For quite some time, I’ve longed to have a conversation as follows:
Nate: One time, back in ‘Nam…
Esquire: Vietnam? For the war?!
Nate: No! I was having a latte, get with it!
Crazy, I know…
Most people would say that I’m a dreamer with an overly active imagination. I’m still on an all time high from my recent trip to Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh, or as the locals say, Saigon, is such a vibrant city. Streams of motorcycles, French colonial architecture, cheap eats, and local chit chat at the Chill Bar surely enhanced my experience to new levels.
Normally, I like to think of ways to turn turn an ordinary activity into something exciting… one that’s worth calling back home to brag about. Instead of grabbing a map and wondering around aimlessly, I figured what better way to explore Saigon than cruising around the bustling city on the back of a vespa! Check out the video below for my epic adventure through the city via XO Tours.
XO Tours provides a thrilling ride to the most popular attractions in Ho Chi Minh City. For three hours, learn about the city’s history, sample local cuisine, and explore both the main sights and the lesser known areas of the city.
Sights visited includes: The Central Post Office, The Notre Dame Cathedral, The Reunification Palace, Secret CIA Building, Tan Dinh Market, The Thich Quang Duc Memorial, Ho Thi Ky Flower Market, Chinatown, The Binh Tay Market, and Thien Hau Pagoda.
What’s Included: Hotel pickup and drop off within District 1, 3 & 5, English speaking guide, motorbike & fuel, and bottled water.
Cost: $42 USD per person; Tour Video $35 USD
Time: 9AM – 12PM
For a more immersive experience in Ho Chi Minh City, I also recommend adding XO’s Foodie Tour to the agenda along with a traditional Vietnamese cooking class with Mai Home!
XO Foodie Tour: The Foodie Tour entails a night out sampling various dishes from North Vietnam, Hue and the South. Similar to the Sights tour, this is all done on the back of a vespa. The journey throughout the night will be memorable and filling! Cost: $72 USD
Mai Home – The Saigon Culinary Art Center: Another foodie highlight was my three hour cooking class at Saigon Culinary Arts Center. Without much hands on assistance, I prepared a delicious 4 course meal – spicy clam soup, chicken and shrimp spring rolls with sweet chili sauce, chili infused pork with white rice, and fresh veggies that I hand picked from Ben Than Market. Cost: $40 USD
Here are a few additional favorite night spots in Ho Chi Minh City:
The Chill Bar
Nha Hang Ngn
Sheraton Wine Bar
Ho Chi Minh City, packed with great adventure and delicious eats, will surely be an epic journey in Vietnam. Be sure to check out my adventure along the Mekong Delta next!