Sai Gon - Ho Chi Minh city

Sometimes Beauty Exists In Simplicity

Mekong Delta: Unique Traditional Arts and culture

     The “Mekong Delta: Sketches on Unique Traditional Arts and Culture.” organized by Saigon Corners with the participation of The Southern Culture Research and Honoring Club held on July 13, 2019. The event consisted of the model display, talk show and classical opera performance successfully attracting hundreds of people, audience, reporters from newspapers, broadcasting channels and television.


The Southern amateur music, the aulacese opera “Military merit gratitude Ta Le Van Duyet.” by Xuan Lan artists and artists from classical theatre group.

Keep to the track of Saigon Corners and await to upcoming activity!



Saigon Corners organized and guided freshman of the academy around Ho Chi Minh City on an interesting tour in the morning on foot. The famous landmarks in city center and historical sites such as Independence Palace, Ho Chi Minh City Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, City Post Office. The field trip has become a memorable experience for the freshmen, giving them useful information and impressing them with the confidence of their university seniors.




Ever wonder where you should exchange your money when you go to Saigon? Well, here are tips and some recommendation places to exchange your currency while you are traveling to Saigon.


1. Plan in advance for revenues and expenditures

You wouldn’t want to carry total cash with you, both inconvenient and dangerous, because you will become a target for pickpockets. Revenue and expenditure planning help you estimate the amount of money you carry and use. For example, plan where you will go, how much money you need, expenses for transportation, food, souvenirs, costs incurred. A small note is to change. Payment in city centers (Saigon, Hai Phong,) is more beneficial than in rural areas or small towns.

2. Contact the bank, check account

Before your trip, contact your bank to make sure your account has international payment capability and what the balance is, which will not be redundant. Many people who used to feel secure with their credit card then have trouble going abroad because their credit card locked for many unexpected reasons.

3. Change money and credit card

There are three basic ways to exchange money: exchange cash at a bank before your trip; Use the airport exchange service and use a credit card. Accordingly, your payment will be deducted directly when buying. However, international visitors can save up to 15% by using a credit card.

Some place that you can exchange your money in Ho Chi Minh City

Near Ho Chi Minh Square

You can find Ho Chi Minh Square right in front of Ho Chi Minh City Hall, which takes you around 8 minutes from Ben Thanh Market. Surrounded by several shops, restaurants, and hotels, we will not be surprised by many money changers shops and gold dealers here.


 Hung Long Money Exchange (86 Mac Thi Buoi, Ben Nghe, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam).

Opening hours: Daily 7:00 – 22:00.

Eximbank Money Exchange 59 (135 Dong Khoi, Ben Nghe, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam).

Opening hours: Daily 7:00 – 22:00.

Minh Thu (12 Le Loi, Ben Nghe, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam). Opening hours: Daily 7:00 – 22:00.

Currency Exchange (109 Ho Tung Mau, Ben Nghe, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam). Opening hours: 24/24.


 Around Pham Ngu Lao Street

Pham Ngu Lao Street, which is well-known for the name “Backpacker town in Ho Chi Minh City”, in which there is variety of boutique hotels, hostels, bars, diners and coffee shops. Hence, it is not tough when it comes to buy local currency. Here are some bank branches that we hope you like:

 Dong A Bank (187 Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam).

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 – 17:00.

-Vietcombank (69 Bui Thi Xuan, Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam).

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7:30 – 16:30.

BIDV (118 – 122 Nguyen Cu Trinh, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam).

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7:30 – 17:00.

Saigon Commercial Bank (242 Cong Quynh, Pham Ngu Lao, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam).

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 – 17:00.

-Indovinabank (50 Pham Hong Thai, Ben Thanh, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam).

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 – 16:00.

Tourist area in Ho Chi Minh City


±  Vietcombank Me Linh Square (5 Me Linh Square, Ben Nghe, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam).

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7:30 – 16:30.

±  Vietinbank on Ham Nghi Street (93-95 Ham Nghi, Nguyen Thai Binh, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam).

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7:30 – 17:00.

