Coming from a slow-paced Hoi An it was a bit hard to get in the rhythm of a busy city again. But Hoi Chi Minh City (HCMC) got it all to lure you back into it, the hustle and bustle of an Asian city, new initiatives to be surprised with, great restaurants and some lovely people. Here are my finds of this city in the South of Vietnam. My absolute favorite shop was the concept store L’Usine. On the first floor of a historic building, with a cafe and brasserie like every concept store, local brands combined with international finds and a vintage/modern design. For restaurants please take your pick. The ones that I visited were on the higher end and served good food and had great service: restaurant Gao in an old colonial building will take your breath away because of the decorations first of all. I visited the branch on 33 Le Quy Don for lunch. Hoa Toc is another one I can recommend, but the one I liked most was Cuc Gach Quan. When I see a lot of locals in a restaurant I’m confirmed I made the right choice, and when I’m surprised by lovely tastes of foods I’ve never had before my day is made. Cuc Gach Quan ticked all those boxes. You might want to give them a call in advance for a reservation to make sure you aren’t turned away at the door.
When in HCMC I also would like to suggest that you try to check some of the local art, modern art it is. Vietnam has some amazing artists who are supported by professional galleries to stimulate their art being opened up wider than their home country. Sophie’s art tour is a good recommendation for a start. She provides professional tours to the modern art museum and she will also take you to galleries like San Art and Gallery Quynh for some new works of local artists.
And for a hotel, please check out Grand Silverland at Ly Tu Trong Street. It is one of the affordable hotels with a roof top pool which is nice and refreshing after roaming town. Make sure to get there by 5pm to try some of their local cocktails during happy hour.