We spent 3 days in Ho Chi Minh before travelling into Cambodia, and I thought it was one of the coolest cities we visited on our trip. Ho Chi Minh was formerly known as Saigon, but some people still use this name, just to clear up any confusion. It’s the biggest city in Vietnam and I found it so interesting to see the integration of old and modern architecture. The back of the Cathedral also faces outwards onto a huge road, I just really loved the way it looks in the middle of the rest of the city.
|Not my photo, but I wanted to show you all how it looks in comparison to the rest of the city
Next to the Cathedral is the Saigon Central Post Office. Even if you don’t have anything you need to post, this is a beautiful building to have a look around in, there are even small shops selling cute souvenirs inside.
We stayed in a place called Galaxy Hotel & Capsule and I absolutely loved it. The location was really good, right by the streets full of clubs and bars. Unfortunately, I was still feeling pretty ill so I could only drink a little bit, but it was still pretty fun. Although, it was very easy to tell there wasn’t much alcohol in the cocktails so I would stick to the beer. Back onto the hostel, it was small but had a good en suite, comfy bed and a TV on the wall right by the bed. We found an American channel and ended up binge watching Masterchef one night (I love Gordon Ramsey, don’t judge me).
The best thing to do in Ho Chi Minh is definitely the War Remnants Museum. The Museum has 3 floors jam packed full of information on the Vietnam War. We ended up spending most of our day there, going in each room and doing so much reading. It’s obviously not a light subject, so some pictures are especially hard to stomach. However, it’s extremely important to learn about the countries you are visiting and if you’re going to Vietnam, you have to do some research on the War. At the entrance they have old planes, helicopters, tanks, boats and machine guns. Just watch out for the beggars who try and pity you into buying a book.
|This one actually isn’t from that museum but we saw them there too 😉
This is a picture of the Independence Palace and it is rated one of the top things to do in Ho Chi Minh. However, even though it is very pretty both inside and out, we found it to be really boring. If you aren’t interested in politics, don’t go here. It is cheap for a ticket but we got scammed by a guy with coconuts just outside so for us it definitely wasn’t worth it. Yeah that was not our best day.
Lastly, we decided to go see the Bitexco Tower. This Financial Tower has all sorts of posh shops and business people inside, but we were there for the sky deck. Although a more expensive activity, you can stay up at the sky deck for as long as you want and it really is amazing to see the city view from that high up. It’s even worth it to ride in the super fast elevator which got us to the observation deck in about 5 seconds. The tower is 68 floors and a total 262m tall, but the observation deck is only on the 49th floor at 178m. I’m scared of heights, but I just about managed so I would definitely recommend to other travellers, especially at evening so you can watch the city light up.
I have to include my little rant in here just because of how much this bugged me. As a pedestrian, you do not expect motorbikes to drive on the pavement, well guess what, they do. If it is raining especially, loads of people will drive on the pavement and not give a single **** about pedestrians or potentially causing an accident. If there is traffic, they’ll create a new lane on the pavement which becomes so busy it’s just another lane of traffic, leaving nowhere for you to walk. This is one thing that really really angered me about this city and I don’t want to be a downer, but we did have many many accounts of rudeness while we were in Vietnam, and this was the cherry on the cake. We were definitely made to feel like the local people didn’t really want us there (with the exception of Hoi An). We spoke to quite a few other tourists about this, so we know it wasn’t a one off. I’m not telling people not to visit there, but it’s made pretty clear by lots of people that if you aren’t spending lots of money, they don’t want you. It unfortunately really shocked me for the wrong reasons and although some of the places were beautiful, Vietnam was not my favourite place to visit. Don’t get me wrong though, there are also lovely people, just like everywhere. The rudeness and constant worry of being scammed just gets a bit draining after a while.
Well, that was Ho Chi Minh and therefore the end of Vietnam. My next post will be about the bus into Cambodia and our time in Penom Penh! Hope you enjoyed, even though I had a little rant. But who doesn’t rant I mean, c’mon 😉