leases can be found, providing a novel and eco-friendly option to discover town at your individual tempo. Rental prices are often 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 ambiance for gratis. Nevertheless, given town’s dense site visitors and restricted pedestrian infrastructure, be very cautious when strolling.
🧭 Finest issues to do in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam
Often called 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 satisfy fellow vacationers:
1. See the Basic Ho Chi Minh Vietnam Points of interest
As with all new journey vacation spot, visiting the principle vacationer points of interest is a should! A few of the greatest issues to do in Saigon embrace:
- Snapping a pic in entrance of the Tan Dinh Pink Church.
- Sending a postcard from the Outdated Publish 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 be taught the Vietnamese facet of historical past.
- Visiting the Jade Pagoda and Buu Lengthy Pagoda.
🛵 One of the simplest ways to see the highest points of interest of Ho Chi Minh is thru a motorcycle tour with locals! These motorbikes are secure as accident insurance coverage can also 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 satisfy 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 get together ambiance is nearly all the time in full swing, attracting a various worldwide crowd.
Bui Vien gives a variety of eating choices, together with Vietnamese avenue meals, worldwide delicacies, and cafes. It’s a superb place to pattern native dishes at affordable costs.
Whereas it’s a hotspot for worldwide vacationers, Bui Vien Road additionally attracts locals, providing a novel mixture of Vietnamese and international cultures.
🎉 In case you are doing solo feminine journey in Ho Chi Minh, that is one of the simplest ways to satisfy individuals. 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 likely one of the metropolis’s oldest surviving landmarks and hosts a neighborhood market promoting numerous wares and goodies. At night time the market transforms right into a avenue meals fest the place you may pattern many Vietnamese classics.
Ben Thanh Market gives a vivid glimpse into the native tradition. It’s a spot the place locals store and socialize, giving guests an actual style of each day life in HCMC.
One of many highlights of Ben Thanh Market is its meals part. Guests can take pleasure in a wide range of Vietnamese avenue meals and conventional dishes, making it a implausible 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, positioned exterior the constructing, begins within the late afternoon and continues nicely 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 a neighborhood.
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 implausible Saigon sightseeing alternatives! Remember to take a look at 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 house advanced that after housed US army personnel throughout the battle after which Vietnamese officers after the battle, at present you’ll discover solely cute and stylish boutique retailers, cafes, and eating places.
After you’re 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 town’s tallest skyscraper. On the high of the constructing’s 68 flooring, you’ll discover the Bitexco Skydeck, an statement platform open to vacationers. Entry is $8 USD.
Professional tip: Go to the Eon Heli Bar positioned one story beneath the statement 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 greatest eats
It’s no secret that Vietnam has a fame for killer dishes and avenue meals, so clearly consuming all-you-can needs to be on the high of the listing for issues to do in Vietnam! There are a lot of organized avenue meals excursions you may 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: a number of the greatest Pho within the metropolis
- Propaganda: fashionable Vietnamese restaurant
- Be adventurous and go to the native Seafood avenue market.
- Vinh Khanh is one among Saigon’s greatest 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 pals 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 things 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 town, lie the Cu Chi Tunnels, a community of underground pathways that had been as soon as utilized by the Viet Cong troopers throughout the Vietnam Warfare. The tunnels acted as hiding spots throughout fight and as a method to move provides and messages between fighters.
As we speak you may take a tour and check out squeezing into the tiny tunnels your self! Excursions are sometimes at the side of 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 may as well go on a automotive or higher but, a luxurious ferry experience that features a go to to the villages.
9. Traverse by the Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is an enormous community of rivers, swamps, and islands with a novel panorama that’s each picturesque and numerous. It’s house to a wealthy biodiversity, together with numerous hen species, reptiles, and aquatic life, making it a haven for nature lovers.
The delta gives a glimpse into the standard Vietnamese lifestyle, notably the agricultural and agricultural way of life 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 aren’t simply vacationer points of interest however very important facets of native commerce and each day life.
