What to know about Vietnamese fish sauce

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We might have all had the taste of Vietnamese fish sauce at some point, be it ladled over noodle salad known as bún bò xào, stirred into soup, or slathered on Vietnamese grilled pork and noodles (bún thịt nướng) on your Vietnam culinary tours. But how many of us actually know where it comes from? This quick guide will help you unearth a few secrets behind fish sauce or nước mắm – the mother sauce of classical Vietnamese cuisine.

What Is Fish Sauce Made of?

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Fish sauce appears in all Vietnamese meals

Good fish sauces are the water or juice, in the flesh of fish that is extracted in the process of prolonged salting and fermentation for from 1 year to 18 months. Anchovies (cá cơm) are typically used, however, some fish sauces are also made from small fish that would otherwise have little value for consumption.

The basic ingredients of a good fish sauce – small fish and/or fish blood, and innards are packed into large barrels, jars, or crocks with water and layered with salt. Then, these barrels are set out under the hot sunlight for at least 12 months. A whiff from the bottle of fish sauce reveals its strong aroma and alludes to its very distinct, incredibly potent taste and you might notice a small difference when using one for the other. In case you are not yet familiar with nước mắm, it is that salty smelly rich translucent reddish-golden brown liquid made from fish that is the single, most important flavoring ingredient in Vietnam’s cuisine.

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How is fish sauce made?

Used like plain salt and pepper in Western cuisine and soy sauce in Chinese and Japanese cuisines, good-quality fish sauce adds a unique character to Vietnamese dishes and imparts a distinct aroma and flavor. It is used liberally in nearly all Vietnamese dishes since Vietnamese food would not be quite the same without it.

It is indispensable in all the Vietnamese kitchens. Ever tried fried spring rolls and noodle salad known as bún bò xào? The small bowl of sauce accompanied by your dish is fish sauce. And going a culinary tour in Vietnam as you quickly learn, Vietnamese cuisine is all about the fish sauce. By itself, fish sauce is very salty, which is why it is usually cooked with other ingredients and used as a finishing sauce.

This kind of sauce packs tons of flavors and enhances whatever it is served with. In the culinary arts, fish sauce is essentially delicately flavored, well-balanced fish sauce, which is the starting point for making various secondary sauces or “small sauces.”

How to make nước chấm or nước mắm chấm?

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Nuoc cham recipe

Fish sauce is usually not consumed in its original state, it is often used as a marinade for fish and meat or can be made into many secondary sauces called Vietnamese dipping sauce (nước chấm) to be served with nem or chả giò (fried egg rolls), gỏi cuốn (spring rolls or summer rolls), bánh xèo (sizzling cake), bánh hỏi (steamed rolls made of rice-flour), bánh cuốn (Vietnamese rolled rice cake), thịt nướng (grilled pork), and cá chiên (fried fish) just to barely name a few. Nước chấm is made by adding water, citrus (lime juice and/or vinegar), sugar, spices, chopped chilies, finely chopped garlic, or other ingredients into the bottled fish sauce.

Fish sauce is a base to open up a world of culinary possibilities. When combined with other ingredients like sugar, lime juice, and chilies, the “fishiness” mellows out and its ability to add richness and a layer of flavor to everything it touches becomes apparent. It is interesting to know is that not all fish sauce is created equal and the way to prepare nước chấm can vary from region to region throughout Vietnam. Depending on the kind you use, you will need to put your own twists on this recipe or adjust the amount used. This nước chấm deal is all about making it fit your taste. The quality is different among different brands of fish sauce. And Red Boat and 3 Crabs are the most popular brands of Vietnamese fish sauce.

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Fish sauce is so important to Vietnamese cuisine

Both a flavoring element and providing the salt for the dish it is included in, fish sauce is so important to the cuisine of Vietnam that almost all known Vietnamese recipes call for it. You have been mystified by Vietnamese cuisine and wondered what is in it that makes it so good. Wonder no more! Let’s go on a Vietnam food tour!

FAMOUS BREAD COUNTERS IN SAIGON

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Vietnamese bread nowadays is voted as one of the best street food in all over the world. Foreign visitors coming to Saigon food tours are not strange to this anymore. A loaf of bread is quite cheap but will give you enough nutrients, that is also the reason why this is popular with most travelers. Today, we will introduce you to some famous bakeries in Saigon.

Huynh Hoa Bakery

Huynh Hoa is a famous bread brand for more than 15 years in Saigon located at 26 Le Thi Rieng, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1. If you walk past this bread counter, you will be extremely surprised by a large number of guests waiting to buy bread here, arranged into a long line.

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Huynh Hoa bread counter attracts a lot of foreign and domestic customers

The price of a loaf of bread is quite higher, about 30,000 dongs each, but its taste is so good with a lot of meat, jambon, pâté, and especially vegetables. When you take a Vietnam food tour to Saigon, do not miss this one.

