One absolute "must" to experience in one of our 5 nights in Ho Chih Minh was to explore and taste an authentic "slice" of street food that this amazing city offers as a hallmark of its uniqueness. The night street food tour we experienced with Saigon Street Eats more that fulfilled that goal, but greatly exceeded any expectations we might have had going in.
We discovered the tour after searching multiple listings via direct or through aggregators and the Saigon Street Eats website immediately felt genuine and legitimate so we took the leap. What also sold us was the opportunity to experience the journey the ONLY way to experience Vietnam (on a scooter - more of this later).
We (5 total in the group) were promptly met at the designated time by the tour team. Within minutes we were all attached to our own scooter driver and while originally apprehensive, within minutes off and running! The drivers were absolutely wonderful, I can't express how much and how easy these drivers made one feel comfortable while opening up a a view and engagement with the lifeblood of the city we never would have experienced any other way. It was magnificent and talking to the group each and every one of us had driver that were amazingly personable and patient with providing context, history, and individual experience during the multi stop journey across multiple districts. I'll never forget this piece of their tour and in future trips am inspired to travel more and more on the scooter.
All that said, this tour was primarily about food. Thankfully, the journey took us to multiple locations in the city where we had a the pleasure to taste multiple varieties of dishes that encompass the Ho Chih Minh diaspora of cuisines. In a blinding 5 hour tour across several districts of the city, we experienced everything from succulent snails of various shapes, sizes, breeds, to the most fluffy and enriched Bahn Mi, to rice/pork courses so unique to southern Vietnam.
Finally, what also stood out was the tour itself. These are restaurants and micro neighborhoods not highlighted in guidebooks. Tony the lead tour guide provide amazing history, context, through every part and destination of the journey. Examples included the difference in food cultures between north and south, the history of Vietnam post the 1975 war and its influence on the food but also of the culture and economy. I can express absolute gratitude in that this was not just a sensory experience but an intellectual one that informed us so much more about Vietnam and who it is today based on where it's come from.
I can't recommend this experience more and encourage you to reach out to Saigon Street Eats and Tony if this sounds like a journey you would like to embark on.