Ho Chi MinhMarch 5 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C
Hi Chi Minh City, Rooftop Pool day, City Hall, Opera House and a billion scooters!!
Hi Chi Minh City, Rooftop Pool day, City Hall, Opera House and a billion scooters!!
A long day - not stopping after arrival. Already experienced the traffic by feet, getting slowly used to it....very slowly. If it were not so dangerous - crossing street like in frogger - it would be real fun .
Hitting Ban Than Market - a gorgeous place to shop around - good I have no room left in my backpack, as the place is full of dragons.
As always it pulls me to the waterfront - after phoning home, time to rest and check in with myself sitting watching the boats
Next dinner - bed - finally get some restRead more
Back in Vietnam in the old Siagon. We are in a port along the Siagon River within walking distance to a very crowded and active town. We went out for food and just had to ask the waitress to pick something that locals would eat. She was great and she would bring us the food and then show us how to eat it. Since everything seemed to have a wrap or sauce or soup that was very helpful. It was delicious and cheap and we walked through town in the evening.
The town is mainly motorcycles and taxis and hardly any cars. They are expensive and taxed heavily and there is no place to park so motorcycles are the means of transport. To cross the street you can never get the intersection clear so you just wait until things thin a little and then start walking. If you maintain a slow and steady pace the motorcycles just weave around you and you eventually get to the other side. If you look at the traffic you will panic and stop or move too suddenly and are more likely to get hit so slow and steady is the key. Needless to say for 4 Americans that took some getting used to and having 20 bikes roar past you while crossing a big intersection can beat any amusement park ride any day. :-)
There is a downside. We were informed there were pickpockets and were pretty careful but once we wandered into a part of town that was a little less crowed and during that street crossing adventure one of the bikes acted like they were going to hit us and caused us to jump a bit and while they slid past Ali they grabbed her purse and just jerked it right off her neck. They were gone before she realized what happened. Fortunately she didn't have much of value and no credit cards but it was a little bit of a wake up call to watch what we are carrying.
Overall a fairly enjoyable experience and a nice enough city with some pretty places like the temple below. I can't imagine living here though in the crush of people that were always present. That is not something commonly said by us as we seem to always leave an area with plans for a longer stay in the future sometime. Next stop Bangkok.Read more
Dinner at Ly Club Saigon
So we woke up really refreshed after a great night sleep. No aircon, just a fan - heaven! I love being cool at night but the aircon really dries you out, but our room was perfect at night with just the fan.
We took our time over breakfast and got ourselves organised to go to An Bang beach by the resort bus. Had a fabulous day just relaxing at the beach. One of the many ladies selling stuff on the beach managed to win me over with discussions about her children. I think that so long as you are happy with the price you should at least buy something. A lot of the people selling use this as their only income. Women look after the children, try to earn some money and a lot of the men spend their day drinking coffee in the coffee shops. So I’m happy to support the families in some way even if it is pretty insignificant.
It is really a lovely beach and we enjoyed the day just relaxing there. Caught the bus back, picked up our washing and after a shower walked into town for dinner. We couldn’t believe the amount of buses and tourists in the old town. It was Buddha’s birthday celebration and so I guess it was understandable.
So good having this relaxing time in such an amazing place!Read more
We had to wake up early this morning as we were heading off for a walking food tour. This tour is run by Neville who is an Aussie that has been in Hoi An for 8 years and has set up this tour in conjunction with local Vietnamese. We set off with a small group walking through the market and stopping at local street vendors sampling new delights. Sooooo much food, we tasted 40 local dishes and didn’t need to eat for the rest of the day. There was a bit of history and local custom thrown in and we enjoyed the morning. Seriously hot though and we spent a bit of time by the pool when we got back. After cooling down we rode our bikes back into town to the bank and to try on my boots and shoes, which were great. Pete wanted an ‘Alan ManBag’ (from the movie Hangover) so we found a leather shop recommended by Neville and he found a great bag at a good price.
We headed back to the hotel and got ready to go out to dinner with Elinor and Bruce (old friends from my Nissan days!). We caught a taxi to An Bang Beach and had a lovely night catching up on travel stories and sharing a lovely meal. Really good to catch up and hope to do some travelling together in the future!
Again, we must be old but after dinner we were all happy after a relaxing time by the beach to head home to bed!Read more
Sad day to wake up and know it’s your last day in Hoi An. After another great breakfast, amazing mix of cultures at breakfast with a great latte and Vietnamese pho for breakfast, we jumped on the push bikes and headed into the old town to pick up my boots and sandals. Both were fantastic and I was really happy with them.
About to head back to the hotel when I noticed a missed call from Phil, my Mum’s husband. I immediately had a scary feeling, so we headed back to the hotel. Unfortunately Mum was not well and was in hospital and I was pretty upset and scared and was contemplating heading home. After being reassured by Phil and nurse on call Jenny that she was ok and not to rush home, we decided to stay. Scary though being a long way home when something happens. Luckily the boys Nick and Hayden are also there to check on her for me! Thank you to Phil, Jenny, Nick and Hayden for helping me through this, and of course Pete for being there to hold my hand.
Anyway after getting through this we headed to the airport to our next stop in the adventure Ho Chi Minh. An easy flight and transfer and we arrived at our riverside hotel Liberty Central, which has an amazing sky bar and pool area. After settling in with a couple of cocktails we went for a walk through town. Wow there are so many bikes and cars it is incredible and really dangerous crossing the road! We found a hidden supermarket on the 2nd floor of a building and went back to the hotel to feast on cheese and bickies. Stressful day with a relaxed ending!Read more
Hotel is good but the thing we notice the most is that people in Saigon are not as friendly as in other places we have stayed which is a shame and makes me think they are too Westernised and are pretty much over tourists. Still we had a great breakfast and then headed off to explore, after I spoke with my Mum and felt that she was ok!
First stop was the War Remnant Museum. This was probably for me one of the most distressing and emotional things we have done. I found the pictures of children killed by American troops and women who they suspected as being Viet Cong really sad and I had to leave the rooms with photos of this as I could not understand how this had come about. Between the Killing Fields in Cambodia and the history here in Vietnam, I am stunned at the realities of war. I know there are atrocities in all wars, including what is going on at present, but the senseless killing and devastation of peoples lives confounds me and I feel powerless.
I have learnt so much about the history of Vietnam and surrounding area during this trip and as distressing as it has been, I finally have a basic grasp of what happened here while I was growing up. Really puts your life into perspective.
We walked for awhile after this experience and went to the main market area and wandered around feeling overwhelmed. Headed back to the hotel stopping for some food and an incredible coffee experience for Pete, and egg Vietnamese coffee which he loved.
After a brief time by the pool we retired to our room, yes more cheese and bickies and an early night before our Mekong tour tomorrow.Read more
Not really needing to unpack we went for a short walk around the hotel and to get some lunch.
HCMC is not as hot as the other places we have visited in the last 2 weeks, it is actualy rather pleasant outside if you can forget about all the motorbikes and car's beeping.
We had a leisurely breakfast this morning as this hotel has the best hotel breakfast we have come across while in Vietnam. We both started with our usual healthy selection of fruit but went down hill with the coffee lots of pastry selections and even M&M's. I had to have M&M's as in the last 2 weeks I have not eaten any chocolate.
Today we leave HCMC and go on 2 hour drive to where we board the cruise boat for our tour of the Mekong to Cambodia.Read more
You might also know this place by the following names:
Rạch Cá Trê, Rach Ca Tre