Ho Chi Minh City – Commerce, Culture & Kick-Ass Cuisine!
Ho Chi Minh City is, in our humble opinion, the most exciting destination in Southeast Asia! Bursting with cafes, craft breweries, street food, markets and mopeds, the city itself is full of colour and energy. With beaches, mountains and other countries such as Cambodia, Laos and Thailand a bus-ride away, your time in Southeast Asia couldn’t be off to a better start than with an internship in HCMC!
RENAMED FROM SAIGON IN 1975
COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES 86
COST OF LIVING
Rice & Noodle Dishes – £2: The mainstays of Ho Chi Minh City cuisine, on the streets and in small Saigon restaurants are a wide variety of rice and noodle dishes – cơm, cơm tấm, hủ tiếu nam vang, miến, etc. Prices vary widely depending upon location, air conditioning (or not), quality of ingredients, of course. But, generally, you can expect to pay between 35,000 – 60,000 vnd (£1 – 2) for a good lunch or dinner plate.
Phở – £1: Let’s get this out of the way right a way. If you’re coming to Vietnam you MUST enjoy a bowl of phở (Beef Noodle Soup) – perhaps on a daily basis. On the streets or in small neighborhood eateries, you’ll find phở bò or phở gà ranging from 25,000 – 45,000 vnd (80p – £1.50).
Vietnamese Tea & Coffee – 10-80p: Saigon is a cafe society. Whether you squat on a small plastic stool on the street or sit in a trendy, gardened cafe, you MUST try Vietnamese coffee. Order it “có phin”. That means you’ll get your own small personal coffee drip system. Wait for a bit as the hot water slowly percolates through the coffee grinds drop-by-drop into your glass, and enjoy unique, strong, a bit bitter, and delicious Vietnamese coffee. Expect huge price variations but a reasonable price for a good cup of coffee at a nice cafe should run about 20,000 -25,000 vnd (60-80p).
Freshly made iced tea with unlimited refills are a must on a hot day and will only set you back 10-20p… It would be rude not to!
Taxis or Taxi Bikes – £1.50: Due to the sheer amount of mopeds and bikes in HCMC it is 60-80% cheaper to take taxi mopeds than cars. But if you are desperate for a more comfortable air conditioned ride then a car would cost around £2-4 for most places in the inner city limits.
If you are savvy enough to figure out the bus system (which isn’t hard!) then you can travel around for as little as 15p per trip!
Saigon Zoo – 50p: A very pleasant (and even serene) morning or afternoon can be enjoyed at the Saigon Zoo for an admission price of 12,000 vnd! A real bargain, considering it might be the only place in Ho Chi Minh City to escape the city’s street chaos.
Swimming – 50p: Whether you’re looking to do a few laps to help reduce the impact of eating all that great Saigon street food or just wanting to cool down a bit at one of Saigon’s many public pools, it will likely cost you about 15,000 vnd.
Massages – Approx £10: HCMC is full of small spas which can soothe your aching muscles after a busy day at the office. Not bad for a tenner!
Cinema – £3: If your favourite movie is coming out whilst you are away then fear not, you can catch most of the big western films in the city, in English (with Vietnamese subtitles)! So sit back and enjoy the popcorn.