25 Unusual Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is a popular destination for tourists visiting Vietnam for the first time. Besides the well-known landmarks such as Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, Independence Palace, and Ben Thanh Market, did you know that there are hidden gems in Saigon waiting to be discovered?

I am excited to share with you some unique experiences that not only locals but also those who travel to Vietnam should try when visiting Saigon. I believe that these experiences will make your trip truly memorable and provide you with a deeper understanding of the people, culture, and customs of Vietnam, adding vibrant colors to your journey.

Join me on this fortunate journey as I take you through a range of emotions. I am confident that the experiences I am about to share will introduce you to some familiar and unfamiliar aspects of Saigon. Let’s discover!

“25 Unusual Things to Do in Ho Chi Minh City”

1. Having Lunch in Xom Chieu Market

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

Xom Chieu Market stands out among the list of unusual things. When people hear “Xom Chieu Market”, they might automatically think it’s similar to Ben Thanh Market. However, that assumption is incorrect, and you would be missing out on a wide variety of eateries selling authentic Vietnamese dishes at very affordable prices. These eateries are spread out from the North to the South, located inside a building with old glass architecture. The vendors are very friendly and welcoming, inviting you to try their delicious food. 

  • Address: Dinh Le Street, Ward 12, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Hours: 4 AM – 11 AM 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Explore the diverse regional dishes from North to South to gain a deeper insight into Vietnamese cuisine.

2. Discover City Alleyway Culture

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

Ho Chi Minh City is known as the “crazy traffic” city, so be cautious when moving around Saigon. Exploring the narrow alleys will give you a fresh perspective on the culture with the depth of stories hidden in each alley you visit. Pack your bags and discover the interesting things in the alleys, especially the food, and the coffee shops that will make you exclaim, “Amazing” during your adventure, exploring the maze of many paths in Saigon.

  • Hint: With Jackfruit Adventure take you there!
things to do in ho chi minh city vietnam
You will be amazed as if you have stumbled upon a different world from the alleys, getting lost is a common occurrence like any other day.

3. Talk with City Gangster – Mr Goose

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

If you’re looking for City Gangster in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll find District 4 – a district famous for gathering notorious gangsters in the past, with many traces and stories still remaining, along with dramatic tales told by locals. Come and discover the story of City Gangster, and you’ll have the opportunity to chat with Mr. Goose, a cute goose living in the City Gangster area.

  • Hint: With Jackfruit Adventure take you there! 
things to do in saigon ho chi minh city
When you come to District 4, let’s have a chat with Mr. Goose, a charming and friendly “gangster”!

4. Tiny House in District 4

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

You will be amazed, astonished, and bewildered when witnessing at City Gangster (District 4) not only the thrilling stories from the gangsters but also you will have to exclaim: “How can there be such small houses that can still be functional?”, that is the question I once uttered when first coming here, and you will admire the hidden beauty of it, a beauty that has stretched out and witnessed many life activities of countless generations here.

  • Address: Doan Van Bo Street, Ward 14, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
In district 4, there are charming little houses that offer a simple yet cozy living environment, surrounded by a strong sense of community and camaraderie.

5. Shrimp Fishing in the Restaurant

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

Experience the thrill of catching your own meal at one of the shrimp fishing restaurants in Thanh Da, Binh Quoi. These unique eateries offer a fun and interactive dining experience where you can fish for shrimp in indoor ponds. Once you’ve made your catch, the restaurant will cook it to your liking. It’s a delightful way to enjoy fresh seafood and have some fun with friends or family.

  • Address: 428 Binh Quoi, Ward 28, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Hours: 8 AM – 10 PM
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Experience the thrill of shrimp fishing activities, where you can reap the rewards of your own hard work and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

6. Visit the Floating Lotus House

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

In the same area of Thanh Da, Binh Quoi, lies the serene Floating Lotus House. This picturesque spot is perfect for a peaceful retreat away from the city’s hustle and bustle. The Floating Lotus House is set amidst lush greenery and tranquil waters, providing a calming atmosphere. It’s an ideal location for meditation, yoga, or simply enjoying the natural beauty.

