March 27, 2018

Beautiful Vietnam

Vietnam has always been part of my dream destinations. It's actually the very first country I'd like to visit. It has some kind of a charm that always attracts me to visit it. 

Saigon River. View from our hotel.
I had so much fun exploring this beautiful city. We arrived at around 7 in the evening. After checking in at our Airbnb accommodation, we went out for dinner and some beer. 

Ho Chi Minh City Hall
Our first full day was spent for the Saigon Walking tour. After breakfast, we went first to the Ho Chi Minh City Hall. We then head over to the Notre Dame Cathedral. It is about 8 minutes away from the city hall. 

Notre Dame Cathedral
Just right across the cathedral is the Saigon Post Office. I managed to send out letters back to the Philippines. Felt great. I haven't actually sent out snail mail for the longest time already. 

Post Office

We also visited the Reunification Palace, War Remnant Museum, and the Jade Emperor Pagoda. These three are not too close to each other. Hence, we opted to hire a motorbike to bring us to these places. 

Reunification Palace

War Remnant Museum
Jade Emperor Pagoda
From the Pagoda, we then had lunch at the 'Lunch Lady.' This place was featured by Anthony Bourdain in his show. It is a bit hard to find, it's just a street food stall. Their Chicken Pho was so delicious. 

After our sumptuous lunch, we continued with our talking tour and we headed to the Opera House. It's a bit of a long walk from the Lunch Lady. We got lost a few times. But I guess that's the beauty of exploring. 

Opera House
Ho Chi Minh's Shopping District
From the Opera House, our next stop was the Bitexco Financial Tower.  It is a skyscraper in Ho Chi Minh City and is one of the tallest buildings in Vietnam. 

Bitexco Financial Tower
During our tour, ASEAN was being held in Vietnam. 

We ended our walking tour with some Pasalubong shopping at the Ben Thanh Market. It's a souvenir haven in Ho Chi Minh. Be sure to haggle. You'll be able to find cheap stuff here including the very cheap North Face bags. 

Mekong Delta River Tour

Vĩnh Tràng Pagoda
State of Budai (Bố Đại)

Sleeping Buddha
On our 2nd day in Ho Chi Minh, we availed of the Mekong Delta River tour. On our way, we made a side trip to the beautiful Vĩnh Tràng Temple. It is a Buddhist temple near Mỹ Tho. We spent about 20 minutes in this beautiful temple before we head over to the Mekong Delta River. 

Visiting Mekong Delta River was the highlight of my Ho Chi Minh trip. I am amazed by how simple life is here. The place itself is magical. After the quick side trip at Vĩnh Tràng Temple, we arrived at My Tho and embarked on a motorboat and headed to the Unicorn Island. 

Vietnam Flag

From Unicorn Island, where we had lunch we head over to the bee farm and had a taste of their delicious honey tea. 

Tea Tasting
We were then made to walk around peaceful villages and watch the life of people in Mekong Delta.

Mekong Life

The most exciting part of this tour is the 15-minute boat ride that will explore the canals of the Mekong Delta. You'll be mesmerized by the beautiful coconut tree landscape. 

Row row row your boat

Also on this trip, we were able to taste some of their tropical fruits and have been able to witness how coconut candies are made. 

I had so much fun with the Mekong Delta River tour. A day well spent. At around 5pm, we head back to the city. We had another round of pasalubong shopping. 

What I will miss most in Ho Chi Minh are their local street coffee shops. It's so laid back and refreshing.

Oh Saigon! You're amazing. You're enchanting. You're beautiful. I will sure be back and explore more of your beautiful tourist spots and culture.