Hanoi has its famous cyclos but one of the fun ways to explore Ho Chi Minh attractions is to go on a motorbike tour. Riding motorbikes is part of modern culture in Ho Chi Minh City and exploring the city by choosing one of the many Ho Chi Minh motorbike tours means you’ll get the chance to see the sights like a local.
I wouldn’t recommend riding a motorbike on your own, especially if you’re not used to it. The traffic is rather chaotic and negotiating a sea of motorbikes. An easier way to experience this is to sign up for a motorbike tour where you ride with a local guide who knows the ropes.
Ho Chi Minh Motorbike Tours
Here are some Ho Chi Minh City attractions that are fun to explore by motorbike.
1- French Colonial Architecture
The French occupied Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) in 1858 and as the capital of the colonised region, Saigon benefitted from elegant French architecture.
Scoot past what was once Saigon’s premier luxury hotel, the Majestic, a 1925 French colonial building on the corner of what used to be Rue Catinat and the waterfront Quai de Belgique.
Pull up outside the Majestic for a peek. Inside, its marble-floors and pillared lobby evoke memories of colonial times.
The city’s oldest hotel, the Continental was made famous by Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American.
Opposite, dominating Lam Son Square, the stately architecture of the Saigon Opera House stands regally beside manicured lawns complete with French-style fountains.
There’s the city’s train station-like General Post Office which was designed by Gustave Eiffel, architect of the eponymous tower, and the neo-romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral, the Reunification Palace, originally built as the home of the French Governor General.
The palace played a symbolic role in the fall of Saigon in April 1975 when its gates were breached by North Vietnamese tanks and the victors’ flag flown from the balcony.
2- Ho Chi Minh suburbs across the river
A motorbike is a good way to experience real life in Saigon.
Take the Thu Thiem ferry, which is packed so tightly with motorbikes you’re almost rubbing shoulders with the other riders and passengers.
At the other side of the river, ride around the back streets and discover life as it is today in the suburbs of Saigon.
There are rows of single-storey terrace homes with doors thrown wide open, children playing badminton on the streets and workers sipping coffee at open-air roadside stalls.
Stop along the main road to sample water-coconuts being sold out of the back of a wooden boat moored along the banks of one of the river tributaries.
3- Street food
Ride through the Pham Ngu Lao area, which is popular with backpackers for its cheap hotels and snail stalls.
I tried two kinds of snails from a roadside stall.
The first was a small scroll-shaped seaside specimen cooked in coconut milk and lemongrass sauce while the second was a round rice-field dweller that tasted like mussels.
Ho Chi Minh Motorbike Tours
Here is a selection of Ho Chi Minh City motorbike tours. They are inexpensive and fun.
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