Vietnam had never been on my bucket list. However, with one of R’s friends relocating back there the year before, a few of us decided to take him up on his offer of giving us a personal tour if we should ever want to go and visit.
It’s a year ago now since we hopped on that Emirates flight to Ho Chi Minh City, and my God, I gotta tell you, it was an awesome, and sometimes wild adventure.
Vietnam: the hottest country I’ve ever been to. The crazy honking mopeds, haggling in markets, the danger of stretching your legs out under the table at a Korean BBQ, some insane street food, bloated rats as large as coconuts, flying through a thunder storm only sums up the wilder ride we had.
Here are some of my favourite photos from that trip.
Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City
We arrived safely in Ho Chi Minh City in the early evening. Leaving the air conditioned chill of the airport and wandering into the 30 degree heat at gone 8pm wasn’t what I was expecting. It was humid – the air was hot, wet, and heavy, and I, like the cold cretin I am, was of course, wearing a long knitted cardigan and jeans.
Our friend, T was waiting for us outside the airport. There was a grand reunion and then we hopped into a Grab taxicab and straight to our hotel, The Silverland.
After freshening up, we headed out into the night for pizza, a welcome sight after 14 hours of travel with nothing more than plane food, although not so authentically Vietnamese.
The following morning, we woke late and went straight to the roof to take in the sights and wallow in the rooftop pool. Yes, I’m quite aware of how that sounds. Believe me when I say it’s probably the fanciest place I’d ever been up till then and I was appreciating it incredibly.
When I say it was 33 degrees by 10am, it’s no exaggeration. Anyone who knows me well knows that I melt after 26 degrees, so this pool was a welcome respite. I’m covered in factor 30 by the way, and I’ll have you know that no sunburn was caught over the entire holiday.
We followed with a wander through Ho Chi Minh centre, which took us to markets, and street food establishments!
We wandered past this place on our way for pizza the night before, and headed inside the following day.
Ho Chi Minh is made up of districts, I think 7 in total. We headed out to one of the posher districts to have a look at some fancy buildings.
Our first few days in Vietnam were a speed run of the main attractions… we’d be back for a few days before the end of the adventure too, so we decided to leave most of the fun until the end.
The night bus – Ho Chi Minh – Da Lat
We wanted to head further into the country, and to do so, we’d heard that hopping on the night bus was the perfect way to do it; we wouldn’t lose any sleep, and be there in time for a full day of adventures before the night was through.
Well, that’s one analogy of it. To find out how that part of the adventure went down, you’ll have to wait until next time.