Tuan Map Bakery

This is a new brand opened recently, but many people know it. As a pioneer in making beef sandwiches, Tuan Map offers diners a new taste.

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A delicious loaf of Vietnamese bread in Tuan Map bakery

Tuan Map bread is a large system with many branches, you can easily find its stall and buy bread at an affordable price in any districts in Ho Chi Minh City. Do not miss this bread encounter with hot, crunchy and delicious breads to complete your Saigon food tours.

Viet Bakery

Viet bread has a cool and airy space so it is suitable for those who want to enjoy the sandwiches right at the bakery. With diversified menu, in addition to the usual bread such as pate, fried meat, sardines, salami, and so on, Viet bread also supplies some strange flavor such as spring rolls, quail eggs and etc. If you want to know more about Saigon cuisine, do not miss this place with contemplating bread.

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Viet bread is the best choice for your breakfast

With 12,000 to 30,000 dongs you can have a delicious breakfast but with enough nutrients.

Bistro bread counter

Bistro bread has an extremely rich menu, such as a special Baguette Bistro, teriyaki chicken panini, mackerel sandwich, and many other ones. In addition, the Bistro also offers vegetarian bread which is quite strange and delicious.

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The cozy space in Bistro bread eatery

Coming here, you will feel the warm space with the fragrance of bread. Surely you will love this place so much since you can enjoy the hot and crunchy right here.

Co Giang bread stall with bread and fish cake

Despite a small bread cart on De Tham Street, but this one is quite famous for the quality as well as the enthusiastic service of the owner. The bread sold here are filled with a lot of golden yellow, fragrant and crispy sliced fish cake. This is one of the best dishes in Saigon that you have to try once.

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Delicious bread and fish cake that you can find in Co Giang bread cart on De Tham Street

This bread cart is at 100 De Tham Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City. You can come here in the evening since it only opens from 6 pm to 10 pm every with the bread price ranges 15,000 – 20,000 dongs.

Kebab Bread on Nguyen Thuong Hien Street

It can be considered the kebab Nguyen Thuong Hien is the birthplace of doner kebab bread in Saigon. The bread here is closest to the Turkish version because the baker uses chicken instead of beef or pork. With special sweet and sour sauce, fresh vegetables, the chicken inside the crunchy triangular bread, this bread counter serves a lot of customers every day.

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The menu of Kebab bread Nguyen Thuong Hien

A Tung eatery – Cambodia grilled bread with butter

As a special dish in the “land of Pagoda”, Cambodia grilled bread with butter has become an eating trend of Saigon youth. The strange but delicious bread is quite cheap, only 5,000 dongs for a loaf of butter bread and 10,000 dongs for each grilled beef skewer.

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Eye-catching grilled bread with butter is served with grilled beef skewers

The bread is covered with hot yellow butter and served with roasted beef skewers marinated in Cambodia cuisine. It would be better if you eat with chutney and sliced papaya.

Here are some well-known bread counters that we would like to recommend to you. Hopefully, you will have a wonderful Saigon food tour someday. 

Specialties in Southwest of Vietnam cuisine

Fried fish with wild vegetables and lotus leaves

Due to its topographic and economic characteristics, southwest of Vietnamese cuisine has been created by the river’s waterways, where the main food source is rice, fish, and vegetables. A unique feature that you cannot ignore when taking part in Vietnam food tour.

Southwest land of Vietnam is the place where both people and nature are so rustic and simple. This reflects clearly on their cuisine. Today, Vietnam food tour will introduce you to some must-eat dishes in this land. Once trying the southeast delicacies, surely that you cannot forget.

Mekong Delta cuisine mixed with river

Those who have lived in the Mekong Delta or the southwest will not forget the familiar taste of freshly caught snakehead fish in the field, crispy pancakes roll in the garden, or bowl or sour soup bowl only found in the floating season.

The dishes of southeast people ingrain in the visitors’ mind with its special flavor, the harmony between the sour, salty and sweet taste.

Western delicious dishes

Western delicious dishes in a meal with beef squeezed salad, pancake rolls of vegetables, sour soup fish.

Each dish is presented like a little wind from the lotus pond, the smell of plants in the garden through the nose, through the ears.

It also comes with many vegetables. Especially, there are some specialties leaves such as sesame leaves, wild vegetables, when you eat with them fried dishes, they will leave a fresh sour taste.

Salad of dried fish with cherry leaves from the garden

Salad of dried fish with cherry leaves from the garden

Grilled dishes with a delicious fresh taste

The soul of southwest delicacies lies in the raw materials, simple processing, it is not too picky but still retains the freshness of fish meat, vegetables.

 Dishes with the harmony of river fish, garden-raised chicken, vegetables planted in ponds is always in the meals of each farmer family. These dishes are associated with the childhood of those who were or are living there.

