Saigon is a city with more to offer than bars and restaurants like most cities, which makes it a great stop to begin or end your Vietnam journey with. The city has recovered well since the war, but still offers plenty to see if you’re there to learn more or experience some history of the country’s struggles during that time. The city is huge and can accomodate expats looking to stay for a long period of time, but also offers some great spots to visit if you’re on a tight schedule.
- Everything is cheap. From food to accomodation, everything is cheap. Not the cheapest in Vietnam, but cheap compared to every other country and slightly cheaper than northern cities like Hanoi. Even the entrance price to various attractions rarely exceeds £1.
- Cu Chi Tunnels aren’t nearby. This is something everybody assumes when told to see the Cu Chi Tunnels during their stay in Saigon. They’re actually really far away and often require an expensive excursion with transport included to see. For this reason, I didn’t end up going to see them, although I slightly regret it.
- See some war stuff. Independance Palace and the War Remnants Museum will definitely offer an adequate insight into the Vietnam War and the affects it had on the country. You’ll see plenty of military vehicles, photos and information on the people involved in the war and even get to look around the president’s bedroom. These two attractions are both cheap and informative so I highly reccommend them to anyone looking to learn more. They usually close for an hour or two during lunchtime, though.
- Use buses. They’re really cheap, rather clean and offer adequate WiFi. If you’re looking for airport transfers; use a bus. Looking to get to the other side of the city? Use a bus. Hostels are super helpful with telling you which bus to catch and they run pretty regularly. After months of not having buses as an option in Asia, I welcomed buses with open arms.
- A nomad’s haven. You’ll be happy with the amount of co-working spaces and cafès offering adequate working space if you’re here to get some digital work done. There are plenty of digital nomads and communities available to help you settle in and lots of opportunities available in Saigon. This makes it a great destination if you plan to find an apartment and set up base for a few months.
Okay so my tips aren’t exactly in-depth here, but it doesn’t take long in this exciting city to find things out yourself. I could definitely see myself staying here for an extended time if I was looking for a cheap asian city with amenities aplenty and some cultural experiences for those days you want to feel like you’re just here to visit.