This might have been my most impulsive trip yet. My friend Emily asked me to go to Vietnam for the weekend since she was pretty much done her classes and was itching to go somewhere new. At first I was hesitant but I’m easy to convince so within 15 seconds, I was sold and before I knew it, I had purchased flights and my visa for Vietnam.
What exactly did I want to see in Vietnam? Trust be told, I had never considered going there before. It wasn’t something that intrigued me but since I’m in the area, I thought why not?
Our agenda was to see Ho Chi Minh and that’s all that was planned to be honest. We didn’t have expectations nor did we know much about the country. I had reached out to some people who had gone to take a look at their itineraries but other than that, we went with an open mind.
On April 7th, we left Singapore for the airport for our flight in the afternoon.
The hostel we stayed at was called Town House 50 which was hidden in a narrow alleyway and it was in the middle of all the shops and restaurants which was definitely convenient.
It was one of the cutest places I’ve ever stayed at! It had some serious bohemian vibes to it which was something I had not seen in past hostels. I would recommend it and the staff was extremely helpful when we had questions about tours and what was nearby.
The free breakfast was also quite nice since it consisted of a variety of fruits and included coffee, tea, etc.
We were keen on seeing other parts of Vietnam as well so we booked a two day tour in Can Tho which is where the Mekong River is located. This tour included a boat tour to show us the well-known floating market among other things.
We stayed at the hotel that was included in the price of the tour and it was called the Hauguang 2 Star Hotel. It was much better than I had expected and it was close to to a number of things as well such as an array of street food carts.
The floating market was interesting because you could actually see the locals buying/trading their fruits and what not. A few of the people in my tour group and I even bought some fresh pineapples from one of the businesses!
The tour also included a look at a family who creates rice noodles.
Back in Ho Chi Minh, we decided to see a number of the tourist attractions such as the war museum, the post office, the basilica, and independence palace. Luckily for us, all of it was within the same area as our hostel so it was easy to walk around to find these places.
I highly recommend seeing the war museum because it has a large collection of photographs that are absolutely stunning and it will open up your eyes to what exactly they had gone through during that time. Agent Orange was the exhibit that shocked me the most and was the one that left the biggest impact on me.
Another thing I’d recommend is the Ben Thanh Street Food area. It’s right next to the street markets and it’s filled with tourists from all over.The walls are covered in colorful graffiti and it’s insane what kinds of food you’ll be able to find. You’ll be able to find local vietnamese foods as well as desserts such as crepes. I opted for dessert from this stall that served mango everything and it was definitely worth it.
Personally, I don’t think the actual street market is worth it since it’s filled with cheap knock-offs of Nike shorts, Burberry scarves, and other name brand items but if you have time to kill, it doesn’t hurt to go there. Most of the businesses have the same repetitive items so make sure you attempt to bargain if you do end up wanting to buy something.
Other place I went to that are worth checking out:
- Legend in Ho Chi Minh (Filled with lots of expats and can be found all over the city since it’s a chain)
- Milkbar in Ho Chi Minh (Get the blueberry latte because it’s adorable and has ice cream in it but it doesn’t really have anything in it that would make it a latte)
- The New Playground in Ho Chi Minh (Really cool underground shopping area in Ho Chi Minh where you can get some cool graphic tees or bohemian shirt dresses)
- Urban Station Coffee in Ho Chi Minh (Interesting interior design and tasty drinks!)
- In general, eat lots of Pho!