Hop On Hop Off: 12 Hours in Ho Chi Minh

If you’ve read my latest article, you’ll know exactly why my boyfriend and I have spent only 12 hours in Ho Chi Minh; well- technically 24 but we don’t want to include our sleeping time.

If you haven’t on the other hand, just go and check it out here.

We took a domestic flight from Nha Trang and got to Ho Chi Minh at 12PM.


Oh wait— before we all go deep down into the article, bear this in mind.

It’s not our first time in Ho Chi Minh and we won’t cover every destination here, we’re just gonna share where we’ve been and what we’ve done. But if you’ve got questions, do leave them in the comment section below.

#1. Have Our Stomach Filled? Yes!

This was our first stop. Oh how I miss Anh Map Little Food Shop (well, not a restaurant as they’ve claimed to be indeed).

I found this place during my first time in Ho Chi Minh which was way back in 2016.

It’s not that good good, but I don’t get why I can never skip this place every time I’m back to Ho Chi Minh. Probably it’s cheap and edible? No, there must be something more than that- who knows!?

To get the original taste of South Vietnamese cuisine, you should at least try food from one of these small alleys once!

#2. Desserts after lunch? Definitely!

I’ve got this bad habit of needing something sweet to drink after lunch. Japanit Coffee and Matcha House was our next stop.

We didn’t know what to order, there are just too many drinks on the menu so we asked for their recommendation. They recommended us this one.

This isn’t the best matcha we’ve ever tasted, but we can’t be right. Maybe we’re spoiled with a better one we’ve found, but this could be your taste. Just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean you don’t like it. Go try it yourself!

Oh I almost forgot to mention this. That tiramisu in my hands looks great, doesn’t it?

Don’t order it, their tiramisu is horrible!

Location: 130 Tran Hung Dao, Quan 1, Ho Chi Minh City

#3. Send Postcard!? Umm… not really.

I’ve never skipped Saigon Post Office once every time I’m in Ho Chi Minh. Not because I need to send postcards to my friends or anything, but it is close to one of my favorite places, Book Street.

Don’t just check out the yellow colonial building then leave, do go inside to see the amazing post office interior and shop some souvenirs or surprise your friends abroad with your postcards.

#4. Light a candle? Nope, just sightseeing.

Notre Dame Cathedral is just across the street from Saigon Post Office, but it is still under construction. You’d better try your luck next time.

This is one of the most famous spots for both locals and tourists to take photos. You’d have found a lot of couples taking their pre-wedding photos or fresh-graduates in Vietnamese gowns capturing their most special moments here hadn’t Notre Dame Cathedral been under construction.

#5. Buy books!? We’ll see…

Book Street is my faaaaaavorite place and it’s just next to Notre Dame Cathedral!

3 places to visit in the same location, isn’t that nice?

I loooove how I can find a lot of cuuuuute notebooks and totes here.

There are also cafes on the book street.

#6. Council Meeting!? Far from that!

Ho Chi Minh City Hall is a 10mn walk from the bookstreet.

There’s nothing here, just a good-looking building for you to pose in front.

#7. Shopping!? No, window shopping!

There are a few shopping malls around the city hall; Vincom, Parkson and Union Square. If you wish to shop or just window shopping like we did, you can check them out.

#8. Fancy meal!? Nah, we’re not that rich.

True that there’s a restaurant and night bar up there, but we were on budget and didn’t really want to spend for that.

People usually go to Bitexco Tower to see the view of the whole Ho Chi Minh City from above and so did we.

Entrance Ticket: 200.000VND (8.63USD)

#9. Being a real Buddhist for a day!? Hehe… probably.

We took a short rest before we headed to Thien Hao Temple.

I’ve always missed this place every other time in Ho Chi Minh because it’s too far (District 7) from where I usually stay.

Great I got to check it off my list this time.

It almost felt like we were in China with all these incense sticks and Chinese pink sticky notes.

#10. Movie Date? No, we don’t have time for that.

SC VivoCity is even further, it’s in District 10!

Having heard it’s Singaporean standard mall, I think we should check it out. This mall is biiiiiiiiiiiiig, you’ll find almost every clothing or cosmetic brand here.

I didn’t get to take any photos of the mall, but this one.

Adorable, isn’t he?

#11. Gone Wild!? Ummm… not for us.

2 words to describe Bui Vien Street, SUPER WILD!

In other words, you may call it as backpacker area OR Saigon pub street.

Just like the other parts of Southeast Asia, you know what backpacker area is like. Bars, massage parlors (even happy ending ones lol), souvenir shops, art gallery shops, street food, cafes- well, everything in between!

Bui Vien is every party animal backpacker dream.

#12. Eat Hanoi food in Ho Chi Minh cus why not!?

Yeahhhh, why not? Hahaha

We’ve found Bun Cha 145 on Tripadvisor and this is our most favorite throughout the whole Vietnam trip.

As their restaurant name suggests, their best dish is Bun Cha. We’ve finished 5 dishes and still wanted more.

This is a family run business and I really looooove how polite, friendly and helpful the owner and his daughter are. They smile all the time no matter how busy the restaurant gets, bow to you every time you say thank you and come and tell you how to eat Bun Cha properly when you do it wrong.

Gosh, we can’t stop talking about this restaurant and been wanting to go to Ho Chi Minh again just for the dish.

Planning for your trip to Ho Chi Minh!? Book your bus ticket here.