Grilled chicken with salt grains

Grilled chicken with salt grains

Two of the southwest favorites are beef and chicken. The meat is marinated well, wrapped in banana leaf then baked till it gets a golden color. These leaves will be an indispensable ingredient mixed with the fresh sweet taste of meat and make the dish more delicious. Meat still remains tender, when you bite it, surely you cannot stop another bite. 

Fresh items with young lotus leaves

Young lotus leaves are characteristic food in the Dong Thap Muoi

Young lotus leaves are characteristic food in the Dong Thap Muoi

The young lotus leaves after being picked and washed will be served with grilled fish, wild vegetables and tamarind sauce. The crispness of grilled fish and the freshness of raw vegetable is unforgettable.

The southeast people prefer to enjoy fried fish as well since it is crunchy and fragrant. Fresh sweet fried fish which is rolled with green vegetables, sliced green young banana, fresh noodles all are placed in the thin layer of the lotus leave. Then add a little pepper garlic sauce, spicy hot pepper, they will make your dish more attractive and contemplating. Day by day this become one of the specialties in Vietnamese cuisine.

Fried fish with wild vegetables and lotus leaves

Fried fish with wild vegetables and lotus leaves.

Vegetable boil served with special sauce

From a very rustic dish with simple ingredients, this dish has appeared in many famous restaurants. This simply includes a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, pepper, pineapple, the onion that is cooked under a small fire, after a while, until it turns to the golden brown color and fragrant. Diners can eat with rice or take a piece of fried rice and quickly soak it into that sauce.

If you want to try the more “modern” style, the chef can add shrimp, dried fat. You can eat it with noodles and vegetables to verify your meals when you take part in Vietnam culinary tour.

Grilled mouse with salt

This dish is a specialty in Mekong Delta cuisine. Each harvest season, the field is full of smoked and have many mice. The mouse that is favored in the restaurant is “rice mice”. That means the mice have eaten rice after harvest.

The fat mice will be well prepared (cleaned of fuzz, removed feet, head) then soaked in salt water and vinegar several times to remove the smell.

This dish does not require many ingredients. The main one is mice meat – it is enough. After being chopped, seasoned with chili, sugar, and spices, they will be roasted on the charcoal stove. However, in the rural area, the locals like to use the straws to bake it. Mice meat will have the golden color, the fragrance, sweetness, and softness just like chicken. You can taste it when you take part in Vietnam food tour to the southeast.

Southwest people favor this dish

Southwest people favor this dish and also named “chicken roasted with salt pepper

OVERWHELMING WITH MUI NE SPECIAl FOOD

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Mui Ne – Phan Thiet is one of the most unique tourist destinations in Vietnam, where you have just been immersed in fascinating beaches, experienced the desert on the vast sand dunes.

Mui Ne is also traveling spot known by a huge number of foreign people. It is attractive to tourists not only by its beautiful scenery but also its special cuisine. The following are the top Mui Ne specialties which we should not miss out

Dishes from Basilisk

When being asked what we should eat when taking Mui Ne tours, people often think of seafood dishes. However, there are some delicious, cheap and attractive dishes in Mui Ne, the land of sandy beach with sun and wind. These dishes were made from the basilisk, a reptile living in the sand. Basilisk is quite similar to lizards in larger and longer size. They mainly eat young shoots and drink night dew, so their meat is very sweet.

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Grilled basilisk

Locals can process basilisk in seven different ways such as grilling, steaming, and so on. Each way of the process makes distinctive tastes. As the experience of tourists who had tried Mui Ne Vietnam cuisine many times, grilled basilisk dipping chili salt would be the best, especially when eaten and drunk with rice wine. 

When having Mui Ne food tour, tourists can drop in Vietnam Home restaurant at 125B Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Phan Thiet city to have the food from basilisk. You will satisfy with their food as well as the price of it.

Seafood hot pot

Reaching the land of seas, it will be a big regret if we do not enjoy hot pots whose main ingredients are various kinds of fish. The broth has the sweet taste of some fresh fishes, fresh vegetables and the sour flavor of star fruit or tamarind. It is commonly combined with vermicelli, spinach.

The interesting point of Mui Ne hot pot is that all the ingredients are put in the cover of banana flowers. When eating, you just select what you want to eat and then pour the broth into your bowl.

Seahorse Bistro, at 11 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street, Ham Tien, Mui Ne, a restaurant often offering this special hot pot for Mui Ne food tours, is a place for seafood fans.

Tapioca cake

Tapioca cake was made from tapioca flour and some ingredients such as shrimps, pork, bean, … depending on eaters’ preferable fillings.

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Tapioca cake

The sweet dipping sauce seems to be an important element of the tapioca cake.  If visitors try them without the sauce, its taste likes no flavor.

It is easy for you to find this delicious and cheap dish from food streets to restaurants on your Mui Ne culinary tours.

Fried snakehead wrapped in rice paper

Cookers do not use any fried flour to make the fish crunchy, so when we fry the raw fish without scraping blisters as a way of processing usually do, it looks delicious and eye-catching. You should enjoy this dish with rice paper, vermicelli, raw vegetables, green bananas, star fruits and peanut spicy sauce.

