Ho Chi Minh City is an ideal gateway to discover Vietnam. Travelers will find it easy to navigate, with most attractions and things to do located in District 1.

The city boasts an impressive number of hotels with great value for the money. The most luxurious will generally be located near the river or next to famous sights such as the Opera House or City Hall.

Saigon is also a paradise for foodies. You will have the occasion to sample healthy and affordable street food specialties from all over Vietnam in numerous cafés and restaurants. International dishes are also readily available, particularly Japanese, Korean, American, French and Italian options.

You will find the most venues in District 1 with prices ranging from just a few dollars to $50 US and more for high-end restaurants. After dark, you will be amazed by the diversity of the nightlife, from simple beer joints to swanky rooftop bars and clubs. With hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting the city every year and an active community of expats living and working in Saigon, there are always tons of events and things to do.

As a traveler, sightseeing the city’s landmarks such as the Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral or Jade Emperor Pagoda should be at top of your list. Other popular activities include the casinos/gaming centers, museums, family strolls in a park, and of course the spas: ending your day with a relaxing massage will soon become a ritual you won’t want to miss. If Saigon is the last city you visit before flying back home, you will be poised with shopping options. Several traditional markets such as Ben Thanh or Yersin are great for finding souvenirs ideas. If you are interested to buy the best authentic products, you can also read our recommendations in the shopping section.

Premiere venues in Ho Chi Minh City

The Reverie Saigon

The Reverie Saigon

The Reverie Saigon is a luxury hotel renowned for its beautiful interior designs. The 12 types of magnificently furnished accommodation are offered as 62 suites and 224 rooms and  are crafted to perfection. The highest hotel in the city, the rooms and suites start from the 27th floor with beautiful panoramic views of the central business district and the winding Saigon River, through floor-to-ceiling windows. Featuring a high class bar, European and Indochina inspired fine dining, a luxurious spa and world-class facilities, this iconic hotel will transform the way you look at Vietnam.

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An Lam Saigon River

An Lam Saigon River

The one thing I kept coming back to in my room at An Lam Saigon River was that in place of the usual Lipton and Nestlé offerings by the water boiler, there was a wooden box with six varieties of coffees and five types of teas. The coffee packets had an accompanying coffee machine, and the teas were partnered with a beautiful ceramic set. The coffee was nothing too upmarket (it was still leagues above the instant coffee sparsely distributed in 5-star city hotels), and the fresh tea leaves an uncommon commodity. But this wasn't the point. The point was ...

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Sorae: Sushi & Sake Lounge

Sorae: Sushi & Sake Lounge

Three female chefs carefully cut skins off pieces of salmon for later frying, patting down sticky rice and throwing an occasional soft comment to one another. Behind them, glass shelves hold a collection of Japanese sakes stretching to the ceiling, where large mesh clouds float immovably. The city outside is a vast expanse of dots and high-rises. The black-and-red accented walls and fixtures, the feng shui bamboo, the granite tabletop surfaces, the metallic mesh. They’re all, to put it simply, cool. You walk around Sorae and think: This is where James Bond comes for his Saketini. The Saketini (VND150,000) is ...

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Chill Skybar

Chill Skybar

The original open-air rooftop club and bar in Ho Chi Minh City, Chill Skybar is a Saigon staple, attracting crowds of stylish socialites, businessmen, party-goers and tourists looking to let loose 26 stories above ground. Few have not heard about Chill Skybar. AB Tower’s crown jewel occupies the entire 26th floor, covering both an indoor lounge and an outdoor bar-and-party space. Attracting big-name DJs, brand ambassadors and a constant flow of themed events, Chill is relentlessly pumping out new reasons to visit the kinetic vantage point, at all times and hours – from ladies nights to sunset dinners to EDM ...

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Latest Recipe

Latest Recipe

Latest Recipe is in the mezzanine of the the newly opened Le Méridien Saigon, offering views of District 1’s flowing Saigon River and the ever-busy Ton Duc Thang street. The restaurant centers around all-day buffet dining and is headed by French chef Frederic Meynard. Highlights include Sunday Brunch with superb world cuisine options, and great buffet dinners. Colorful old-school French tiling, a poppy geometric ceiling and plush seating present a nice day-to-night dining space. Ambiance Latest Recipe gives off a homey, refined French kitchen vibe, with classic tiles covering the floor, comfy chairs and neutral tones that go well with ...

