It takes less than five-minutes to walk to Ben Thanh Market from Christina’s Saigon – Beatty’s City Oasis. With such a prime location being close to the city’s center, staying with us would give you the utmost convenience when it comes to reaching the main tourist attractions of the city. Here are our recommended spots near Christina’s Saigon – Beatty’s City Oasis, and Le Thi Hong Gam that we think you should check out when you are in Ho Chi Minh City.
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Where to Eat & Drink
Pho Thin – 108 Le Thi Hong Gam Street, District 1
Pho is the de-facto national dish of Vietnam. It can be found everywhere, from peaceful countrysides to the bustling metropolises, from street stalls to luxury upscale restaurants. People love pho for its delicious and extremely sophisticated broth combining various types of ingredients.
At Christina’s, we have always recommended our guests to find a good place to have a taste of this flavorful bowl of noodles before leaving the country. Standing out from the numerous pho restaurants that keep foodies coming back for more is undoubtedly Pho Thin.
The first restaurant of this chain was opened in Hanoi and has now expanded to Ho Chi Minh City. Bowls of pho here are a perfect harmony of the regional differences when it comes to ingredients, preparation, and taste. The noodle soup is not over-seasoned, so the diners can still taste the slight sweetness of beef and the freshness of each noodle. In order to get the taste that sets this restaurant above all else, the soup is cooked with fresh bones for eight to ten hours.
Read more: The Best Pho In Saigon
Marou Maison – 167-169 Calmette Street, District 1
Not only is Marou Maison a real processing plant of award-winning Marou chocolate bars, but it is also a high-end cafe and restaurant serving the most delicious deserts in town. This is one of those must-go places when staying at Christina’s Saigon.
At this homey little factory, every single chocolate bar is hand-crafted by the most skillful bakers and you can even watch them work behind their counter! Diners are served mouthwatering chocolate bars and pastries (that you’d feel guilty eating because they look so perfect!) made only from local ingredients and cocoa harvested around Vietnam.
Lucky for you, Marou Maison also sells beautifully packaged artisan chocolate bars for you to buy as gifts for your loved ones. We couldn’t recommend this place highly enough. They have only one address in town which is located in District 1, nearby Le Thi Hong Gam Street.
Fun little fact: Maison Marou is known to serve the best hot chocolate in Saigon, and I don’t disagree! 😉
Padma De Fleur – 55/6 Le Thi Hong Gam Street, District 1
It can be said that in order to fully understand how to be a Saigonese, one must at least once give Vietnamese coffee a go. Not randomly does Padma De Fleur on Le Thi Hong Gam Street stand out to be a flawless corner to enjoy a cup of traditional coffee. It does so because this place also offers customers an ideal space to think, relax, and even daydream.
In addition to serving food and drinks, Padma De Fleur also sells beautiful flowers. This is a great spot for those seeking the beauty of nature amidst a concrete jungle. Just one step inside and you will feel like you’re lost in a fairytale garden. More interestingly, the cafe is one of a few stops regularly organizing flower arrangement classes and allows you to bring your own masterpiece home.
Lunch sets here cost around 6$ for a person, which is slightly higher than the average price of lunch in Ho Chi Minh City, but the presentation is definitely as a photogenic as they come.
Read more: Cafe Hopping in Saigon
Chat Coffee Roasters & Bistro – 53 Le Thi Hong Gam Street, District 1
Vietnamese coffee has recently become popular with foreign travelers visiting Vietnam. Drinking coffee is a part of a local’s daily routine and you will soon find out that the Saigonese drink coffee at any time of the day. While the number of coffee shops is virtually limitless, not many brands are endorsed by coffee lovers. Luckily, located in Le Thi Hong Gam Street, Chat Coffee Roasters & Bistro is quite a trusted cafe serving the nicest and the most authentic of Vietnamese black coffee.
Although it looks like other regular small coffee shops, Chat is one of the few locations using coffee roasted in-house as the main ingredient. Their roasting style is dark; therefore, you can expect delectable strong cups of traditional coffee, of which the flavor is hard to replicate. That being said, tasting a cup of Chat coffee in the early morning is an ideal way to begin your day, especially for newcomers who want to fully understand how to be a Saigonese.
Read more: How to Brew The Perfect Cup of Vietnamese Coffee
Where to Visit
Ben Thanh Market – Le Loi Street, District 1
On the long list of symbolic places to visit in the city, Ben Thanh Market seems to be the most famous and the one every newcomer is likely to visit.
Operating since 1914, this 100-year-old street market is not only where the daily trading of goods takes place, but it is also the oldest witness of all the historical ups and downs that has happened in Saigon.
The market fully opens every day at around 8-9 AM. During the day, the market is divided into several themed zones from clothing, footwear, and textiles to brocades, jewelry, and of course, food. Each zone houses several booths/stalls that display a colorful array of items for you to choose from. Tourists mostly come here to buy souvenirs or gifts such as the “nón lá” (a traditional hat), wooden slippers, coffee filters to make the traditional “cà phê phin”, etc. Meanwhile, after 7 PM, the bustling night market opens up which also sells similar items and food.
From our experience, we recommend you convert the prices in your head or double-check with someone who knows local prices before you buy anything. Sad but true, sellers usually raise the prices unreasonably to tourists, so perhaps train yourself to bargain a little bit before you head out. Usually, just divide the named price by a half and you should be golden.
Read more: 6 Great Souvenirs to Buy in Saigon
The Art Museum – 97 Pho Duc Chinh Street, District 1
Founded in 1987, this gallery houses more than 21,000 precious artifacts and artworks that are displayed to visitors. Most of them are from recent history (post-Vietnam War) a tell a progressive story of how Southeast Vietnam changed since.
Designed in the popular Baroque French style, the art museum is a sight to behold. And even when it has gone through nearly a century of many ups and downs, the building still retains its architectural characteristics.
Besides sightseeing and admiring beautiful artwork, guests can also sip their cup of traditional coffee while enjoying the artistic atmosphere right in the site of the museum. It opens from 9 AM – 5 PM, from Tuesday to Sunday, and costs around VND10,000 (0.5 USD) for a ticket
Yersin Market – 104 Yersin Street, District 1
Dan Sinh market, or Yersin market, named after the famous French biologist – Alexandre Yersin, is located in the tourist area of the city and it only takes a short three-minute walk from Christina’s place.
Sometimes called as The American Market, this bazaar caters to clientele who want to get their hands on a number of special military items and war memorabilia. Some stalls offer gears specialized for camping purposes, ranging from regular outdoor clothing, thick coats, combat tents, mosquito nets, mini binoculars to other rare supplies. Beyond that, if you want to look for industrial-sized electrical appliances, this market is your best bet.
Besides unique souvenirs, you can also leave with a better understanding of The Vietnam War, known as The American Anti-Imperialist War in this country. Undoubtedly, Yersin Market has never lost its reverence of historic values for all the years it’s been running.
However, do note that not every item is an authentic war relic. Vendors have admitted that many of their stock are just copies or reproductions so remember to bargain with the stall owners to get a decent and fair price.
Read more: Yersin Market – The American Market in The Heart of Saigon
We hope you manage to visit all these places during your stay. If not, you are always welcome to come back!
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