Ho Chi Minh City might be the new official name, but many Southern Vietnamese locals stand by the "Saigon" name with sensitivity to the communist leader reference, Ho Chi Minh. Despite the difference in politics however, the city shines bright in culture, food, and bustling urban life - a perfect setting for an adventure on a Vespa.
So how can you explore the beautiful city and get the most of it, like a local?
Hop behind your driver and glide pillion through the energetic traffic of old Saigon as you experience Vespa Adventures' half-day "Insider's Saigon" tour ($72).
From the vibrant vintage Vespas that await you outside of your hotel to the time machine alleys and landmarks that transport you to life changing times in history, you'll find such adventure to be one you'll never forget.
Whether you are gazing at walls of buddhas, inhaling fragrant incense, or clenching onto your Vespa as your driver dodges Vietnamese traffic, this tour is perfect to join at the beginning of your vacation so you'll feel more comfortable with the city.
Enjoy the city's Chinese district and explore a beautiful, hidden Buddhist pagoda along a journey through a fragrant flower market and bustling afternoon crowd.
Pay close attention when you check out the honorary statue of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc, who burned himself to death to protest monk persecutions (1963), there is a ton of information about the event posted on adjacent signage. And enjoy the ride through roads and alleyways to observe Saigon locals in their daily routine -- including meal prep! (Yes, that's blood in a bowl.)
Other features include sweet sugar cane coconut juice from a local street vendor (if you're thirsty -- it's from scratch!), an insider look at the famous Post Office, and perfect photo opportunities with popular landmarks throughout Saigon districts.
To enjoy the city, I worked with Vespa Adventures to book a tour for Alex and I to experience Saigon riding pillion on their signature Vespas. After reviewing their itinerary and commitment to safety, and thoroughly enjoying the tour and English-speaking guides, I highly recommend this experience as a great way to get to know the city during your Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon vacation. To book your adventure, visit vespaadventures.com and enjoy Vietnam!
Do you want to ride around Ho Chi Minh City?
If you are enticed by this afternoon Vespa adventure check it out and share it with your friends! It will totally make the difference during your Vietnam vacation.