On making the experience with  Mui Ne tours, let come to AH restaurant at 17 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Ham Tien, Mui Ne to enjoy cheap and strange specialties.

Herring salad

There are many famous kinds of salad in each region of Vietnam such chicken salad in the North, papaya salad in the South, etc. Phan Thiet is also famous for its own salad, herring salad. This fish salad is one of the most attractive and famous salad tourists must eat on the tour to Phan Thiet.

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Herring salad

To make the best fish salad, people often choose fresh and big herrings. When processing, they scrap its blisters, head, tail, and bone. After about a half of hours in ice, herrings become fresher and harder. The combination of carrots, onion, hot mints, chili, garlic, peanuts, green banana, and herring bring an appetizing flavor to the salad. The peanut spicy sauce and rice paper are also factors help this dish become much better. For those who love sour, you can add star fruits. 

Mui Ne cuisine is always highlighted attraction to domestic and international visitors. Let start your journey to the land of the sea to explore its beauty.

Finally, we hope that with these delicious dishes you guys will have an unforgettable food trip to Mui Ne this summer.

Explore a traditional hotpot of Vietnam – Mam hotpot

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Saigon day tours today will introduce you a specialty of the Southwest people – Mam hotpot.

Mam Hotpot – a traditional dish of Saigon day tours has long been a favorite dish for many people because of its taste which is very delicious, salty enough and its fragrance that can make you hungry from a distance. Mam hotpot is made up of rotten pork, fish, squid, shrimp … and especially hotpot is one of the few hot pot dishes can be combined with a dozen vegetables.

Here are some suggestions for you to enjoy the best Mam hotpot

1/ Mam hotpot of Vy Restaurant:

If you are looking for a clean place to eat and drink, or you do not like to sit in a crowded place, Vy Restaurant is definitely the right place to go.

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The menu of Vy Restaurant

The cooker of the Hotpot is a magnetic cooker hot pot, so you keep the peace of mind about safety when eating here with Saigon day tours. The price of a large pot of hotspot is 320,000 dong, and a small pot of hotspot is about 210, 000 dong. If you come here in a group of 2-3 people, you should order a small hotpot, because it is generally a small hot pot of Quan Vy is nearly a big hot pot in other restaurants.

If you go alone, you cannot finish a pot of hot pot, then you should order a bowl of Mam noodle to enjoy. This is an ideal restaurant for a Saigon food tour.

There is also a salad dish made of raw fish and vegetables and spring rolls which are quite good, so after eating a pot of hot pot, you are also recommended to try these two dishes.

2/ Mam hotpot of Ngoc Hanh Restaurant:

With only 350, 000 dong, you can have a large pot of hot pot for 4-6 people and still ensure full and satisfied.

Mam hot pot here cooked in the right Southwest flavor with aromatic sauce, a little salty that make its smell saved in your mouth.

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Lots of meat are served to eat with Mam hotpot

A hotpot (usually 350,000 dong) consists of a large Lang fish, squid, shrimp, snails, beef and so on. The Mam hotpot with Lang fish is fatter then with Loc fish, but the smell is better than hotpot cooked with other river fishes.

About the space, this new restaurant is very clean, cool and comfortable since the number of guests coming is still not many. The food would be served quite quickly after being ordered. The staffs are thoughtful and enthusiastic. It is very convenient for you to invite friends to come here.

3/ Nam Bo Mam Hotpot – Cao Thang

A large pot of Mam hotpot is 290, 000 dong. It consists of chili with chopped fish, fresh fish, beef, pork, squid, and shrimp.

Many people admit that the hot pot at the restaurant is quite sweet, but actually, it is not. When the broth is boiled up, the salty taste of the sauce will match with the sweetness, at that time Mam hotpot is extremely delicious.  

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Mam hotpot in Nam Bo Restaurant

To enjoy Mam hotpot, the vegetable is an important part that cannot be missed, so that the restaurant has a priority of free vegetables when you call for more, even many times.

4/ Phong Lan Mam hotpot restaurant:

The restaurant is in district 9, near the BCR playground complex. If after a day of fun with games makes you tired, come by Phong Lan Restaurant and enjoy a Mam hot pot with fresh vegetables to recharge energy and enjoy a good meal. This is the perfect restaurant for a Saigon day tour for family.

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A rich plate of vegetable in Phong Lan Restaurant

Mam hot pot here included much fresh seafood such as shrimp, squid, fresh fish, snails, beef … all of them are full of nutritious and delicious.

Especially, this restaurant has a special Mam hot pot with crayfish, its price is quite expensive, about 600,000 dong, but it is very delicious, unique and attractive.

5/ Mam hotpot on Dien Bien Phu Street:

Only open from 16 hours to 21 pm but this Mam hotpot stall on Dien Bien Phu street without signs and decorating pieces of stuff picking up a lot of customers from a Saigon group tour thanks to its distinctive flavor and unique sauce.