  • Address: Binh Quoi Village, Ward 28, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Hidden amidst the luxurious and extravagant city lies a picturesque and rustic scenery, exuding its own unique charm.

7. Having Drinks at Làng Mây

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

When you have the opportunity to visit Thanh Da, Binh Quoi, don’t miss out on a very green and peaceful village nestled in the bustling streets of Saigon. I guarantee that you will have a quiet and relaxing time here with captivating activities and scenery, along with green spaces that help you escape the hustle and bustle of the city center. Enjoy a refreshing drink at Cloud Village with various services to make your trip complete.

  • Address: 393 Binh Quoi, Ward 28, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Hours: 7 AM – 8 PM 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Immerse yourself in a picturesque, enchanting landscape that is simply perfect for indulging in the beauty of nature’s greenery.

8. Discover Umbrella Market Apartment

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

The Umbrella Market Apartment, located in Ngo Gia Tu Apartment, is a hidden gem in Ho Chi Minh City. This market is distinguished by its vibrant, colorful umbrellas that hang overhead, creating a whimsical and photogenic atmosphere. Stroll through the market to discover a variety of local goods, street food, and unique souvenirs. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and snap some Instagram-worthy photos.

  • Address: Ngo Gia Tu Apartment, Ward 2, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Let’s have an amazing time at Ngo Gia Tu apartment complex! If you’re up for it, join me and let Jackfruit Adventure show you the vibrant sights of Saigon!

9. Having Coffee at the Oldest Coffee in Town

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

Coffee culture is a significant part of Vietnamese life, and Ba Lu Racket Cafe in District 5 is the oldest coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh City. Established over 70 years ago, Ba Lu Racket Cafe offers a nostalgic atmosphere with its vintage decor and time-honored coffee-making techniques. Enjoy a cup of traditional Vietnamese coffee while soaking in the history and charm of this iconic café.

  • Address: 193 Phung Hung Street, Ward 14, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Hours: 2 AM – 5 PM 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
A long-standing coffee shop in Saigon that you should visit when you’re in town.

10. Trying the Balut

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

This is a dish that surely appears when you search for Vietnamese food, looking at the picture it seems scary, but is it really? Balut is very nutritious with many benefits when you eat them, challenge yourself to experience something new from your own perspective and see how it is, currently it is very easy for you to find street vendors selling balut, be daring by challenging yourself to eat balut and the first experience will bring you a profound insight when you come back next time.

  • Hint: Street Vendors, Ho Thi Ki Food Street (District 10),…
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
famous, nutritious dish that might be a bit challenging for you if you try it for the first time. Go ahead, take the challenge, and share your experience with us!

11. Explore Incense Village

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

Located in Le Minh Xuan Ward, Binh Chanh District, the Incense Village is a sensory delight. This village is dedicated to the art of incense making, and visitors can witness the intricate process firsthand. The vibrant colors of drying incense sticks create a beautiful scene, and the fragrant aroma fills the air. It’s a unique cultural experience that offers insight into traditional Vietnamese craftsmanship.

  • Address: Le Minh Xuan Commune, Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Hours: 7 AM – 4 PM 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Explore the incense village to discover how local residents create fragrant, colorful incense sticks!

12. Early Morning Exercise – Life

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

If you are a traveler who enjoys exercising in the morning and is looking for a space and activity to start your day, then Ho Chi Minh City is the perfect destination for you. In the early morning, when the city is still in a dreamy state, many Saigonese have already woken up and are exercising in the parks with various types of workouts such as running, badminton, yoga, and martial arts, catering to people of all ages. Join in and see yourself as a Saigonese while improving your health!

  • Hint: Tao Dan Park, Hoang Van Thu Park, Le Van Tam Park, Gia Dinh Park,… 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Start your day off by exercising in the parks of Saigon.

13. Seek Out Hidden Bar in the Old Apartment

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

A popular bar known for its mysterious film-like style and nostalgic ambiance, located in an old apartment building in District 1. If you’re looking for a place to relax, enjoy the view of Saigon day or night, then head to Memento Saigon, where you’ll find a secret space that allows you to escape from Saigon behind the bookshelf!

