1. The most important Saigon travel tips: Do not shop in Ben Thanh market, I repeat, do not shop in Ben Thanh market unless you want to do charity by paying for over-priced items.
2. Why Vinasun/Mailinh taxi? Uber and GrabTaxi are taking down regular taxi services here: much cheaper, faster, better service quality, every where in central area.
3. Saigon has not had an MRT system yet. Public bus requires some basic Vietnamese. Xe Om rules the city if you want to travel like real Saigoneer. Besides, those “xe om” drivers know every corner of the city, they take you to places by witty hidden alleys unexpectedly fast and cheap. Budget young travellers, this is the Saigon travel tip for you only!
4. If you want to eat real local food without “foreigner tax”, district 1 – business and touristy area – is not the best choice. Insider Saigon travel tip for crazy foodies out there.
5. Just close your eyes and cross the street, motorbikes riders know when to avoid hitting each other and hitting you. Travel in gang. Saigon traffic is “order in chaos”.
6. Tiny “wet markets” in any alley between two streets are the best places to shop, to eat with local prices. Just ignore the wet sticky floor, you will have a better appetite.
7.An exclusive Saigon travel tip for girls! You don’t need to waste your cash in fancy stores at Vincom/Diamond malls since Vietnam is the world’s factory for clothes. So you can easily shop for branded name clothing items such as Zara, H&M, Mango, F21 with half of official prices on those websites, if you know where to focus. There are “fashion streets” on Nguyen Trai street, Hai Ba Trung street, Le Van Sy street for such affordable branded clothes. Even decent designed clothes are not so “beyond the reach” if you know those boutiques shops in District 1.
8. Always bargain half the price given then WALK AWAY. I repeat, walk away as if you never had the intention of going back and purchasing that stuff. You will surely hear a desperate sound calling you with the price you want. Enjoy shopping.
9. Put on facial mask if you are not getting used to the both the heat and our dusk.
10. It is illegal to bring any woman with a man to check in any hotel after 10pm. Tick tock tick tock, Cinderella, it’s 10pm in Vietnam not midnight!