The author stated that the first day of his trip saw him visit the Old Compass Café at 10 a.m. for Vietnamese coffee and banh mi op la, a hearty local dish combining a warm baguette with fried eggs and pate which all guests should sample. 

Tourists should spend time travelling the southern city by motorbike or taxi, or pay a visit to the War Remnants Museum and the Reunification Palace which are both popular destinations among foreign visitors.

Famous places for foodies are also mentioned on Atkinson’s first day, including sampling vegetarian food for lunch at Vegetarian Cafe & Restaurant, drinking craft beer at the Heart of Darkness brewery, and tasting the cuisine of northern Vietnam at Quan Bui bistro.

The second day of his trip saw the writer suggest that tourists seek out Ho Chi Minh City’s most interesting cafe scene amid a raffish 1960s apartment block which is situated along the pedestrians-only Nguyen Hue Boulevard.

Exploring the Jade Emperor Pagoda, a site which features a range of superb wood carvings and fantastical statues of Taoist deities, as well as checking out two of the city’s most loved French colonial buildings, including Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office, are unmissable sightseeing spots when visiting the city.

Nearby options for lunch include Banh Xeo 46A, a dish of Vietnamese egg pancakes crammed with pork and shrimp, as well as a hearty bowl of pho bo, a type of beef noodle soup, at Pho Hoa.

“Ho Chi Minh City is at its most exciting after dark, especially when coursing through neon-lit streets on the back of a Vespa scooter. Four- to five-hour experiences with Vespa Adventures include the Saigon After Dark itinerary, packed with great street food and live music, and a special craft-beer tour taking in four different venues in Southeast Asia’s hippest beer hotspot,” the author wrote.