by Female Abroad

Vietnam is magnificently rich in terms of both natural beauties and historical and cultural legacy; Ho Chi Minh City is one of those locations. Well known for its immigrant residents, a trip to the city will provide tourists both attractions, cultural experiences, and activities that will require not only an adventurer's energy but will delight every tourist and leave them wanting more. While not being as romantic as other holiday sites in Vietnam like Hanoi, for instance, the city has its own unique set of distinctive qualities and points of interest that put it on an equal footing with other vacation destinations throughout the world. While we have another article about the top four tourist sites, here are our picks for the top five ways to create a timeless adventure while in the city.

1. When in Vietnam, Eat Soup for Breakfast

There is a lot of exploring to do in a day so you need to make sure that you have breakfast before heading out. While most people think of Pho (pronounced Fuh, if you say Foe then you are asking for a hooker) when you say Vietnamese soup but there are quite a few other ones. Think about trying some Banh Can Cua or Bun Bo Hue if Pho is not one you enjoy. If you have never heard of any of these then let me describe them:

  1. Pho: flat noodle soup with a rich, clear broth and your choice of meat. You will also get mint, hot sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, and bean sprouts to add to the soup. Broth is usually chicken or beef based.
  2. Banh Can Cua: noodle soup with crab, shrimp, and / or fish balls in a thick pork broth with tapioca. Meat included may also have some pork bits like hocks, knuckles, and neck bones.
  3. Bun Bo Hue: enjoyed in Hue and Hoi An, this rice noodle soup features sliced beef and sometimes pork knuckles in a pork based broth. It is spicier and saltier than Pho.

2. Check out the Architectural Mix

Ho Chi Minh is a city where old "tube" dwellings coexist with contemporary skyscrapers and French colonial structures; a visitor can have a close look at the majority of the structures with just a short stroll because the styles are so intertwined along the streets. Dong Khoi Street for example, where the Notre Dame church and the Saigon river are, is a must do if you are looking for a walking route. The views from Le Loi and Nguyen Hue Streets are also good. If you are interested in colonial architecture then you will want to see the old post office.

3. Go Shopping on the Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta, which covers an area of around 39,000 sq. km., is renowned for both its abundant biodiversity (it is home to over 10,000 recently discovered biological species) and the distinctive cultural traditions of the local human population. The floating markets on the Mekong Delta are a must-see; visitors can experience the markets' vibrant and laid-back atmosphere firsthand by travelling there in a small sampan with a local guide. The best time is in the morning where locally produced fruits and vegetables can be purchased right from the merchants' boats as they try to sell to the local vendors. You will also see sampans that double as mobile cafes that serve soft drinks, iced tea, and hearty noodle soup.

4. Explore the Tunnels

If you are from North America then the first time you heard of North America was most likely because of some relation to the Vietnam War in the 1970's. The best way to understand why this war took place and how it was fought is to visit the Cu Chi tunnels. The Cu Chi tunnels are a sizable network of tunnels that are situated in the Cu Chi neighbourhood of Ho Chi Minh City that link to others around the country. During the Vietnam War, the Viet Cong utilized these tunnels as a route for communication and supplies, a storehouse for food and weapons, a place to hide, a hospital, and a place to live while they held off the unprepared Americans.

5. Walk through the Backpacker's Street

Also known as the Backpacker's Area, unless you are looking for a hostel, this street is dead during the day but becomes extremely lively once the sun sets. This little neighbourhood along Bui vien and Pham ngu Lao streets has inexpensive lodging options as well as buzzing eateries and bars with hundreds of people packed into this small area to make for a colourful evening.