This economic hub of Vietnam has drawn travelers’ attention for decades due to its cultural diversity. But you can hardly get any local insights if you never go beyond the famous tourist attractions. To experience the real Saigon, you need to plan your itinerary out of the ordinary.
Enjoy a Sip of Morning Coffee: How to Experience the Real Saigon
A cup of strong, black coffee is how many locals start their day
People drink coffee everywhere, but what makes this city distinctive is the habit of going out for a Vietnamese coffee in the morning. Saigon locals prefer to sit in the cafes or along the sidewalks to enjoy flavors of “Ca Phe Sua Da” (Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk) or “Ca Phe Den Da” (Vietnamese iced coffee).
Many people prefer a cup of coffee in the morning before heading to their office
It will be a great joy to rise early in the morning, get your morning drinks at coffee stands all around Saigon, and chat with the locals before the city fully awakes. With only VND 15,000 – VND 20,000, you can sip a piece of the real Saigon.
Dive into Local Markets: How to Experience the Real Saigon
A corner of Ho Thi Ky Market
Whenever mentioning Saigon’s shopping attractions, most think of Ben Thanh Market. But this place is extra touristy and quite pricey. If you ever wonder how to experience the real Saigon, head to local markets such as Hanh Thong Tay Market or Ho Thi Ky Market.
Located in Go Vap District, Hanh Thong Tay Night Market is adored by local students because of its affordable products. All of the items are very diverse, ranging from clothes, and souvenirs, to food.
There are many kinds of flowers sold at Ho Thi Ky Market
This market is a real flower and food heaven
Ho Thi Ky Market is home to around 100 vendors of various kinds of flowers. This site offers an around-the-clock welcome to visitors. But from midnight to 2 AM is the most vibrant time when the retailers rush back and forth to provide fresh products.
Indulge the Taste of Nightlife: How to Experience the Real Saigon
Drinking with the locals is an awesome way to experience the real Saigon
When the sun goes down, the city becomes the heaven for night owls. There are a plethora of activities that you can join at night time. The ultimate thing you should never miss is to satisfy your appetite with a night food tour.
Night street foods never cease to trigger our appetite
You can find a considerable number of street foods here and there, but it’ll be a great pity not to go to Xom Chieu Alley in District 4, Van Kiep Street in Binh Thanh District, and Ho Thi Ky Night Food Market in District 10.
The streetside gathering is popular at night
For those who fancy a drink, put on your best outfit and see yourself in the world of beer clubs, bars, and busy coffee houses in the central districts. You can both enjoy the authentic flavor of Vietnamese beverages and see the frenzied version of this city that never sleeps.
Strolling along Nguyen Hue Walking Street and the nearby area is also a popular night activity
Attempt to Cross the Streets Like Locals: How to Experience the Real Saigon
The crazy traffic in rush hours
It’s no secret that dynamic, motorbike-filled traffic is a trademark of Saigon. With its mobility, motorbikes can get into every nook and cranny here. However, not all are prepared to navigate through Saigon’s traffic. If you are one of them, how about a back-of-the-bike tour? Not only can you discover hidden corners, and experience a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but you will also get more insights from your local buddy.
The skillful local guide can ride you to every corner of Saigon
Our Final Thoughts on How to Experience the Real Saigon
As opposed to the extravagant skyscrapers, Saigon retains itself with a significant cultural and historical value. For those who keep wondering how to experience the real Saigon, you should go beyond the well-known attractions and immerse yourself in the local scenes.
See this Saigon’s Other Side tour if you want to get off the beaten path and explore spots that traditional tours won’t be able to cover!