72 Hours in Ho Chi Minh City aka Saigon

72 Hours//3days in Ho Chi Minh City

This is how I spent 3 full days in Ho Chi Minh City & Made the absolute MOST of my layover.

Day 1: Cooking Class, War Remnants Museum, Back of Bikes Night Food Tour

Prior to arriving in Vietnam we booked a Vietnamese Authentic Cooking Course online for our first day
** Click on the link above to book yours too! **
We naturally woke early being in a different time zone so Jane & I walked down to the Markets , and on the way we passed Notre Dam Cathedral for a photo op of course.

The course began with an 8.30am Market Visit at Ben Thanh Markets introducing us to the local way of life.









After about 30-45minutes at the Markets we made our way with our guide to the Vietnam Cookery Centre to begin our class.
I cannot recommend enough that you MUST do a cooking class whilst you are in Vietnam! It gives you a real insight and appreciation of the flavours.

Our cooking class finished just after 12.30pm, so we rolled out of the Cookery Centre so content and full .

After the class we made a decision to go down to Sinh Tourist Head Office to book our next days tour. I recommend going down to the office to find out if the tour is guaranteed to go – this depends on how many people book so double check!

Then we ventured back to the Hotel, and across for a few hours at the War Remnants Museum. An Absolute MUST for any visitors to Ho Chi Minh City. It truly gives you the best insight to the history of the Vietnamese War Times, and the affects that are still happening today.

The last part to our day was probably my favourite part of this whole trip!
A Back of the Bikes Vespa Tour with Jake & his team from EXTRAVAGANZA SAIGON TOURS
6 of us crew went on the tour and had so much fun.
We booked the night Street Food tour, and I promise you when they say “Food Coma” this will happen!

Click here for more information on this tour!

Day 2: Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta

Day Two was a super Early Start – 6.30am down at Sinh tourist office to check in for our 1day tour exploring the Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta.

We booked through Sinh Tourist as my partner recommended them and they were so cheap!
1 Day trip was only 329,000VND ($20NZ) including Lunch! How can you not?!?

The day starts with a drive to Cu Chi Tunnels – the guide for the day will give you some interesting information on the bus ride regarding the history of Vietnam so pay attention.

The drive is about 90minutes… but shorter if less traffic.

On arrival at Cu Chi you will have to pay for the entry to the complex – 110,oooVND in cash ($6NZD)- the guide collects this and goes to get your tickets for you.

Once inside your guide will take you all through the Cu Chi Tunnels Complex, teaching you about how the Vietnamese used to live during the war times, how the tunnels were created and shows you some nasty looking spike traps from back in the day. I wont go into too much detail here so you get to experience it yourself!

After about 1-2hours you begin the drive to My Tho on the Mekong Delta.
Now this is a LONG bus ride – roughly 2 hours, so pack some snacks, headphones etc!

On Arrival at the Mekong Delta you will board a boat and head over to have Lunch… now this is predominantly Fish & Pork, so if you are Vegetarian let the guide know!
Drinks are extra here – about 20,000VND ($1.20NZ)for a coke etc.

Next up is a few different parts of the Mekong Delta and how the people that live here make there money!
*You do get rather up close and personal to some beehives so if you are allergic, like I am, please take some medication with you. They are pretty docile but its a LONG way out if you do have a reaction.
Expect to tip at a couple of places, 10,000VND each is a good amount.


Before you leave the Mekong Delta you jump on these little boats and are rowed down the river, so get the camera’s ready, Buy a token 30,000VND ($1.80NZ) hat for Photo Ops haha! #doitforthegram









The bus ride back to the Sinh Tourist Office is about 2hours again, so Nap time!! Arriving back around 6pm.

Once we arrived back we were all pretty shattered so found somewhere for Dinner in De Tham Street close to where bus drops you off.
“Saigon Pho” – cannot rate high enough! Amazing Food, Super Fast Service and SO CHEAP!

Day 3: Shopping and Pamper Day

Day Three was our last day, and a day of relaxing.

We started this day slow, meeting down at the Buffet for Breakfast and eating our body weight in food, and drinking way too many Vietnamese Iced Coffees!

The plan for today was a bit of shopping and some pamper time.
So we took a stroll down to Ben Thanh Markets for some last shopping – I purchased a few pairs of shoes  Converse for 350000VND, and Nikes for 400000VND … and an awesome travel backpack for only 400000VND ( $25NZ! )

The bartering was wearing us out, so Jane & I took a taxi back to the hotel to drop off our shopping and then went straight for a Massage!

Now there were soo many recommendations from Crew so we opted to go to “MY SPA” and I am so incredibly glad we did. What a place <3

320,000VN ($20NZ) for 60minutes full body.

You are greeted with an Iced Herbal Tea whilst you decide on the pampering you wish to have, then you are whisked upstairs to peace and quiet.
A Refreshing cucumber face mask is applied whilst your arms,legs and neck are massaged, and then removed before your back massage .
Too finish you are given a hot stone treatment..

And I can tell you right now – you walk out of there feeling oh so Zen…. until the beeping and scooters of Ho Chi Minh starts again haha!

After our massage we popped in to a super cute restaurant called Chi Hoa.
Amazing Authentic Vietnamese Cuisines and super cheap too.

And then to finish my day off, I popped into for a Manicure & Pedicure.
250,000VND($16NZ) for a pedicure with polish, and shellac mani.

A few things to keep on you at all times in Vietnam:

  • For the Ladies – Toilet Paper or Tissues. Lots of the places dont have these!
  • An Umbrella, it is bound to rain! Doesn’t last long, but those rain drops are BIG.
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Snacks & Water!
  • Camera – this is a given.
  • Insect Repellent – especially for Mekong Delta

All I can say is WOW – what a perfect whirlwind trip ticking off all the things I have been wanting to do!

 Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

xo Cayla



  1. Cheryl Muirson
    July 3, 2017 / 5:34 am

    Love your blog Cayla You have one conversion VND -NZ can you add a conversion chart so that it is easier to see how much things cost? Al fine if you can’t easily do that. Just a suggestion.

    • lifeoflayovers@gmail.com
      July 3, 2017 / 5:39 am

      Thanks so much for the recommendation <3 Ill add in a conversion chart for sure xo

  2. L Sinclair
    July 27, 2017 / 6:52 pm

    sounds exactly like our 3day layover but you missed the Soul Burger bar just off Ben Thanh Market. An amazing little hidden spot with a rather cool atmosphere & amazing food !!
    Heading back in about 3weeks straight to Da Nang &Hoi An Ancient Town!