Food in Saigon, Hanoi and other general tips

We went to Vietnam in Dec 2016–Jan 2017 and enjoyed every minute of it. Here are food places we recommend in Saigon and Hanoi:

Saigon

Hanoi

General tips

  1. Get a SIM card when you arrive in the airport. Get it for the data / google maps while walking around. I paid $10. bring cash, they don’t take credit.
  2. Careful of anybody who offers you a taxi @ Ho Chi Minh airport. Stick with Vina Sun or Mai Linh - they have meters and generally professional drivers.
  3. Many of the taxi drivers don’t speak english, so try to have your destination written down for them to read
  4. I really enjoyed using Google Trips as an app - it remembers everything you starred in Google Maps and helps you get context to things to see!
  5. If you are getting a visa on arrival in Ho Chi Minh, make sure you bring the exact amount of cash (they take USD), and if you got the visa approval letter through a 3rd party, I’d inquire about and pay for the “fast track” service where an agent stands in line to get it for you. They have men who seem to have a special arrangement with the visa office. I didn’t get this service and I ended up standing in line behind a mob of angry Russians for 2 hours as I had to listen carefully for my name called by a woman speaking in broken Russian and English. It wasn’t fun.