Ho Chi Minh

Just a few days prior to our flight into Ho Chi Minh City I received an email notification from VietJet Air informing me of a change of flight details which pushed our flight back just over 2 hours later. Aside from this the flight itself took an additional hour and 40 minutes which put us at a final arrival time of around 7:15pm local time. After all of this the traffic getting out of the airport took a further hour. In the end it was the cab driver that filled us in on why we were having such a bad day. As it turned out President Obama was in town and last minute changes to flights and traffic were made to secure a safe arrival for the president.

Getting to the apartment after 9pm didn’t leave us with as much time as we had originally planned to have for our first day in Ho Chi Minh city. After getting in and washing up after the trip, by the time we got out and started walking through the streets it was almost 10pm and finding a place to eat was becoming increasingly hard as most food establishments seemed to be closing up for the night. Thank goodness for good old 24hour fast food. Vietnam’s Lotteria establishments are a mash up of maccas with a bit of KFC mixed in.
After a quick bite it was time for our first drink in the new city. While walking around the streets in search of a bar we were reminded of the streets of Bangkok, with essentially 24 hour traffic in the middle of a concrete jungle with odd local food cart or stand on every street corner.
Finally stumbling upon the bars and clubs district (backpackers area) we settled down at the first bar we found. We found the setup of the outdoor section a bit odd as all of the tables and chairs, set mostly in pairs, all looked outwards pointing towards the street. We soon realised why as one after another street performer, local food vendors, merchant peddlers and buskers came through, did their thing, collected money from passers-by, then moved on to the next spot to do it over again.
Being already exhausted even before getting there, after a couple of drinks we weren’t feeling like a big night and retired to the apartment.
Seventeen Saloon Ho Chi Minh

The next day meant a chance to see the city in the daylight. Walking the same paths and streets as the night before it was almost like a different place all together. Just like in Hanoi, during the days all of the shop and food establishment owners essentially move their businesses out on to the path ways making it next to impossible to walk down the streets. The constant weaving around the thousands of people walking around as well as dodging the street furniture as well as those sitting and eating at the small street tables.

Cafe in Ho Chi Minh
One of Many Awesome Cafe’s
Cafe in Ho Chi Minh
Very Cool Cafe

After a quick coffee to start the day and an exploration around the streets we made our way to the backpacker/tourist district to find a comfy bar to set down for a while. Not long after having a seat at the bar we were reminded all too well of the local vendors around Thailand as time and time again we were approached by local merchant peddlers insisting that we buy something. We have had plenty of experience saying no to street peddlers but it’s still hilarious to watch a first timer get sucked in and spend a ridiculous amount of money on a “genuine fake” brand name watches or sunglasses.
Just prior  we stopped in at a tour booking agency and booked in our next day’s adventure, the Cu Chi Tunnels. It only cost $5US. Crazy cheap right? No lunch was included but you get local pickup, the bus ride out, a complete tour in detail, plus drop off back to the pick up point.

Allez Boo Ho Chi Minh

The bar we were  at was called Allez Boo. There seems to be a few places with the same name if you Google it, perhaps that explains some less favourable Tripadvisor reviews. Our experience here was fantastic. The prices were good, the food was tasty and the beer was super cold. The staff were super friendly too so i would for sure give it a big thumbs up.

It was pretty hot day, like most days anywhere in South East Asia so it was time to test out the rooftop pool at the apartment. To get there, we again had to navigate the the unbelievable crazy traffic in the streets. The Round-a-bout’s or Traffic Circles (whatever you call them) are so huge, with no line markings for lanes. Chaos best describes it, yet the flow of traffic is fluid. It’s not fast but it is continuously moving. Trying to cross these streets as a pedestrian is like running the Gauntlet.

We survived to tell our story and we certainly enjoyed ending the afternoon in the rooftop pool. Check out the VR Cardboard image below.

What a great way to cool off in the afternoon that was. Before long it was night again, we headed out to scour some markets, didn’t find much of interest so stopped for dinner before going to check out one of the most famous buildings in Ho Chi Minh City. The Bitexco Tower. This building reminds me of Stark Tower or The Avengers Tower in more recent movies.

Bitexco Tower View Bitexco Tower

The view is just amazing. X-Men had just been released at the Theatres and the was a really cool display set up at the entrance to the building.

Bitexco Tower View X-Men Bitexco Tower X-Men Bitexco Tower X-Men Bitexco Tower


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