Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh


New Member
hihi, thanks all who posted valuable advises, I have changed to small notes USD to bring over there to change to dong, will book the cab at SASCO counter, indochine quoted me USD16 for 4PAX transport... ex, man...

The 1st day will be mostly for "logistics", take map at airport/tourist ctr, check-in hotel, book day tours for 2 days, tailor-made Ao Dai, shirts (if time permit), hope to settle down there fast... keke


New Member
Take pic of Indochine rm if u free hor as initial plan for me is stay at Indochine
Last min chgange to Anan hotel as walkin distance to take bus for local tour (can wake up later haha)

wow u have USD 2 ?? tat piece high demand recently in vietnam haha

oh ya 1 thing to note if u changing USD back to SGD when u are back
USD 1 exchange rate WORST of thr WORST!!!
so keep those big pieces for better rate
The mama tell me small USD lower value
maybe I kenna conned

Have fun~~~~~~~~~~~~


New Member
sure, puppylove88.

I dun have USD2, but 3 pieces of USD1, gotta spend it away then...I have lotsa of USD5, wondering what is the rationale for the high demand of USD 2, collectibles item? keke

I changed at e clifford ctr 2nd lvl @ 1.533 & 1.532, 2 different changers.

Is the passenger tax back from HCM USD12 or USD14?


New Member
Think I now vali comfortable with AnAn hotel
If I happen to visit saigon again will definitely stay AnAn again

But will travel to down from Hanoi


New Member
Me only walk over to shop across street at AnAn hotel only at last Night in saigon.
They told me need 3 days and price abt USD25-3.
Cheap but next time perhaps....
So those interested in makin one pls do so at your 1st day of arrival


New Member

I juz bck todae, spending 4 nites over there...on the last nite, I decided to try to switch from indochine & spend 1 nite at the backpackers lane in De Tham, exact street name is Bui Vien St. Dist 1, managed to get one at USD10, save me USD15 on the last nite.

It was raining heavily on 3 days while I was there, worst on sunday when it flood the De Tham area at above ankle, believed more raining days ahead in HCM.

Nam silk have moved from 264 to 191-193 De Tham St. The Ao Dai price range from USD20-25 & take 1 working day. My wife didnt make one cos can't find the design she liked.

1 thing is, if purely staying at hcm, 2-3 nites shld suffice, we getting a bit bored there if not for 2 local tours during our 5 days there & we walked a few times to ben thanh mkt, dong khoi, le lai, saigon ctr, etc.

eating there is realli cheap I muz say,
- fondue at 45,000VND at cafe terrace @ saigon ctr
- hotpot at 48,000VND at hotpot delicacies @ eden mall (opp. REX hotel)
- average pho at ard 24,000-27,000VND
- cakes at ard 30,000VND+++ at highlands coffee cafe
- ice-cream at 30,000VND+++ like banana split, etc.
- beer realli cheap e.g. tiger beer at 9,500-14,000VND at the supermarket
- glass dessert at ben thanh at 7,000VND

I went to thuy restaurant at dinh tien hoang & tried their crab fried rice, crab vermicelli (good!), crab claws, iced-coffee at 188,000 VND, heard tat there is another one nearer behind ben thanh market (4 or 40,le thanh ton), sorry, cant rem the exact unit no.

As for the tour, I tried cuchi/caodai temple at USD5(delta adventure) & 1D Mekong delta at 8USD(sinh cafe). Mekong delta at delta adventure cost 10USD, the only difference with sinh cafe is they have bicycle rides, else itinerary look alike with boat rides, lunch, village walkard, coconut candy, vinh long garden. Mabbe sinh cafe is more popular, so they have a coach to bring us there, when I were with delta, they took us on a van, & as the road conditions is pretty bad, our bum realli hurts in such a bumpy ride...;)

Use dong if u are ok to deal with big figures, else use USD, like what puppylove88 say, u save more if purely using dong, but if U "paid" wrongly, U "lost", like what I did on 1 occasion taking a cab to dinh tien hoang..hee

yellow cab start at 12,000VND, white & green start at 14,000VND, have not came across 15,000VND (likely MPV) throughout my stay there.

last but not least, no need to prep USD14 for passenger tax, at least for me with jetstar, i prep USD28 only to know no need to buy passenger tax separately, is all covered in the ticket price.


