Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh

by - 14:43

Ho Chi Minh (or Saigon as it is still known to the locals) is a very bright and vibrant city with more scooters than people! The traffic system there can be described as organised chaos as scooters come from all directions with no accidents or minor incidents to be seen. Quite incredible really. However, when it comes to crossing the road, it's simply a case of 'just go'and the scooters will swerve round you. If you don't, you'll remain on the pavement for quite some time.

We arrived at the hotel Alagon Saigon Hotel & Spa around 3am and immediately, the front desk was trying to get us to give them $50 for security which was not listed anywhere on their site nor did we give it. Eventually, the front desk backed down and we finally got to the room. We were upgraded to a superior room and it was small, extremely dated and dirty so we swapped back to the original room we booked the following morning. 

Breakfast was not spectacular but there's plenty of options to suit all tastes but what the hotel did have (and in my view where they spent all their money) was the roof top bar and spa. This offered great views of the city and a place to relax. Oh,and the cocktails! Once again, the alcohol strength was eye watering and very soon we were very very relaxed.

We booked to go to the Chu Chi Tunnels which is about a 90 minute ride from Ho Chi Minh and this is where they showcase the tunnels dug by the Vietnamese to outwit and surprise the Americans in the bloody Vietnam war. 

As the Americans dropped their bombs, the Vietnamese recycled the metal and constructed traps hidden in the jungle which looked like below.

We spent the rest of the days just touring the city and we found a food market which was very much to our liking. We tried crocodile and ostrich and I have to say ostrich is lovely. It's a rich dark meat full of flavour and crocodile tastes like chicken.

Walking around the city is thirsty work and there are a number of juice bars and cafes to choose from and we found a really nice place where we got iced teas and some dessert. 

Overall, Ho Chi Minh is a great city and I would recommend no longer than a 3 night stay as the constant noise will tire you out. Having said that, there's plenty to do and see and there's not a dull moment. The final stop is the beautiful and quiet Phu Quoc which will be the last post in this series. 

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