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In order to experience the best that Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) has to offer, you need to get out of the car and away from the tour bus and get out onto the pavement. Seeing Saigon by foot allows you to smell the delicious food, experience the sights first hand and snap unreal pictures that will blow your friends and family away. walking tours of saigon
While the days can be stiflingly hot, you can beat the heat by taking your tour early in the morning or later in the evening, when the sun goes down (as with the food tour below).
Truly experience Saigon with one of these walking tours – here are our top picks for your next trip.
Saigon Street Eats – Eat like a local
When it comes to walking tours, my first thought is always “food!” Having a local show you around an area is always a big help when it comes to choosing the best and most flavorful cafes, food carts and restaurants nearby. A street food tour is the best way imaginable to combine history, culture and delicious grub.
Saigon Street Eats is owned by Barbara and Vu, and they are dedicated to showing you the best street food in the city. They boast that “you’ll try everyday Vietnamese dishes, some with a little taste of France, some with a little taste of China. There’s even a little taste of Korea!” Tours start daily at 5:30pm, so get ready to stuff your belly and learn from a local.
Tails and Trails – Alternative history with a twist
If you are looking for a fantastic history tour in Saigon, look no further than the dynamic team at Tails and Trails. They believe that history should never be boring, and they write interesting tours that cover the highlights but also take you off the beaten track. walking tours of saigon
Their three-hour tours take you on a “journey through the myths, fiction, and non-fiction, of Ho Chi Minh City, unveiling its rich history and modernizing present. Soak in the sights, learn some Vietnamese phrases, and delve into the psyche of the nation.” They offer their tours on the free tour model, and so everyone can afford to take part in their phenomenal tours.
Saigon Free Walking Tours – Pay what you wish!
Free walking tours are sweeping the planet, and Saigon is no exception. The free tour model is brilliant – enthusiastic and educated guides take you on an intriguing walk through the city, and at the end, you pay them what you think it was worth! Saigon Free Walking Tours offers a four hour Saigon City Tour, a full half day that will allow you to see the major sites with a skilled local guide.
On this tour, you will see the People’s Committee Building, the Saigon Central Post Office, and the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica, all of which are breathtaking examples of French colonial period architecture. Tours then visit one of either the Reunification Palace or the War Remnants Museum before finishing at the Ben Thanh Market.
Cyclo Tours – Join the slow tour movement
Ok, so strictly speaking a cyclo tour does not fit under the walking tour umbrella, but we would be remiss to not at least mention the ever present cyclo as a perfect tour option. While some drivers do speak a bit (or a lot) of English, when it comes to an in-depth and fluent English tour of the sites, a typical cyclo that you hail on the street might not fit the bill.
Thankfully, the specialized team at Urban Adventures HCMC has put together a 5-hour tour of the best sites in the city with their Cyclos and Markets tour. Visiting historic buildings such as the Reunification Palace, the Opera House, City Hall, and Continental Hotel, as well as three local markets, this tour will help you experience the best that Saigon has to offer, all from your perch on a Cyclo.