I am so happy to be back on the blog and so excited to share with you my trip to Vietnam. It was amazing and I don’t even know where to start!
Let’s start with the beginning: why did I go to Vietnam? It was literally a sudden impulse. Everything started during the Chinese New Year in a Vietnamese restaurant, what a coincidence right? I swear it wasn’t even on purpose. My big sister arrived at the restaurant saying “I am flying to Vietnam for 20 days with Christelle end of April”. My first reaction “I wanna go with you”. And two weeks later I booked my tickets. Christelle is a very good friend of my sister, she’s half Vietnamese and she knows the country very well so jackpot to travel with her. In terms of the plane tickets, I paid 530€ with Emirates only one month before the flight.
We landed in HCMC and we stayed there for four days. Those four days were only about chilling and planning our trip. We didn’t see much of the city except the area around Cho Ben Tran market, the biggest of the city.
HCMC is very a beautiful city, very green but also very noisy and oppressive. This is simply due to the incredible number of scooters driving in the city. They drive insane!!! You’re scared to just cross the fucking street. But when you do so, make sure to never walk back to the sidewalk. Just be confident even if a car or a scooter is driving fast towards you just go, they’ll slow down and let you go.
Then, like in every other country, locals think tourists are rich as hell. As prices are basically never written down, they will always make you pay double or triple price. Don’t be afraid to bargain, it is like the golden rule over there. Bargain for anything and everything: fruit, clothes, jewels, whatever. You can usually get get up to 60% of a price. When you bargain you need to know this: they will never accept your price until you walk away from them, and it is only at this moment that they will run after you and sell their goods at your price. Believe me it is true, just walk away and it will work.
In terms of food, oh my god it is sooo delicious. My only advice is to buy from the street. Even if it can look dodgy, do it! The best food in Vietnam is sold in the street. And it is so cheap, like 1€ for a meal. Although, I don’t recommend you to eat at the Street Food Market of HCMC (it is by Cho Ben Tran market). The only reason is that is the “new hipster” place to eat, so it is appealing but the food is not very authentic.
We spend our first night at the Alagon Hotel and I do recommend it! The rooms are okay, the breakfast is nice but the rooftop is crazy! I wanted to spend the whole day there. You also have a small gym (believe it or not, I worked out on the first day) and a spa (I don’t recommend their spa though, I had better massages, I’ll tell you in another article ;)). You can check my insta story about HCMC to see the videos I took at the hotel.
As I said earlier, I haven’t spent much time in HCMC but there are still a few shops that you should go to. Of course Cho Ben Tran market for souvenirs, typical food and fake stuff, it is full of counterfeits and I have to say that some of them are well made. Apart from that, you should visit Miniso. It is the equivalent of Hema, but better and cheaper. I bought a Chloé bag imitation, some phone rings and a cute scarf for nothing. Plus, as a nail art addict (I do my own shellac manicure) I bought a lot from the Shop Nghia Beauty. It is a beauty supplier where you can find anything you want at a very small price.
What I was the most grateful for in HCMC was to spend two days at a local. We actually stayed over at Christelle’s uncle for two nights in the suburb of in the city and it was so pleasant. First of all, it was quiet, the food and massages was better and cheaper. This was perfect to end our first destination in Vietnam.
After that we went to manyyy other cities such as Hoi An, Hanoi, Sapa and Phu Quoc and I’ll tell you everything about it in my next articles. Stay tuned.
And you, have you ever travelled to HCMC? 🙂
Monday, 21th May, 2018.