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A pot of Mam hotpot on Dien Bien Phu Street

The Mam hot pot stall was opened from 1995 and until now its taste is not changed, still rich in fishes, meat, and vegetables, although the price increase quite fast. It still remains the taste of the first day. On Saigon rainy days, although selling on the pavement, the stall is still crowded. The warm pot of hot pot with charcoal inside keeps the flavor better and longer.

A small pot is about 150,000 dong with lots of food, attached is a plate of octopus and beef, inside the pot of hot pot has added fish, pork skin, eel and so on. Vegetables are also very rich, making many people of the Southwest miss their hometown.

Find something special in Saigon through peaceful alleys

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When you are on the big streets in Saigon, you can find many shops, restaurants, or shopping places easily. You might wonder where to go in Saigon. Then give it a try to some of the unique alleys that a few people know about. This will be an extremely interesting experience for you.

In Saigon, there are many zigzag alleyways, winding but very unique, you can easily find a place which is the combination of restaurants, coffee shops, fashion shops, etc. or a small alley that has a diversity of the culinary world in the heart of Saigon. In this writing, you can find the most famous alleys in Saigon.

Celeb alley

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Celeb alley

Situated on 59 Nguyen Du, next to the City Post Office, Celeb alley is one of the most beautiful alleys for you to take photographs in Saigon due to its pretty blue color. This blue wall was first painted by an Indian café when they just transferred here. From 3 to 4 years ago, almost every day there are a lot of young people gathered together here to take pictures. There is no place to squeeze at the weekend. Therefore, this alley is a suitable spot for your Saigon group tours at every weekend.

Not only teens but also celebrities like models, singers, actors have used to take pictures here. So this can be said this is the alley taken by many famous people in Saigon. This place is worth being a spot in your list of destinations on your south Vietnam group tours, right?

“Lazy Lane” – all in one

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Lazy Alley

 The next point we want to introduce to you is the 158 alleys on Pasteur Street District 1. Many people commented that they can come here continuously for 4 to 6 times a week as they will never get bored. This alley is a gathering place for eating, coffee all night long and even shopping. This makes many people choose it as their nightly gathering point in their Saigon group tours.

The alley is quite dark, so many people do not notice and just passing by. But inside this alley, there are many interesting shops.

 This alley is made up of a small road, which separates the two old apartment buildings. Although it is not a long alley, along two sides and above two apartments in the buildings offer a restaurant, a pretty coffee shop and two fashion shops. Especially in front of the alley, there is a coffee shop opening all night, which is an ideal meeting place for many young Saigon.

This “lazy” alley is well known to many foreigners because it is located in the center of the city and it also has a famous Vietnamese restaurant in the building. For young people, this alley is enough for them to have a super lazy late at night.

This place is quite old and gathering many unique cafes in Saigon. Beside you can find here interlaced three restaurants and a lot of fashion shops. Because of the beautiful scene in the classic style, this place is also a top destination for you to take wonderful pictures.

Meditation alley

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An Tu pagoda in Meditation alley

 Listen to the name pretty strange right? The reason for this name is that there are five different temples in this alley. Besides, most of the people in this area are Buddhist, so gradually people around the area give the name of this alley as meditation alley.

You might find it very strange that this alley has so many temples. The reason is that according to local people, the land around the alleyway 498 Le Quang Dinh has been said by many monks that it is precious and rare land. Because of that, before the liberation of the country, not only many temples were built here, but ordinary people also like to rent or buy a house here even this area is not located near the center a bit.

Unlike crowded, noisy and busy traffic on the big roads of the city, when entering the alley 498, you can suddenly felt tranquil and cool.

The above unique three alleys are must-go destinations in your group tour in Saigon. Give it a try, you will like it for sure.

Explore what you can buy in Weekend Markets in Saigon

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If you ever try to take a South Vietnam group tours, you might want to go to Weekend Markets in Saigon to experience one of the unique events in this active city. In this writing, you will find the most popular and famous events during the weekend of this city. Give it a try.

The New District

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The New District

If you are wondering where to go in Southern Vietnam, the new district is definitely the event that you do not want to miss. The name must be mentioned first is “New District” – a newly established event that brings the new wind of youth to Saigon. The New District Market is organized weekly at Cargo Event Space (formerly Cargo Bar). Located in the most favorable location in District 4, this market takes you only 30 seconds from the center of the city. This is a fair gathering all the names familiar to young people on social networks such as Nosbyn, The Blue T-Shirt, Heverly, Urbanista, Pop Birdy, etc.

The New District invests heavily in inviting well-known DJs to play music to help people shop in an excited mood as possible. In addition, the fair also has shooting area that is really attractive to many young people. This area is decorated with white balloons making the interior of the house becomes a bit darker and shimmer.