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EON51 Fine Dining

EON51 Fine Dining

EON51 Fine Dining in Ho Chi Minh City raises the bar for high end, high up restaurants. This superb venue high above the streets of downtown Ho Chi Minh City is situated fifty-one storeys up in the Bitexco Financial Tower. Chef Cuong serves superb European food with an Asian twist. The restaurant design is clever; realising that the star of the visual show is the view, the interior has been made in a way to accentuate the large windows and the city they showcase. Ambiance The restaurant has created the perfect venue in which to enjoy your sky high dining ...

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Bamboo Chic at Le Meridien

Bamboo Chic at Le Meridien

Wondering where to eat something different and exciting in Saigon? Le Meridien’s Bamboo Chic restaurant combines an inspiring view of the Saigon River, an inventive Japanese and Chinese fusion food menu, and a rock-solid cocktail list to create a classy and modern dining experience. To clarify, Bamboo Chic is the hotel brand’s exclusive restaurant for Le Meridien hotels around the globe. There is true respect for both fusion cuisine and presentation here - you can see how dedicated the hotel is to the fusion concept, from the cocktails to the dishes to the meshed Japanese and Chinese decor. Ambiance Wall-to-wall ...

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San Fu Lou

San Fu Lou

There’s an unspoken itinerary at AB Tower: you eat dinner at Sorae, party at Chill Skybar and come to San Fu Lou – semi-attached to the Tower’s ground floor – to satisfy some late night cravings. But tipsy munchies sessions at 1 a.m. somewhat diminish the Cantonese hotspot’s finer features. At least, if it’s your first time eating there. If you’re in the mood for Cantonese, arrive around lunchtime. The Saigon sun is high and temperatures at their peak. San Fu Lou’s modish, laid-back interior is a welcome contrast to the sweltering heat, especially if you start off with one ...

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Catwalk Club, Karaoke and Casino

Catwalk Club, Karaoke and Casino

Catwalk is one of the best entertainment venues in town. It combines karaoke rooms, a lounge, and proximity to the casino. Since 1995 the International Tourist Club (ITC) has been dishing out glamorous entertainment for Saigon’s VIP-minded inhabitants and visitors. Two decades have established its joint entertainment expanse (consisting of Chats Slots Gaming Center and Catwalk) as the area’s staples for high-stakes thrill-seekers and sonic-minded aesthetes. Check our rankings of the Top 10 Casinos in Ho Chi Minh City for more information. Citypassguide.com had a night out at Catwalk to fully appreciate the club-end of ITC. A Top Luxury Club, ...

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Air 360 Sky Lounge

Air 360 Sky Lounge

Not far across from its sister club, Chill SkyBar, the Air 360 Sky Lounge is the newest addition to the Capella Entertainment family. More adult and more business than Chill, Air 360 centers around a multi-level, lounge-like space with plenty of seating and a 360 degree view of the city. In a nutshell, Chill entertains, Air 360 helps unwind. Ambiance The venue is split into roughly four levels, starting from the Sky Pool, where guests can reserve a private event space with a swimming pool. The Sky Deck and indoor area sit on the next level, offering an outdoor bar ...

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Minh Long

Minh Long

Minh Long was founded in 1970 by Mr. Ly Ngoc Minh, a young man devoted to creating exquisite porcelain. A family owned company, Minh Long has developed a characteristic style passed down through generations. The diverse products are highlighted in a new HCMC showroom that spans two floors. From functional dinner sets to sculptures and spectacular handpainted vases, the attention to artistry is legendary. Many of the pieces have a distinctive Vietnamese flavour and take inspiration from Saigon daily life. Minh Long also has a shop in Hanoi.

