Meet your private guide at Ben Thanh Market and take a bus together to Chinatown, where you’ll stop at a fruit market. Enjoy a fruit tasting while you head toward Le Quang Sung Street, a must-visit street for understanding Vietnamese life. It is the only place in town to purchase wedding betel and areca; betel leaves and areca nuts or flowers are very important in Vietnamese marriage ceremonies.
Learn about local Vietnamese and Chinese communities as you continue to Binh Tay Market, known for its beautiful Sino-French architecture. Wander around and take in the views of food stands while your local guide tells more about life in Ho Chi Minh City.
Next stop is Cha Tham Church, built in the 19th century. This decaying light-caramel-painted church exudes a sleepy, tropical feel. After hearing the stories about the site, continue to other markets like Kim Bien and Dai Quang Minh. Dai Quang Minh Market is heaven for Saigon creatives, as it's full of shops that sell countless accessories for sewing and crafting.
Continue your journey to other beautiful temples where you and your group can practice traditional gestures by making wishes for good fortune. Take in the sacred atmosphere of Thien Hau Temple, a revered structure built in the 19th century and dedicated to Thien Hau, goddess of the seafarers.
Now it's time for a coffee break at one of oldest cafes in town, Cheo Leo. The place was founded by Vinh Ngo in 1938 and now it’s run by Ngo's eldest daughter. She still brews the coffee in the traditional way, with an old-fashioned cloth strainer and a clay pot.
Finish your private tour with a visit to Ban Co Market, a place where only Vietnamese go, full of stalls selling clothes, jewelry, handbags, and food. How great it is to have your own private host, as nobody here speaks English, so either practice your Vietnamese or let your host do all the talking. Then head back to your meeting point together and say your goodbyes to end your tour.
Ba Thien Hau Temple
Nha Tho Cha Tam (Cha Tam Church)