Three things that make me very happy are good company, mouth-watering food and a heart racing thrill– and Saigon Food Tours did exactly that. From the get go, I was welcomed by my local tour guide ‘TB’ outside my hostel with so much warmth and excitement that he even managed to steer away my nerves about hopping on the back of a scooter during peak hour traffic in Saigon. I did the ‘Taste of the Night’ tour and opted for the Vegetarian route – which luckily meant that it was one-on-one. Why do you ask why I seem so happy about not being social with other people? Well…it meant that I got to know TB on a more personal level and for moments I felt like I was the presenter of one of those old-school travel shows like Getaway – it was a real VIP moment okay. Most of the tours will usually be private – but if you do pick a popular day they may invite you to join another group or select another time slot/day. The tour started at 5:30pm and during the four hours we went to four different local street food spots and cafes, and at each stop there were multiple dishes along with drinks to try. When you add it all up it was more like 11 courses over a period of four hours (THAT’S HOW MUCH I CONSUME IN LIKE TWO DAYS so don’t worry if you feel like a rolling pin by the end of the night) so you really do get the ultimate tester of Vietnamese food.This is the Vietnamese pancake or what the locals call Banh Xeo. It was hands down my favourite dish of the night.
Alike how the tour started, I will leave most of it to a surprise so you can go discover it yourself, but what I will say, is that this tour is 110% worth it and I would highly recommend doing it on your first night in Saigon so you can navigate some of the greatest food spots for the rest of your time in Vietnam. You will gain so much knowledge on the Vietnamese language and culture whilst being able to stuff your face with food so heavenly and secretive that it will leave your friends and family green with envy.
If you do decide to hop on board with the Saigon Food Tours company be sure to request TB as your guest and give him a friendly hug from me. His English is superb, has a background in tourism, knows how to maneuverer a scooter through the crazy traffic exceptionally well and added bonus: he even has his own breakdancing crew (how funky is that?)
Let me know what your thoughts are on the tour if you go ahead with booking – I am sure you won’t regret it!
Lots of love,