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Mekong Plus HCMC

Mekong Plus HCMC

Mekong+, incorporating Mekong Quilts and Mekong Creations, is  a social enterprise specializing in high quality, hand crafted quilts  and accessories. The Indo-Chine inspired quilt range uses patchwork, piecing and intricate stitch detail to create a contemporary aesthetic. They use only the highest quality silks and cottons, along with beautiful vintage ethnic embroideries in their products. Their accessories range combines the use of sustainable and local raw materials such as bamboo, water hyacinth and papier-mache with traditional hand craftsmanship to create innovative designs such as Bamboo bikes and gift items. Mekong+ products can also be custom made to meet clients’ individualized aesthetic, ...

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The Sushi Bar

The Sushi Bar

Enter any of the six HCMC Sushi Bar locations and you'll feel as though you have been transported to Japan. The sushi is made with fresh fish, flown in daily, as well as local ingredients and there is a dizzying selection to choose from. The house special Sushi Bar roll is a treat, with nine ingredients. Pair your sushi with sake or opt for green tea for an authentic flavour. The Sushi Bar: a taste of Japan in the heart of Saigon. The Sushi Bar was established in HCMC in 1999 and now provides six locations in Saigon to serve ...

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Chats Slot Gaming Center - ITC

Chats Slot Gaming Center - ITC

The International Tourist Club (ITC) sits at the annex wing of New World Saigon Hotel, and features the Chats Slot Gaming Center and the Catwalk nightclub next door. Gaming centers in Vietnam are the name given to what we would call casinos in Europe or America. The difference is that there are no croupiers, no table in Vietnam: All is computerized and done electronically through gaming machines. Chats offers the latest in e-gaming and accessibility at any hour of the day. It has been in operation for 19 years and is the largest gaming center of its kind in Ho ...

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Menard Spa

Menard Spa

Utilising international advances in shiatsu massage techniques, Menard brings you luminous beautiful skin and the chance to completely relax the upper body. Reishi, collagen and vitamins will rejuvenate your skin from the inside.

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The Spa at The Reverie Saigon

The Spa at The Reverie Saigon

The Spa, together with the fitness centre, encompasses 1,200 square metres (12,900 square feet) of the 6th and 7th floors of The Reverie Saigon. Within this space are 10 treatment rooms - four for couples and six for individual therapies - each with city and river views. Steam and sauna facilities, as well as a beauty salon, round out the wellness and aesthetic options. The comprehensive spa menu offers treatments from across Asia in a decidedly European-inspired setting. The high-end, organic spa products are by Ila.

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most popular articles in Ho Chi Minh City

Best Bars in Ho Chi Minh City for a Woman

Best Bars in Ho Chi Minh City for a Woman

The bar scene in the city is not very female focussed at times, but there are exceptions. So for a woman, just what are the best bars in Ho Chi Minh City? It seems somewhat unusual that this takes some amount of research, but the fact is that Vietnamese culture and expat life can be a very male dominated thing. A large number of bars in the city are not the kind of places where women would gene...

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Pham Ngu Lao: The Changing Face of Saigon’s Backpacker District

Pham Ngu Lao: The Changing Face of Saigon’s Backpacker District

The whole industry of backpacking has exploded in recent years, with hundreds of holiday companies now vying for the very lucrative business of providing budget holidays to a mainly young clientele. The main aim of their target audience is, of course, to see those special places in the world that used to be the preserve of the ultra-rich. It is not so many years ago that the idea of a young stu...

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Ho Chi Minh City Weather

Ho Chi Minh City Weather

I always get asked: When is the best time to travel to Saigon? or When to visit Vietnam? If you are wondering yourself what is the climate like in Ho Chi Minh City before you take the plane, you should read our following review about weather in South Vietnam. The climate of South Vietnam is subequatorial, meaning there are high year-round temperatures and two seasons – rainy and dry. So ...

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10 Great Places to Shop in Saigon

10 Great Places to Shop in Saigon

Shopping is, whether unfortunately or not, an indispensable part of life. How can you eat if you don’t buy the food first? How can you buy the food if you have nothing to wear out of the house? We need shoes for work, food for fuel, phones and laptops to communicate, vehicles to get from place to place, machinery, gadgets, jewelry, gifts, stationery, you name it we probably need it! And ...

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Best Restaurants in District 7

Best Restaurants in District 7

As one would expect, the best restaurants in District 7 are mainly not Vietnamese and are of a very high standard. This area is, after all, the most Westernised in the city and driving round here during the day, one is left with a feeling that this is more like southern Europe than Southern Vietnam. It’s swish and polished and the restaurants and bars reflect that. It is noticeable t...

