Travel Guide and Tips: Ho Chi Minh

Located in the south, Ho Chi Minh (originally Saigon) is Vietnam's largest city. 

Things to do

War Remnant Museum

Located in District 3, the museum has exhibits from the Indochina War as well as the Vietnam War. Although there's hints of anti-American propaganda, the museum offers tons of information about the wars and the impact it had. It's very eye-opening to learn about what happened during the war as well as the aftermath of it. The museum is mostly pictures, but also has war artifacts, historical armoury and vehicles. There's an entrance fee of 15,000 dong. 

Cu Chi Tunnels 

Head to either the Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc tunnels. These tunnels are located away from the city and takes around 2 hours to get to them. They're definitely worth to visit if you're interested in learning more about the war. There's an entrance fee of 90,000 dong. 

Original tunnels.

Modified for tourists.

Ben Thanh Market

Head here if you're looking to get some shopping done. Just note that the vendors can get really aggressive, so only go if you're going to buy. It's hard to window shop there without feeling pressured to buy something. During the day, the market is indoors where there are tons of stalls selling clothing, trinkets and food. At night, the market is outdoors. 

Please note that the coffee and tea sold there may be fake. If you're looking to buy coffee, it might be better to go to a reputable coffee shop like Highlands Coffee or Trung Nguyen. It's pretty affordable too. 

Saigon Square

If you're looking to shop for clothing, head to Saigon Square. It's just a few minutes from Ben Thanh Market. It offers more westernized clothing that you can wear on an everyday basis. 

Notre-Dame Basilica 

Located downtown, Notre-Dame Basilica is a French-built Catholic Cathedral. Head here if you're interested in neo-Romanesque architecture.

Central Post Office 

Located across from the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Central Post Office is worth a look for it's architecture. It can easily be mistaken for an old train station. Drop by if you're looking to send some postcards home! 

Where to Eat

Bui Vien Street

Located in the backpacker's area, Bui Vien Street has tons of restaurants, cafes and bars. If you're looking for something more local, head to one of the side streets along Bui Vien. There will be stalls in the alleyways offering delicious foods. 

5KU Station

Meat + BBQ = Happiness. If you're looking for a place to grill your own meats, head to 5KU Station. Order different meats off the BBQ section. There are some exotic meats if you're adventurous. You'll have a small coal BBQ at your tables so you can grill your own meat. It's a fun way to spend the night. It was 125,000 dong for one dish of meat. It doesn't come with a carb dish, so we ended up ordering fries to fill us up. 

Where to stay

Saigon Inn

We didn't stay here, but we went to their rooftop bar. But they have pretty good reviews. They offer private rooms as well as dorms. It offers free breakfast as well. It's $8 USD for a dorm. 

If you're interested in the rooftop bar, you need to pay 100,000 dong in advance and it sorta works off the tab. Draft beer was 25,000 dong. 

Happy Travelling!

Travel Guide and Tips: Mui Ne

Mui Ne is a small town on the coast of Southeast Vietnam known for its long stretch of beaches, sand dunes and water sports. It's a perfect getaway for locals and tourists looking for a place to relax and catch some sun. 

Things to do

Fairy Stream, Fishing Village, White Sand Dunes, Red Sand Dunes

These are the top attractions to see for Mui Ne, which can be done in a tour or on your own. The Fairy Stream takes you down a small stream to beautiful geological rock formations and red clay cliffs. The Fishing Village is filled with colour boats and tubs. It's interesting to see how the fishermen use the tubs. The white and red sand dunes are a fun visit. You can rent an ATV or Jeep to ride the dunes. 

Kite Surfing

Kite surfing is all the rage in Mui Ne. You can take kite surfing lessons and make your way out into the sea. If you're not interested in trying the sport, just heading down to the beach to watch is quite entertaining. It's crazy to see how hard it is to get up. Yet, these kit surfers make it look so easy. 

Hang out at the beach

There's a long stretch of beach near the city centre, but you'll need to walk through a resort or restaurant to get to it. The waves can be quite strong, so be careful if you're not a strong swimmer. It's better to go in the morning while the tide is low. By evening, the waves are quite rough. 

Where to Eat

Lam Tong Quan Family Restaurant

We ate here everyday. It's an affordable restaurant that serves a mix of western and local foods as well as seafood. They have western breakfast options as well. They're right by the beach, so you can eat with a beautiful view. Try the squid spring rolls and the fish with lemongrass and chilies. 

