The last few days, I was in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with my parents for a much deserved break (Ha! Not really, but my dad was being spontaneous and decided we could do with a holiday). Although we were only there for 4 days (3 full days, seeing as we arrived in the afternoon and left in the morning), we still did a lot of looking about, and I believe we got all the essential touristy things in. Hurrah! So without any further ado, here is Part 1 of my HCMC adventures! 🙂
The first thing I noticed when I got off the plane was the terrible air pollution. Coming down from high up in the plane, we could actually discern a thick cloud of greyish pollution. Eugh. The second thing I noticed were the motorbikes/scooters. There are approximately 10 million people in HCMC (according to my driver) and about 7~8million of them ride motorbikes/scooters. That’s a LOT.
Look at this picture, and then imagine there being at least a hundred more of them, coming at you from all directions. The worst part is, there are no traffic lights for pedestrians, so you have to wing it (tip: walk slowly at a pretty steady speed. They’ll most likely avoid you themselves. Be prepared for a cacophony of honking from all around though).
We stayed at this tiny little hotel in one of the alleyways off the busy roads of central HCMC, called Beautiful Saigon 2 Hotel (the 2 being there because they had 3 separate buildings). There was no elevator, but we were only on the 3rd floor so that was fine. We had a really nice room with clean linens and a bathroom with a bathtub, all for the ridiculously cheap price of $44 per night (well, it might be more expensive compared to the cheaper backpacking hostels you can find in HCMC, but we wanted clean sheets. Meh). Also, all the staff were super friendly and helpful, and they even helped us organize all our tours and dinners and everything. Yay!
And then for dinner, I had my first bowl of real Vietnamese pho! Pho bo, or beef pho, to be exact. Om nom nom.
We then went to the Bin Thanh Market, which is the large and historically rich indoor market in the busy hub of HCMC. Unfortunately, the market was closed for the day (it opens everyday from 7AM to 7PM) so we weren’t able to go inside. But the night markets were opening up nearby, so we bought some dragonfruits and mangoes. Delicious!
Part 2 will be up soon (hopefully)!
*update* Part 2 is here! Click here to read it! 🙂