Lost in Saigon

“Ho Chi Minh City (commonly known as Saigon) is a city in southern Vietnam famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War. It’s also known for its French colonial landmarks, including Notre-Dame Cathedral, made entirely of materials imported from France, and the 19th-century Central Post Office. Food stalls line the city’s streets, especially around bustling Bến Thành Market.”

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We are not literally lost in Saigon as stated in the title but somehow we let the local led us in the city tour.

If you are into historical places, I suggest you go to Vietnam, you will be surprised how this country contributed to the bloody story of World War II.

This country is a cheap destination to travel, I spend only around 6,000 Php enjoying the City, excluding the airfare.

Day 0

We arrived at Vietnam Friday midnight, we were fetched by our Airbnb host at the airport. Upon arriving at the hotel, we took some Phở  for dinner, the serving is big so obviously we’re not able to finish the bowl.

Day 1

We started the day by eating a light breakfast, we tried Bánh mì – this is a baguette with meat, egg and vegies.

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While waiting for the tour, we decided to walked a few meters just to explore the district. The temperature is pretty hot so we bought a leaf hat, this is commonly used by locals more than umbrella. While walking, we noticed that some people are staring at us laughing until we found out that the size of the hat we were using was for girls. So the lesson was, before buying, do some research first, wag masyadong bida-bida. We should have buy the biggest one.

Our 1st tour was at Cu Chi Tunnel – you can avail the tour package at Pham Ngu Lao, there’s a lot of travel agency in the street so make sure to find the one offering the cheapest price.

After the tour, we went back at the district and met the guy from couchsurfing to have dinner and have some drinks at Pham Ngu Lao, night life is very active at this place.

After few bottles, we decided to go back to our hotel.

Day 2

This day was reserved for the scheduled Motorbike City tour hosted by Cheese (The guy I met in CS) for FREE. (You can read my couchsurfing experience here).

They brought us to different temples, museums, market place using their motorcycle.

Saigon Central Post office – Architected by Gustave Eiffel (same architect of Eiffel tower)
Inside Saigon Central Post office
Ho Chi Minh City Museum
Independence Palace
Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica

Motorcycle is the main transportation in Vietnam, you can rent a bike for a cheap price even if you don’t have license, just make sure you know how to drive. If you think it’s hard to drive in Manila, here, it’s more challenging.

Day 3

We spend our last day at Mekong river. We availed the tour package also at Pham ngu lao. The color of the water is almost the same with Marikina river so don’t expect too much.

The tour is about 3-4 hour long.

Night life 

If you want to try the night life, you better go to Pham ngu lao, this is the center district of the city. You can see plenty of backpackers from different countries partying at the bars and the street. You can also find local restos in the area. 

Expenses 

Estimated, rounded off to nearest hundred.

SUMMARY Friday, June 10, 2016
Travel day! City Tour Cu Chi Tunnel Tour Mekong Day
Accommodation 0 60 600 600
Antipolo to NAIA
VN Airport to Accomm
City Tour Free 500
Mekong River Tour 800
CuChi Tunnels tour (transpo included) 400
Museums Entrance 300 200
Taxi around the city 400 400 400
Breakfast 100 100 100
Lunch 100 100 100
Dinner 100 200 200 200
Total: 100 1560 2200 2100
Grand total 5960

 

Itinerary

Almost not followed, but it can be your guide.

SUMMARY Friday, June 10, 2016 Saturday, June 11, 2016 Sunday, June 12, 2016 Monday, June 13, 2016
Travel day! City Tour Cu Chi Tunnel Tour Mekong Day
1:00 AM Check-in at accommodation
2:00 AM
3:00 AM
4:00 AM
5:00 AM
6:00 AM Wake-up Wake-up Wake-up
7:00 AM Tao Dan Park (Bird Cage) Cu Chi Tunnel Tour Mekong River Cruise
8:00 AM Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum
9:00 AM Saigon Notre Dam Basilica, Saigon Central Post office
10:00 AM Saigon Opera House, Ho Chi Minh City Hall
11:00 AM
12:00 PM Lunch at  Ben Thanh market Lunch
1:00 PM Emperor Jade Pagoda
2:00 PM Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts Tomb of the Marshal in Ba Chieu (Tomb of Lê Văn Duyệt)
3:00 PM
4:00 PM Ho Chi Minh City Museum Museum of Vietnamese History
5:00 PM Bitexco Financial Tower – Saigon Skydeck
6:00 PM Dinner Dinner
7:00 PM City Night Tour Bili ng Pasalubong
8:00 PM Must be at the Airport at this Time Dinner somewhere, meet Jonah’s Kuya Prepare for Uwian
9:00 PM
10:00 PM ETD from Manila
11:00 PM Must be at the Airport at this Time
12:00 AM ETA Vietnam
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