New Member
sorry, didnt take a pic of it, puppylove888, paisey.

i wil skip vietnam for e time being, go other places 1st...1 short trip & 1 long trip per year target. ;)


New Member
I might go HCM next month.....any good shopping to recommend there? Will be staying at New World hotel..


New Member
Ben Thanh Market is infested with tourists liao. So the prices there may be a bit expensive. You will need to bargain with them a lot. But they do have many many variety of stuff, from T-shirts to handicrafts to household items to toiletries. They even have imported household items like Corelle, Pyrex, etc in Ben Thanh Market. But they are not cheap coz they are imported stuff.

Can try Binh Tay Market in District 5, Chinatown. They are wholesalers. But frankly speaking, a lot of stuff in Vietnam are also imported from China. So quality is not that fantastic. Depends on what you are looking for.

Other than markets, the main shopping centres are Saigon Trade Centre, Diamond Plaza and Parkson. But these are expensive places. (compared to SG standard).

Food is definitely cheaper. Can try their coffee/ice cream parlor. Or the famous dish Pho. But if you want to try nice fine dining Vietnamese food, can go to TIB restuarant (George Bush visited it recently in his trip to HCMC) or Mandarin Restuarant or Hoi An Resturant. TIB is cheaper, maybe ard SG$30 per person. Mandarain is one of the best Vietnamese resturant in HCMC, fine dining, starts from USD$25 per person. The US Sec of State Condoleezza Rice dined there before also.


New Member

me very very new to this thread.

me not sure of how vietnam is and not sure what to expect there BUT my parent have an intention to go there for holiday next year.

SO any kind soul can tell me is it suitable for my parent who is in the mid 50s?

Comparing Vietnam and Japan, any one can direct me which is more suitable for a family tour?


New Member
There's nothing really much to shop unless you are into handicrafts or the like. Forget about clothes or shoes. Makan is cheap though as well as the daily trips out of HCMC. Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta trips are "standard" must-dos. Costs about SGD5 and SGD7 respectively from Sinh Cafe. Not meant to be offensive, but saw a trio of old folks (one man had much difficulty walking due to stroke) joined on one of our trips. Stayed on the bus all the time due to the nature of the trips. Need to walk alot and move about on boats, etc....


New Member
Hi Allan,
think is a tough journey......

But still, my dad stubbornly still wanted to go Vietnam......even though i have tried to sell Japan to him...sigh.....

I think he will suffer for the trip BUT i hope he will enjoy it.


New Member
The flight from SG to HCMC is slightly less than 2 hours.

True, the shopping here is quite pathetic. Clothes and shoes are also from China.

50s year old ppl.....depends on the health. My parents are also 50s and they can take it. But if the weather is super hot (it can be on certain months), then even ppl that are younger also cannot take it lah.

Given a choice, i would rather go to Japan. But then, it's a different experience. I feel that old ppl in the 50s will appreciate Vietnam coz they are going back to their younger days in SG. Can understand why YY's dad wants to go Vietnam.


New Member

i just came bk from personal opinion - BKK is better for shpg. Other than that nothing much exciting there (sorry to say this for those who are planning to go there!). Like what Frodo mentioned, things are from China thus quality are not fantastic but if u dun mind non-authentic VS/ Abercrombie/ Adidas/ Nike etc they have plenty there & cheap. Ard sgd 5-8 per are cheap too but quality sucks!
food is good...i tired their wanton mee there. Best i ever tasted!!
There is this restn in district 1 called 'bobby brewers' located @ 45 Bui Vien Street. They served superb OJ, bfast v& food + free movie screening. It is a 3-storey shophouse. 1st 2 levels for dining & smoking. 3rd level is like the mini GV cinema (can sit abt 20 i tink) they have the movie schedule for the entire week so u can grab one & pop in 15-20 mins before the showtimes to order ur food + go up to the 3rd floor to get a seat =) coolm place! alot of backpackers frequent that place alot!
another place to go for good food is Pacharan @ D1 also. #97 Hai Ba Trung. Good tapas =)


New Member
i stayed @ Star Hotel aka Sao Hotel (by the vietnamese) quite D1. Safe to walk along at night. but alittle ex..abt USD70 per night


New Member
agreed BKK is prefer for shopping
go vietnam if u interested more on scenary by join local tour to nearby cities or travel all the way to the north
Hi to all.

hv some questions to ask since we booked the jetstar for HCM for 14 sept to 16 sept.

How much in which currency to bring to HCM for 3 days

Which hotel do u recommend?

what do u suggest we can do wat there?



