The advantage of living in Singapore, you can make last-minute plan, and travel to nearby South Asian Countries. One such plan was my travel to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
Vietnam is a Southeast Asian nation on the South China Sea known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities and Ho Chi Minh City known for its historical landmarks and beautiful pagodas to hip bars and sprawling shopping malls.
The trip was last-minute plan and a week later I was at Changi Airport flying to Ho Chi Minh City. It was full on backpacker trip 🙂
Let me share my experience, Vietnam has visa on arrival, you have to wait for long hours at the airport to get the visa stamped, which is quiet frustrating. I waited for almost four hours to get my visa done.
You have to apply online for visa on-arrival, this can be done through Vietnam Visa site.
This was my backpacker trip, I stayed in Long Hostel , located in perfect place of Backpacker area (Pham Ngu Lao street), and also my first experience of staying in a hostel. But, I really liked the stay. I booked a single room with attached bathroom. Room was very neat and clean. Hostel served the breakfast as well.
The best part of staying in a hostel, you get to make lot of new friends who are on solo or backpacking trips. I would definitely recommend this place if you are on a budget travel. First time traveller can stay in Saigon’s downtown District 1. By the time I reached hostel it was quiet late, I rested for a while before going out.
ROAM AROUND THE CITY
Evening I started my trip by roaming around the city. I travelled during Chinese New Year, so city was beautifully decorated.
Late evening I went to Bui Vien Street. The street was very lively and vibrant. It was full of travelers, really liked the vibrancy and atmosphere. Best part was sitting outside on a low stool, the Vietnamese way 🙂 and enjoying the sip of Saigon Beer 🙂 .
The place was full of restaurants and bars. The unique part was street artists performance, there were number of artists on street performing dances and fire eating activities.
I noticed lot of streets vendors selling fried squids, so can’t resist trying one 🙂
Other attractions you can visit in the city includes Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Zoo, Jade Emperor Pagoda, Botanical Gardens.
TRIP TO MEKONG DELTA
Next day I went to Mekong Delta, I booked the trip from hostel. It was around 3 hours travel. Trip took us to rural village of My Tho. On arrival in My Tho, we visited the Buddhist Vinh Trang Pagoda.
Later we boarded a sampan boat for a cruise, it was short cruise.
We stopped to enjoy coconut candy, honey bee tea and also listened to Vietnamese folk music.
Evening we were back to our hostel.
VISIT TO PHAM NGU LAO STREET
Late evening I went Pham Ngo Lao Street, the street is famous for bustling night life. I was surprised with numerous variety of sea foods. Never seen something like this before 🙂 . Vietnam is famous for its sea foods, you have numerous options clams, oysters, cockles, mussels, scallops, shrimp and many other shellfish 🙂 🙂
When in Vietnam, eat like Vietnamese 🙂 . Snail eating is part of Nhau Culture. So do relish in local delicacy of sea foods 🙂
This street was also full of bars and restaurants, you can do Pub Crawling as well.
TRIP TO CU CHI TUNNELS
Due to time constraint I was not able to visit the tunnels, but it is definitely must visit. It has historical importance. These tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat in their resistance to American forces.
I really enjoyed my short trip and loved the city for its vibrancy and bustling night life and specially unique sea food delicacy 🙂 🙂 ….