±  Asia Commercial Bank on Le Loi Street (72 Le Loi, Ben Thanh, District 1, HCMC, Vietnam).

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7:30 – 16:30. 

4. Current types of currency in Vietnam

The money denominations circulate domestically:

Polymer money

– 500,000 VND 

– 200,000 VND 

– 100,000 VND 

– 50,000 VND

– 20,000 VND 

– 10,000 VND 

Paper money

– 5,000 VND 

– 2000 VND

– 1000 VND 

– 500 VND 


Regardless of the country you travel to, the US dollar has a specific effect. Many states accept this currency for trading, so you should bring US dollars with you, but you should also understand the foreign currency conversion before trading.

The exchange rate can be checked via link


5. Divide the money into several parts

You should divide the savings for the trip into two parts; one converted into cash, take with you, the rest transferred to the cards that can withdraw some money when abroad. This ensures you do not have to carry too much money, natural danger, and have the necessary preparation plan in unexpected situations.

Besides, you should also bring a credit card (Visa or Mastercard credit) with a relatively stable limit for peace of mind to always have plenty of money on transactions during the trip.



Transportation in Vietnam


Vietnam is always developing day by day, so along the streets are streets full of vehicles and vehicles. Some vehicles will be waiting for you to cross the road, you make sure you get up and try to go right away. Instant. In order to attract the discerning travelers, here – Ho Chi Minh City in terms of transportation, is also diversified to meet the needs of each person. Some common types are as follows


Motorbikes are the most popular means of transportation for people in Vietnam. Moreover, even when traveling to a new land, motorbikes are a popular vehicle to hire

Convenience of Motorbikes

 Motorbikes are cheap; the rental period is extended, go anywhere.

The most important is the convenience and high flexibility so that many travelers choose for themselves a conventional vehicle is a motorbike.


Like other tourist cities, the system of taxi firms in Ho Chi Minh City is very diverse. Although traveling by taxi is quite expensive, if traveling in large groups (from 4 to 7 people), taxis will be a reasonable choice for travelers. You will have a driver for yourself, no need to sleepy to drive. Moreover, it will be suitable for those who do not have a license or drunkenness.


3. Cyclo

 They have a long tradition in Vietnam, the tourist just waving and paying the price can make the trip without having to go through complicated procedures. 


4. Bus 

The bus is a reasonable choice for young people or families who want to explore many places in the city center with the most economical cost possible. However, you need to be healthy enough to go to every place on the long way!


Because Vietnam is a developing country, the transportation system still faces many difficulties during traffic hours.

Rush hour: From Monday – Saturday including time frames: From 09h30 – 11h30, 17h00 – 20h00; Sunday: there is no rush hour


Located besides the Saigon river, at the central of Binh Thanh district – Landmark 81 is not simply a name, but also a prideful symbol of The Oriental Pearl – for being the 9th tallest skyscraper in Asia and the 1st in Vietnam. It shows the world that we – Vietnamese – are able to do the extraordinary things.



Landmark 81 holds a breath of modernity and a traditional, nostalgic Vietnamese spirit of the Bamboos – which represent the symbol of the resilience and indomitability that run in the blood of Vietnamese.

Experience a whole new look of Saigon, from 460 meters high above!

You would see at the Holy See, there are a total of 50 Divine Eyes located around; in five different shapes, each representing a different meaning of spiritual aspect.

Address: 208 Nguyen Huu Canh, ward 22, Binh Thanh district, HCMC

Open time: Monday to Saturday: 9:30 am – 22:00 pm

                 Sunday: 8:00 am – 22:00

Follow us to explore Saigon!



