Ho Chi Minh City Journals

Vietnam -- my favourite destination

A February 2003 trip to Ho Chi Minh City by Orl

Quote: Just go. Yes, its a third world country and the poverty and malnourishment will depress you but the warmth of the people, the fact that it has not become a tourist trap yet makes it a worthwhile adventure.

Vietnam -- my favourite destination

Overview

Quote:
Burning rubber on cyclos, the warmth of the Vietnamese, being upgrarded to a suite in a four-star hotel, the fascinating history behind the Cu Chi tunnels, and the slow boat on the Mekong are some of the highlights. Oh, I nearly forgot -- the fantastic food.

Quick Tips:

The cyclos are scary, but worth doing at least once.

Be aware that there is a departure tax leaving Vietnam and they don't take credit cards at Ho Chi Minh airport. The ATM machine was broken the day we left, so we nearly missed our flight trying to get cash.

Best Way To Get Around:

Taxis were really cheap, so that's what we got most of the time. A taxi from the airport to the city centre is about US.

Hotel Majestic

Hotel | "Majestic"

Quote:
We stayed in Hotel Majestic. It has a lovely old-fashioned atmosphere and the location was great. The staff were very friendly and efficient and the food was first rate. A Cocktail in the Sky bar overlooking Saigon is a great way to end an evening. It cost 100 for a triple room including breakfast. Most people seem to be upgraded to a suite if they stay a few days. If you plan on treating yourself once in South East Asia, this French colonial hotel is the place to do it.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 26, 2004

Hotel Majestic
1 Dong Khoi Str. Dist. 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
+84 (8) 829 5517

The Temple Club

Restaurant

Quote:
A delicious meal (I had prawns in tamarind sauce)in a wonderful atmosphere. It is cheap by western standards. Dinner for 3 including drinks was US$ 39. The owners of the restaurant also have an antique shop, so you can bring a favourite feature of the restaurant home with you!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 28, 2004

The Temple Club
29 Ton That Thiep Street, District 1.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The Tunnels of Cu Chi

Attraction | "Cu Chi Tunnels"

Quote:
Seeing the tiny opening through which the Viet Cong entered the Cu Chi Tunnels was eye-opening and an encouragement to lose weight! Very few Westerners would fit. Crawling through the tunnels and seeing the traps and bombs brought history alive (to use a cliche).

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 26, 2004

The Tunnels of Cu Chi
Củ Chi District
Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon

Mekong Delta Tour

Attraction

Quote:
We did the two-day/one-night tour with TMC and it was around US$15. The hotel was basic (but clean), especially in comparison to where we were staying in Saigon. Some people complained that we stopped at a few cottage industries, but I found them interesting and felt under no duress to buy. I also felt that, at the outer reaches of the Mekong, we were away from the madding tourist crowds (e.g. some of the children pointed and laughed at me because I was so white . . . at least that's what i think they were laughing at). Our tour guide was excellent also. If I were doing it again, I would do a home-stay, as it seems more comfortable and enlightening than the hotel. One slight fault is that there is a ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 26, 2004

Mekong Delta Tour
Mekong Delta
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 0710
84 985 144 144

Ben Thanh Market

Attraction | "Cho Ben Thanh"

Quote:
The Ben Thanh market is extremely good value – the traders are not aggressive as in the Thai equivalent and are willing to bargain with you; e.g I got a child’s oriental outfit for 4 USD$, a beautiful handbag for 3 US$.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 28, 2004

Ben Thanh Market
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vinh Silk

Attraction

Quote:
Got an outfit made here. I got a version of the traditional ao dai made and am very happy with the way it turned out. It cost US$ 55.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 28, 2004

Vinh Silk
District One
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam