Tourists tend to think that it is really easy for them to look for some well-known places that normally pop on tourist brochures, or travel websites, forums and blogs. We think it is time to take off of the beaten path and be game for discovering the untouched side of Saigon.
The underground weapon cellar
Dating back to 1967, a hidden cellar was secretly dug below the home of Tran Van Lai, a Saigon dweller, in district 3. He was a secret agent of Viet Cong, who tended to use the cellar to pile up an arsenal and explosives resulting in the deadly Tet Offensive. The surprise attack was operated on a large scale and aimed to the US and Southern Vietnam forces.
Nowadays, the historical landmark is open for tourists. Looking for the narrow alleyway at 287 Nguyen Dinh Chieu and go straight to the house at number 70. The building can be easily missed since it is located amidst a small street market where lots of motorbikes and vehicles passing.
287/70 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.
Note: The house is closed for lunch from 11 am to 2 pm.
Saigon's oldest building
Located at Nguyen Dinh Chieu street - district 3, the oldest wooden building was initially built in 1790. Tan Xa Palace was used by Nguyen Anh’s ally, Pierre Pigneau de Behaine, Bishop of Adran. Since the death of Pigneau in 1799, it has been repurposed and closed many times. At present, regardless of serving as a place of worship, the homestead features a uniquely Vietnamese style of architecture because of its preceding intention as priest’s lodging to occupy.
180 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ward 6, District 3, HCMC
The perfect hidden café
She café is truly a hidden gem of Saigon that stands out among others. The shop lurks in a 1960s apartment located in an alley on Pasteur street, right next to Secret Garden. Possibly one of the least well-known cafes, She café is actually separated from the chaos of the busy city. It also has echoes of the old French-style cafés in Saigon. When entering, you may feel the heady aromas of fresh coffee, a tranquil ambience mixed ideally with some subdued lightning. She café comes out as one of the coolest hangouts in the city.
158 Pasteur, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
As the nightfall, the city becomes more luminous and livelier. The citizens hang out on the street and immerse in lots of activities by night in Saigon. One of the noticeable highlights is that lying on the Pasteur Street, the Pasteur Street Brewing Company is ready to live up your night. The menu varies including passion fruit wheat beer, coconut porter and imperial chocolate stout…etc.
144 Pasteur, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Spending wonderful moments at a riverside restaurant
Far away from the center of Ho Chi Minh City, there is a cozy modern restaurant named The Deck. It takes about 15 minutes by driving motorbikes to Thao Dien residential area. The view over the river at night is quite stunning, and the staff is very friendly, as well as attentive. You can opt for a lot of Western seafood while enjoying the scenic landscape from the bank of the river. Though the deck is a little bit far away from the city center, it is still worthy to visit.
38 Nguyen U Di Street, Thao Dien, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City.
Indochina Junk Cruise
Dropping anchor off the Saigon river, which is one of the main attractions of Ho Chi Minh City. The cruise offers plenty of delicious Vietnamese food, which is devided into 17 different set menu with affordable prices. This will be a good choice for you to contemplate the romance of Saigon at night and enjoy the Vietnamese cuisine with your beloved ones.