After looking at the sights of Saigon until the afternoon, there was something very special on the agenda for the evening: a culinary Vespa tour through Saigon, which we booked directly through Gebeco.
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Vespa Adventures – A culinary tour of Saigon
Just in time at 6 p.m. we were picked up by Vespa Adventures with Vespas directly at our hotel. Vespa Adventures was founded in 2007 by an American emigrant and his Vietnamese wife and has developed into a thriving company in 6 cities in Vietnam (Hanoi, Hoi An, Hue, Saigon), Thailand (Chiang Mai) and Cambodia (Siem Reap).
On our Saigon After Dark Tour there were 3 other guests from our Gebeco tour group. But anyone who thinks that we are tired of life and is even with the Vespas through Saigon is mistaken 😉 Each of us had our own driver and was able to sit behind him on the Vespa. And we were able to start our first stop.
1. Stop – Café Zoom
Before we arrived at our first stop, we first blew through the evening streets of Saigon. If you stand at road junctions in Saigon during the day or look at the streets from the coach, you just think “Crass”. From the outside, there is total traffic chaos on the roads, thousands of honking mopeds pushing through the streets, driving over footpaths or simply crossing the traffic lights in red. So we were really excited about what it would be like to sit on a Vespa ourselves and drive through the urban jungle of Saigon. Surprisingly, we felt totally safe at all times. Our drivers have driven very carefully, but not slower than other moped riders. The feeling when you’re in the middle of the action is just completely different. And it was sooo great fun to roar through the streets,standing in the middle of hundreds of mopeds at the traffic lights and getting to know Saigon from a completely different perspective.
Our first culinary stop was Café Zoom, owned by Vespa Adventures. The café is also always the starting point for all Vespa tours in Saigon. Here in the café we got to know our guide for the evening, who accompanied us from station to station and gave us interesting information about the country and the food. Here at Café Zoom we received a first welcome drink and a few snacks. The drinks and the food are all included in the tour by the way – so you should definitely come with an empty stomach 😉
2. Stop – The Seafood Restaurant
After about 30 minutes we went on to our next stop – of course we shot a big Vespa round through the city before we arrived here. When we arrived, our guide was already waiting for us and received us. We arrived at a seafood restaurant, where we were well served. There were all sorts of local dishes, such as mussels, crab, frog legs and fish with delicious side dishes. It was just delicious and you could try something you’ve never eaten before. Really great!
3. Stop – The Banh Xeo Restaurant
On the way to our 3rd stop, the restaurant Banh Xeo, it suddenly started to rain. However, our Vespa drivers were also well equipped for this situation, stopped quickly at the roadside and provided us with rain ponchos, so that we did not get wet. After we arrived at the restaurant and took our seat, it suddenly poured like something else – a real torrent. What luck we were that it only rained a little on our Vespa ride.
Banh Xeo is a restaurant serving typical Vietnamese pancakes. A glance at the open kitchen has already suggested that it will be a very greasy affair. To the pancakes, in which meat or shrimps were baked, we had various herb and salad leaves as well as sauces, which honestly tasted very familiar. It was nice to try something like this, but unfortunately it wasn’t our taste.
After the rain had stopped, we were able to continue to our next stop.
4. Stop – The Hidden Café
The name “Hidden Café” sounds a bit mysterious and that’s exactly what it was. When we arrived with the Vespas, our guide led us through a backyard into a house entrance, where left and right residents in hammocks lay in front of their TVs. We went up a stairwell, where we suddenly stood in front of a Christmas-decorated front door. And when we opened them, we couldn’t believe our eyes: we were standing in a larger living room, already filled with people who all listened to a singing artist – a kind of living room concert. Crazy! Our guide took us to our place, where we were first supplied with coffee or tea and could listen to a singer and a singer who sang Vietnamese. Sometimes something completely different, but super interesting!
After the small living room concert we walked back to our Vespa riders, were equipped with our helmets and got to hear the words “We hope you sit comfortably. The next trip takes a little longer.” … Pustekuchen … After about 100 meters we came to a stop, which was (unfortunately already) the last stop of our culinary Vespa tour 😉
5. Stop – The Acoustic Bar
Again our guide walked with us into a side street and went to a bar that was inconspicuous from the outside. Already at the door opening a huge voice came towards us and inside we received a great atmosphere. At the center of the Acoustic Bar sat a band with singers who performed modern rock songs. Around it sat enthusiastic spectators, who sang along and waved along to the rhythm of the music. Our guide showed us our places, which were really great. We were quickly supplied with drinks and were able to see and hear everything from there.
A mad conclusion of a great Vespa tour, which we can only warmly recommend to everyone. With a price of just under 100 euros, it’s not quite cheap, but you won’t forget what you get in 4.5 hours 🙂
A video of our Vespa tour
Here is a short video of our Vespa tour through downtown Saigon.
All travelogues from VietnamDuring our 10-day trip with Gebeco through Vietnam we got to know many different sides of the country. Starting with the pulsating capital Hanoi and the millions of scooters on the streets, the majestic beauty of Halong Bay, an exciting night train ride to the cultural centre of Hue, further to the old town of Hoi An, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and on to the megacity of Saigon in the south of the country. Our trip was very varied and full of contrasts and here you can find an overview of all travel reports: Day 1: Our trip “Typical Vietnam!” with Gebeco (Vietnam)
Day 2: Hanoi – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots (Vietnam)
Day 3: Halong Bay – A day trip from Hanoi (Vietnam)
Day 3: The Night Train from Hanoi to Hue (Vietnam)
Day 4: Hue – Citadel & Imperial Palace with the Forbidden City (Vietnam)
Day 4: Hue – Emperor’s Tomb of Minh Mang & Thien Mu Pagoda (Vietnam)
Day 5: From Hue to Hoi An – The Cloud Pass & Da Nang (Vietnam)
Day 5: Hoi An – Tourist Attractions, Things to Do & Photo spots (Vietnam)
Day 6: My Son – The ruins of the ancient temple city at Hoi An (Vietnam)
Day 7: Saigon – Die Sehenswürdigkeiten von Ho Chi Minh Stadt
Day 7: Saigon – A culinary Vespa tour of the city (Vietnam)
Day 8: The Mekong Delta – A bike & boat tour (Vietnam)
Day 9: Cu Chi – The Tunnels of the Vietcong in the Vietnam War (Vietnam)
Starbucks Global Icon City Mug of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)We are collecting the Starbucks Mugs from the cities and islands we visit on our travels. Unfortunately, not every city that has a Starbucks store with an own mug. But if the city has an own mug we like to collect them as a souvenir. We only collect city mugs from the "Global Icon Series", which was released in 2008. You can see our complete collection here: Starbucks - Our collection of Mugs from the Global Icon Series
Ho Chi Minh City has several Starbucks stores and also has its own cup 🙂