Saigon Street Eats — It’s All About The Food!
It’s official! Our street food tours of Ho Chi Minh City are up and running.
We’ve had amazingly positive feedback from our first customers at Saigon Street Eats.
I think we have achieved our aim of setting up the best Ho Chi Minh tours so visitors feel like they’re hanging out with friends, exploring the back streets of Saigon, eating the best street food and having a good laugh along the way.
There is actually a lot of laughing in Vietnam. This is a land, after all, where it’s not uncommon to see a toilet being transported on the back of a motorbike. Five on a bike, fish on a bike, snakes on a bike — it’s all here. And a lot of the everyday sights here are quite funny. Even for me, and I’m an old Vietnam hand now.
But the thing that draws many people to Vietnam is the food. And it is fantastic, let me tell you.
The problem for visitors is that without some local knowledge, it’s hard to know where to go for the best local food. And if you do get a lead on a fabulous little place that someone knows, it’s often very difficult to know what to order, or even how to order. Sometimes, with so many people staring at you, just walking into a local place seems too difficult.
That’s where we come in.
After so many years living, eating, working and playing in Ho Chi Minh City, we know where to go and what to order. We know that it’s much easier to brave the stares when you’re in a group (even though we try to avoid the group tour “feel”). And eating in a group is always more fun than eating alone, especially in Vietnam when eating is such a social event.
There were several things that motivated Darling Man and I to start offering food tours of Ho Chi Minh City, apart from the fact that we both love Vietnamese street food.
When we returned to Vietnam this year, after two-and-a-half years in Singapore and Thailand, I realised that I was always the only Westerner at my favourite places. And my favourite places were, of course, eating places – pho joints, the stalls in the back of out-of-the-way wet markets, little hot pot places and the street of sidewalk seafood restaurants we call “snail street”.
That realisation, combined with the memory of the crap tours I took when I first arrived in Vietnam in 2007, started us thinking about what would make a great tour of Ho Chi Minh City. We decided we’d found a real niche.
We thought we could draw on our combined 24 years of living in Ho Chi Minh City and my experience as a Western tourist to create fun, friendly, food-focused tours that get visitors off the tourist trail and into the busy chaotic backstreets. AND get them eating fresh cooked-before-your-eyes street food. Because after five years in Asia, I truly believe the best food is eaten on the street, amid the noise and bustle of everyday life.
We are now working on marketing our new business, trying to get the Saigon Street Eats name known to people who plan to visit Vietnam and want to eat the best Vietnamese food possible while they’re here.
We’d love it if you’d help us out by sharing information about our new venture with your friends, colleagues and relatives.
P.S. In the first photo, the handsome Asian guy listening to my herb lecture is the charming James, who blogs at Fly, Icarus, Fly, and the sexy intellectual lady is Ayeshah of The Khaness of Nam. Because who else does a blogger turn to in times of need but other bloggers?
December update: A friend just alerted us to the fact that celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain filmed in “our” Snail Street for his No Reservations television show a few years ago. It just goes to show, Snail Street is *the* place to go in Ho Chi Minh City (even though Mr Bourdain called it “street of snails”).
8 years ago