The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Saigon-HCMC-south Vietnam
Saigon-HCMC-south Vietnam

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam 2015

Just an amazing city.

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam in 2015 was quite different to my previous visits in 2003. More cars, not quite so many bikes, lots of high rise buildings & good taxis.

The old & traditional is far more charming

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Later in the day this coffee shop will be packed.

Coffee shop close to Saigon Apartments

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Good coffee here on the corner near Saigon Apartments.

Roland and I at our local coffee shop

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

My friend Roland Bonicci is a Sydney barrister who absolutely loves Vietnam, I’m sure sometime in the future he will probably retire here.

Saigon Apartments


Great value and a good location in District 3. Only $68 per night if you book through this AGODA link. Both bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms and there is an excellent kitchen and large lounge room with a balcony.

Shri, rooftop restaurant

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Set atop the new Centec Tower, Shri Restaurant & Lounge offers unparalleled panoramic views from nearly every table in the restaurant, whether it be in the modern Internationally styled Dining Room,  with its very clean simple lines, on the stunning alfresco Garden Terrace.

Pasta at Shri

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

The pasta was a very reasonable price at only $13 usd.

Roast pig at Tram Chim

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

This restaurant is very popular, not so much for the food but for the attractive waitresses who flirt with you while you dine. 🙂 In fact the waitresses are all worth the visit, they peel your prawns cut the pork and even massage your shoulders while you eat.

Peel the prawns then warm in the coconut

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

They tasted every bit as good as they looked.

Our personal prawn peeler

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Now this is the only way to eat prawns, have somebody peel them for you.

 Tram Chim sexy waitresses

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

 If you want to really enjoy your dining experience this is the restaurant for you. The food is not bad but you don’t go there for the food. They have some of the most attractive “waitresses” in Saigon for a restaurant. Beautiful girls who are friendly and give very good service as well. The food is ok, the beer is cold and the waitresses are hot! Enjoy the place but don’t take your wife. 🙂

Let’s go upmarket to Maxim’s restaurant

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

It feels like you have stepped back in time to the 1930s. Maxim’s restaurant is like entering a time warp. It actually opened in 1925 and I swear they have changed nothing since then. 🙂 Food is excellent and reasonably expensive along with the wine. Worth a visit before going upstairs to their very classy upmarket night club.

Now let’s go really upmarket to Maxim’s night club

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

As you can imagine the drinks are rather expensive.

Gorgeous girls at Maxim’s

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Famous as an important part of downtown Saigon since 1925, Maxim’s Club has been known as THE entertainment venue of business people and social elites since last century.

Gorgeous Russian Singer

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Not only does she sing but plays a mean violin as well.

Maxim’s is magnificent

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Yes, it is upmarket and expensive but a great venue for music and gorgeous girls. One huge negative for me is they smoke in the club.

Maxim’s Club 13-15-17 Đồng Khởi, District 1

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

The Russian girl may be beautiful however this guy can really sing, check him out if you get a chance.

Chill is a great rooftop bar & restaurant

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

A great bar and not as expensive as similar Bangkok Sky Bars.

Chill rooftop bar

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

The bar itself looks stunning from the floor above.

Breathtaking view from Chill

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

The ever changing Saigon skyline is quite breathtaking.

A favourite photo

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Calm waters of the mighty Mekong River.

A great place for a long lazy lunch.  

 Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

A terrific place to sip a cocktail and watch the world go by.

The famous Cho Ben Thanh Market

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Located in the centre of Saigon this is one of the cities best known landmarks.  

Cho Ben Thanh Market

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

To me the market kind of marks the very centre of Saigon. Adjacent the New World Hotel is in a great location in the centre of the city, for a discounted room rate book through THIS LINK.

At Phatty’s watching the Asian cup

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

One of the many excellent Saigon sports bars.

Wayne, David, Roland and Pat at Phatty’s

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Here we are enjoying the atmosphere at one of Saigon’s best sports bars.

Bitexco Financial Tower

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

    A stunning building with a huge heliport and a roof top bar.


Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Breathtaking views from Alto Heli Bar on the 52nd floor of the ultra-modern Bitexco Financial Tower is by far the highest spot in Saigon to sip on a cool drink and admire the cityscape.

52nd floor of Bitexico tower

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

    Apologies for the rather poor quality selfie.

Mai, a lovely French girl at Maxim’s

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

A gorgeous French mademoiselle. 

Terrific singer at Maxim’s

  Saigon HCMC South Vietnam 

This little girl could really belt out a song.

Saigon HCMC south Vietnam

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Taken from beside the river.

Lunch is served

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Lots of street food similar to Thailand.

Summer rolls & coconut only $4

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

      One of my all time favourite dishes.