Banh Mi

There are a few Banh Mi stands within the city centre. We tried the one near the ATMs, but we didn't really like it. Apparently if you walk further, there's one stand that offers chicken Banh Mi that's really good. 


If you walk around the city centre, you'll come across a few gelato places. They usually sell a small scoop for 25,000 dong with a waffle cone. It's pretty good if you're craving sugar. 

Where to Stay

Mui Ne Backpacker Village

For budget accommodation, staying here is actually quite nice. They have about six different mixed or female dorm rooms as well as private rooms. The dorms are good since they're not bunk beds plus they give you a towel. They also have an outdoor pool to cool off in. The bar offers Happy Hour from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. where you can get 2-for-1 on certain drinks. The washrooms are always pretty clean.

They also offer a breakfast for 35,000 dong, but we heard it wasn't that great. They also offer the Sand Dunes tour for $5 USD as long as there are 6 people going. 

Happy Travelling! 

Travel Guide and Tips: Da Lat

Located in southern Vietnam, Da Lat is a city surrounded by mountains, waterfalls and lakes. The city has moderate temperatures all-year round, which makes it a great place to escape the heat. 

Things to Do

Pongour Falls

This cascade waterfall is located away from the city, so it's less travelled by tourists. You can get there by motorbike or taking the Bao Loc local bus for 20,000 dong. There's an entrance fee of 10,000 dong. 

Elephant Falls

This powerful waterfall is about 30 kilometres away from the city centre. It's a little tricky to get down to see the falls, because the path is quite rocky, slippery and challenging. However, if you have average fitness, you should be fine. Once you reach the bottom, there are boulders you can climb for a better view. There's an entrance fee of 10,000 dong. 

Crazy House

It's more like a huge maze with pathways that lead all over the place. This unique attraction is actually quite fun to spend an hour or two. There's an entrance fee of 40,000 dong. 

Liang Biang Mountain

If you want to get a full view of the city and surrounding areas, you can make your way up to Liang Biang Mountain. You have two options: you can hike up or take a jeep to the top. The hike takes 4-5 hours round trip. The jeep costs 50,000 dong per person. 

Datanla/Prenn Falls

This is the smallest, but closest waterfall to the city centre at 6 kilometres. It's a pretty waterfall, but not as impressive as the other two. There's an entrance fee of 10,000 dong. 

Da Lat Market

This market is located within the city centre. From clothing, produce to trinkets and plants, this market is often visited by travellers and locals. We heard that you shouldn't eat at the market because food is overpriced. 

Swan Boat Ride around the lake

If you're feeling romantic or just want to entertain your kids, you can go for a swan boat ride at the lake in the city centre. It costs 60,000 dong/hour for the swan boat, which can fit two people. 

What to Eat

Everything, really. The food here has a lot of flavour and tastes delicious. Here are some of the things we ate:

Banh Xeo

Savoury fried crepe with bean spouts, green onions and meat (pork, chicken or shrimp). It eaten by cutting it up into slices. You're given a bunch of greens and rice paper. Wrap it up like a spring roll and dip it in nuoc mam (sauce).

Banh Cuon

It's rice batter with ground pork and mushrooms with a side of bean sprouts. Sometimes it comes with cha (processed pork sausage) and thit nuong (grilled pork).  

Banh Mi

Stands usually sell these for 10,000 dong. These are the types of meat that stands usually offer:

  • Cha (Processed Pork Sausage)
  • Thit Nuong (Grilled Pork)
  • Xiu Mai (Meatballs)
  • Op-La (Fried Egg)

Banh Beo and Banh Bot Loc

Small rice pancakes with dried shrimp as well as clear dumplings with shrimp. It's eaten with nuoc mam (sauce). 

Banh Trang Nuong

This reminds me of a pizza. It's rice paper with cheese, egg, green onions, dried shrimp and other seasonings. They cook it over a grill and serve it with tamarind sauce and hot sauce. 

Hu Tieu

This is a rice noodle dish. You can eat this either "kho" (dry) or with the broth. If you eat it dry, it's just like eating noodles. You'll get the broth on the side. If you get it with the broth, then it's like eating a noodle soup. Both ways are quite tasty. 

Where to Stay

Hai Long Vuong

This budget hotel is located away from the city centre, but at a walkable distance. It's quite affordable at 11 USD for a cozy double private room. There's quite a few restaurants and food stands located a short walking distance away. They also have dorms here as well, which were empty most of our stay. 

Da Lat Backpackers Hostel

We didn't stay here, but it has a lot of good reviews. It offers mixed and female dorms for 5 USD. It also come with free breakfast and water refills. 

Happy Travelling