  • Address: 14 Ton That Đam, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Hours: 10 AM – 12 AM
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Uncover Memento Saigon, a secret spot nestled behind a bookshelf offering a trendy European ambiance.

14. Aquarium Street

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

This street is home to numerous aquarium businesses, making it a vibrant trading hub and a popular tourist spot in District 5. If you love aquariums in Saigon, be sure to visit Aquarium Street, where the scenery, items for sale, and insights from shopkeepers will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the world of aquariums in Saigon.

  • Address: Luu Xuan Tin Street, Ward 10, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Hours: 4 AM – 5 PM 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
District 5 is bustling with activity thanks to the abundance of aquarium businesses lining the streets, attracting both locals and tourists alike to this vibrant trading hub.

15. Drinking Popular Herbal Tea in Cho Lon Chinatown

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

If you ever visit Chinatown, one thing you can’t miss is the herbal tea, a very popular drink not only in Vietnam, but also all over the world due to its many health benefits. So what makes the herbal tea at Chinatown special compared to other places? This has been confirmed by Jackfruit Adventure, a delicious drink with a warm welcome from friendly locals, who will guide, share, and sometimes even chat with you when you visit this Chinatown location.

  • Address: Located at District 5, Ho Chi Minh City 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Enjoy a budget-friendly drink with numerous benefits – herbal tea.

16. Sightseeing Saigon on the Waterbus

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

Waterbus is also one of the exciting experiences for you when you stop by Saigon. With the waterbus, you will have the opportunity to admire the city at night with its vibrant colors and cool breeze as you glide along the Saigon River. I hope you will find a peaceful space here, enjoy the views, and capture many beautiful moments in Saigon, exclaiming: What a beautiful city it is!

  • Address: 1 Ton Duc Thang, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Hours: 5 AM – 8 PM
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
If you’re faced with too many options, I’m confident that a waterbus ride will offer you a delightful experience while enjoying the picturesque and romantic Saigon scenery along the river.

17. Walking By the Le Cong Kieu Antique Street

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

When you take a stroll along Le Cong Kieu Street, you will come across numerous small shops selling a wide variety of treasures and decorative items, ranging from Asian to European styles. If you are a collector at heart, then this is the paradise for you, with affordable prices and a unique atmosphere filled with powerful artifacts. This is definitely a destination that you should not forget on your journey.

  • Address: 28 Le Cong Kieu, Nguyen Thai Binh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Hours: 9 AM – 9 PM
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Come and visit the antique street, where you might just be the lucky one to hunt down rare treasures worth thousands of dollars!

18. Da Cau

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

Shuttlecock kicking is definitely not unfamiliar to you, as both your country and mine have this sport. So what makes it “uncommon”? The interesting thing here is that “Da Cau” is a sport that helps connect you and me, us, Saigonee, more easily when it’s easy to come across fun activities in large parks with groups gathering to play together. Challenge the locals when you come here, show them that you are also skilled in “Da Cau” and make friends with us in this way!

  • Hint: Tao Dan Park, Hoang Van Thu Park, Le Van Tam Park, Gia Dinh Park,… 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Challenge the local residents with a game of shuttlecook kicking and see if you can defeat them, by the way let’s make new friends along the way. Source: Internet.

19. Learn to Cross the Road

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

I believe that when you first set foot in Saigon, your first misfortune is definitely “traffic jam”. It’s not surprising that you have to learn how to cross the road in the “crazy traffic” situation in Ho Chi Minh City like this. One interesting thing is that you have to learn how to imitate pedestrians, walk confidently but with a little observation to safely cross the road. Remember to learn it, because I also had to spend a few months in Saigon to be able to cross the road with many challenges and excitement.

things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Saigon’s roads may seem challenging for biking and crossing, but come to us and your experience will be filled with exciting and unforgettable moments.