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5 Things the Best Boutique Hotels in the World Have in Common

5 Things the Best Boutique Hotels in the World Have in Common

Ever wanted to stay in an extravagant palace literally fit for a king? What about running into a 100-year old tribal woman while exploring sand dunes outside a world-class luxury accommodation in the middle of nowhere? Perhaps enjoy some wild elephant gazing while you lounge in your private jacuzzi amidst an African national park? Some of the best boutique hotels in the world aim to embark gue...

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A Chat with Cafe RuNam

A Chat with Cafe RuNam

Citypassguide.com sat down with Chris Ngo, Cafe RuNam’s Chief Operating Officer, to discuss how Cafe RuNam is slowly changing locals’ minds about the concept of “pure” Vietnamese coffee. Through a meticulous selection process where only a minor percentage of beans make it through inspections, Cafe RuNam is all about consistent quality and traditional taste. It even took ...

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10 Must Do before You Leave Saigon

10 Must Do before You Leave Saigon

Okay, I get it. You came to Saigon, visited Chill Skybar, Bier Garden and the Post Office and now you want to leave soon and visit the cleanest city of Vietnam, Da Nang. But before you board that plane, remember to try at least a few of these: Get a Bánh Mì Thịt But not the ordinary run of the mill bánh mì thịt! Check out this small bánh mì shop on X&...

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The Best Pool in Ho Chi Minh City?

The Best Pool in Ho Chi Minh City?

Hotel Equatorial’s Pool is one of the Best in the Ho Chi Minh City. What many consider the best pool in Ho Chi Minh City is not by an ocean-side resort, on the roof of an affluent condo building, or even in an indoor gymnasium. It’s on the fourth floor of the 5-star Equatorial Hotel. Twenty-five meters of minimal-chlorine, salt-filtered ocean-blue water stretch across the mid-ro...

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Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 12: Can Gio Reserve

Family trip in Vietnam - Episode 12: Can Gio Reserve

Kathleen Brown, her husband John and their two adopted children, Peter Quang and Claire Xuan, are touring around Vietnam during their Christmas holiday. Kathleen is a long-time television producer and /media consultant for humanitarian agencies and her husband, John, a professional photographer. Every couple of days, they will post a story along with photos on their travels and adventures. C...

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The Best Pizza in Saigon

The Best Pizza in Saigon

Pizza, invented in Italy a long time ago, finally turned up in Ho Chi Minh City. But the forms the popular Italian bread dish adopted when conquering Vietnamese taste buds have changed over time… For a list of pizzerias or restaurants that serve good pizza in the city, scroll all the way down and be properly amazed. For my reviews of three different styles of pizza in Ho Chi Minh City, ...

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Best Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City

Best Shopping in Ho Chi Minh City

Top shopping experiences in Saigon will usually include any of the typical traditional markets or shopping malls in the city. Rachel tells you more great spots to buy unique products and souvenirs. For me, living in Ho Chi Minh City I have the luxury of scouring the local markets and the occasional shopping centers whenever I please. I find the value of shopping in this vibrant city to be ever...

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5 Things to Do With Your Partner at Sanouva Hotel

5 Things to Do With Your Partner at Sanouva Hotel

We’ve all had type of days while traveling with significant others when you can’t quite get the gumption to leave your cozy bed and explore the greater world outside. Some of our readers recently had one of those days while staying at Sanouva Hotel, located right in the heart of Saigon and have packed a list of things to do for a light-up couple schedule in one of the busiest cities...

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Family trip in Vietnam - Final Episode

Family trip in Vietnam - Final Episode

Kathleen Brown, her husband John and their two adopted children, Peter Quang and Claire Xuan, are touring around Vietnam during their Christmas holiday. Kathleen is a long-time television producer and /media consultant for humanitarian agencies and her husband, John, a professional photographer. Every couple of days, they will post a story along with photos on their travels and adventures. Unl...

