Solo Travel Destination: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
We are pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Francesca, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Francesca is from the UK, and submitted the following report about Ho Chi Minh City. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 2 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Vietnamese, French, English
Reasons to go: Here are my top ten things to see and do in Ho Chi Minh City:
Head to the market where aroma of fresh produce, flapping fish and local cuisine combines to make you drool.
Drink at the Bixteco Tower, the tallest building in the city, and watch neon lights spill out from beneath you.
Visit the Cu Chi tunnels, an example of the 200km of tunnels in the area where guerrillas waged warfare for over twenty years. Crawl through the spaces and marvel at their skill and tenacity.
Whizz along the bank of the Saigon on the back of a scooter, wind on your cheeks and sun on your shoulders.
Drink the rich sweet hearty coffee, roasted in butter and cocoa beans, dripped through a thick filter and served strong. The best place to drink this delicious rush in a cup is the renowned Highlands Coffee shop.
Marvel at the Gustave Eiffel designed Post Office, the center point of communication and collaboration in the city, its peach pink facade, mahogany arches, fading maps and the soft sound of the franking machines inspiring you to pick up a pen.
Asian cities tend to be lacking in green space, but the well maintained Ben Thanh park is a place for early morning tai chi, lunchtime natters, afternoon meanders, and twilight rendezvous between lovers.
Drink cocktails at the Caravelle hotel, the haunt of photographers and journalists during the war, and an excellent vantage point. Not cheap but antique furniture and the ambience make it worth it.
Watch crowds spill out from Notre Dame Cathedral, based on the Paris equivalent, and sneak in against the flow to see grand arches and grateful offerings.
Cross the road and watch the scooters and motorbikes part, the Red Sea to your Moses. It takes some nerve, but is the way the traffic works here.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety - 2 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language - 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 1 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 2 (1 is easiest, 4 is most difficult)