Tourists have food and beer around sidewalk tables of a restaurant in Saigon’s backpacker street Bui Vien. Photo by VnExpress/ Nguyen Quy
A “super inexpensive” cost of living makes Vietnam’s southern metropolis “a perfect candidate for budget-conscious Australian tourists”, alongside Arizona in the U.S. and Buenos Aires in Argentina, the magazine says.
“Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s biggest economic hub, but cheap stuff and amazing attraction spots there may surprise you,” it adds.
The Australian weekly magazine says a beef noodle soup in Saigon costs no more than AU$5 ($3.5) while a bottle of beer at a rooftop bar can be bought for just over AU$1 ($0.7).
New Idea tells its readers not to miss out on the War Remnants Museum on Vo Van Tan Street in District 3 and shopping at the Ben Thanh Market, one of the oldest icons in Saigon.
The museum has more than 20,000 artifacts, images and documentaries that speak of the atrocities, including many war crimes, perpetrated by colonial and imperial forces. It also presents evidence of the consequences of wars that millions of Vietnamese suffer to this day.
HCMC welcomed a record high 2.25 million foreign tourists in the first three months of this year, up 10 percent from a year earlier. It accounted for half the total number of foreign arrivals during the period, according to the city’s tourism department.
Foreign arrivals in Vietnam went up seven percent year-on-year to 4.5 million in the first quarter, the General Statistics Office reported.
In 2017, Price of Travel, a travel cost database, ranked Saigon the world’s third cheapest city, where backpackers only need $18.33 a day for meals, beer, a place to stay, public transport and an entrance fee to a top attraction.