🚣♂️ It’s comparatively near HCMC, making it an excellent 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 likely one of the largest and most genuine floating markets within the Mekong Delta. It gives a glimpse into the standard lifestyle within the area, the place commerce and each 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 purchasing expertise in contrast to any typical market on land.
🌸 The market is most lively 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 listing solely scratches the floor of the numerous unimaginable issues to do in Saigon! However it’s a terrific place to start out first-timers excited to see Ho Chi Minh Metropolis’s principal points of interest.
🚫 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 just a few key issues to recollect when visiting.
You know the way it’s if you’re a solo lady touring all over the world!
Be conscious of the way you gown
A normal security journey tip for girls, however simply be conscious of the best way you gown. Vietnam is a little bit of a conservative place, so you could get some stares when you’ve got plenty of 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 drawback sporting 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 quick sleeves as a result of it’s a sizzling place!
Petty theft is frequent
As secure as I felt in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam, petty theft might be a very powerful factor to be careful for. You’ll wish to maintain your eyes in your costly objects like your telephone, pockets, and bag. Scooter seize and runs and pickpockets are fairly frequent.
One of the best factor to do is to maintain your telephone tucked away from the surface world and to keep away from sporting any flashy jewellery or costly issues. I might put my telephone 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 worry, actually simply one thing to know so you may put together your self! I by no means had any private expertise myself of pickpockets or theft, and for those who take minor precautions, you’ll be all good!
You’ll get plenty of consideration for being completely different
For those who’re not Vietnamese, you’ll very possible get plenty of consideration it doesn’t matter what you do. It’s often not damaging however includes plenty of staring, individuals occupied with chatting with you, and doubtless requests for photographs.
For those who’ve by no means traveled to Asia earlier than, this could be a very overwhelming expertise at first! I do know it made me slightly uneasy – like why had been these individuals paying a lot consideration to me?
However it will get simpler, and a well mannered agency no is your greatest software to keep away from photographs you don’t wish 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 town. They’re exhilarating, extraordinarily low-cost, and actually slightly scary at first. The principle 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 choose 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 guide your rides.
The app tells you the driving force’s evaluations and license plate quantity and allows you to share your location with a pal. The drivers additionally ought to have official Seize gear, so you recognize they’re legit and secure.
Nights out are okay and tremendous secure
Top-of-the-line 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 observe normal feminine security protocol when out ingesting – don’t let your drink out of your sight, attempt to meet pals on the hostel to exit with, and keep away from strolling alone at night time in your method again to the hostel.
Medication are a giant factor in Vietnam too, and also you’ll in all probability run into individuals on the streets providing them to foreigners strolling by.
Whereas legal guidelines in Vietnam are fairly strict in opposition to medication, police are likely to look the opposite method and don’t strictly implement drug legal guidelines like in different SE Asian nations.
However please be cautious, these medication aren’t all the time what you’re advised they’re.
📍 Which district is greatest 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 town is. There are 24 complete districts/neighborhoods, and every one has its personal distinct vibe and listing of issues to do.
As a vacationer, I like to recommend staying in District 1, 3, or 5. These are the recent spots (1 and three are town heart, 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 gives a definite expertise:
District 1 is greatest for first-time guests and people who wish to be near main points of interest
District 1 is town heart, house to main vacationer points of interest, bustling markets like Ben Thanh, and landmarks such because the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Opera Home.
Vacationers who wish to be in the course of the motion, near purchasing, eating, nightlife, and cultural websites. You’ll discover a vary of choices from luxurious lodges to price range hostels. Beneath are the most effective lodges in District 1:
District 2 is good for a extra westernized, expat-focused expertise
District 2, particularly the Thao Dien space, is well-liked amongst expats. It’s identified for its tranquil residential streets, worldwide eating places, and stylish cafes. Vacationers searching for a extra upscale and worldwide atmosphere, or these on prolonged stays.
