Your Local City Guides - Little Vietnam

Lyra Liza
Family blogger, Saigon
Lyra is a stay at home mom in Vietnam for more than 3 years. Her blog, Hello-saigon.com is a lifesaver for moms with its recipes and resources to kid-friendly places and events in Saigon. More than half of her readers come from Vietnam, followed by US and the rest of South East Asia.

Little Vietnam

Think travelling with kids is going to be a huge hassle? Let Lyra ease your burden with Ten Tips on how to have the perfect family vacation here in Saigon! Yes, you can still explore notable monuments like the Notre Dame Cathedral Saigon and Reunification Palace with the little ones in tow!

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Well-rested Kids

As a mom of two boys, I know for a fact that having well-rested kids make a pleasant vacation. If you have a baby, check if your hotel can provide a baby cot. Not only is this very useful for sleeping but is also a safe place for your baby when you have to use the toilet or just need a break from all the carrying.


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Family-friendly Activities

Adults and children don’t usually have the same definition of a vacation --- but you can always compromise by finding activities your kids will also like doing. Maybe take them swimming at your hotel or visit amusement parks? In Saigon, you can visit Suoi Tien, Dai Nam or Dam Sen Park.

Directions


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Bring A Baby Stroller

What’s terrific about Saigon is that there are sidewalks everywhere so you can easily wheel your child in a stroller. When going to shopping hotspots like Saigon Square along Nam Ky Khoi Nghia St. in District 1, better wear your baby in a carrier because the place can get pretty packed and navigating through the shops with a stroller is not ideal. There are neither elevators nor escalators too.


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Sunscreen Is A Must!

The heat is indeed on in Saigon. This part of Vietnam is almost summer all year round and the weather can get quite nasty. So dress lightly! Sunglasses, sunblock, and maybe an umbrella should be part of your go-out bag. An umbrella is useful for sudden rain showers too (which happens sometimes for no longer than an hour usually) but if you forgot to bring one - no worries! Disposable raincoats are sold at almost every street corner.


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Vietnamese ♥ Kids

So don’t be surprised if a local suddenly strikes a conversation with your kid or makes silly faces at your baby. They would even go as far as offer food to your kid. So don’t get too worried if that happens, but of course, be cautious.


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Pho & Banh Mi

A vacation is not complete without trying the local cuisine. Vietnam staple food includes pho (noodle soup), banh mi (French bread with different choices of fillings), and fresh or fried spring rolls. A family that eats together gets more energy to explore the streets of Saigon.


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Ride The Cyclo

The cyclo is a traditional transportation of the Vietnamese where the passenger sits in front while the driver is at the back pedaling. It is still the best way to go around the city. Now, before riding one, make sure you discuss the pricing with your driver the and maybe even to write the price down to avoid ambiguity. You can ask your hotel concierge to help you.


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Road Crossing 101

Cross slowly but surely and no sudden movements. Don’t hesitate. Just let the traffic go around you. Worried about the motorbikes? Don’t be. However, if you find crossing the street stressful, do find the tourist police (in dark green uniform) and let them assist you.


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Sidewalks: Not Just For Walking

Don't be surprised if you're walking on the sidewalk and a motorbike suddenly zooms pass you; so hold on to your kids! In the afternoon, sidewalks are transformed into coffee lounges. Why not stop and treat yourself to a glass of Vietnamese coffee? You must try their ca phe da (iced coffee) or ca phe sua da (iced coffee with condensed milk)!


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H2O: Stock up!

Be it Aquafina, La Vie, and Sapuwa, just make sure you are stocked on bottled water. I don’t work for any of these beverage companies but based on my experience, my kids haven’t encountered any problems when drinking any of the water brands mentioned. A small bottle can cost anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 dong (30 – 50 cents).