Top 3 Must-See Hidden Alleys In Ho Chi Minh City
We don’t have to tell you Ho Chi Minh is a must-visit if you’re planning a trip to Vietnam. The vibrant metropole has everything a tourist could ever dream of. Modern skyscrapers and Buddhist pagodas, finger-licking street food, more rooftop bars than you can count (including tasty cocktails) and for the shopaholics, did we mention the luxury boutiques yet?
You won’t be bored for a single second in Vietnam’s biggest city! After all, there is a reason why its nickname is ‘Pearl of the Far East’.
One thing that’s really important though, is that you look a little further than all the big tourist attractions and activities. If you really want to get to know a city and experience it like a local, it’s in the details.
So get away from the hustle and the bustle in the main streets every once in a while and take your time to discover the network of little alleys that weave through the city. Graffiti, flowers, Little Japan or Chinatown, Ho Chi Minh City has it all!
1. Hem 15B Le Thanh Ton
Little Japan in the middle of downtown Ho Chi Minh City, you didn’t see that one coming, right? And the history of this town-within-a-town is quite special too. Apparently, many years ago, a few Japanese moved here because of the affordable house prices. Others followed quickly, making the Japanese area grow naturally until it became the little enclave it is today.
Walking into Le Than Thon Street you’re welcomed by big gates, colorful lanterns, Japanese signs and, obviously, some of the best food Japan has to offer. If you’re into ramen and/or sushi, this is the place to be! And, if you’re a die-hard Japan lover, there are manga and anime stores too! And graffiti! Are you convinced yet?
2. Hao Si Phuong
Many cities around the world have their own Chinatown and Ho Chi Minh City is no exception to that rule. But, while the rest of the city seems to develop and change overnight, time seems to stand still over here.
Hao Si Phuong, a 100-year old alley, is the perfect example of that. The buildings are old, the Chinese characters on signs and walls haven’t changed and most families have lived here for generations.
The vibe in this area is therefore completely different from the chaos and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City’s big main streets. Children are playing in the street, roosters are fighting, clothes are hanging to dry between the different homes and through the open doors, you can often see little Buddhist altars.
Needless to say, you can get yourself some of the best dumplings and noodle soups here too.
3. Alley 200 Xom Chieu
Now, who’s hungry? Then head to Alley 200 Xom Chieu, a 100-meter long food alley in District Four! In the morning there’s a market where the locals buy their fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs, but when the sun goes down the place turns into a true food paradise.
From the classic noodle soup, dumplings and fried rice to salty fried fish, offal stew (yes, really) and sugared bananas. Better open that pants button already!
The 200 Alley is pretty hard to find though. When you take a Taxi or Grab, tell the driver to drop you off at Xom Chieu Church. It is located at the end of the alley, so from there it’s only a short walk. Enjoy!
2 years ago
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