HCMC is a blend of modern developments and #slowlife culture, making Vietnam’s most populous city a burgeoning South East Asian attraction. Consider visiting during the mild, dry season (December to April).
Where To Eat + Drink
Start the day at Au Parc with a Turkish Breakfast set that comes with feta cheese, fresh tomatoes and Turkish tea. Lunch on authentic Vietnamese fare such as Tonkin jasmine flower salad with soft shell crab at Quan Bui. And fo’ sho, you must have pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) at Pho Hoa Pasteur, made with a generations-old secret family recipe. (250C Pasteur St, Dist 3)
What To Do
Visit the Saigon Central Post Office, one of HCMC’s most well-preserved buildings featuring a blend of Gothic, Renaissance and French colonial styles. Next
door is Nguyen Van Binh, a side street filled with quaint book stores. End your cultural journey with a performance at The Saigon Opera House, a certified National Relic. (2 Paris Commune St, Ben Nghe, Dist 1; Beng Nghe, Dist 1)
Where To Shop
Hipsters will love the maze of boutiques, co-working spaces and cafes that is Nguyen Hue Apartment Block. For gift-buying, choose from silk and organic cotton products made by Metiseko, or award-winning chocolates from Maison Marou. (42 Nguyen Hue Street, Dist 1; www.metiseko.com)
Where To Stay
Experience the romance of past-Indochina at art deco-style Hotel Des Art Saigon, MGallery Collection (from $328 a night). Or, live the high life at The Reverie Saigon, located at the top floors of Times Square Building (from $200 a night).
Getting There + Around
More than 14 daily flights on a number of operators such as Jetstar Asia, Scoot and Vietnam Airlines make the 2-hour trip from SG a breeze. In HCMC, use private transport and taxi apps such as Grab to get around, especially if you find the street names tongue-twisting.
Some text adapted from www.straitstimes.com, www.thepeakmagazine.com.sg
Additional Reporting: Joshua Tan
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