As we wandered downstairs we were greeted one by one by four smiling faces at the exit of our hotel by the team from AN Food Tours. Our family of four were extremely excited to be doing a food tour of Ho Chi Minh City on motorbikes.
As we all got acquainted with Daniel, Cam, Heel and Ly, they told us who would be riding with who and where we would be going. These 4 young and enthusiastic tour guides from AN tours were about to show us the world of Ho Chi Minh City after dark on the back of a scooter and we were so ready for an awesome night out!
Ho Chi Minh City Food Tour
A Ho chi Minh City food tour is a must in this city which has a great reputation for amazing food. A quick run down on how to sit on the motorbike, helmets on and we were off to mingle with the other 8 million motor bikes in Ho Chi Minh City.
The initial apprehension of traversing the traffic in Hi Chi Minh city is soon replaced with a feeling of excitement as you realize you will not die! You are totally safe with these guys.
Daniel, our tour leader drove safely as we honked, weaved and made our way through the organized chaos of HCMC.
Our first stop was at a local restaurant serving what I can only say was an amazing noodle dish with pork meat and pork sausage, fresh green herbs and a fish sauce. This meal was to die for and it was an excellent way to start the tour.
While enjoying this amazing meal of noodle with real pork we got to know Daniel, Cam, Heel and Ly a little better. 3 of them are university students juggling school and work and Cam had graduated recently and now worked as an accountant during the day for a major international fast food chain.
This was one thing that was an absolute delight for us. We not only got to hear stories of how they live everyday life here in HCMC, we got to share a meal while doing it. It is the only tour we have been on where the hosts sit and eat with us rather than give us a brief overview of what we are eating and it is something we loved.
We headed back on the bikes which the kids were more excited about than the food. This tour is a great thing to do in Ho Chi Minh City with kids. Next stop was a back street with tables and chairs on the roadside. Here we had a Vietnamese Pancake filled with pork, squid, mushroom and sprouts.
The guys showed us how the locals eat Ho Chi Minh City street food. They do it by wrapping the pancake in lettuce leaves and dunking it in fish sauce. All this is washed down with ice-cold Jasmine tea. The pancake is made for a mixture of rice flour and egg. I could have easily eaten with or without the lettuce.
Off the beaten path, we headed to the night flower market in Ho Chi Minh City. The flower market is a popular thing to see in Ho Chi Minh city and is open 24 hours a day. Daniel walked us through the flower market into the Cambodia market where smells of amazing street food wafted thickly in the air. We were so impressed with the An Food tour already that we bought our female guides Cam and Ly a rose each.
The words ice cream were mentioned as the kids smiled widened. We off again zooming towards our next stop and a date with coconut ice cream topped with sticky rice, corn and sweet potato. Some of the food combinations in Asia can be off-putting for westerners. There is no way we would eat sweet potato and corn on ice-cream at home!
The longest stint on the bikes was upon us, we were heading 20 minutes into the suburbs over the river to our next stop.
Things were about to get hands-on here as we all had. A chance to cook some street food in Ho Chi Minh City
Once again a rice flour mixture formed the base. We had to spread it out into a circle and wait for it to steam a little. Pork and gravy were added and we rolled it up like a tube of cannelloni ( Bahn Cuon Trung ). For variety, we also had egg instead of pork in one. By this time we were so full and still more food was coming. We were delivered bowls of Pho Chua ( sour noodles )
At this stage the evening was coming to end. We were all sad at the prospect of saying goodbye to our new friends. We jumped back on the bikes and headed back to our hostel. Social media channels were exchanged and group photos were taken so we can keep in touch.
Places to stay in Ho Chi Minh City
The Nguyen Shack – Located in the heart of district one featuring families rooms. Rooms feature a queen size bed and bunks, TV, Aircon and WiFi throughout. The Nguyen Shack is modelled on a tradition Vietnamese homestay.
The staff were outstanding. It’s nice to be greeted each day by the staff asking “how was your day”. The Nguyen Shack Saigon has an extensive collection of tea and traditional herbal remedies ready to be consumed. We loved this place it was central and easy to reach all.places in the city from.
For more accommodation options we recommend booking.com for all your hostels, apartments and hotels. Check the map below
How to get to Ho Chi Minh City
The Tân Sơn Nhất Airport is located with the city of Ho Chi Minh. There is city surrounding the airport on all sides. This makes for amazing views as you take off and land.
The airport is serviced by leading Asian carriers Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and Air Asia. For all your Ho Chi Minh City flights, we recommend using Skyscanner.
Vietnam has an extensive train network that runs along the coast of Vietnam for Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and on into China. Taking an overnight train is a popular way to travel to Go Chi Minh City from the North.
We recommend 12go Asia for all your train and bus tickets for Asia. You can check prices and book tickets through the banner underneath.
Money in Vietnam
The official currency of Vietnam is the Dong. The Vietnamese Dong comes in notes of 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, 500,000₫. ATM’s are easily located on most street in the city and tourist areas. The ATM will serve up 500,000 bills which won’t make you popular with retailers when you hand these over.
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About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, Husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support