Vietnam Diaries: Ho Chi Minh City

One and a half day in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) may not seem to be enough for most people. But that’s what we can afford with our limited time. Before I came there, I wasn’t exactly sure what to see in HCMC and so I was surprised when I found myself enjoying my stay there.

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The Food

HCMC is where I ate my first pho in Vietnam. It wasn’t from a pretty restaurant but from a simple-looking pho house found in the corner of a street in District 1, near our hotel. There were many spots like that in every street you turn, but that particular pho house caught our attention because of how busy it looked. Customers came and went one after another and so we became curious, we went in, ordered their chicken pho (pho ga), and voila, ang saraaap! Mura pa 🙂

At first I thought that perhaps pho is delicious in Vietnam generally but the day went by and we tried noodles from others and yet the taste of pho from this particular place really did stand out.

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Pho may be perfect if you’re looking for big meals but our favorite food while we were in Vietnam is none other than… the banh mi!

Throughout our stay in Vietnam, we noticed that the banh mi in HCMC has much more meat and veggies than the banh mis we had in Hanoi. And cheaper as well. We had this delicious banh mi for only 15000 VND.

The streets of HCMC is always alive with vendors selling different kinds of food and drinks. Their ca phe sua da (iced coffee with milk) is just the best. It was very cheap but definitely tastes good. It costs 15000 VND as well 🙂

They also have this cold tea drink that’s very refreshing, especially after a huge meal of pho. And their sour mango has also became one of our favorites. 🙂

The Walking

Walking is fun when done alone, and even better when you’re not alone, if you know what I mean 😉 And the experience can become so much better when done in a new place you’ve never been to.

With a map at hand, and banh mi in a plastic bag 😉 we tried to visit as many places as we can by walking.

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During our visit in HCMC last November 2015, a Japan-Vietnam Festival was happening and it was such a treat for me seeing all those Japanese stuff – cosplaying, anime, J-pop, J-rock, and well, Japanese food! Different kinds of yakitori was everywhere. Sadly, we didn’t have time to participate in the event, but we kinda did since we passed by it. I can remember how it made my day.

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HCMC is just like Manila in many ways. But it’s different in Manila in many ways as well. We walked the streets and enjoyed the ambiance of the city’s sleepy streets but much more when we walked down the busy and noisy alleys.

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The Shopping

Yes. The shopping! Bags are very cheap in HCMC. But you have to really look for well made ones because many bags looked faker than the others.

The next morning, we left the place with contentment as we were happy with the city. I won’t say I regretted not having more days for it because that’s something to look forward to in the next time I set my feet there. 🙂

We flew to Da Nang after our one and a half day trip in Ho Chi Minh City, where we explored the charming town of Hoi An.


Vietnam Series:
Vietnam Diaries: Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam Diaries: Hoi An
Vietnam Diaries: Hanoi


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