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Late Night: After Hours Nightlife in Saigon

Late Night: After Hours Nightlife in Saigon

I read an article recently that stated that nightlife in Saigon was pretty much non-existent. Was this the same city in which I chose to live two and a half years ago? I found it hard to believe. The same city where I have frequently stayed up for 24 hours, drinking, partying and having a great time? The same city where market traders start work as late night revellers wobble past on their w...

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Top 5 tips to rent a motorbike in Vietnam

Top 5 tips to rent a motorbike in Vietnam

Renting a motorbike is a great opportunity to get off the beaten track and discover Vietnam on your own. That is if you are able to deal with the manic traffic and less than stringent road rules. There are many places in tourist areas such as Pham Ngu Lao in Ho Chi Minh City and the Old Quarter in Hanoi that rent bikes to foreigners. You will need to fill out a form to rent the bike along with...

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Saigon’s Famous Ben Thanh Market

Saigon’s Famous Ben Thanh Market

There’s a purplish tinge to the morning air. A fog surrounds Saigon’s famous Ben Thanh Market. Near its entrance, fitness buffs are engaged in a rousing choreography of gymnastics before the fierce afternoon heat strikes. Nearby, a speaker broadcasts a song praising Ho Chi Minh. I enter. A young salesman, cell phone glued to his ear, calls me: ‘Sir! Bun Bo Hue &ndash...

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Best Bars For After Work

Best Bars For After Work

What makes for the best bars after work? Of course, this varies according to the needs of the individual. Some people like to chill out in a quiet space and get those work related stresses out of their heads. Others want something livelier to give them a lift. Some people prefer a crowd with which to engage whilst for others, it’s a space for quiet contemplation that floats their boat. Wh...

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Top 6 Late Night Food Options in Saigon

Top 6 Late Night Food Options in Saigon

Whenever travellers think of nightlife or street food at night, they usually think of the Pham Ngu Lao area, the ‘backpacker’s street’. But if you want to enjoy really good food in Saigon, you have to go out of that ‘safe area’ and in some cases discover other districts. The easiest way is to ask locals for recommendations. They will be only too happy to share thei...

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3 Step Guide to Saigon’s Fashion Street

3 Step Guide to Saigon’s Fashion Street

Do you like sweaters? Does leather make your heart flutter? Do handbags just light up your life? For the clothing enthusiast Ho Chi Minh City’s “Fashion Street” is famous among locals and expats alike, and if you’re a bit of a sweater-loving, leather-craving, handbag enthusiast you’ll probably love it too. I did. And I don’t even like handbags. But making a...

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Best Bars in District 2

Best Bars in District 2

For many expats living in Saigon, District 2 is not the obvious go-to for a good night out, but perhaps this needs to change; some of the best bars in District 2 are as good as any you will find throughout the city. Saigon’s District 2 is one of the main expat areas of this exciting, vibrant city. It is growing at an unbelievable rate with dozens of condo blocks currently being built. The...

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Tips to spot and avoid scam and pick pocket

Tips to spot and avoid scam and pick pocket

Like any city in any country there is crime and care should be taken at all times. Thus, City Pass Guide has collected some of the incredible tricks of pickpockets used in Saigon so that you can be warned and take precautions. From regular to inventive scams Robbery against tourists usually occurs at dusk when robbers usually go in pairs, sometimes alone. Riding on motorbikes, they gently app...

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Top 5 Chè - Sweet Soups Must Try in Saigon

Top 5 Chè - Sweet Soups Must Try in Saigon

Desserts in Vietnam are generally different than most western desserts. Granted, there is the occasional baked item taken from the French and made into a Vietnamese version. However, there is one set of desserts that is inherently Vietnamese and that is Chè. No, it’s not the rather famous beret clad revolutionary whose face is plastered on shirts all over Pham Ngu Lao. In fact, i...

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A visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels

A visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels

The Cu Chi Tunnels are a huge system of underground tunnels in the area of Củ Chi, one of the five suburban districts of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam. They are located forty kilometers northwest of the city center and 25 km away from Tan Son Nhat Airport. The surrounding vegetation is lush. To access the famous tunnels and underground galleries dug by human hands, you must first traver...

