Let’s Explore: Best Local Tours In Ho Chi Minh City | DO
From food tours and meeting Vietnamese artists, to boat safari’s and a murder mystery trail, these are the best local tours in Ho Chi Minh City.
Living our daily life here in Saigon, we don’t get to do city sightseeing that much. Luckily, most of us get visitors over frequently, who give us the ultimate excuse to play tourist in our own city. Because there’s still lots to explore! Once we only had the Vespa tour, but now there is a whole range of original and adventurous Saigon tours. But which one to choose? We hopped on bikes and boats, asked around and made you a list. If you like to explore the districts of Saigon, these are the best local tours in Ho Chi Minh City!
Local tours that take a peak behind the scenes
To really understand Saigon life, you have to get to know its art scene. Ho Chi Minh City is full of creativity, whether it’s in fashion, art or products. Hidden Saigon has found a great way to let you take a peak at this creative bunch. They take you into the work spaces, studios and homes of local artists and residents. Here you can discuss work and Saigon life with them. Less crazy about art than you are about food? Get past the been-there-done-that street food tours and go for their Oodle Noodle tour!
One of the most original trails on our list of best local tours in Ho Chi Minh City is Urban Tales. This tour takes the Saigon story scene one step further and lets you solve a murder mystery. The plot takes you to authentic parts of town, past traditional medicine shops, old temples and markets. It’s well set up and includes some history of Ho Chi Minh City. All this while catching a murderer, we bet your visitors didn’t see that one coming! Also great for kids from 6 years and up.
Sightseeing on two wheels: motorbike tours
When thinking of HCMC, we think of motorbikes. And indeed, it’s one of the best ways to explore this vibrant city. You speed past all the traffic through various districts and small hems (alleys), getting a good feeling of what this city is about. We’ve put two affordable tour companies on our list of best local tours in Ho Chi Minh City. First of all, Back of the bike tours has a good reputation and offers good value for money. You can book various exciting tours with them, such as the Big Eats, Small Seats food tour. Their drivers speak good English.
Second, the very cool XO tours Saigon is an all-female motorbike company. Hopping on the bike behind your female guide, you can do a food tour, or go for the sight seeing morning or shopping spree tour. The guides know everything there is to know about the city, plus they’re professional and friendly. Their pricing is a bit more friendly as well. Girl power to the max!
Rather be on 4 wheels? Saigon 2CV lets you explore the city in vintage cars, like a cute citroên 2CV. They have a Morning Discovery tour as well as a food tour.
Cycling and Boat tours in Saigon
In our list of best local tours in Ho Chi Minh City, the boat tours of Les Rives definitely deserve a spot. Their Cu Chi tunnel tour is a fantastic way to travel to the famous Vietnamese tunnels. But we are also fan of their Saigon Sunset Cruise. It’s a great way to unwind at the end of the day, gazing at the city from the Saigon river.
If you want to get more active and cycling is your thing, Grasshopper Adventures organizes an amazing Mekong Delta tour. During this one day bike tour, the Grasshopper guides take you through the orchards, along canal paths and ferries of this region. It’s a good way to let your guests experience the green Mekong Delta, where so much fruit, veggies and fish come from.
Another good option is Vietnambybike, a local organization that provides single-day and multiple-days cycling tours in Vietnam. They can set up tailor made cycling tours for you. Their tours are usually a little more friendly for your wallet.
The best tours for kids
Not every tour is fit to take the smallies, but some are just perfect! Take the Peanut Butter Tour of Dat Butter. A fantastic farm and factory tour for kids and adults. In the middle of the green country side, this small boutique tour will teach you all about the farming of peanuts and the production of peanut butter. Interesting and interactive! Great for kids from 5 years and up.
And what kids doesn’t like to solve a mystery? Urban Tales is great for families. You can combine it with the Saigon 2CV and feel like a regular Hector Poirot!
The Saigon Sunset cruise of Les Rives is also a great tour to do with kids; besides the speed boat, they’ll love to explore the colorful floating temple in the middle of the Saigon river.
Food tours and cooking like a local
When exploring a city, do what they do and eat what they eat! Another great local tour in Saigon is the street food tour by Saigon Street Eats. Dive into small alleys packed with food vendors who have spent decades perfecting their special dishes. While sampling a variety of simple street food, you’ll hear stories about this local neighbourhood and how history has influenced the Saigon’s culinary scene.
GRAIN cooking studio will make sure you will not only eat the best of Vietnamese cuisine, but are also capable of cooking it yourself. We loved their spacious, clean kitchen and professional chefs. And the best thing is, you don’t need to be Martha Stewart to take part; guests of all ages and skill levels love it. The ultimate souvenir!