Monday 15th August, 2016
We got picked up from the hostel at 12.20pm and enjoyed a riveting 7-hour bus ride from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh.
Em worked out that we had spent the first hour or so just travelling about 10 minutes away from our hostel. I have no idea what they were doing but hey, we got there in the end.
As we arrived in Ho Chi Minh and picked up our backpacks from the coach, we were approached by a taxi driver who ripped us off.
When we were dropped at our hostel, he took too much cash, didn’t give us change, threw our backpacks on the floor and zoomed off.
At Townhouse 23, we had a chat with our dorm buddies before heading out for vegetarian food for dinner and a wander around the night market.
Kids in little motorized cars.
Tuesday 16th August
To start our first full day in Vietnam, we booked our trips for the next 2 days to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels and the Mekong Delta.
Although there were guided tours around the city available, we decided to just grab a map and do it ourselves.
Pavements have a very different meaning in Vietnam…
We passed the Huyen Si Church, Xa Loi Pagoda, War Remnants Museum (really interesting and informative museum full of heartbreaking photos of victims of the war), Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office.
After the sun had set, we also passed the People Committee Hall, Opera House and the Bitaxco sky bar on the way back to the hostel.
We chilled, showered and chatted to the new girls in our dorm and headed to the 4th best restaurant in Ho Chi Minh which was conveniently located a few doors down from our hostel.
We would thoroughly recommend La Fiesta for delicious Tex Mex goodness!
Wednesday 17th August
We met our lovely tour group for the Cu Chi Tunnels in the early afternoon and made a stop off at a shop that made beautiful, intricate displays out of eggshells.
Our tour guide was absolutely hilarious and constantly used (mostly inappropriate) song lyrics when explaining things at the Cu Chi Tunnels.
After the tour, we grabbed dinner at the market with Beth and Bogdan.
Here, I had my favourite meal of the entire trip in Vietnam.
Bogdan and I shared a Thai-style seafood hotpot filled with really fresh seafood and my favourite vegetables, morning glory (great name, I know).
After dinner, we headed back to our hostels to get ready for a night on the town.
Being ABSOLUTE BALLERS at the rooftop bar at The One.
Em, Beth and I left Bogdan, who was loving the classy rooftop life, to enter the backpacker district which was much more my kinda scene 😉
We went to Hair of the Dog and The Mad Dog, bumped into lots of friendly faces from our tour and threw some killer shapes till the early hours.
Thursday 18th August
The next morning, we met the travel agent at 7.45am and he motorbiked Em and I over to the bus station, one at a time.
This was my first time on a motorbike and I’m not gunna lie, Vietnam is not the most relaxing place for this experience to take place.
After a 2 hour journey on the bus, where I managed to catch up on some much-needed beauty sleep, we arrived at the Mekong Delta.
We took a boat to the islands and were given honey tea, fresh coconut sweets, went on a river cruise, ate some mediocre fruit and listened to people singing.
The free lunch was pretty poor and it was sad to see the alligators which looked really unhealthy.
Tourists could also pay to feed them flea-ridden raw meat on a fishing rod. It was pretty disgusting.
Now, I know that these tours are aimed at tourists but the whole trip seemed to be aimed at rushing you to different locations to try to sell you things that you don’t necessarily want or need. To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend doing the Mekong Delta day tour at all.
We had a look around the area and chilled in hammocks for a while before getting dropped back at the market in the city centre by 5.30pm.
I bought some almonds and dried mangos as it’s always important to have snacks on you to avoid hanger, especially on long coach journeys! 😉
Em and I had a dinner of pho and curry at The Street Food Market before crashing by midnight.
That brings us to an end to our time in Ho Chi Minh City.
See you soon for adventures in Da Lat 😉