OOPS I did it again?! straight from nightshift I flew from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh and I did not sleep for 24 hr. Deadly!
So let’s begin! WHAT HAPPENED IN HO CHI MINH?
Well for starters, we only had a very short stay in Vietnam so I didn’t have the chance to visit other places, and three days was I think enough for a city.
When I arrived at the airport, my airbnb host, Lotus and Alex, gave us tips to use uber or grab than airport taxis when going around as it is much cheaper. I was fortunate to have the uber pool all by myself and paid only 90000 dong to the flat. The airbnb was really spacious but since we were a big group of family, I booked two houses.
After putting my bags down, without sleep, we directly went to our first tour. I am bad at planning things well with a big group of people as I am not always into details. But, to maximize our time and money, I needed to prebook everything, and good thing my sister helped me a lot. Our airbnb host organizes some tours so I didn’t have a hard time choosing.
For our first tour, we booked the Cu chi tunnel half day tour. We went to a handicapped center where they make and sell Vietnamese furniture, arts and crafts. In my opinion, the prices here are way too expensive but, it is understandable since you can really see that handicapped people do all these amazing crafts. But, if you don’t have the budget, better opt to go to the Then, we proceeded to visit the Cu Chi tunnel, walk around and saw how meticulously Vietnamese created these tunnels that were used in war. Our guide was also funny and does jokes with a poker face so it was funnier. We also dared to enter a very narrow tunnel and good thing we are not claustrophobic and our body sizes fit very well like Vietnamese does.
It was a different experience. We didn’t have the iconic Cu Chi tunnel shot because it rained the whole afternoon.
After the tour, we went to have a very nice dinner in a fancy restaurant just near the airbnb.
The second day, we went for the Mekong river tour. It’s a very famous tour in HCM.
Before going there, we visited other places like:
Vinh Trang Pagoda : Buddhist temple near Mekong River
Coconut candy factory: they have the tastiest coconut candies!
Bee Farm: my favorite place because of the bees!
Hand Rowing Sampan: famous and the highlight of the tour which lasted for 10 min I think, but just beware of the stories that the local people say, it’s a little suspicious anyway, tip is a must too..
Traditional performance by locals: the locals sang some traditional songs for the guests, and we have fruits and tea while listening. I think I drank to much tea for this tour.
Puffy fried gourami fish: we went Du Lich Sinh Thai Con Phung for lunch. They served us the elephant fish which can be caught in the river. This place also has crocodile farm, recreational activities like bicycle and areas where you can relax.
In the afternoon, we went to the Benh Than market and bought some pasalubongs & goodies for friends and for myself!
Note: it’s better to buy at fixed price stalls than inside the market. The sellers with official stores outside sell cheaper goods and with the same quality than those stores inside who won’t let you bargain! learn from our mistakes!!
After shopping, we had an awesome pho dinner to capped off the night!
The next day, we tried going around the city center by walking but we ended up tired and sweaty. My mom can’t walk anymore so we decided to partway since I need to catch an earlier flight to Sg. But my sister and cousin still visited the war museum. Well not much really but, Vietnam war was also a very unnecessary war to begin with.
Well, they still went to Singapore after HCM so even for a very short visit, we managed to see the highlights of the city. Maybe next time, i will visit the north of Vietnam ^^
Here’s a snapshot from the Singapore trip, well, I will be writing about SG very soon :p