For those who love nature or are the gourmets, Vietnam must be a top place on your traveling list. Interesting adventures, unique experiences, irresistible food, and friendly locals are things that Vietnam will bring to visitors. Especially, if you want to save maximum traveling money while you can still enjoy the great things during the time in Vietnam, this article is for you with three main points:

  • Eat like a local
  • Move like a local
  • Recommendable places to stay and shop


Nowadays, it is not difficult for you to find a place to stay at an affordable price. However, for saving most, we recommend you to book a hotel or motel before coming to Vietnam, and especially do not forget to hunt attractive deals. Sometimes when you search and book the inn directly, the price is higher than usual. Because they know that you require a place of refuge, and you will be willing to pay any price for a room.
The most economical option is in a dorm room with bunk beds and sharing a room with everyone. Although the dorm may be able to give you a thoroughly memorable experience as well as you can meet and interact with new and exciting people, you may face a drunken roommate and completely disrespect your privacy or rest time. If you are a person who still prefers comfort and convenience rather than saving a little bit, the hotel is not a wrong choice in this case. Vietnam has more affordable hotels, including guesthouses in Western countries. To find cheap hotels, try to find in non-central districts such as District four and District 5, which are not too far from District 1.



In addition to the conventional means of transport such as taxis, motorbike taxi, buses to save maximum traveling costs, Vietnamese people often travel by motorbike. To rent a car, ask where you rent a room or where to rent a motorbike. At less than 300,000vnd / day, you will easily hire a pretty good motorbike to move. Scooter rentals will be available, but keep in mind that scooters will not be the right choice for long journeys, and scooter repairs will cost more than manual gear. Do not forget to wear a helmet when traveling by motor in Vietnam; only God knows what will come to you.

If you cannot ride a motorbike, using the bus is an excellent choice for you. Sometimes, traffic in Vietnam is not for those who have a weak heart and not get used to driving on Vietnam’s roads. The bus is very affordable for both your safety and money. In case you travel out of town, exploring by bus better than usual options like trains or airplanes. In Vietnam, a train ticket is cheaper than a bus ticket, but you have to spend 1 or 2 days to go by train while traveling by bus is only equal or even less than the time-traveling by train.


Depending on your stamina and discipline, you may save much money at this point. You may be afraid to experience and want to return to familiar dishes in your home country. Fortunately, it will not be difficult for you to choose an Italian, Indian, American, French, or Thai restaurant. However, Like all countries, food costs can range from cheap to incredibly expensive in Vietnam. If you are fond of dining in hotels and high-end restaurants and have a taste for a glass of excellent wine, it is entirely possible to spend $200 or more on a meal for two in a high-end restaurant in Saigon, which will make you quickly ruin your savings plan.
However, if your purpose of coming to Vietnam is to experience the local food, congratulations, Vietnam is heaven for you with various delicious meals for less than 100,000 VND for a dish. Pho is already a traditional dish in Vietnam, but do not forget to try other typical dishes such as noodles, bread, and go on.

I have an advice for you; it is better to avoid meals at your hotel or motel because these places usually are serving food at high prices. Going out and try street foods, it will not be hard to try many local dishes that are both delicious and cheap. What is about speaking Vietnamese? No problem. The menu here is usually printed with pictures symbol, and you can point at the item you want to try. Almost young Vietnamese know English quite well, you can ask them to help you in this situation.

Enjoy local food with us!


Except for shopping at shopping centers or stores with high fixed prices, shopping can be a difficult task when you want to buy things at a reasonable price. To avoid being overpriced, you should visit convenient stores or supermarkets to buy food or daily items. Remember to bargain for buying souvenirs.

Foreign visitors often have to pay a higher price for the items than local people unconsciously. Salers know how much money for a similar item in your home country, so they offer a lower price and make you think you are buying things at a reasonable price, but not! So be careful! Another tip is to not showing your excited or interested in an item because the seller will grasp your weaknesses, and they will not accept your bargain.