The minus in New District is that this is a former bar area, so space is pretty tight and cluttered, especially in case of too many people gathering in one place. The price here is not too cheap, because most of them are the famous fashion shop.

  • Location: Cargo Bar, 7 Nguyen Tat Thanh, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City.

Hello Weekend Market

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Hello Weekend Market

The second event you need to go to have the best group tours in Vietnam is Hello Weekend Market. It can be considered as one of the earliest weekend shows in Saigon and is the gathering place for many popular brands such as All ‘Bout Him, Dottie, Libé, Liti Warehouse, Floral Punk, etc. Located right in the Hoa Lu stadium, the area is very spacious. Plus the advantages of the most sold items are easy to wear, easy to buy at moderate prices, whoever comes to Hello Weekend can earn themselves at least one item at home.

The furniture is quite diverse, from clothing, accessories, cosmetics to decorations.

And, of course, not out of the flow, Hello Weekend Market has also “invested” a whole area for you to have the most beautiful pictures.

However, the point deducted here is due to overcrowding so the Hello Weekend is always in the heat, cramped. Not to mention, the status of pickpockets often occurs. In addition, the parking lot is often in full swing, going into quite a new stadium, and then having to walk a long walk to the fairground.

Overcrowding is a common occurrence.

  • Location: Hoa Lu Stadium, No. 4 Dinh Tien Hoang, District 1.

Saigon Flea Market

This is considered the oldest fair in Saigon. Established in 2011, Saigon Flea Market has been an indispensable name when it comes to fairs in Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam in general. This is also the first and only show now has its own website, updated full information about the time of organization, how to register to host the booth, news articles on the fair, etc.

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Saigon Flea Market

Although located quite far from the city center (District 7), it still an attractive destination for Saigon people. In the midst of the current wave of mushroom fairs, Flea Market always retains its own personality. Thanks to the reasonable price, this place is still at the top of weekend’s market in Saigon and becomes an ideal destination for those having Vietnam group tours when they go to Saigon.

However, setting up a booth for each booth without the tent for the whole fair makes the space quite hot, especially when guests have to move from one booth to another with no cover. Choosing District 7 as the venue can only serve the young people in the neighborhood, because of the sun in Saigon that makes a number of people ominous in the distant county.

  • Location: 107 Ton Dat Tien, Phu My Hung, District 7

Saigon Urban Flea Market

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Saigon Urban Flea Market

Located at Saigon Outcast, a familiar place of young people in Thao Dien, District 2, Saigon, Urban Flea Market has become a pocket address for anyone who wants to have a sale or rare items. Get yourself into the shopping atmosphere to find the interesting experience in Vietnam.

The fair is characterized by the art space of “urban”, spacious, airy, close to nature. Coming to this place, you will get “lost” by the handmade items that are unique, vintage and retro direction or you can exchange new and old items that are still used well. You can even enjoy live music parties played by bands, culinary favors.

And you can also make friends with a lot of interesting Western friends because the main guests of the fair are the foreigners living in the region.

A difference compared to the fairs, and also the inconvenience of this place is the entrance fee with the price of VND 20,000 / person. In addition, the location of District 2 is quite far, unless you like it here, rarely anyone bears to go by motorcycle in the sun between the highways to get there.

  • Location: 188/1 Nguyen Van Huong, Thao Dien, District 2

Attracted by French architect in Saigon

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Saigon is always famous for having the beautiful architecture of French. Essential Vietnam tours will give you the best time ever. Do not believe me? Give it a try.

Vietnam is famous for having many unique French architecture buildings. And in this writing, let’s find out top places to visit in Southern Vietnam.

Notre Dame Cathedral

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Notre Dame Cathedral

The full name of Notre Dame Cathedral is the Basilica of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. On October 7, 1877, Bishop Isidore Colombert placed the first stones to commence the construction of the church in front of many senior figures of the time. The church was completed three years later. Until now, the church is still a seductive destination in essential Vietnam tours.

 With its rich history and unique architecture, the Notre Dame Cathedral has become a symbol of Saigon and Vietnam as a tourist destination, attracting a large number of domestic and foreign tourists. It is worth being a spot in your list of must-go destinations in your South Vietnam tours, right? At present, the church during the restoration process lasts 2 years. 

Continental Hotel

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Continental Hotel

The hotel was built by Pierre Cazeau, a French construction material manufacturer in 1878 and completed two years later. Prior to 1975, the hotel had two new owners, the Duke of Montpensier (1911) and the Corse brother Mathieu Francini (1930). In the 1960s and 1970s, the provisional government of Vietnam forced commercial establishments to use Vietnamese signs, so the hotel was called “Dai Luc Lu Quan”, meaning Hotel of the Mainland for traveller.

 “Dai Luc Lu Quan” has hosted many famous people such as French novelist André Malraux, British writer Graham Greene – author of Quiet American, Indian poet Rabindranath Tahore – Nobel Prize in Literature 1913. Nearby, the hotel is also frequented by many journalists, journalists, guests and foreign merchants operating in Saigon during the war.

