This was my first visit to Vietnam after living in Singapore for so many years. During a long weekend, we went to HCMC for a 4D3N stay.
We chose to stay at Liberty Central Saigon Riverside, which is a convenient spot to reach the places of interest nearby. I would say it is within walking distance to many key attractions and you only need to take a few cab rides in HCMC (for further cafes or places).
The very first stop we made was The Workshop cafe, situated just few minutes away from our hotel. It is indeed a hidden gem with its entrance located inside a car workshop. Really need to find the entrance sign.
Thereafter, we wandered around and chanced this Cafe Apartments – so many cafes within a building!
Not faraway, HCMC City Hall is right in front of us.
And Saigon Opera House
Thereafter we headed over to Rex Hotel for rooftop dining. It’s the one of the oldest hotels around, built in 1927. It’s also famous for being a business and luxury hotel.
The next morning, we had breakfast at L’usine. It was empty perhaps we were too early. We researched some cafes and L’usine came up to be one of the recommended places to go. Can’t comment much on their drinks but their food was not bad. L’usine has an extended area which offers a coffee area and boutique that houses their own merchandises and other brands.
Thereafter we dropped by Saigon Coffee Roastery which is located in a hidden corner in an old building. Along the way, we saw quite a number of cats on rooftops and along the corridor.
Right after, we went back hotel to have a dip in its rooftop pool to enjoy the scenery. I would recommend Liberty Central Saigon Riverside as it’s a modern and clean hotel (cleanliness is an important factor for me) and its great location.
We were took a stroll nearby and were stuck in a downpour. I remembered we were standing at this building with Soi Spa sign indicating it’s locating at level 5 and some eateries at level 2. We decided to try out this local eatery and their fish soup was AMAZING. The best I have ever tasted and we actually went back again for another satisfying taste before we leave hcmc.
The downpour continued and we decided to have some head Spa to kill time and relax.
We continued to explore some other attractions in hcmc – Saigon Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral for some mandatory shots!
One of the interesting thing we realised was that the reason why the locals commute in scooters as there isn’t much public transport infrastructure. We saw some construction going on for underground train but I reckon that would take another few more years. Again, time for some Vietnamese coffee. It is really sweet and strong, perhaps comparable to that of Thai Iced Coffee.
We took a cab to Pho 2000 and saw how the locals eat.
We walked past Ben Thanh Market but was closing already, so we didn’t get the chance to have a look at it. We heard that the locals usually do not patronise Pho 2000 but mostly the tourists, since it’s well known for being the shop that former US President Bill Clinton has visited. We just had to try it. 🙂
We ended the day with a full body stone massage at Golden Lotus Traditional Foot Massage Club situated nearby. Second day we went for a leg massage at a similar shop setup but different name.
Next morning, we had breakfast at a nearby restaurant named Jaspas. Seriously we had no idea why we went there as the food was average but it was the most expensive meal we had.
We then headed to Mockingbird cafe and were pretty excited about it as I have seen some pics of it on IG and how it’s well known for its Vietnamese coffee. It’s located at level 5 of an abandoned building (abandoned buildings are the latest hipster place to go) and i couldn’t imagine how it will look like at night.
We then headed to Bitexco Financial Tower to have a panoramic view of hcmc. We had lunch at nearby local eatery Ngoc Chau Garden which served awesome spring rolls!
Tried cold brew at this atas coffee place named Shin Cafe, before meeting my Vietnamese Friend at Au Parc. She recommended Bosgaurus Coffee which has great ambience. We marked it down and headed there the next morning before we leave for SG.
Bosgarus Coffee was a 15-Min ride from our hotel and I would say it’s worth the trip!
We also made our way to The Vintage Emporium which offers a homely landed property vibes. Their shakshuka portion was just nice for me.
Fully utilising the pool before we go.
I would say hcmc is a good short getaway for those who have limited amount of time for travel. I can’t wait to go other parts of Vietnam soon such as Hanoi, when I have the chance.