The Seafood Trail – a night eating adventure
Discover one of Ho Chi Minh City’s “snail streets”. Here we’ll try a range of “snails” … but don’t worry, they’re not really snails.
Ốc is the Vietnamese word that’s shorthand for all crustaceans. So you will be able to sample a variety of seafood, including sea snails that are eaten with a safety pin, mussels, scallops and tasty prawns-on-a-stick. (Because food ALWAYS tastes better on a stick.)
We’ll buy some snacks from wandering vendors. Depending on who walks past, the snacks could include sliced green mango, boiled quail eggs or rice crackers, as well as more exotic offerings.
On this tour, you will be required to participate in the rowdy Vietnamese toasting ritual (even if you’re only drinking soft drink) of mot-hai-ba-YO! If you are shy, we’ll only make you do it once.
In most cases our tour will start in a little alley near the zoo, then adjourn to Snail Street for two more stops.
Our progressive tapas-style street food extravaganza usually includes hotpot, and a quick dessert at a local market.
During the tour, you’ll hear stories of the local area, and learn how to taste the history in simple street food. At the end of the tour we hope you’ll also have a deeper understanding of Vietnamese culture and history. (As well as a very full stomach.)
This is a tour for the adventurous. We will pick you up on xe om (motorbike taxis), order a range of unusual dishes and drop you back to your accommodation on xe oms. (We do have a scardey-cat option, though, for people who don’t want to get on the back of a motorbike and would prefer to navigate the traffic in a taxi.)
(4 hours, starting around 6pm, $65/VND1.48 million per person, maximum 8 people, small surcharge for pickups outside Districts 1 and 3.)
Calligraphy and Coffee Trail – a cultural morning
Spend a morning learning about a traditional Vietnamese art form with one of Vietnam’s youngest calligraphy masters, while sipping delicious Vietnamese coffee and soaking up the sounds of hẻm life.
Mr Hoàng, who has spent more than two decades studying and practicing calligraphy, will recount the story of Vietnam’s written language and the history of calligraphy.
During the three-hour class in a small studio down an alley in District 3, participants will learn basic brushstroke techniques and spend some time practicing under Mr Hoàng’s gentle guidance. The class will culminate with each participant showcasing their new artistic skills on a small souvenir.
Because Saigon Street Eats specialises in street food tours, the class will be punctuated by snacks, both traditional and non-traditional.
This is not just a tour for art-lovers, it’s for those interested in Vietnamese culture and history. No previous art experience is require, but you must be able to sit cross-legged on the floor during the class.
(Minimum 4 hours, starting around 8.30am, $45/VND1 million per person, maximum 6 people.)