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Saigon Nightlife: The Best Bars and Clubs

Saigon Nightlife: The Best Bars and Clubs

Backpacker Nightlife in Saigon: Backpackers usually stay and drink in the Pham Ngu Lao district area, along Bui Vien street. Similar to Khao San Road in Bangkok, you will not find a lot of stylish places but they are inexpensive and great for meeting new people. Though popular with tourists, Pham Ngu Lao area can be considered as a red light district as you will see it has countless hostess b...

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Top Rooftop Bars In HCMC

Top Rooftop Bars In HCMC

Compiling a list of the top rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh City is not as easy as one would at first think. This wonderful Southeast Asian city is a crazy mix of old and new, cheap and expensive, traditional and quirky. Many hotels and bars have taken to the rooftops to sell their wares. Of course a personal view of what makes a great rooftop bar is exactly that, personal. However, there is no dou...

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Best Bike Repair in Saigon

Best Bike Repair in Saigon

During my almost 12 months in the serene chaos that is Ho Chi Minh City I have owned a total of two bicycles. As per custom I named each of them, and both Susie and Richard have been instrumental parts of my life here. They have also both warranted city-wide searches for repair shops, secondhand salesmen and the friendliest road-side tire inflator man. I have a few favorite tire inflator men. Y...

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Meet the Expert: GM of Starbucks

Meet the Expert: GM of Starbucks

We went to Starbucks on 76 Le Lai street, Ben Thanh, to meet and interview Patricia Marques, General Manager of Starbucks Vietnam about living in Vietnam, opening new markets and the strengths of Vietnamese coffee beans. CityPassGuide.com: How long have you been in Vietnam and what holds you, personally, here? I arrived five years ago, and just three days later I knew that I wanted to stay he...

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Best Laptop Repair in Saigon

Best Laptop Repair in Saigon

In this article, we will give you the best tips to repair your laptop or to fix problems with computers in Saigon. Laptops are perhaps even scarier to replace or repair than phones. They have more bits that could go missing, they're bigger, and they tend to hold more of your life than your iPhone or Android. They also cost more money! Only last week I may have spilt a cup of warm milky coffee...

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Chinese Medicine: Ancient Hero or Modern Villain?

Chinese Medicine: Ancient Hero or Modern Villain?

On a trip to Cat Ba Island a few months ago I got chatting to a very charming and energetic local Vietnamese man who I guessed was around 40 years old. In fact he turned out to be in his mid-50s. I’m sure that you will have had similar experiences of being impressed by Vietnamese people’s ability to delay the ageing process. He put this down to 2 things: eating monkey meat for stren...

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Top 10 Lunch Sets in Saigon Under 250K

Top 10 Lunch Sets in Saigon Under 250K

At noon, time is a valuable commodity, but your stomach doesn’t care about that and yearns to be filled. What to do and where to find the best lunch deals in Ho Chi Minh City? City Pass Guide has sent our resident gourmet around District 1 to search out the best set lunches for under 250,000 VND. The venues have been surveyed not only for food quality and quantity, but also for parking o...

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Finding a Good Tailor in Ho Chi Minh City

Finding a Good Tailor in Ho Chi Minh City

In the tourist areas of Ho Chi Minh City, there are tons of tailors and they even have their own small fabric shops adjacent to their workshops or emporiums. Tailor shops like these are available in abundance in District 1, especially in the backpacker quarter at Pham Ngu Lao. Since they speak English up to a certain degree, tourists like to drop in and have something tailored fast before they...

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Top 11 Casinos in Ho Chi Minh City

Top 11 Casinos in Ho Chi Minh City

A list of the top casinos (or gaming centers, as they like to be called) in Ho Chi Minh City, as of May 2015 Before we get into the nitty gritty of what casino beat out the competition for the top spot in our list of top casinos in Saigon, it’s important to establish a few things about gaming in Vietnam.  Firstly, all the games mentioned (roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker) are &...

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5 Ways to Win in a Saigon Casino

5 Ways to Win in a Saigon Casino

The truth is casinos in Ho Chi Minh City (or gaming centres if you want to get pedantic about it) are tricky to beat - there is always a house edge, as there is in any casino, but there are also some top strategies to boost your chances. Another thing worth noting before we begin is that you should always only gamble what you can afford to lose. A trip to the casino is not a solution for your ...

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