This city is so easy to enjoy. It’s possible to walk to all the main sites, along flat and wide pavements, stopping off for a freshly squeezed juice, a cup of Vietnamese coffee (iced if you are too hot). Taxis are cheap and easy if you want to go farther afield. The food is without exception my favourite in the world. So many choices on accommodation from the wonderful clean £20 a night ensuite rooms and up to the very excellent 5 star hotels – which actually cost a lot less here than many cities elsewhere in the world.
Try the roof top bars at night for an amazing view and some fresh air. A Vietnamese BBQ is another must. The parks are great for people watch – early morning tai chi and at dusk music and family gatherings. The top 10 or even 20 sightseeing spots from your guidebook are all well worth a visit. It’s very easy to avoid the tourist crushes if you time our visits a little bit smarter than most. Don’t miss out on the ballet/theatre/opera too if you enjoy that sort of thing.
History is all around – Look up and see the iconic roof top where the CIA evacuated from (best spot to see this is from in front of the cathedral). See the road spot where the monk set himself on fire as a protest to the regime (there are statutes and tributes here). Modernity is here too and it is an easy blend of cultures.
I love discovering the places the locals favour for a bit of air con luxury without the tourist price tags for a drink – Pay less than a dollar for a coffee. For food, pay less than $2 for dinner and still expect something fabulous, but often without the air con. I have never been disappointed. My personal Saigon food map is full of speciality dishes in lovely little places.