Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

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Today we woke up at around 9am after a REALLY comfortable night’s sleep. The bed is a king size and is about 6′5″ long, which is perfect for Fab. The air con was just the right temperature and absolutely silent, so we had a fantastic night. Well worth paying a bit more for a great night’s sleep. And still 20 GBP under budget per night ;) 

We took a shower, got dried and dressed and got ready to face the heat again. We had a map from reception so used that as our guide around town. We headed straight for the nearest place of interest - ben thanh market, which is a large indoor market selling everything from food to rucksacks, beads and sequins to makeup.

We wandered through but nothing caught our eye.

It was really hot - at least 34C, so we walked slowly, but this meant we were in the heat for longer. It was mere moments before we were very sticky. Wandering around, people would approach us every now and then offering us sunglasses, rides on a cyclo or trips on a motor bike, but upon saying ‘no’ they just left us be, which was nice. Being hassled in heat like this would be dreadful.

We arrived at the People’s Community Hall, which was a very attractive European looking building with white bricks and a red roof, which dates back to the French colonial era.

Time for a break, so we stopped off at a nice cafe among the stores such as Gucci, Prada, Calvin Klein and so on. Needless to say, it was quite expensive! We had an ice cream and some traditional Vietnamese iced coffee which is quite a ceremonial affair.

Coffee!
Drip coffee containers are rested onto glasses with a dash of sweet condensed milk, and allowed to filter through. Once the filter has emptied, you stir the resutling coffee/milk mixture and pour it over your glass of ice and enjoy! (Note: ice in Ho Chi Minh City restaurants/cafes/bars is all made from purified water - or so we are told - so no squits for us - touch wood!)

I chose a coconut ice cream, which was served in a coconut shell, and Fab opted for mint ice cream with chocolate. He didn’t enjoy his very much, so we shared the coconut one which was delicious. 

After our well deserved break, we wandered on, and discovered the Notre Dame Cathedral, which was pretty, and very French looking, as many of the colonial buildings are (Google ‘Vietnam French colonial history’ for more information, if you’re interested).

A church

Next was the Independence Palace, which looked like a 1970s office block but not as tall. We decided not to enter - as we’re penny pinching and didn’t want to pay to go in.
As we walked past, we noticed two cages full of puppies. Really cute puppies all happy looking and excited. We wanted to pet them, but weren’t sure if we were allowed, so just ‘ooohed and ahhhed’ at them instead. 

Finally we made it to the Tao Dan park, where we took a well deserved break (again) and attempted to rehydrate. By this point I wasn’t feeling too good at all. I don’t drink very much at the best of times and can easily go for a couple of days on less than 2 litres of water - in the UK - where I get cold and never sweat. But here it is super hot and I didn’t realise how much liquid I was using.

I realised I needed to get some fluids so we bought some more water and Fab made me drink lots, which helped a little but I still felt awful.

We headed back to the hotel where I took a rehydration solution and had a rest. We got our train tickets booked at the hotel reception for Nha Trang, our next destination. After a few hours relaxing we went back to reception to see if our laundry, which we had left to be done in the morning, was ready. It was and it smelled so nice! Clean clothes are probably going to be the only regular luxury we allow ourselves! Sink washed clothes just doesn’t hit the spot.

We were pretty hungry so decided to go out and find some food. We wandered around until we found a street crammed with restaurants, but we didn’t feel like sitting in a restaurant. Then, we spotted a kebab stall! We thought, for 15,000 Vietnamese dong, we’d give it a go. OH MY GOODNESS! The most AMAZING kebab we have ever tasted. It was indescribable. We both agreed no kebab would ever top that. :)

Fab was still hungry after his kebab so we stopped off at the restaurant outside our place for some chicken and rice, which he ate in our room. I fell asleep pretty quickly, happily full of kebab and feeling better for being rehydrated.

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Coffee!
Coffee!
A church
A church