The past 3 weeks I have spent travelling wonderful Vietnam.
Thanks to Cathay Pacific I had the opportunity to visit Vietnam
and to see all it’s glory.
I started out in Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as it is still called, and ended up in the North in Hanoi.
It was my first time backpacking and travelling alone for a few weeks.
The first few days, I have to admit, were scary as hell and I had a moment of
longing to go back home.
But I knew this was going to happen so I pushed myself sticking to this trip.
I am very very happy I did because it was one of the best experiences of my life.
I am not writing a ten page blog about it, but I do wanna point out the highlights of my trip, places to stay, hotspots and things to do in the places I’ve been.
Starting out with Ho Chi Minh City.
To be very honest, Saigon is not my favorite place. I think you like it or you don’t. I belong to the second group. But I can image that there are many persons that belong to the first group.
Ho Chi Minh City is the craziest city I have seen in my life. Scooters and bikes are the
main thing here. They are literally EVERYWHERE. And they honk all the time. It’s there way of letting others know that they are there, which results in an ongoing hysterical honking scene in an overcrowded city. Bizar!
I looked up a backpackers hostel to stay, since I wanted to meet some people to hang out with.
I was so tired and jetlagged though that I couldn’t really enjoy it. And I had a culture shock when I arrived. The hostel was nice and in the busy backpackers district of Saigon. It is called the New Saigon Hostel.
You pay around $ 7,- per night in a dorm and around $ 21- for a private room.
I booked a local tour through the city that showed me some of the highlights of the city.
5 Things to see in Ho Chi Minh City
1. The most impressive one: The War Remnants museum.
It was very impressive and I needed a moment after visiting this museum. The photo’s of the Vietnam war are confronting, terrifying and honestly disgusting. It was hard not to cry seeing these horrifying photo’s of this terrible war. It is a bit of propaganda, but I can’t blame them. A must see, but it sure is not a ‘fun’ thing to do. It is a good lesson in history and
2. The French Notre Dame Cathedral
This big church is hard to miss and shows off the French influences in Vietnam.
It is weird to see such an European building in Asia, but it is nice and worth paying a visit.
3. The Reunification Palace
The first place the tour operator took us. This governmental building surrounded by palmtrees is impressive. You can wander the empty halls and visit the bunker where
all the communication equipment still remains. A peek of how the Vietnamese presidents lived in this historical building.
4. The Central Post Office
This huge yellow building is next to the Notre Dame Cathedral. It is still in use, but it breathes history. The large postal office is designed by no one less then Gustav Eiffel ,you know that one from a certain tower in Paris ;-).
5. The Cu Chi Tunnels
I did not do this one. Why? I ddin’t feel like wandering around for 1,5 hour in cramped and dark spaces. But for the less fainted a must see! Underground you will find bunkers and even a hospital! During the war the Vietnamese people used these tunnels to move underground, hidden from the Americans. At the end of the tour you have gun ranges where you
can fire machine guns and AK47’s if you like playing a badass.
I rather enjoy my beef Pho and have a cold beer 😉
There are tons of other things to do here, but these are in my opinion worth visiting.
Visit the website of Cathay Pacific to see their tips for Ho Chi Minh City!