20. Have A Street Haircut

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

Have you ever tried the street haircut back home on the sidewalk and looking for a place to get haircut in Ho Chi Minh city? With fresh air, funny barber at the Saigon, the hairdressers on the sidewalk, with their simple chairs and professional tools like scissors and razors, have created the brand “Street Haircut”. Will they make your hair more attractive? It’s an interesting experience worth trying when you come across them on the street. Hurry up and step in to get the hairstyle you like. It will be a fun experience at a very affordable price if you want to save money or simply change your appearance for the better with “Street Haircut” in Saigon.

street haircut ho chi minh things to do
The street haircut is not unique to Ho Chi Minh City, but for centuries, the streets of Saigon have been filled with these lone businessmen, servicing the community whilst fighting the heat, weather, and evolution of the city to stay in business and make a living.

21. Join Karaoke with Local

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

It may sound like an uncommon activity, but is it feasible to try? I’m sure you’re wondering if it’s possible when you read the title. And rest assured, you’re not mistaken, as the opportunity to sing along with the locals will surprise you with their hospitality and your passion for singing. Take note and discover the secrets of Jackfruit Adventure for your upcoming plans!

things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Do you enjoy singing? Why not try singing along with the locals for a unique experience? Source: SCMP.

22. Support Local with Blind Message

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

This is an experience where you are supporting, helping visually blind people to earn extra income, spreading to the community as they make a living by their own efforts. At Blind Message, you will experience extremely dedicated, professional activities from visually blind individuals and bring you moments of relaxation, accompanied by support with this type of service!

  • Address: Alley 335, Nguyen Tri Phuong Street, Ward 5 , District 10, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Hours: 9 AM – 10 PM
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Experience a relaxing activity that not only caters to your needs but also supports visually impaired individuals in Saigon. Source: VietNam News.

23. Praying at the Floating Temple

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

You might overlook a hidden gem, still not widely known due to the hustle and bustle of Saigon. When you visit Phu Chau floating temple, you will discover the beauty that has existed for over 300 years, along with the remaining architecture and landscapes at this historical site. Unlike other temples in Ho Chi Minh city, this temple located in the small oasiss in Go Vap district. Just about 30 minutes taking the taxi ride there and buy a ticket for a short boat ride for an adventure morning explore hidden gem of this city.

  • Address: 173/36/7B11 Quang Ham Street, Ward 5, Go Vap District, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Hours: 8 AM – 6 PM 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
After many restorations, the temple has become more spacious and possesses unique architecture, making it a famous spiritual tourist destination in Saigon.

24. Learn the Traditional Medicine

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

Vietnam is famous for its ancient traditional folk remedies of the Vietnamese people, at this museum you will have the opportunity to explore a collection of artifacts related to traditional medicine from ancient times to the present, along with traditional medicine preparation tools. If you are an enthusiast who loves to learn about origins, then the Fito Museum is the ideal place for you.

  • Address: 41 Hoang Du Khuong, Ward 12, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Hours: 8:30 AM – 5 PM
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Explore the wonders of space, precious remedies, and ancient artifacts found in the museum to gain a deeper understanding of Vietnamese medicine in the past.

25. Discover Saigon Off-the-Beaten-Path on Bicycle

Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City 

For the adventurous traveler, exploring Saigon off-the-beaten-path on a bicycle with Jackfruit Adventure is a must. This tour company offers guided bike tours that take you through lesser-known areas of the city, providing a unique perspective on Ho Chi Minh City’s diverse neighborhoods. You’ll ride through bustling markets, serene parks, and historical sites, experiencing the city like a local.

  • Address: TK46/28 Hem Ben Chuong Duong, Cau Kho Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City 
  • Hours: 7:30 AM or 1:30 PM 
things to do in saigon in ho chi minh City
Escape the tourist traps and bond with new friends as we uncover the city’s best-kept secrets.

Let’s Wrap It Up! 

Ho Chi Minh City is brimming with unusual and exciting activities for those willing to venture beyond the typical tourist spots. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, these activities are sure to enrich your stay in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Ho Chi Minh City Cycling Tour In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) – Vietnam

At Jackfruit Adventure, we organize Ho Chi Minh City Cycling Tour and Team Building Ho Chi Minh. With a deep knowledge of Saigon city and local connections, we believe we can give you an awesome bonding time together. Contact us today if you have any requests or questions to prepare a trip for your team to bond in Ho Chi Minh – Vietnam.

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