This tour begins at 08:30. Be met with the guide for a morning discovery of Saigon, the habits of the local people and the significance of coffee drinking in Vietnamese culture.
Coffee was introduced to Vietnam by the French in the late 19th century but the country quickly became a strong exporter as vast swathes of the highlands were given over to this important new cash crop. Today, the Vietnamese have taken coffee to new gastronomical levels!
Start with a stroll through a buzzing local residential area and delve right into local life while browsing the street café, watching people enjoying their morning coffee, reading newspapers or chatting with each other. The locals usually drink coffee after having breakfast.
Join in the typical daily routine by ordering ‘bun thit nuong’ consisting of fresh noodles topped with grilled pork at a eatery. Then, walk around to observe the bustling street eats scene and try a piece of sticky rice or hollow donut snack.
Continue to discover an 80-year old coffee shop and warehouse. Get to know the unique way of making coffee while listening to tales related to this trade.
Conclude the morning tour by heading to Barista Saigon coffee studio. Meet with a certified barista, be introduced to Vietnamese specialty coffee and learn expert coffee brewing techniques. Choose from a variety of courses, focusing on espresso, latte art or professional ways to judge the quality of coffee.
This afternoon, start with a visit to the iconic Saigon Central Post Office built between 1886 and 1891. Based on the design of French architect Foulhoux, it is the creation of a unique vaulted ceiling with wrought iron beams and columns reminiscent of industrial architecture, which is now considered a symbol of Saigon and one of its most famous landmarks.
Walk along Dong Khoi street, formerly la rue Catinat and pay a visit to Gialong Palace – Ho Chi Minh City Museum for its beautiful architecture and listen to its history through times. Continue to ‘Le Loi Street’ to meet a local artisan who specializes in traditional engravings.
Next, stroll through the old central market (Note: the vehicle will be available) before arriving at the city’s oldest colonial-era apartment, built in 1886, and see what the young creative Vietnamese are up to from their funky boutiques and coffee shops. Sit down at one of the stylish coffee shops and interact with a local resident who moved here in 1975.
Leave the compound and have a look at the building on the other side, which used to be ‘Banque de l’Indochine’ (Indochina Bank) during the 1920s. It is a stunning example of the ‘Indochinois’ east/west fusion style of architecture that this area is known for. After this last stop, head back to the hotel.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.