Timeout described Ho Chi Minh City as a jewel that blends French colonial history with a robust street food culture and rapid modern development. The city is divided into 24 numbered districts, with District 3 portrayed as a buzzing but less well-trodden neighbourhood.
Discovering the district, where exciting new developments coexist with a sense of history, visitors will find colonial-era churches and villas alongside Buddhist pagodas, and some of the city’s most renowned street food stalls. For a night out, Timeout suggested visitors head to one of the district’s live music mainstays which attract hip locals and a few of the more adventurous tourists.
District 3 is also praised for having some of the best seafood on earth, which can be found on Nguyen Thuong Hien street, also known as “snail street” – a world-famous thoroughfare of fresh snails and shellfish in a variety of preparations from noodles to soup.
The magazine said HCMC was once a bona fide rock and roll town, and vestiges of that culture still remain at bars like Yoko Café in District 3, a favourite of locals and expats alike, where local bands take the stage with live rock, jazz and more heavy sounds.
Visitors to the district should not miss one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the bright pink Tan Dinh Church, which was built by the French in the late 19th century. Beyond its eye-grabbing colour, it is worth visiting for its gorgeous gothic architecture, Timeout recommended.
Regarding accommodation, the magazine suggested visitors skip the big chains and opt for the exceptionally well-trimmed, French-inspired Bach Suites Saigon. Every room there comes with a king-sized bed plus a dining and living room and kitchenette, and it steps away from Turtle Lake, a popular local hang.
Based on a survey of more than 27,000 city-dwellers around the world on factors such as food, drink, culture, music and nightlife, the Timeout’s list hopes to help travelers to experience a city as if they were a local.
Other localities on the list include Arroios in Portugal’s Lisbon, Shimokitazawa in Japan’s Tokyo, Onikan in Nigeria’s Lagos and Wedding in Germany’s Berlin.
Ho Chi Minh City greeted more than 6.2 million foreign visitors in the first nine months of 2019, representing a year-on-year increase of 14.3 percent, according to the municipal Department of Tourism.
The city’s tourism sector earned VND108.3 trillion (over US$4.6 billion) in revenue in the reviewed period, up 7.4 percent from the same period last year.
The department said the sector is stepping up the application of information technology in managing and processing relevant documents, while operating online public services to handle administrative procedures in the field.
Attention has been also paid to tourism promotion activities, towards luring more tourists to the city.