With Roger at the Buddha Bar

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

We drank 3 bottles of wine for lunch Two hours after I arrived I met Roger for lunch at Jaspers where we proceeded to drink 3 bottles of wine before moving onto several bars where more alcohol was consumed. Roger works for an upmarket wine distributor so he probably feels it’s part of his job. 🙂

Ciao Bella an excellent Italian restaurant

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

This very quickly became a favourite restaurant.

Roland enjoys a Ciao Bella feast

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

A great seafood salad, Roland is a Sydney barrister and really loves his food.

Best Saigon taxi company

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

Stick with this company or Mai Linh for clean honest low priced taxis.

Don’t under any circumstances use the company below.

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

They, SaigonTourist tried to charge 1,150,000 dong for a trip to the airport that should coast 150,000 to 200,000. After a brief argument I paid 300,000 and stormed off. It was my own fault completely as I broke my own rule of only using Vinasun and sometimes Mai Linh.

Tequila bar

 Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

One of the better bars with attractive ladies and good music.

German beer and Chinese food

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

A very good combination, German beer and Chinese food.

Jaspers restaurant

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

  This lovely lady is Ly, she works at Jasper’s.

Street lights to celebrate Tet.

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

This is without a doubt one of South East Asia’s most exciting cities.

Saigon school kids

Saigon HCMC South Vietnam

School-kids always look cute all over the world.

                      Here are some more posts to check out         
Pattaya Hilton

Pattaya hotels, Hilton & Holiday Inn

This is the view from Horizons the amazing rooftop bar. A great five star hotel located opposte the beach & above the Central Festival shopping mall. Just book through THIS LINK for an excellent room rate. 

 Soi Cowboy                  Nana Plaza                    Patpong

 Soi Cowboy (5)           e1274c0c-cf4d-4406-b5dc-d9e8071e382e            8993ef02-ccf3-46a7-8b6d-fc11af9d93ad

  Please check out these fabulous posts
       Gold Coast                              Pattaya                          Cinque Terre
bd96516a-84df-4ca0-86e6-c757cc9053d1          01a75360-9573-473f-acba-3a187f779b7f          e18b6c87-5adc-4a80-92cf-6c643ad130c1
Rio de Janeiro                  Singapore                    Eastern Europe
f044491e-69aa-4082-b49b-1ff33557d7d4          60e7d26d-1039-4dde-863d-62b66656ccbf          1bea4a99-cb07-4161-83ba-75c0ef2b63cc
    Bangkok Bars                         Tokyo                      Cape Town Safari
d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037          f5e9441a-4154-44e0-a362-18b662d40b48          2a2b79ea-bc5f-46e3-8448-2e71658eff14 
               Great hotel room rates anywhere in the world if you book
                  through these links below.  Book now & pay later.
Free Cancellation. 
Bangkok Hotels                    Pattaya Hotels
d0c59ff5-7f2b-41b5-9312-4556d4a62037          b1c99886-3940-4dda-b350-44c5e5c77e41
 That’s all folks

1g Duck



Here is the best Sky Bar in Saigon



War remnants Museum



Vung Tau only 90 minutes by ferry of mini bus



Author: David Herd

My history, particularly over the last 30 years is dominated by overseas travel. I sold my home in Australia October 20th 2011 and have have been living in Thailand since then. I don’t know where the time has gone? It seems like you go to sleep one night, wake up the next morning, and 20 years have flashed by. Not sure how many years I have left, however I have enjoyed a wonderful charmed life, and if it all ended today I would leave this world with no regrets. I was born in Sydney halfway through the last century, started my travels in the 60s with the usual U.K. Europe adventure at the age of 20, back to Australia and worked in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide in Sales & Marketing with multinational companies including Sanyo, Canon & Remington. Engaged to be married 3 times and never quite made it to the alter, finally realized by the mid 90s I was not cut out for "long term relationships" so I moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland in January 1987, worked for a couple of banks as a Financial Planner, I took a year off work in 1998 to travel and never went back to full time work again, after 25 fun filled years on the Coast I packed up and moved to Thailand. What is the purpose of this blog? Well I really want to use it to record my travel experiences & to display my photographs, give and receive travel tips, comment on places I visit, restaurants I eat in and use it to replace the autobiography I intended to write, apart from all that it helps me fill in my day. :) I moved to Thailand mainly because I wanted to keep travelling while my health allowed me to, there are huge advantages being closer to all the places I want to visit. Cost of living in Thailand is around 35% of the cost in Australia, plus flights are 50% cheaper because you are much closer to everywhere. ???? Consequently I am able to travel to many more places compared to living in Australia. Having said all that, it is & has always been my intention to return to Australia when my travelling is finished, I predict this will happen around 2021.

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