 Today, the hotel is one of the oldest buildings in Saigon with ancient architecture that is red tile roof, brick walls, high ceilings and spacious living room.

City Post Office

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City Post Office

Located in the District Office of Paris (District 1), Saigon Central Post Office was built by France from 1886 to 1891. The post office architecture is European style combined with oriental as the drawing of architect Villedieu and his assistant Foulhoux. The museum is located near Notre Dame Cathedral, the Reunification Palace and a shopping mall that creates an attractive sightseeing area in the center of Saigon.

City Opera House

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City Opera House

 After capturing the Cochinchine in 1863, the French government invited a delegation to perform in Saigon. At that time, the troupe must perform temporarily in a wooden house at the Clock Tower, which is in the corner of Nguyen Du – Dong Khoi Street today. Thereafter, a temporary theater was built at the site of the Carevelle Hotel. By 1898, the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House or the Opera was built shortly before the temporary theater and was inaugurated on January 1st, 1900. This is considered the most typical and expensive buildings in French colonial period, designed by Ferret architect. At present, the Opera House is the place to perform professional stage performances such as opera, ballet, music, drama, etc. for all the art troupes in and outside the country.

Ho Chi Minh City Museum

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Ho Chi Minh City Museum

The building was designed by the French architect Foulhoux, started construction in 1885 and completed in 1890. The initial policy of the building is the Trade Museum, displaying the products in the country but when finished construction, the building became the residence of the Governor of the South. On September 12th, 1978, the City People’s Committee decided to use this building as the Revolutionary Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, and on December 13th, 1999 it was renamed Ho Chi Minh City Museum. The building has a gothic style architecture with the roofs of Asian architecture. Every detail of the museum is sophisticated and highly aesthetic. Today, in addition to visiting to get the knowledge of history, many young people also go to the museum to capture the wedding photos or record the beautiful moments.

Ben Thanh market

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Ben Thanh market

 And the last must-go destination for your travel to Vietnam is Ben Thanh market. Once built in various locations in the city, the Ben Thanh Market area like today was constructed by French contractor Brossard et Maupin in 1912 and by the end of March 1914, it was completed. According to the records, the inauguration ceremony of the market was held in three days 28, 29 and 30/3, with fireworks, cotton cars and more than 100,000 people attended. Although the name Ben Thanh market is from the early period, before 1975, people often referred to as Cho Moi or Sai Gon market. Operating from 1914 to now, the market is busy shopping places, the point of reconciliation between ancient Saigon and now, become images sticking to the memory of many Saigon. Today, the market is a must-visit destination for visitors first visit Saigon, especially foreign visitors.

The use of herbs and spice in Vietnamese gastronomy

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Either you are attending a Southern or Northern Vietnam food tour, you may always find that Vietnam cuisine literally bears a distinctive aroma when put on the scale against other neighboring countries. Graham Holliday, an author of the book Eating Vietnam admitted that the harmony of spice and herbs has paid tribute to the success of Vietnamese dishes.

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The use of herbs and spice

It may come up to countless of the number natural herbs and veggies up and down across the length of this S-shaped country. Some are so unique that they are only spotted out in a significant town or village. The use of fresh vegetables shows up in almost every single daily consumption. Northern Vietnamese, meanwhile, has a slightly less use of veggies in their meals compared to Southern siblings. For instance, Trảng Bảng rice paper in Tây Ninh, a Southern province in the Northern face of Saigon, requires up to 8 or 10 different types of herbs.

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Spice in Vietnamese food

Legume is the key factor highlighting the flavor of each dish in Vietnam’s culinary history. Vietnamese food contains less oil use, which is a great element contributing to its citizens’ good health and body shape. A good local guide may reveal how important it is to create an utmost balance in every single Vietnamese dish during one of your culinary tour in Vietnam, which accordingly results in the balance of one’s internal energy. On the whole, there are 4 main spices in Vietnamese gastronomy, which are saltiness, spiciness, sourness, and sweetness. Yet, these can be slightly adjusted depending on specific individual’s regular taste. Mr. Holliday points out that the use of herbs and spice in Southern Vietnamese dishes brings a controversial sophistication and newfangledness. He also admits that Saigon culinary somehow bears a more diversified look rather than Hanoi’s.

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Healthy Viet dishes

Not to mention, elements that form a significant alteration must be listed as climate condition and soil formation at each area. Available ingredients have a big effect on the locals’ eating habit. For example, when making fish noodle soup, Hanoians and other dwellers living in mainland cities will use fresh-water fish, whilst onshore citizens will definitely catch fish from the ocean for the main element in the dishes. On the other hand, Southern Phở is served with a good amount of fresh veggies and herbs, while in the North, this can be judged as less elegant. In addition, Northern cuisine seems to cut down on the use of spice compared to other regions down South.

