One Night in Ho Chi Minh

This weekend saw our first excursion out of Central Vietnam as we hopped on a flight to Ho Chi Minh City. 

To make the most of our weekend we booked 7am Saturday flights and a hostel, and stayed until Sunday evening. It was a full on few days as we tried to soak up what the city had to offer in just 36 short hours.

Here are some of the things we got up to:

The War Remnants Museum

A ‘must see’ in most guidebooks and travel sights, I saw this as an opportunity to learn more about the wars that so deeply affected the country we are living in. I was not, however, prepared to leave so emotionally drained. I succeeded in learning more about Vietnam’s conflicts, and am glad I did, but the graphic pictures and descriptions of the atrocities to befall these people really shocked and upset me.

I concur with the guidebooks to say this is a ‘must see’. Whilst in Vietnam it is easy to get lost in the beautiful countryside and the cheap beer, and completely miss the suffering that carries on to this day. Take a few hours out of your day to learn and to empathise.

Cost: 10,000VND

The Reunification Palace

A short walk from the War Remnants Museum is the Reunification Palace. This beautiful building set in stunning gardens is drenched in history, this was the home to the President of South Vietnam and is where the ‘Fall of Saigon’ took place. The building (which was rebuilt after it was destroyed in a bombing) contrasts extravagant reception rooms to the Presidents war bunker.

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An interesting and tranquil visit, which combines fascinating history and a beautiful setting.

Cost: 30,000VND

The Night Market

Down a short street next to the Ben Thanh markets, the night market opens. The street doesn’t close by the way, but the market does open. Never have I been so worried for my life whilst shopping.

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The bustling stalls are a fun visit, and a great place to grab souvenirs, but make sure you haggle for it, vendors will often quote a price up to 3 times what the product is worth.

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Cost: Free/Depends on what you buy

The Ben Thanh Market

The next morning we thought we would check out what the day market had to offer. It turns out a lot. The place was huge, and packed out with tourists and touts.

Once you got used to the yells and the pleads to visit, browse and buy, there is a great atmosphere to soak in. It’s busy and crazy, but you can buy some great things there. Really anything you want.

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Cost: Free/Depends on what you buy

Soaking up the City

My favourite thing to do in a new city is just to walk around and see where my feet take me. Often this gives you an opportunity to see more than just the tourist traps and a real feel for how the city lives.

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Saigon is bustling and hectic, but also surprisingly leafy green. We strolled down to the river – not so clean, but also saw the government building, which was stunning. We found the local hangouts and the western shopping centres.

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Cost: Free

I would have liked more time in the city, as there is so much we didn’t have time to visit, like the Cu Chi tunnels or the Mekong Delta, but I felt I got a good vibe for the place while I was there, and I’m not sure I’ll get the chance to go back this year (maybe in the future though)

It was worth the visit and a wonderful city, but I must say – I prefer Danang!

Hẹn gặp lại!

2 thoughts on “One Night in Ho Chi Minh

  1. Nice pictures. I always love Vietnam. I keep going back there whenever I found cheap plane ticket from KL. It’s my favourite country in SE Asia. Always feel warm and welcome 🙂

    Like

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