The largest city of Vietnam has much to offer, ranging from historical monuments to posh bars. The city’s never ending energy makes it a tourist hotspot for not only people from South East Asia, but all over the world. Since the war, Ho Chi Minh City has developed very quickly to become one of the most successful economies of the country, and every now and then you’ll find something new popping up in the city, from bars and beerhouses to even a chocolate cafe by the world famous Marou, Faiseurs de Chocolat. Here are five more reasons why Ho Chi Minh City would be great for a quick weekend getaway.
Getting there has never been cheaper and more convenient
Vietnam’s low cost airline Vietjet is offering flight tickets at super affordable prices along with promotions every now and then, providing you with tickets at almost $0. But even if you miss that, fret not, their regular prices are pretty affordable too, with round trips starting from $75 scheduled daily.
The craft beer scene is booming
Heart of Darkness
If you’ve been to the city before 2014, you would’ve probably realized that there wasn’t much of a craft beer scene established here. Since then, a number of breweries have popped up, and the scene is slowly growing.
If you happen to be in District 1, head over to East West Brewing Co., an American style local craft brewery with indsutric chic interiors, which also houses a restaurant. They serve a wide range of beers that experiment with a combination of ingredients from both the East and the West. Try their signature East West Pale Ale, and pair it with their homemade seafood salads or grilled meats. You can also head down to Heart of Darkness, which serves their signature pale ales and pilsners.
Don’t forget to visit Pasteur Street Brewing Company, Saigon’s first craft beer house that serves American style multiple award-winning craft beers. They also have some experimental flavors, with drinks like English Pale Ale with Thai Milk Tea.
Pasteur Street Brewing Company
And then there’s Belgo. It might be slightly out of the way but if you’re all up for trying out Belgian brews, then this is the place to be. They have over 30 different types of Belgian beers, and run a number of affodrable drink promos since they’re still only a couple of months ago. Before you leave, make sure you’ve had their exclusive Heverlee lager, a Belgian pilsner style craft beer that’s only available at Belgo.
Marou just opened up a new chocolate cafe in town
Maison Marou photo credit: Marou
World renowned Vietnamese chocolate company Marou has opened up a new chocolate cafe where you can indulge in all your guilty pleasures involving chocolate. We don’t have to say much about Marou, but if you haven’t heard of it, then you sure are missing out–their award-winning Vietnamese chocolates (which are probably the best in the region) are to die for. Their eclair and chocolate mousse cake is a must try, along with their hot chocolate. The cafe also sells bon bons, pastries and drinks.
3A Station photo credit: Station 3A
The last five years have put Ho Chi Minh City in a pretty important position when it comes to art, considering its fast growth in the art scene. If you are a patron of art, or are keen to learn more about the art culture of Vietnam, then you have quite a long list.
The Factory Contemporary Arts center is a full package which showcases artworks along with a cafe, a restaurant, a public library dedicated to contemporary art, a workshop space and a bar. They hold regular workshops and seminars. The industrial venue itself is a work of art, where you would find an abundance of empty shipping containers which have been used to build the place.
3A station (Alternative Art Area) is also dubbed as the Mecca of artists, where you can expect to find small art studios and galleries, along with lots of graffiti, art and music performances. This was built on three abandoned warehouses. You can also find a lot of creative shops to buy clothes, accessories and other artsy stuff by indie artists both local and international.
Chaosdowntown Chao is an art center which also doubles up as a hostel, if you plan to be in and around art throughout your stay, and strike a chat with like-minded people. The place is located in an obscure alley of the city away from the main districts, but is in quite near to some bars, restaurants and cafes.
More options for your barbecue cravings
Barbecued food in Vietnam is a must try. You won’t miss it because there’s an abundance of barbecue spots all around town, including Stokers Woodfired Grill and Bar, a bar with a British club feel from the old days that has a 13-page long drink list (so you have a wide range of options to choose from) and their own meat ageing room where you can choose your own cut to be grilled. Amongst their must tries is the bone marrow, and their three course set lunch. The place is located at District 1, and opens till midnight.
Chuck’s burger serves up classic American gourmet burgers like the Si Shu, The Standard (Australian beef patty, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and a special sauce top off) and more. They also have hot dogs, sandwichs, frees and beer.