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Phở

The author of Eating Vietnam discloses that foreign visitors should rely on the choice of the natives. If you spot out a long line queueing up in front of a food stall, it is surely a good local brand. If the chef only makes one significant dish, that must be the best choice that has got to offer. Moreover, those who have not been a big fan of street food for long should dust off their prejudice against this nectar of God or else they probably get to miss the best to be offered along the length of Vietnam. Fermented fish noodles, pancakes, rice noodle soup are the big names in Southern Vietnamese culinary, while it must be Bún Chả, or grilled pork with vermicelli noodles in the Northern land, and this is going to be a shining focal point in your Northern Vietnam culinary tour, especially if you take that in Hanoi.

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Fermented fish noodles

Only when having a meal served on the sidewalk of a street, tourists will have a chance to witness their portion to be processed in actual life. A pro tip is that if you are so into one specific dish, just step right into the eatery and make an order with the most generous voice and attitude, you are then loved by the local chef!

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Vietnamese local market

Picking a Vietnam culinary tour is the finest way to get an in-depth sight towards the virtual soul of a nation, and street food is the most excellent reflection. Come to visit Vietnam and open your eyes to realize how broad the topic of Vietnamese cuisine can be, without the only names of Phở, Bánh Mỳ or Spring Rolls.

Southern Vietnam cuisine | What to eat in Mekong Delta

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Apart from the tropical natural landscapes, Southern Vietnamese cuisine, especially Mekong Delta specialties are the ones you should not skip when visiting this area. It can be explained due to the fact that Mekong Delta is a special region covered with an immense network of rivers and canals, along with pristine jungles, which make the citizens here come up with various dishes with the main ingredients are best selected from nature. Fish, vegetables, and seafood are the most common elements displayed in plenty of food. Now you another wide range of choice if you are still wondering what to eat in Vietnam.

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Mekong delicacies

Mekong Delta pancake – Bánh xèo:

You may have heard a lot about Vietnamese pancake even before stepping into the country. In Saigon, night food tours may include this type of food in one of their stops, yet Central Vietnam edition of the pancake is more popular with the size of a pancake is pretty small compared to the original version in Mekong. A crocus colored crunchy yet soft pancake stuffed full of pork, shrimp, bean sprout and sometimes heart of palm, is best used in harmony with sweet and sour fish sauce and fresh veggies. In order to give out an excellent Bánh xèo, a chef must pay a good attention in the first process of taking the best rice to make rice powder. Selected rice is then soaked and smashed with a little of saffron powder with the aim of forming the shining yellow in the end. Bánh xèo can be found almost everywhere across the region of Mekong Delta. Hence, do not forget to ask locals for a help in checking in the best Bánh xèo restaurant in town. In case you do not have a chance to visit Mekong Delta, then hit up with a Southern Vietnam culinary tour and do not forget to request Mekong pancake in the list of your night food tour.

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Crunchy Mekong pancake

Grilled snake-head – Cá lóc nướng trui:

This is definitely one of the most favored dishes fathers and granddads are pretty keen on. By the way, before getting deeper into the dish, snake-head is a type of freshwater fish, not a reptile. Fish, when put atop a low-fired charcoal, must be freshly caught, which then creates a soft and sweet savor in the mouth. Side dish fish sauce is usually mixed with tamarind giving a slightly sour, salty and sweet all at once, sometimes added with a little bit of chili. Fish must be in good size and still covered fully in scales, which is then placed on the top of a charcoal or wrapped in straw and set on fire.

                         Grilled-snake-head-helloVietnam                        

Grilled snake-head

Fermented fish hotpot – Lẩu mắm:

To many Mekong Delta dwellers, Fermented fish hotpot is something delicious and low-cost at the same time, which you can almost spot out at many of their special occasions. Based on each specific taste of different diners, various ingredients would be used accordingly. However, the essential element is fermented Siamese mud carp, snake-head or snakeskin gourami for the making of broth that creates a distinctive taste for this hot pot. Side dish veggies must be okra, morning glory, common sesban, banana blossom, lotus root, and star-fruit. That moment when you are gathering around a blazing fermented fish hot pot in the middle of a chilly night is something you will never forget.

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Fermented fish hot pot

Fish noodle – Bún cá:

The finalist in this Southern Vietnam culinary tour list is fish noodle, one of the most sought-after dishes in Mekong Delta. Depending on each specific area of the region, fish noodle will vary accordingly. However, that one mutual feature is to use snake-head and various types of fermented paste to create that one iconic savor and smell, along with the limpidness of broth. A standard bowl of Bún cá contains boiled broth, the delightfully aromatic smell of fermented paste, soft fish, fresh shrimp, and of course the purely white vermicelli noodles.

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Fish noodle

Now equipped with this guideline, you will have zero worries about where to eat in Southern Vietnam. The finest eateries offering these type of food are simply everywhere all over every single province in Mekong Delta.