There’s not a tremendous amount of tourist-friendly stuff to do in Saigon, but I absolutely loved living there. Sadly, it was only for 6 months.
Saigon is a unique place – different from other cities in Southeast Asia and even different from anywhere else in Vietnam. As has been documented by almost every visitor to the city, the proliferation of motorbikes is unreal, far beyond anywhere in Thailand or China because automobiles are generally limited to use as taxis or shuttles.
Here are some more of my favorite quirky things in Saigon:
Electrical work: the photos below are similar to what you see in parts of Cambodia or Thailand, but again the sheer VOLUME you can find in Saigon is unlike anything in other places.
Typically, the repair work on these lines is done by an electrician who climbs the post then sits on the bundles of wire while he works on one of them.
“Don’t throw anything away.” As much as that may apply to food and a predilection for salvaging trash, the best example I have is this apartment building, built on top of an old A-frame brick house. They didn’t even plaster over it to LOOK like the rest of the building.
European architecture. While much of the city is filled with typically compact, narrow buildings you find elsewhere in Vietnam, there are some buildings that still show the French influences. Churches, the Reunification Palace and several of the historic hotels showcase European style.
Oktoberfest: The last quirk to share (for this edition) is the revelation that one of the biggest parties of the year (other than Tet, the celebration of the new year) is Oktoberfest. Massive celebrations in some of the city’s hotels and German restaurants occur every year.
That’s enough for now. Do you have any favorite quirks or aspects you love about Saigon? Share them in the comments below.