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Non-touristy Places in Ho Chi Minh to Escape the Crowd


Are you finding ways to get off the tourist trails in Ho Chi Minh City and follow off-the-beaten-path? Here are some suggested non-touristy places in Ho Chi Minh City for you to escape from the energetic yet noisy crowds of travelers.

Weekend Flea Markets

Let’s be real, flea markets are definitely not the most ideal places to “escape the crowd”. But instead of squeezing with numerous other tourists to find the perfect spot for your photos, you can blend in with the locals and enjoy the boisterous atmosphere. There you can find different kinds of products: clothes, accessories, cosmetics, and more. Some of them are from Vietnamese local brand, and some are knock-off designer brands, all of which are affordable. If you are not into buying anything, check out the stalls for street food and drink.

non touristy places in ho chi minh city weekend flea market 1
Blend in with the locals in the weekend flea markets

non touristy places in ho chi minh city weekend flea market 2

A stall in a weekend flea market

Suggested places: Hello Weekend Market, The New District, Saigon Flea Market.

Trai Cay Dia Nguyen Canh Chan - Fruit in A Plate

Looking for something healthy to eat? Then you should not miss out Fruit in A Plate - a mixture of different types of Vietnamese fruits, shaved ice, condensed milk, and syrup. Although it can be easily found in many street food stalls in Ho Chi Minh City, the ones in Nguyen Canh Chan Street, District 1 stand out thanks to the jelly and pieces of sweetened coconut chips added into each serving. Among the non-touristy places in Ho Chi Minh City, these stores are located right in the central district, so they are very accessible. They usually open from around 4-5 PM till 10 PM, which is ideal for an evening snack.

non touristy places in ho chi minh city trai cay dia 1
A special plate of fruit in Nguyen Canh Chan Street

non touristy places in ho chi minh city trai cay dia 2
What fruit you can get is a mystery!

Expect to pay: From VND 25,000

Cua Hang Cafe 81 (81 Coffee Shop)

This stop is for those who like nostalgic vibe. The design and every ornament in Cafe 81 remind us about Saigon - the former name of Ho Chi Minh City - in the 1980s. Visiting this place, you can order a cup of Vietnamese coffee or some chilled beer and enjoy medleys of old Vietnamese hits.

non touristy places in ho chi minh city cafe 81
From outside, Cafe 81 looks like an old Vietnamese house in the 80s

Address: 28 Nguyen Huu Cau, Tan Dinh Ward, District 1
Opening hours: 7 AM - 10:30 PM
Price: VND 25,000-35,000

Pho Sui Cao Ha Ton Quyen - Sui Gow Street Ha Ton Quyen

To explore Chinese Cuisine in Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Ton Quyen Street would be a good starting point. There are dozens of stores that serve Sui Gow - a type of Chinese dumpling (Tip: Look for those having lots of customers. High turnover is usually the result of high quality). A bowl of Sui Gow can be served with noodles, vegetables, squid, fish ball, and/or pork skin.

non touristy places in ho chi minh city sui cao ha ton quyen
A serving of Sui Gow, noodles, vegetables and pork skin

Expect to pay: From VND 50,000

Lua Sai Gon Cafe

This is another destination to get to know about the image of Ho Chi Minh City before the bustling urban scene. The owner of this cafe has spent a lot of time to collect every piece of the interior to recreate the space which was closely associated with the childhood of many Saigonese. It also offers lots of types of snacks that used to be the favorite of Vietnamese kids but now has become hard to find even for the locals.

non touristy places in ho chi minh city lua sai gon cafe
Flavorful childhood snacks of Saigonese

Address: 28-30-32 Nguyen Co Thach, An Loi Dong Ward, District 2
Opening hours:
- Mon-Wed: 7 AM - 10:30 PM
- Thurs-Sun: 9 AM - 5 PM
Price: From VND 30,000

Summary of Non-touristy Places in Ho Chi Minh to Escape the Crowd

For a day break from the crowd in Ho Chi Minh City, you can wander in the weekend flea markets. Until you get tired, stop by Sui Gow Street Ha Ton Quyen and order a heart-warming bowl. Later at night when you feel hungry, try Fruit in A Plate at Nguyen Canh Chan Street for a healthy snack. And, whenever you feel like sitting down and enjoying a cup of coffee, check out Cafe 81 or Lua Sai Gon Cafe for a nostalgic space.

Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
for fun and insightful trips in Ho Chi Minh City!

family outing in ho chi minh city motorcycle


© Written by Mai Bui for



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