Just sharing a few tips that proved useful when going around Saigon.
Reposting it here. 🙂
- Babywearing is best.
Lots of touristy spots in Saigon is just near each other — so you’ll probably do a lot of walking. If you have a baby with you, it’s best to babywear or use a lightweight umbroller. If you decide to babywear, remember that Saigon is most of the time sunny and humid, so carriers that are made of cotton is best.
One of the favorite spots I bring friends to is The Reunification Palace and you can’t imagine how difficult it is bringing a stroller there when you have to go up and down the stairs! Another place is the Cu Chi Tunnels! Can’t imagine pushing a stroller around the woods! And if you travel by taxi (like we do), it is so much better to be babywearing than lugging a stroller on and off the cab!
- Bring a nursing cover.
If you’re still breastfeeding, best to bring a nursing cover with you. Not a lot of women breastfeed here (at least I don’t see a whole lot). Nursing stations are still uncommon here in Saigon. In fact, I only know of Crescent Mall in District 7 that have comfortable nursing stations complete with rocking chairs. Nursing covers are perfect too to protect your baby on sudden rain showers.
Currently, I’m breastfeeding my 5 month old and I haven’t really seen a whole lot of Vietnamese women who breastfeed. I am not sure if I’ll be offending anybody breastfeeding in public so to be sure, I just bring a nursing cover. It is so handy because it also doubles as a blanket and sometimes a cover when it suddenly rains — and we see that a whole lot these days.
- Aquafina, La Vie, and Sapuwa
If you’re formula feeding or just need water for your children, I recommend Aquafina, La Vie, and Sapuwa. Nope, no Wilkins here or Dr. Edwards’.
Before we moved to Vietnam, we’ve been using Wilkins and Dr. Edwards’. But since those are not available, Aquafina served the purpose just fine. La Vie and Sapuwa were used by friends and they swear that both are good drinking water for their children.
- Shopping for kids clothes?
Best places to buy affordable clothes for kids are at Saigon Square 1 (Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St. D1), Saigon Square 2 (Ton Duc Thang St. D1), and Taka Plaza (Nguyen Thi Minh Khai St. D1). BUT all are not conducive to bring kids IN STROLLERS because of the narrow aisles. And yes, there are no elevators/escalators too. So it is better to babywear if you insist on bringing the baby. But my advice? Just don’t bring the kids when shopping! They’ll ruin your shopping experience!
For some reason, it is so expensive to buy stuff at a real mall here. So yes, I do check out Saigon Square and Taka Plaza for good finds. And no, I don’t bring my kids around — nor my husband. Haha!
- Dress lightly.
After three years, I have learned that Saigon is a summery city with light to moderate showers towards the end of the year. It’s like 365 days of summer. So dress your kids in appropriate clothing. It can get quite hot! Sunscreen, sunglasses, and flip-flops should be in your must-bring list.
Unless you’re like the Vietnamese who don’t want to get dark (you’ll see them in hat, sunglasses, long sleeves, and pants), it’s really much better going around in shirt and shorts. — except if you’re going in temples.
- You will talk to strangers.
Most Vietnamese love kids so don’t be surprised if they suddenly strike a conversation with your kid or coo over your baby. When I was pregnant and I was visiting the market in Cho Lon, a lot of sellers would suddenly stop me, touch my belly and ask about how far along I was and the gender of my baby.
The Vietnamese are warm and friendly people so they really are very chatty when they see pregnant people or kids. 🙂