It’s funny but the moment my plane landed in Ho Chi Minh I was all happy and have no clue why, I guess my heart knew about the adventure which was about to begin. My first impression of Ho Chi Minh was like wow! current population is 10million and I bet they have 20 million bike on streets, crazy but I was amazed to learn that they have low road accident rates compare to other countries. Travelling Vietnam in general is very convenient, they have bus service from south to north and vice versa, but if you are looking for adventure then bike is the way to move around, buying one can be skeptical but once that’s sorted it’s a fun ride.
My friends had warn me how Ho Chi Minh was not safe and I shouldn’t walk with my phone and keep constant check of my bag, as bag snatching is big out there. I walk out of the airport 9am, took the local bus which was suppose to take me to city centre and then I had to walk 10min to my hostel, well that was the plan. I got off and after walking 5mins with my 20kg luggage I was al lost, oh I forgot to tell am awful with google maps. And that’s when I bumped into this Vietnamese couple living in America who had a bike and offered to drop me off to my Alleyway hostel, as the name says the hostel was in a tiny laneway.
So their I go with a stranger hunting my hostel, leaving my luggage back with his partner. At the reception people thought he will never come and sell all my things on eBay 😦 Well he did and my first lesson was learned that Vietnamese are beautiful inside out, streets may look crowded but they are happy to welcome silly strangers like me. After settling myself at the hostel I was straight out for food, Saigon is food paradise man, please do explore street food. Am a budget traveller, so local cuisine works well for me and I feel food can tell a lot about countries history example Bun mi is the parting gift to Vietnam from French peeps
The geek in me had to visit Vietnamese war museum first, my heart was sad but at the same time was amazed to see the spirit of Vietnam and how one endeavour bitter war pain which stings till date as many families suffer genetic disorder caused by agent orange. Day one of Vietnam was imposing, experiencing different emotions in less that 24hours.
Next day me and my French friend Amelita, I met her in Cambodia had the audacity to hire bike in Ho Chi Minh, don’t do it if your not confident driving bike in Asia, it was crazy but one of the best decision. We covered Saigon lonely planet list, pink church know as Tan Dinh church was stunning, it’s a must do, once we were done, we were up for street shopping, haggling in Asia is always fun. We ended our day with some delicious French pastry and famous Vietnamese egg coffee.
Our time in Ho Chi Minh was about to end as next day we were all set to explore Mui ne. Saigon was beautiful in its own way, whenever we would cross street our heart would skip a beat, a girl from the backpacker said the trick is to close your eye and just cross the road like a pro lol
Good bye Ho Chi Minh!