This tour invites us to explore the social fabric of Saigon, through the small alleys of local neighborhoods. The adventure begins in district 1, also known as the historical center. We stop for a walk alongside apartments tightly lined up next to each other. Generations mingle in these tiny homes in the heart of the city. Lack of space brings life scenes outside with children playing, grandmothers cooking, and vendors in a constant flurry of activity.
The next stops are in Chinatown, where in the midst of modern buildings we can still catch a glimpse of colorful century-old shophouses. We will enter a compound with traditional buildings to learn about the story of this district. We then zoom to a wet market. We’ll walk past a traditional Chinese temple where it is possible to stop for a short visit, then enter the market with many sights and smells: tropical fruits, fresh fish, herbs. The rich aroma of butter grilled coffee beans leads us to a third generation Sino – Vietnamese vendor to taste coffee roasted on site and prepared the traditional way, enjoyed iced with sweet condensed milk in a very rustic but popular stall.
The Vespa driver then takes us through district 4, zig zagging through small alleys with cracked walls, made beautiful by the magic of a neighborhood painter. After a short walk in the alleys to see the painted murals up close, the action filled morning concludes with a refreshing drink in a vintage style café where young Vietnamese come to relax and chat with friends. The tour ends with a transfer back to the hotel or to a local restaurant for lunch.