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You are planning a trip to Vietnam and are having difficulties deciding where to go and what to do, what you cannot miss and what to skip. From the feedbacks of our customers, Cheap Vietnam Holidays would like to recommend some activities considered by travellers as must-do's when you are in Vietnam....

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Saigon Quick Guide

 

Cho Lon
The name, which translates as "Big Market", refers to HCM City bustling China town. You'll find streets stocked with traditional Chinese medicine, charming colonial-era shop houses, brightly painted pagodas, and jam-packed markets.

Cu Chi Tunnels
Set aside half a day to make the trip to the Cu Chi tunnels, part of a 250km-long secret tunnel network carved out during the American War. Crawl through one of these tunnels (widened to accommodate heftier visitors) and you'll get a glimpse of what life was like for the thousands who lived, fought and perished underground.

Jade Emperor Pagoda
Stagger through clouds of incense smoke to gaze upon weirdly wonderful statues of gods, sacred animals and heroes in this lavishly decorated Chinese Pagoda (73 Mai thi Luu, D.3).

Post Office
Take a seat under a slow-turning ceiling fan and scribble out a postcard in Saigon's charming Post Office, which was built between 1886 and 1891. Across the street lies Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883 (2 Cong Xa Paris, D.1).

War Remnants Museum
Ponder photos weaponry and artifacts that bring home the suffering wrought by the American - Vietnam war and subsequent conflict with the Chinese. Not for the faint-of-heart, disturbing museum is housed in the former US Information Service building (28 Vo Van Tan, D.3).


Eat at

Hideaway
Tucked down an alley in an old villa, this delightful eatery offers fresh and creative international fare. The salads, soups and sandwiches are tasty and healthy. Good for brunch. (41/1 Pham Ngoc Thach , D.3).

Ngon
Popular with locals and visitors alike, this huge, busy restaurant provides a great introduction to Vietnamese cuisine, as diners can sample a large variety of small, reasonably priced dishes. Outdoor seating areas are cooled by mist rather than air-con. Good for casual dinner with friends. (138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, D.1).

Pho 24
This newly opened chain serves up Vietnam's favorite dish in spic and span, air-conditioned surroundings. VND 24,000 will get you a bowl of beef noodle soup garnished with fresh herbs. Good for a quick bite. (5 Nguyen Thiep, D.1).

Wrap 'N Roll
Parcels of seafood, meat and vegetables are wrapped up in rice paper rolls at this stylish new eatery. The decor, like the food, is fresh, clean and fun. Good for lunch. (62 Hai Ba Trung, D.1)

Xu
This newly opened restaurant and lounge stands out thanks to its starkly stylish decor and eclectic fusion menu. Expect international prices. Good for a romantic dinner. (71-75 Hai Ba Trung, D.1).


Hang out at

Carmen
Those looking for someplace out of the ordinary will appreciate this atmospheric venue, designed to resemble a medieval dungeon/wine cellar. The nightly from salsa to MTV covers. Tables tend to fill up early. (8 Ly Tu Trong, D1).

Lush
This high-tech nightclub features live DJs, funky decor, plush seats, and a mix of foreign and local patrons.(2 Ly Tu Trong, D.1)

Q Bar
Opened in the mid 1990s, this Saigon institution still draws a hip late-nigh crowd and offers indoor and outdoor tables. (Opera House, 7 Lam Son Square).

Saigon Saigon
Steep drink prices are offset by the great views from this plush 19th floor bar, which attracts a mix of business travelers, expats and locals with its lively Filipino band. (Caravelle hotel, 19 Lam Son Square, D.1)

Windows Cafe
Saigon's hip young things while away the hours at Windows and neighboring, snazzy cafes. This is a good place to view Vietnam's privileged young urbanites in action. (43 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, D.1)


Shop At

Ben Thanh Market
There's little you won't find in Saigon's central market. This is a place to buy bags, fabric, slippers and crockery, plus coffee, spices and snacks. Fresh flowers are out back.

Dong Khoi
During French colonial times, La Rue Catinat, as this street as then known, was the most upscale address in Southeast Asia. Today it's lined with boutiques selling silk clothing, art, souvenirs, house wares, and imported fashions and watches.

Le Cong Kieu
Once home to Arab traders, this short street is lined with dozens of antique shops stacked with French-style wooden furniture, Buddha statues, fluted glass lamps, and knickknacks. (If your "antique" turns out to have been made in Goungzhou circa 2005 don't blame us!)

Saigon Square
Surplus (and knock-off) clothing is on offer in this open air, covered market. A pair of jeans costs about US$10, while t-shirts can be had for a few bucks. (Corner of Hai Ba Trung and Le Duan Street, D.1).

Ton That Thiep Street
Take a stroll down this short street and you will find interesting boutiques selling clothes, lacquer wares and souvenirs. When you're sick of shopping stop at Fanny's for homemade ice cream in exotic flavors like Young Rice, Taro and Green Tea.

 

 

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