Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, all food items as per itinerary, one coffee, one beer.
Exclusions: Items of a personal nature, additional food and drinks, tips / gratuities for local guide, taxi.
Duration: 3.5 hours
Meeting point: Ho Chi Minh City Fine Arts Museum, 97A Pho Duc Chinh Street, District 1.
16:45 Tour guide will pick you up at your hotel. Our Saigon food tour kicks off with some authentic local appetizers such as “chao muc” (a dry squid porridge) and “xa xiu” (Cantonese barbecued pork). Learn how Chinese food has been integrated into Vietnamese cuisine as you inhale the spicy flavors of the street stalls and watch local life unfold before your eyes in the heart of Saigon.
Our immersion into local life continues as we make our way to the corner of Nguyen Cong Tru and Calmette for a unique street food called “banh bo banh tieu”, which recalls memories of many Saigoneses’ childhoods.
This spot is also a good place to learn about Calmette and Yersin, the two disciples of Pasteur who greatly contributed to the health health system in Vietnam. The Pasteur Institute in Saigon is the first one outside of France, and was set up by Calmette, and the one in Nha Trang was started by Yersin – who was also the founder of the University of Medicine of Hanoi and discovered the bacteria that cause Black Death. This is why these three names are among the last remaining French names in HCMC.
On the way to our next food stop, we will pass by Chua Ba Thien Hau, which means the Goddess of the Sea. This former Chinese community house honours Chinese immigration to Saigon through the different periods of Cantonese, Teochew and Hakka.
It wouldn’t be a true local experience without enjoying “coffee” the way Saigonese coffee aficionados do on a daily basis. We’ll head to a popular local hem of Saigon to enjoy a cup. We’ll show you the local style of taking your coffee and you’ll feel right at home!
Next up on our Saigon food adventure is another one of the city’s iconic street food dishes: “ha cao” (Chinese-style dim-sum), “bo bia” (Saigonese spring roll) and “bo cuon mo chai” (barbecued beef meatballs). These dishes are some of the most popular and preferred dishes by southerners and you can find them everywhere, from street stalls to fancy restaurants. What makes them so beloved is that the ingredients are so strikingly simple, yet the tastes and flavors are truly unforgettable.
We’ll then head to Bui Vien to pick up a Vietnamese “fried banana” for dessert, a new version of the traditional version that is crazy popular with locals.
We’ll cap off our Saigon street food tour with, what else, “street beer”! At this street beer stall we’ll outfit you with a cold Saigon beer and the chance to mingle with locals – not a bad way to end the evening, is it?!
We’ve reached the end, but your local guide is happy to provide tips for exploring the area further, or assist you in getting a taxi back to your accommodation.
Price: USD32/person – Join in group tour style ( small group: min 02 & max 12 )