Hello Saigon is an attempt by a 10-year resident to make sense of the beauty and quirks of this lovely and vibrant city that is Saigon.

I know, I know, Saigon is officially named Ho Chi Minh City — after it’s most famous and decorated president (who we lovingly call), Uncle Ho BUT I love the word “Saigon”. Β It sounds more historic and romantic.

Don’t know Uncle Ho? Β Just look at your Vietnamese Dong and see the long lost brother of Col. Sanders. πŸ˜‰

So welcome to Saigon and say hello!

Xin chao!

For questions, advertising orΒ if you just want to say hello, email me at hellosaigoncity@gmail.com. πŸ™‚


38 Responses to About

  1. An T. Do says:

    Passing by here when searching for place and be impressed with your writing. It’s just so beautiful!

  2. Jean Wethmar says:

    Hello dear Lyra.. thank you sooooooo much! What a wonderful surprise I got today.. MY beautiful Hemmingway stamp plus such a wonderful happy smile arrived in my letter box in Brisbane. Oh what joy! I am so thankful for your time and effort you took to snail mail me this present! I look forward to meeting you in person when next I bring a group to Saigon. All the very best for the Year of the Dragon 2012 to you and your family. And once again, Lyra, thank you I am so grateful. I am going to frame this stamp and your postcard with the smile. be well. regards – j

    • Lyra says:

      Hi Jean! Glad that postcard reached you and on the Lunar New Year no less! You are very much welcome and hope to see you soon! πŸ™‚

  3. Larry Jones says:

    YOU are like a cook who tempts everyone with her treats and then doesn’t share the recipes!

    My family and I live in Binh Duong Province and even by car it’s a fair way to HCMC, so we have to plan our trips carefully so we don’t waste time hunting things down.

    Your piece on Happy Tom’s Buffet had an address and contact block at the end of the article;

    Scott & Binh’s harder – Google for Bizu Hotel and hope it’s the right one.

    The Crescent Bazare – could be any where!

    You’ve just updated and highlight Thai Express – I’m glad the older stores are nearer us because I sure couldn’t find the one in PMH!

    So,please, Lyra, Street, Ward and District – if you have a smartphone te Longitude and Latitude would help even more.


    • Lyra says:

      Thanks Larry for the feedback. Will try as much as I can to provide the necessary information.

      Thanks for visiting! πŸ™‚

  4. sunny11178 says:

    Same with me, i love the sound, the feeling of “Saigon” πŸ™‚

  5. gubista says:

    Thankyou for your Blog, it’s very informative and interesting πŸ™‚

  6. Audrey Chin says:

    Here’s a hello from another Saigon Lover, a Thao Dien Lover even. Great job!

  7. Paul says:

    its always a pleasure roaming around in Vietnam. You can enjoy the full freedom there. This maybe interesting for you:
    provides the best Garmin-compatible digital maps for all Garmin GPS receivers.

    See ya in Saigon,

  8. Ailene Cruzat says:

    Hello Saigon, kumusta!
    I need some help please, how can i post my name and number in this site? Thanks and Mabuhay!

  9. Now it all comes together and I realise that you are indeed the Lyra I suspected! Your blog is a treasure trove for (relatively) new arrivals to Saigon like myself. Thanks for the link in your recent post, too!

  10. Jay Hughes says:

    Whenever an essential service ventures in to new strategy, I get concerned! New technologies often go astray here.

    Recently there were posts about EVN adopting e-billing and potential complications for payment.

    According to the horses mouth (no good looking at their web site) “e-Billing” is the ability for a meter reader to produce an invoice on the spot when the meter reader is there, rather than returning later with a computer printed invoice. The new invoices are legal for collecting VAT refunds (I was told).

    After giving the invoice to the subscriber, it may be paid on the spot OR the meter reader will make a return call THREE DAYS LATER.

    The tedious, paper laden method paying the EVN bill at a bank continues.

    I frequently travel and often miss the EVN billing cycle which results in a disconnect – I have that beaten as I have a standby battery system and a generator on the balcony.

    To avoid the disconnect, I do the following:
    1. Photocopy the invoice;
    2. Pay the EVN meter reader OR at EVN district office.
    3. ON THE DAY YOU PAY EVN go to a bank and, using the photocopy, PAY THE BILL AGAIN! In other words a DOUBLE PAYMENT. This will cause confusion but worry not.
    4. When your next billing cycle comes around (in your absence) they will not cut you off.

    EVN does not have a prepayment scheme – NUTS!

    This scheme also works for water payments.

  11. Land says:

    Passing by your site when searching something around district 7 and it took me 1 hour last night :). I really love your site. It’s very interesting. Wishing you all the best.

  12. Susan says:

    I just moved to HCMC for 2 years. I found an apartment today, and now have all the other details to contend with, such as finding where my job is and how to get there, plus finding a good dictionary to use and where to buy groceries, etc. I will be living in Sky Garden, so any suggestions would be welcome!

