So, today I’m going to be covering my trip to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon! I absolutely love this city and wish I could have stayed longer, especially since unfortunately it did rain two of the days that we were here. Not that we let that stop us — my time in Vancouver has reaaally gotten me used to the rain.
I think one of the most interesting things about Ho Chi Minh City is how it compares to Hanoi. While Hanoi has been the capital of Vietnam ever since the Vietnam war, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam, nearly twice the size of Hanoi.
The two cities are vastly different in interesting ways. Hanoi’s buildings and infrastructure are a lot older, giving it small, winding streets and more historic buildings. Ho Chi Minh City, on the other hand, looks a lot more modern in comparison; it also had larger streets and sidewalks. This causes it to appear much less hectic, even though it’s population is much larger.
If you visit Vietnam, I’d highly suggest going to both! They were both beautiful and so interesting individually and in comparison to one another. Honestly, I’m not sure I could pick a favourite if I had to!
Okay, so I’ll admit I totally forgot to take a photo of this for y’all so I guess you’re just gonna have to take my word on how great it was. Otherwise, I guess you’ll just have to enjoy this “before” photo of my nails with this (incredibly amazing) Banh Mi I had right before. Anyways, obviously when you’re about 3 weeks deep in a trip with gel nails you’re going to have to go for a fill eventually. Ori Nail Salon really had everything you could ask for and more — it was very clean, with friendly nail techs and more options (both plain and designed) for your nails than you could even fathom. If you’re looking for a little spa day in Ho Chi Minh City, check this place out for sure!
Explore The Vietnam War Tunnels!
Our second day in Ho Chi Minh City was spent exploring the Viet Cong tunnels just outside the city borders. Due to the 2-hour drive to the tunnels, the minimum trip is a half-day, with full day options also available. While you go on the tour, you get an overview of the history of the Vietnam war, an explanation of how the tunnels worked, the chance to enter the tunnels yourself, and more. You could even test out historical firearms used in the Vietnam War at a shooting range (which I decided to pass on). Overall, it was incredibly cool and educational. However, if you go on the tour, be sure to bring lots of water and snacks as none are provided for the entirety of the tour.
So I’ll preface this with the fact that since both Nylah and I packed all of our stuff into a backpack each, we don’t have much space for shopping and haven’t bought much yet. Since we don’t want to have to carry more around than need be, we’ve decided to save the bulk of our shopping for Phuket and Bangkok, save for the occasional item here and there. So while Ho Chi Minh was more of a window shopping experience, the stores in this city were SO cool. There’s so many more options than you’d ever have in Canada, and I’m pretty sure absolutely anything you could ever imagine exists somewhere within this city. It’s literally known as a shopping Mecca, so you know. I think that says it all.
Check Out The Night Food Market!
Okay, I decided to save the best for last on this one. The Ho Chi Minh Night Food Market was hands down the best night market I’ve been to this whole trip. It had so, so many booths to choose from, giving you the option to try absolutely any South East Asian cuisine you’d like — or other foods for those keen on something else! The atmosphere was fantastic and the food was out of this world (I personally opted for dim sum and fresh juice). I swear, if I lived in Ho Chi Minh City I would eat here every day.
Soooooo, that’s it for Ho Chi Minh! This is (sadly) our last stop in Vietnam before we head out to Siem Reap, Cambodia. As excited as I am for the next stages of our trip, I’m really sad to see Vietnam go. If you ever get there chance to go, I’d recommend it 100%. There’s so many amazing things to do and see, and so many cities and towns that offer all kinds of experiences. No matter what, there’s always something for everyone — and it doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world too.
Stay tuned for what’s next!