Collected by Anne Halsey Smith, AFAR Travel Advisor
Tan Thoi Nhat, District 12, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
In Vietnam’s bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, glittering high-rises and global brands are on the rise—but at L’Usine, a café-boutique hidden along shopping strip Dong Khoi, it’s the old, the handmade, and the local that are revered. Housed...
Thu Bồn River, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, Cẩm Nam, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Let me set the scene for you. A sleepy Vietnamese town on the Thu Bon River, a place where colorful shops loom over ancient cobbled streets, lanterns illuminate the path through a grandiose covered bridge, and tiny men pilot tiny skiffs across the...
73 Phan Bội Châu Sơn Phong tp. Hội An Sơn Phong tp. Hội An Quảng Nam 越南, Cẩm Châu, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
When I traveled to Hoi An, the prettied-up UNESCO-protected town on Vietnam's central coast for AFAR, I wanted to unravel the mysteries of the town's iconic (and secretive) noodle (and noodle dish of the same name), cao lau. One family has had a...
141 Nguyễn Huệ, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
The Rex Hotel remains the most historic hotel in District 1. It’s undergone massive renovations since its heyday as a hangout for journalists during the war, including the addition of a luxury ground floor filled with pricey shopping. Skip that...
14 Nguyễn Thái Học, Phường Minh An, Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam
Disadvantaged locals support themselves by selling their handicrafts here. Sustainable souvenirs include vases made of chopsticks, and coasters fashioned from recycled magazine pages. The workshop runs a number of classes including traditional...
10 Đặng Tất, Tân Định, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Recalling Saigon's past, Cuc Gach Quan offers fine Vietnamese fare in a cozy setting that re-creates the home of the owner’s grandmother—a French-colonial house with worn, wood-plank floors; retro furnishings; warm lighting; and a...
341 Cao Đạt, Phường 1, Quận 5, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Whenever I get the urge to complain about my lack of space in the US, I remember the efficiently packed tight way that almost everyone else in the world lives. For instance, SE Asians are the masters of balancing their wares on bicycles. They also...
72 Nguyễn Thị Minh Khai, Phường 6, Quận 3, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Nestled about the chaos of the city is one of Ho Chi Minh City’s great escapes, Shri. The city has a dozen or so rooftop restaurants but what sets this one apart from the rest is the location just outside District1 in neighboring D3. It’s outside...
29-31 Tôn Thất Thiệp, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
My taxi driver and I circled the block twice before locating this cleverly hidden gem. The Temple Club is, like all good spots, a challenge at first to find. The street entrance features an unobtrusive red sign, and the entrance is lit with...
189 Nguyễn Văn Hưởng, Thảo Điền, Quận 2, Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
For a long, luxurious spa day in a gorgeous setting, hit up Spa Authentic at Thao Dien Village. We chose the "Authentic" package: a 60-minute massage, 60-minute facial, 60-minute foot massage, and a ticket to the facility's gorgeous pool...
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