  13. RP B says:

    Nice Blog, I have been living in Binh Duong Province for four years now, but I Haven’t really explored HCMC that much, but with this i was able to know other restaurants for my taste bud cravings. Thanks very much.

  14. Minh-Thi Nguyen says:

    Hello Lyra!
    I’m looking for some kids’ zones with indoor play area and found your nice blog. It’s really interesting and informative.
    Thanks a lot for sharing your great explorations of the city which really impress even VNese.
    By the way, could you please kindly advise whether the cafe Le Sable is still located in Sky Garden 3, D7? It looks really cool.

  15. Claire says:

    My friend was not able to come home with us tonight because her bag was snatched with her passport and all IDs in it.We badly need your help please.what would she do?how many days till she get a travel document?how much will it cost her?
    Thank you so much Lyra!

    • Lyra says:

      Hi Claire. So sorry to hear that. Your friend has to make a police report, then have it notarized. Then off to the Philippine Consulate (I assume you’re Filipino) to get travel documents — the consul is only open on M, T, Th and F from 8-11:30 am. The address is 40-5 Pham Viet Chanh St., Ward 19 Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City. Then she has to get an exit visa. I think for the exit visa, she can just ask any travel agency to help her. Since the consulate is not open today, she might get home on Friday or probably next week. Hope this helps.

  16. nickyho.bz@gmail.com says:

    Nice blog, I have ate many delicious food from your address list. However, I’ve looked for the “egg coffee” in Saigon on your sites, but I found nothing. So I tried to call some online travel agencies for the help. They told me there was only one egg coffee shop in Saigon. I dont remember the name, but you should take a look on this coffee shop. It’s a trending.

  17. Erik says:

    Hi there,

    Do you want to expand your readership and draw new, enthusiastic readers to your blog? Are you the kind of writer who is looking to make your unique experiences in Vietnam a career?

    If so, we have just the thing for you: City Pass Guide is currently in the process of publishing its second edition of the HCMC Resident Guidebook. To improve on our previous publication in 2013, we are looking for people like you who have unique insight into the city and all that it has to offer.

    In exchange for your feedback and mention of our book on your blog, we would like to include your blog in an article that we are currently drafting on the top 10 bloggers in HCMC.

    If you agree, please contact us soon so that we can get started on making you the preferred choice for Saigon reading.

  18. Joe Pinzone says:

    Hey Lyra,

    My name is Joe Pinzone and I’m casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We’d love to film in Vietnam and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The contributors on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. If you’d like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7716 or skype me at joefromnyc. You can also email me at joepinzone@leopardusa.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Joe Pinzone
    Casting Producer
    P: 212-231-7716
    Skype: Joefromnyc

  19. REHAM says:

    hi, I am Reham from Davao City, i want to buy that paper craft puncher? Kindly sent it to me the price list and its picture so that i have choices. How can i get it?

    Reham U. Bakar

  20. Dr. Alka says:

    Today morning I had very bad experience with driver Xuan Trung of uber it was Ford Fiesta when I requested it was Shawn me that it will come in 6 min I waited him for 20 min and called him many time even I gave phone to my Vietnamese friend that you talk why he not come he did not reply and cut the phone .. I have got up late for my work now today I can’t work it was really bad experience he was asking me where to go ? I said you I want go Conghoa you come please he did not come after 20 min waiting I cancelled uber so my money also cut .. I am very upset please do it action against him … My contact no is 01239045679 and my name is Dr. Alka

  21. Dr. Alka says:

    I want my money back which cut as uber charged starting after 5 min if we not cancelled I have waited 20 minutes for Xuan Trung and he did not come and in phone also he did not reply not said anything just he cut my phone I called him many times so give my money back and take action against him . And what is contact no of uber manager and onwer of Saigon Vietnam I want to meet urgently . This man spoiled my day I am very sad and angry

  22. Jon Diep says:

    Hi Lyra,

    I read through your “how to get your birth certificate for foreigners in Vietnam” blog. I feel much more informed because of your documented experience. Thank you. I am currently trying to get my birth certificate in Vietnam as I am writing this message. If there are anymore information you could share in regards to this ordeal I would greatly appreciate it. Again, thank you so much for the information. By-the-way, are you currently in Vietnam?

  23. Hoai Thuong says:

    Surfing in a boring moment and happen to see your blog. wow so amazing and lovely. I have just moved to Saigon for over 1 year after 4 years of university in Da Nang city. I have never thought that I could love Saigon. But all changed. I am attempting to work and earn money, to remain the life in this city. Hope everything will be fine. Nice to meet you all and welcome. Find me if all of you have any trouble (in language…).

  24. jmarti0404 says:

    Thanks for sharing helpful hints for Saigon. We just arrived and are keen on exploring and learning more about the city.

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