My friend was in town, and I thought it would be nice to go on a tour around the city, the city i’ve been living in for the last 5 months.
Tour guides especially locals, always have that knowledge you as a visitor will likely take years to find out.
So with that in mind, I remembered a tweet I had seen whilst searching #saigon across Twitter and Instagram and happened to come across @freeguides_vn
— VietnamFreeTourGuide (@freeguides_vn) August 3, 2016
Checked there website, and decided on the 4 hour tour. It was $12! each, and that included getting picked up at my apartment and all the food consumed on the tour.
After being picked up at 6pm, we made our way to the flower market in district 10.
We walked around a little, getting to know the tour guides, who are all young and eager to engage and full of knowledge.
Time for our first meal, it was Ban Quon, which is a steamed rice roll. Ingredients include ground pork, mushrooms, seasoning and vegetables. All washed down with iced sugar cain drink.
I remember eating Banh Cuon for the first time in Hai Phong, i thought my Vietnamese friend was saying “Penguin”. I was like “penguin”? He’s like “yeah”. I thought fair enough I’ll give it a try ?. Turns out when pronouncing Banh Cuon, it sounds like Penguin. So didn’t eat penguin ?. This time I got to make it on the streets of Saigon whilst I was on a tour. Ban Cuon is a thin steamed flour pancake that’s filled with minced pork, mushrooms and other stuff. A fish sauce is used for dipping. Look out for my blog post over the next few days. #ENTJourney #vietnam #saigon #food #foodporn #foodie #foodstagram #foodgasm #hcmc #hochiminhcity #tour #tours #travel #travelingram #travelgram #traveller #travelling #travelblog #makingfood #night #street #nightlife
As you can see we even got to make our own 🙂
What I love most about these unknown places is the local feel. The feeling you don’t get when you are in the city centre, or tourist areas.
You can sit, soak in the surroundings and interact with the locals who are always curious and normally sporting a big smile.
Personally I love people watching, In a city that has around 10 million people. You have lots of subjects. I just love to see businesses and customer interactions, just imagining in my mind what they must be talking about.
It doesn’t really go a day without raining here in Saigon, especially as it’s monsoon season.
Touring and getting wet, not the best, but it made for some good photo opportunities :). So every cloud as they say.
SO on our bikes we made our way across a wet city to Notre dame cathedral, Central Post Office and Turtle lake.
It’s the first time I had been at the cathedral when it was raining, it was strangely peaceful. Probably because there was almost no people there other than us 🙂
On to walking street, Nguyen Hue. A long street with a statue of the late Ho Chi Minh in front of city hall.
Time to eat again, this time Vietnam pizza. I never had any, I can’t handle spice! A light weight I know. But sweating and having a runny nose isn’t fun :).
Our last food stop was for Bò lá lốt, which is beef wrapped in wild betel leaves and Mỡ Chài, grilled pork belly.
This was delicious, and freshly made by our man in the picture below. Probably my favourite photo of the tour.
There was tons more great stuff on the tour, but you’ll need to go to find out for yourself 😉
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