Travel to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam – Episode 374

categories: asia travel

Hear about travel to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam as the Amateur Traveler talks to Jodi Ettenberg from

Visually Ho Chi Minh City looks more chaotic than Rome, Istanbul or even Marrakesh. “There is just this persistent sea of motorcycles like insects crawling around fast-paced around the city. People joke about crossing the street there. You just have to go right in the middle of hundreds and hundreds of motorbikes. You have to start walking into the street and the key to crossing the street is just to go and to have a consistent pace and keep moving slowly across and the bikes will go around you like water over stones.”

For people interested in the history of the Vietnam War (or the American War as it is called in Vietnam) Jodi suggests the War Remnants Museum.

Jodi suggests that you should pick a district a day to explore:

  • Start in District One. See some of the old colonial buildings like Notre Dame Cathedral. District One is “ground zero for tourism”. It is where most of the hotels are, where the old Hotel de Ville is and where the Art Deco Post Office is. It is easy to walk around in and there are a few markets in the vicinity.
  • For people who are visiting, District One, Three and Five are the three that Jodi recommends people wander around.

Jodi went to Vietnam for the soup, so it should be no surprise that Jodi not only tells us where to find some of her favorite food in Ho Chi Minh City but will soon be leading food tours to Vietnam.

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right click here to download (iTunes version with pictures)

Show Notes

  • Legal Nomads
  • Districts of Vietnam
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Post Office  (Post office was built at the end of 19th century by the very famous architect Gustave Eiffel.)  Where: 2 Cong Xa Paris, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  •  Hotel de Ville (At the end of Nguyen Hue street is the former Hotel De Ville completed in 1908, now the office of the HCMC People’s Committee. Great to visit after dark when it is lit up.) Where: At the end of Nguyen Hue street, District 1, perpendicular to the Rex Hotel (which is at 141 Nguyen Hue).
  • War Remnants Museum  (Formerly known as the Museum of Chinese and American War Crimes, the War Remnants Museum is an important part of visiting Vietnam as it tells the stories of atrocities and war from a perspective rarely seen in North America.)
  • Can Tho
  • Mekong Delta
  • Great pho in District 3 Easily the meatiest pho I found in town. If you’re really adventurous order the “dac biet” (special), to get a bit of everything. Where: 303-305 Vo Van Tan, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Futa Travel
  • Quan An Ngon 

    (Street Food Alternative)

  • New Year’s In Vietnam
  • My Safety Whistle
  • The Food Travelers’ Handbook


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

7 Responses to “Travel to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam – Episode 374”

Joe Acanfora


Fabulous interview Jodi! We miss you here in Saigon. One thing, though. Don’t forget to “wiggle” your pronunciation of PH? 🙂 The great food is still here waiting for your return!



I’m pretty impressed by all of Jodi’s pronunciations in this episode. They’re all spot on. I suppose if you’re going to write a book about Food and Travel, you should learn to pronounce the things you like.



Nice interview Jodi! Impressive 😀



Hi Chris. I hope the transcript of Episode 374 will be available soon. As an English learner I found your podcasts very informative and useful to my study. They helped me enlarge my travel knowledge and travel-related language. Thank you very much!



unfortunately we won’t be going back to all the old episodes, at least not at this time as each transcript costs $1 a minute to transcribe.

Ryan Smith


Thanks for the podcast. It reminds me of my recent trip to this city, God I swear I’ve never seen so many bikes on the street at the same time. Chaotic, but interesting to see. Crossing the street among the bikes feels very, exceptional.

And I can’t forget PH? (learnt to write it right :))

Rahul Iyer


Good Afternoon, I have been following the podcast for a while. I even contributed recently in 2021.

However, specific to Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City, listening to the way HCMC was described, made me look at my wife of 16 years and smile. My wife is from District 9 of HCMC.

I was just in HCMC in Dec 2019 saying hello to my in-laws. I go often, and everyone is happy to see my wife and I. With my wife, and my in-laws, I have traversed most of Vietnam. About the only places that I have not seen in Vietnam are Sa Pa in the Northwest, and Phu Quoc in the far South.

Since my first trip to Vietnam in the Summer of 2002, I have really “fallen in love” with Vietnam (as well as with my wife). So much so, that Vietnam is where my wife and I are looking to relocate to when we decide to walk away from our jobs in corporate America. My wife and I are even working on certification for TESOL, so we can potentially teach English in Vietnam.

Although I am an American of Asian Indian background, Vietnam will be my second home. It is the place that I am going to retire to, and spend the days with my wife…probably in some town just South of HCMC, closer to the Mekong Delta.

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