Non-Touristy Things to Do on a City Break in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Face on the facade of the post office in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) was the least touristy place that we visited in Vietnam. Since we were in a less touristy place, we focused on doing less touristy things. Read on to find out more about non-touristy things to do on a city break in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Sample Vietnamese Craft Beer

Beer at Pasteur Street Brewery in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
The Vietnamese craft beer scene is definitely on the rise. We stopped at Pasteur Street Brewery and Heart of Darkness. We also discovered a variety of craft beers on offer at Malt Bar.
Craft beer at Heart of Darkness in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Grab a Cocktail with a Sunset View at the Caravelle Hotel

Sunset views from the Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
The Caravelle Hotel features a rooftop bar. Ride the elevator to the top and stake out a table on the balcony for sunset views with your happy hour cocktail.
Jameson on the bar at the Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Cocktails at the rooftop bar of the Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Enjoy a Foodie Lunch at Mountain Retreat

Vietnamese spring rolls at Mountain Retreat in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
We discovered a hidden gem of a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City thanks to Google Maps. Mountain Retreat is situated five stories up a spiraling staircase with a centerpiece of red lanterns. We were rewarded for our exertions with a gourmet meal; one of the best we'd had in Vietnam.
Staircase with red lanterns in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Get a Vietnamese Foot Massage at Sỏi Spa

Soi Spa sign in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
For as little as $15 USD an hour, you can treat yourself to a Vietnamese foot massage in Ho Chi Minh City. I tried Sỏi Spa located on the top floor of an office building. The atmosphere was relaxed and the spa incredibly clean and hygienic. It's definitely worth taking the time to enjoy the art of Vietnamese maassage.

Negotiate for Cheap Shorts at the Bến Thành Market

Bến Thành Market in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
You can find just about anything at Bến Thành Market. Take some time, wander around, and be prepared to negotiate. We bargained hard for a pair of cheap shorts. We got them for the equivalent of about $5 USD which seemed like a good deal until they fell apart after one wear. You win some, you lose some.

Mail Your Postcards and Wave to Ho Chi Minh's Smiling Countenance in the Post Office

Portrait of Ho Chi Minh in the post office in Saigon Vietnam
The post office in Ho Chi Minh City boasts some impressive architecture. Come here to mail your postcards beneath a huge portrait of Uncle Ho himself.

Print Your Instagrams with Boft

Boft Instagram printing machine in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
We ducked into a modern shopping mall in Ho Chi Minh City to get a break from the oppressive May heat. That's when I discovered Boft. You can call up your Instagram account and print out your favorite photos for a small fee. Love it!

Take an Air-Conditioned Coffee Break

Highlands Coffee being prepared in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
In Ho Chi Minh City, coffee shops are a great resource. Not only are they full of caffeinated goodness, they are also generally air-conditioned. We visited Vietnamese chain coffee shops like Highlands Coffee and Korean-based The Coffee House. The Coffee House even featured frozen coffee ice cubes in our iced beverage. Very refreshing!
Coffee ice cubes in iced coffee at The Coffee House in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Get on a Motorcycle and Eat All the Street Food with a Back of the Bike Tour

Back of the Bike Street Food Tour in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
In Ho Chi Minh City, the preferred mode of transportation for locals is a motorcycle. I'd never dare drive a motorcycle on the streets of Vietnam but that doesn't mean I wouldn't get on the back of a bike. We signed up for a street food tour with Back of the Bike Tours ($67 per person at the time of writing). We darted through some pretty gnarly traffic as we made our way from one delectable food stall to another. 
Spicy quail on the Back of the Bike Street Food Tour in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
We started with a picnic of green papaya salad and dried beef liver. Spicy quail sandwiches followed at a shop that sells 3000 quails a day. We got to make a Vietnamese pancake before eating one with wine samples. A hearty soup filled in the cracks in our full stomachs. Dessert included coconut jello, flan, and pumpkin custard. We were definitely weighting down the back of the bike more at the end of the evening than at the start!
Vietnamese dishes tried on the Back of the Bike Street Food Tour of Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

Have you been to Ho Chi Minh City? What are your favorite things to do?

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Non-Touristy Things to Do on a City Break in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

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Sidewalk Safari: Non-Touristy Things to Do on a City Break in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Non-Touristy Things to Do on a City Break in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Learn about things to do that are off the beaten tourist track in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. A photo-rich post by travel blogger Jennifer, aka Dr. J, from Sidewalk Safari.
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Sidewalk Safari
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