New Member
dear win! i've lived in HCMC for 22 years. Some saigoneses speak E better than u think. just an advice, be careful with vendors, when they offer u, just go and don't say anything, if not u'll be disturb all the rest of ur way.


New Member
in Hcm city, u can ejoy many delicous food espesial PHO with a reasonable price. here some address u can come: PHỞ HOÀ (on Pastuer street.


New Member
Hi all

Is there any DFS in HCM? R the branded goods cheaper as compared to Singapore? What's the stuff there worth buying back? I'm going there in Sept & it's my first visit to Vietnam, hence need to know what to look out for. Thanks.


New Member
Sorry, meaning of DFS?
generally, goods in Vietnam r almost cheaper in Singapore. Many Tourist buy clothes back with them. there some famous brands about casual wear in HCM, such as: PT200, Việt Thy, Ninomaxx...; u can come to Miss Saigon on Pasteur street (near the crossroad of Pasteur Str & Le Thanh Ton Str) And choose aodai (long shirt).
There many place to visit in HCM city: Dinh Thong Nhat, Ben Thanh Market (but careful, if not u'll be cut with up-sky price they give u), The city Post Office, Duc Ba Church, Thu Thiem Ferry (a intersting thing, every day people in Dist2 go to Dist1 by this means)... Come and see :D


New Member
I know there a DFS on Nguyen Hue Street, Dist1 but i can't remember its name. Nguyen Hue street isn't too long to walk & find this shop without breath :D! Their goods should be comestics, glasses, caravats and imported food (mam mam!)
About branded goods like LV & Gucci, i think yes but not much! Travel in Vietnam just for buying those, why don't u try tasting Vietnamese food? they're very wonderful!


New Member
Hi Icebaby,

Notice that you went to this Pastuer Street to eat twice, what's so good there?

Where is De Tham tour? Do you have the full address? Haven't got time to read up on HCM yet except reading off the internet. If I only have time to do one tour, do you recommend the Mekong Delta or the Chu Chi tunnel? Thanks!


New Member
hi gals

i am thinking of going to vietnam during year end. if i were to go to just hcmc, any recommendations for hotels and where to go shopping etc?


New Member
hey dreamz

u can go to lele or anan hotel, i find its good enough. alternatively do try out rex hotel, its highly recommended too.


New Member
Hi Icebaby,

Not too sure if you are still around in this forum. I've tried out the Indochine hotel that you've recommended.

Would like to say a big THANKS!!!!!

I love Indochine hotel. The location is good, the staff are so sweet and friendly!

Vietnam is beautiful. I love it and I will definitely go back there again!

For all who are contemplating on going vietnam, I strongly encourage that you go for Free and Easy and book the local tours. Very very affordable and decent.


New Member
I am going in Feb/Mar 08.

A couple months to go but coz planning for a group so i better start early~

Hey Noxy - so any trip report to share? hehe

Anyway, anyone knows how far it is to walk from Biu vien st to Ben thanh market? Some website says 10 mins some say 20mins! That's such a long walk


New Member
Anyway, here's my itinerary. May be boring for some.

Day 1:

Arrive in HCMC at 800am, went straight to hotel, left my baggage there as I can't check in yet.

Went to recce Ben Tham Market, changed my USD to Dong. Didn't buy anything from Ben Tham Market, bought most of my things from the shops near Ben Tham Market.

Had Lunch at Pho2000 which was recommended by forumers. GOOD! I like.

Went back to hotel, check in and booked my Mekong Delta tour from the hotel.

Day 2:

Went for Mekon Delta tour.

Day 3:

730am take 4 hr bus ride to Muine
130pm Arrival in Muine
230pm start of Jeep tour in Muine, which takes us to fairy stream, white sand dune, red sand dune for sunset.
600pm to 100am found a hotel which allowed us to bathe and massage. After massage had a wonderful cheap dinner (prawns, calamari, grilled chicken, vege for 3 of us, 20 sgd). After dinner, we had drinks while we waited for our bus.
100am to 500am bus ride and arrival in saigon

Day 4:

K.O until noon, nuah, then went for a lunch and shopped the rest of the night.

Day 5:

Did our own HCM City Tour. Places like Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office, Reunification Hall, War Remnants Musuem can be done by walking around yourself, own time own target. Just make sure you catch the opening timing of these places.

Depart for Airport - remember to leave for the airport early. The traffic jam is horrible. You wouldn't want to be late for your flight