Right here, you will see that a mixture of mid-range and boutique lodges:
👉🏽 See additionally: How residing in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis modified this American household’s lifestyle
District 3 gives a quieter stick with quick access to town heart
District 3 is thought for its French colonial structure, charming streets, and a extra laid-back ambiance in comparison with District 1. It’s greatest for these on the lookout for a central location with a quieter, extra native really feel.
Serviced residences and upscale lodges are frequent right here:
District 5 immerses you within the cultural richness of town’s Chinese language neighborhood
District 5 is known for its vibrant markets, particularly Binh Tay Market, and Chinese language temples. It gives a glimpse into town’s multicultural heritage. This space is greatest for these occupied with tradition, historical past, and meals.
On this district, there are extra budget-friendly choices and conventional guesthouses:
🏿🏻 The right way to meet individuals in Ho Chi Minh Vietnam
One of the best 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 satisfy new pals right here if you recognize the place to look. Listed below are some recommendations on tips on how to meet different individuals in Saigon.
Keep in a hostel
One of many very best methods to satisfy fellow vacationers on the street is by staying in a hostel, and it’s even higher for those who keep in a shared dorm.
In a hostel, you’re put head to head with different like-minded individuals additionally itching to discover town and make pals. 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 satisfy different expats. Saigon Outcast hosts a wide range of occasions each month and has a Fb web page you may observe to remain updated.
Indika is a hopping bar well-known for his or her free flows (all you may drink) evenings and is a good place to satisfy new pals.
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’re taking off! Fexpats is solely for feminine expats trying to reside within the metropolis lengthy or quick 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 just a few of those teams and put out a publish to prepare a meetup!
Go on an organized tour
I’ve all the time discovered that occurring an organized tour is a good way to satisfy individuals since you’ll be spending just a few hours with different backpackers, permitting you to strike up some conversations and hopefully make some good connections.
A few of the greatest 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’ve got it! My final information to solo feminine journey in Ho Chi Minh Metropolis and Vietnam usually. Secure and completely happy 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 searching for, and the ambiance you favor.
Each cities supply wealthy cultural experiences, however they’ve distinct characters and points of interest. Hanoi, the capital metropolis, is thought for its centuries-old structure, a wealthy historical past deeply embedded in its streets, and a extra conventional and cultural ambiance.
It’s house to historic websites just like the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Outdated Quarter, and quite a few temples. Town can also 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.
Town experiences 4 distinct seasons – a sizzling summer time, a cool and dry winter, and transitional intervals of spring and autumn.
Previously referred to as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is the industrial hub of Vietnam, identified 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 Warfare Remnants Museum. Town additionally boasts a vibrant nightlife and a thriving meals scene. The culinary expertise right here is numerous, with a mix of conventional Vietnamese and worldwide influences.
Ho Chi Minh Metropolis has a tropical local weather, usually hotter and extra humid, with two principal seasons – the moist and the dry season.
For those who’re extra occupied with exploring Vietnam’s wealthy historical past and conventional tradition, Hanoi may be the higher alternative. For these searching for a extra fashionable metropolis expertise with full of life nightlife and a cosmopolitan ambiance, Ho Chi Minh Vietnam is preferable.
Contemplate different locations in Vietnam you intend to go to. Hanoi is a gateway to Northern points of interest like Halong Bay and Sapa, whereas Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is nearer to the Mekong Delta and seaside locations like Phu Quoc.
In case you have a powerful choice for cooler climate, Hanoi’s winter may be extra comfy for you, whereas Ho Chi Minh Metropolis is mostly heat year-round.
Brit is a contract journey author and the blogger behind lifetime of brit and is hooked on solo feminine journey and price range backpacking. Initially from Madison, Wisconsin, she give up her skilled job in advertising to reside and educate English in South Korea for 2 years, the place she found her love of writing. Now location impartial, she’s happiest sipping sizzling espresso, climbing by epic landscapes, and taking photos of lovely sights.