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You come to Saigon for the first time. You are curious about things. You want to buy some souvenirs for your friends and family. However, you feel worried because you do not have many experiences of shopping in Vietnam. So here are some tips to make your shopping easier: 

You need to know some basic Vietnamese expressions about shopping 

It is essential for a tourist to know some Vietnamese expressions when shopping in Vietnam, such as: 

·        How much is this? Cái này bao nhiêu? /kai-nei(y)-bao-gnieu/ 

·        So expensive! Mắc quá! /mack-kwa!/ 

·        Can I get a discount/price cut? Có thể giảm giá nữa không? /ko-the-zam-za-nua-kong?/ 


#1 Look around before making decision 

While shopping in Saigon, especially in local markets, many people enjoy bargaining as a way of communication with local people! We recommend you to take a look around at the stores and vendors before deciding to purchase an item since the price can vary from one store to another. Buttttt, do not try everything and ask around if you do not intend to buy. 


#2 Willing to bargain 

Most of the markets or small shops in Saigon sell a much higher price than the actual price except supermarkets, shopping malls, and price-listed stores. In many cases, some sellers set prices for a product base on their first impression on the tourists – which means if they know that you are not the local or do not familiar with the market price for a certain kind of goods, they might charge you higher. Therefore, to avoid spending unworthy money, ready to bargain whenever you feel the price is unreasonable. 


#3 Go shopping with local people

If you have friends or relatives in Vietnam, ask for their help. You will learn a trick or two from ones that have had experience shopping like a local. 


#4 Turn away when necessary 

If a deal cannot be reached, do not hesitate to walk away. Frequently sellers will change their minds and give you a more reasonable price. 

By using these tips, you can still get your desired merchandise with the best price possible. 

Note: Bargaining is recommended when going shopping at street vendors, small shops, local markets that do not have listed prices. 

To sum up, shopping in Saigon requires patience and skills!

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Pho (Vietnamese rice noodle with beef, herbal broth)

Pho is the world-famous Vietnamese dish, generally served with herb, mung bean sprout, onion and green onion.

Northern Vietnam Pho is different from the Southern one: while the Northern Pho is served with gio quay (fried stick bread), Southern Pho typically goes with black soy sauce and hot chili sauce, but no gio quay. The Northern Pho usually has more MSG added, while the Southern use sugar to add sweetness to the soup. Also, the Northern Pho noodle is thinner but larger in width compared to the Southern.

Banh mi (Vietnamese stuffed baguette)

This is so far the most convenient and common breakfast of Vietnamese. You can literally find a banh mi vendor anywhere in Saigon, from small mobile stalls on the street sidewalks to fancy restaurants. The cost varies accordingly, usually it would take around 15,000 to 20,000 VND for a loaf of banh mi with full stuffing.

There is a huge variety of stuffing you can choose from. The most common are hams, cha lua, gio thu, cha que (types of Vietnamese pork sausages), grilled pork, omelette. The standard vegetables go with it are usually cucumber, cilantro and green onion. If you love spicy, ask the vendor to add some slices of hot chili.

A good loaf of banh mi should be crunchy outside, the stuffing inside should be fresh and juicy, presents a harmonic combination of tastes and flavors.

Banh cuon (Vietnamese rice noodle roll)

The stuffing inside banh cuon usually includes seasoned grounded pork, black fungus. The dish is served hot with fried red onion, cilantro, herb, fresh vegetables and sweet fish sauce.

The recipe may vary from region to region, however the original taste in the motherland still lingers in the expatriates’ mind. Being made of rice, banh cuon is a prideful symbol for an agricultural culture: it is the value of the God-given pearl (rice), the value of how such a simple dish equals thousands of working hours of hundreds farmers.

Banh xeo (Vietnamese pancake)

To eat banh xeo is sure a memorable experience, but to watch the making of banh xeo is another story.

The pan must be heated by charcoal to make sure the heat is distributed evenly throughout the pan surface. When the pan surface reaches a certain temperature, the banh xeo maker will coat it with a touch of cooking oil. Then, the batter will be poured into the pan, making the iconic sizzling sound “xeo” – the reason why it is named that way.

Then, the banh xeo maker will stuff it with mung bean sprout, shrimp, ground pork, green onion and fold it in half. It is served with many types of vegetables, rice paper and sweet fish sauce.

The locals usually wrap the banh xeo and vegetables all together, roll it, then dip it into the sauce and enjoy. A good banh xeo should be crunchy and tastes fresh (means all the ingredients must be strictly selected). The appealing yellow color of banh xeo is from turmeric powder, a common natural coloring ingredient in Asia.

