Saigon For 91 Days

Saigon’s Street Cats and Dogs

We judge a city based on a few critical factors: cuisine, transportation, museums, nightlife… and the cuteness of its street cats and dogs. And that last one is a category in which Saigon scores high. Check out some of the creatures we’ve met during our 91 days in the city. Which ones would you take home? You can only choose one!


A Boat Trip on the Saigon River

During our visit to District 2’s undeveloped Thú Thiêm neighborhood, we noticed a pier to which a few fishing boats were anchored. Interesting. A week later, we returned to try our luck. A fisherman met us on the pier, evidently clued in to what we might be proposing. And he was game.


The Tomb of Lê Văn Duyệt

One of Vietnam’s most cherished military heroes, Lê Văn Duyệt, is buried alongside his wife at a temple in Saigon’s Bình Thạnh district. Constructed after the marshal’s death in 1830, this religious complex provides an attractive place of quiet, in the middle of an otherwise chaotic neighborhood.


A Walk Along the Thị Nghè Canal

Running along a curvy, eight-kilometer course which defines the northern border of central Saigon, the Thị Nghè Canal is an attractive waterway lined with sidewalks and exercise equipment. A walk along either side of the canal is one of the most pleasant and popular ways to spend an evening in Saigon.


The AO Show at the Saigon Opera House

Built in 1897 by French architect Eugène Ferret, the Saigon Opera House is one of the most spectacular pieces of colonial architecture in the city. It’s worth visiting even if you’re not going to catch a performance, but we can recommend the AO Show, put on by the Luna Production Company.


The Patchwork World of Thảo Điền

What do you get when you cross foreign hipsters, the newly-wealthy, and regular Vietnamese folks? Probably something that resembles the neighborhood of Thảo Điền, in District 2. We spent a day walking around this weird section of town, constantly finding ourselves surprised by the abrupt shifts in style, around every other corner.


The Daily Rhythm of Saigon

Waking up at 5am is usually a surefire sign that you’re still suffering from jetlag… except in Vietnam, where it means that your body has properly adjusted. This country gets going earlier than any other place we’ve visited. It took some time, but once we accepted and embraced the early lifestyle, our experience in Saigon improved immeasurably.


Making the Classic Vietnamese Coffee

Coffee wasn’t a part of their culture until the arrival of the French, but Vietnam is making up for lost time. Today, the country is the world’s third top coffee exporter, behind Brazil and Colombia, and the drink has become a integral part of the country’s lifestyle. We went to our favorite neighborhood joint, Cỏ Cafe, to learn how to make the perfect cup.


Rooftop Bars in Saigon

Saigon is a city in constant flux, and there’s no better place to appreciate this than from above. Seemingly every building has a rooftop bar, allowing you to check out how the skyline has changed since… well, probably since yesterday. (Is that a new skyscraper over there? I’ll bet it has a rooftop bar!)


Sunset at Turtle Lake

One of our favorite places in downtown Saigon is the circular pond at the intersection of Phạm Ngọc Thạch and Võ Văn Tần streets. Every afternoon, especially on the weekends, the pond becomes a popular area in which to hang out with friends, eat junk food and wait for night to fall.