Ho Chi Minh City

This blog is way long overdue. 1 year and 5 months to be exact!

So, me and my two good friends made a travel pact.

And so on the wonderful month of September we made our annual BFFs Wanderlust trip as promised for year 2016. After shortlisting few locations, we settled on Ho Chin Minh City, Vietnam. It was my first trip to the vigorous Vietnam and one I readily accepted with great enthusiasm. We were truly eager to put our routine life behind and fly away to celebrate our friendship and to try to cure, however little (as if that’s even possible!), our wanderlusts hunger.

It was a short 4D3N wanderlust but one we really cherish and hold dear to our hearts. The plan was obvious and actually awfully simple – GO to as much places as we can, DO as many activities as we can & EAT as much as we want to!

These are the places we went:

Day 1: Saigon Square, Le Van Tam Park & Turtle Lake

Day 2: Mariamman Temple, Ben Thanh Market, City Hall, Saigon Notre Dame Basilica, Vincom Mall, Tao Dan Park, Mekong Rest Stop (for lunch) and Binh Quoi Village (along Saigon Riverside)

Day 2 was packed with more action as we started early morning and we had quite a few places lined up. I was pleasantly surprised to know that there’s an Indian temple in the middle of the city in Vietnam! It was truly an unique experience. To learn how the Hindu Priest here dresses, the way the prayers and rituals are conducted and to realize how ignorant I was about my own religion, really humbled me.

Ben Thanh Market is a heaven for shoppers indeed. I particularly loved all the hand-made arts and handicraft. Coffee lovers will love this place too as you can bargain and buy lots of varieties of Vietnamese coffees. A visit to Vietnam without tasting the distinctive and delicious Vietnamese coffee or the iced coffee will truly be a sad huge miss for coffee lovers.

Binh Quoi Village used to be a major attraction in HCM, I gather, as the blogs I visited before my trip showed some really good pictures where the Village had so much to offer. With the all-you-can-eat buffet, paddling in the lake and enjoying cultural performance, it was doing really good in bringing in tourists. Unfortunately, during our visit, the place was worn down and I could see some uplifting work being done. There were no food stalls or the other activities that I excitedly got prepared to mentally while doing my online research back home. If my memory serves me right, I think even the boat ride facilities by the lake was closed down. However, the Village did make a good spot for a nice walk and of course for some good shots.

 

basilica

Saigon Notre Dame Basilica

Some shots from Binh Quoi Village

Day 3 – Chu Chi Tunnel,  The Mekong Delta & Unicorn Island

The star of the day was without a doubt the Chu Chi Tunnel but by the end of the day, my personal favorite turned out to be the Unicorn Island. I mean just look at the name! Who would have thought that there’s an island named Unicorn and that too in Vietnam. The name itself got me hooked and I really do like my time there. The Mekong Delta was also a good adventure, so I must say day 3 was the best of the lot.

Check out more about these places here at these links:  Chu Chi Tunnel & The Mekong Delta

Some pics from Chu Chi Tunnel & The Mekong Delta

Since I loved the whole Unicorn Island experience, I will blog about it separately and share more pics there.

Our last day in the city was gone just packing our bags, eating, doing some last-minute shopping and of course getting to the air-port.

What we ATE:

Our Lunch at Mekong Rest Stop:

Honestly, it did not feel like a short or hurried trip at all. I seriously think we managed to tick off almost all the ‘to-sees and to-dos’ list we had. I guess maybe adding another day or two would be good for those wanting to relax every now and then in between the packed itineraries but for us 4D3N was just perfect as I had with me two mommies who needed to get back to their adorable lil’ ones.

We said our goodbyes to the ever busy and bustling city with amazing memories and moments. I now have my eyes firmly set on Halong Bay in Vietnam (even though Sapa is still there in the list! Sigh!)

Keep wanderlusting my lovely souls….

Cheers.