Com tam (Vietnamese broken rice)

This is the second most-easy-to-find dish in Saigon, after banh mi. It is not exaggerating to say, com tam is the most local dish of Saigon. No matter where you have it, the taste cannot be the same, the ambience cannot be the same like here, in this loving, bustling city.

Cooking the good rice is not easy. The rice must be fresh, the water must be just in the right amount so that it gets neither too dry nor too pasty. Sometimes the vendor will open the lid and give it a well stir to loosen the rice, and for the steam to distribute evenly.

It is a marketing tactic of com tam vendors that they place the BBQ setting on windward side. The wind spreads the grilled meat aroma to miles away, attracting the hungry bellies considering what for breakfast. To prepare for grilling, the meat must be marinated overnight with salt, lemongrass, caramel (sometimes honey) ground onion and some more secret-ingredients that make it distinct from other vendors.

Unlike other traditional dishes, com tam does not go along with chopsticks. The locals often use fork and spoon to eat com tam. Besides just grilled pork, you can order a full combo com tam suon-bi-cha (grilled pork-cooked pig skin-egg stuffing). Com tam is served with pork rind, green onion oil, some slices of raw cucumber and tomato, sweet fish sauce with Vietnamese pickles. A plate of com tam could cost you around 20,000 – 30,000 VND at street vendors, and more in restaurants.



#1 Location matters

When looking for a hotel in Saigon, you should determine what activities or places available in the local area that suit your desire. For that reason, we suggest you to find an accommodation that is near the city center (District 1 & 3) since this area is always vibrant and full of convenience.

District 2 and 7 would also be highly recommended, since there are many foreigner communities occupying those districts. If you’re planning on a long-term stay or wishing to become an expat, then district 2 and 7 are best of the choices.

#2 Check on-site room details and amenities

It is important to note all information about the room rate, size, view, interior amenities, deposit policy beforehand.

Also, details such as extra bed, children policy should also be aware of. Pay attention to the room description since there might be slight differences depending on what hotel you choose.

#3 Rating and price

Agoda, Expedia, Traveloka, Airbnb,,, are recommended websites for good hotel deals and unbias, genuine reviews.

Some low-cost hotel chains that you can stick to: OYO, RedDoorz, etc.

#3 Promotions

Keeping track of promotions is a common way to get a good deal

In Vietnam, there are 2 seasons: low season, high season, each area will have a different time for the high and the low season so that you can get a lower price when it comes to low season. Traveling in low season, you might get free-upgrade for your room.

Room booking in advance (Early Bird) is another way to save your cost. This policy of each hotel varies from 7 days to 1 month or more.

In some occasions, last minute booking also gets a promotional price.






Robbers usually travel in pair on a motorbike. The one sit on the back will snatch your purses/bags while the front speeding and running away from the crime scene before you even realize you’ve just been robbed. Their favorites are usually expensive jewelry, phones, tablets, etc.

If you’re using Grab or other transport services, hold your bags/purses in the gap between you and the rider.

Should not use phone while you are walking or riding on the street. In case you are having a phone call or using your phone to search for direction:

  • Make sure you hold yours phone tightly by all of your fingers.
  • Look around, notice if there’s anybody trying to approach you.
  • Pull over to the sidewalk.

Only bring photocopy or scan version of your travel documents. Just leave the original ones at your hotel.

Do not bring too much cash. In Saigon there are a lot of restaurants and stores accept cards so just bring around under 500,000 VND/person each time you go out for a drink or enjoy street food.


Thieves/pickpocketers usually present in crowded, public places and on public transports like buses. They also have tools to assist them with their work, like box cutters.

So wear your bags backwards while using public transport, or buy an anti-theft backpack. DO NOT leave your smartphones on the bus seats.

Pay attention to your technology devices. Always keep them in your eye side and grip firmly.

It would be better that use backpacks with strong texture and lockable zippers.