We spent our last few days in Vietnam meandering around Ho Chi Minh city. We stayed in district one which is one of the main tourist areas. Our hotel was down a little alley which in a way was nice because we were away from the incessant horn honking. The amount of traffic in Saigon is mind boggling and you really are taking your life in your hands when you try to cross or walk along the roads – you can’t walk on the sidewalks because the motorbikes park on them and use them to get around traffic jams.
Some of the colonial architecture in the city is quite impressive.
The Notre-Dame Basilica was made with materials imported from France and it was a beautiful structure.
Across the street from the Basilica is the Central Post Office which was equally impressive. It was constructed by the same man behind the Eiffel Tower – Gustave Eiffel.
We thought the Reunification Palace was interesting, especially the situation rooms with the old maps and equipment.
The War Remnants Museum had very graphic photos of the war and it was tough to see those pictures.
We visited some of the markets, one being the famous Binh Tay Market. We didn’t last very long in there, the vendors were really aggressive and it made looking at things difficult. We ended up just doing some shopping at the little boutique shops on the street. One thing I loved was the flower market.
One evening we took in a show at the Saigon Opera House called A O – it was an incredible show and a bit like a Cirque de Soleil production but done using bamboo poles, it was really amazing. The inside of the opera house was gorgeous.
The funnest thing we did in HCMC and a highlight for us, was a foodie tour by motorbike with XO Tours. All the drivers are women and they under go extensive training. It was a fantastic way to sample some local food in different areas of the city and it was quite an experience riding on a motorbike in Saigon. The traffic really doesn’t follow any rules and at intersections motorbikes from all directions just sort of merge through one another, it is freaky to experience this with a bazillion motorbikes coming at you from all angles.
One of the things on the foodie tour that Gordon was brave enough to try was Balut – let’s just say that he doesn’t think it was such a good idea but he never has to try it again. It was one of those ‘you only live once’ moments!
After a few days in HCMC it was time for the long flight home. We really enjoyed our time in Vietnam, the diversity of the country, the different cultures, and the varied landscapes – so glad we visited.
Where we stayed: Hello House
Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel