Chris and I decided on Vietnam after making a short list of countries we liked to visit. The runner-ups were Argentina, Costa Rica, and Thailand and we are both so happy with our decision. We have already talked about going back!
Ho Chi Minh City was brimming with energy when we arrived well past midnight. Chris and I went to a bar near our hotel in the backpacker district for a fresh coconut and to people watch. (We would be the type of people to go to a bar and order a coconut.) I am OBSESSED with anything coconut now – ask my cousin Stephenie.
There is definitely a cosmopolitan vibe to HCMC. A lot of young people and a lot of coffee shops!
It was probably the closest thing to street food we had while there. The street food looked incredible but I was a little iffy eating it after I noticed how they use water from a hose to wash the dishes. I’m thinking diarrhea on your honeymoon is something you try to avoid… And now I have officially talked about diarrhea on my blog.
|My favorite Vietnamese dessert – Che Ba Mau.|
The people are very friendly in this city (well almost all, there was this one taxi driver…) and the food was AAAAAMAZING. I seriously could eat Vietnamese food all the time. My absolute favorite meal was probably our breakfast banh mi from BB Banh Mi & Cafe. The baguette they used was to die for. I’m telling you, what makes a good banh mi great is all in the baguette. You can quote me on that.
On a non-food related note, I really enjoyed visiting Jade Temple. There was something so serene about watching people pray and reflect. It was a calming experience and made me feel grateful for the life I have.
We also visited the Reunification Palace which is great for a mini-crash course in Vietnam history. The one thing I might advise on skipping is the views from the Bitexco Financial Tower. It was 200,000 VND to go up to the sky deck to see 360 views of the city which was cool, but I’m not sure it’s worth 20 USD.
Chris and I absolutely loved HCMC, the pulse, the people, and the food. Though we agreed its not the city for everyone. There are some scammers out to get you (ahem, taxi man), the city is loud and crowded, and the streets maddening. I saw a t-shirt that summed up driving in Vietnam. It had a picture of a traffic light and next to the green light it said, “I can go.” Next to the yellow light it said, “I can go.” And next to the red light it said, “I can still go.” Not only are the traffic lights mere “suggestions” but all lanes on the road and even sidewalks are fair game! It was part thrilling and part terrifying to cross the road but when in Rome!