After 5 months of anticipation, I am finally in Vietnam! I arrived at 3 am on May 5 (Friday I think? Don’t event ask me what day it was). My taxi driver tried to scam me right off the bat by wanting to charge me double for my ride to the hostel but luckily I came armed with knowing how much it was supposed to cost and some decent bartering skills. I paid about a dollar more than I would have liked but people here could probably use the dollar more than me so I’ve tried to adopt that mentality when paying for stuff.
My hostel was down this weird alleyway so I had about 3 minutes of panic wondering where it was but after locating the signage it was easy! It’s in the backpacker district and really nice and air conditioned (thank goodness).
Yesterday was day 1 in Ho Chi Minh City! I made 2 friends at breakfast, Hannah and Kate, and we set off to explore the city together. We walked around a LOT and visited the reunification palace, which was beautiful.
After visiting the palace, we headed to the Lunch Lady, the city’s most famous food stall. I love Vietnamese food in Vancouver but this was something else. The soup was so flavourful; no hot sauce needed! The noodles were fresh and the beef was cooked perfectly. If you are in Saigon and want something authentic, you need to go here. Come hungry, because they gave us a small feast!
The traffic in this place is something else. Thousands of scooters drive around you as you literally try to cross the street and not die. The rule of thumb here seems to be dodge cars and walk in front of scooters as scooters will go around you but cars will hit you! (Sorry mom but it’s the truth). We’ve been crossing in packs to stay safe, sometimes we latch on to locals. I can’t imagine trying to drive here!
The afternoon was spent walking in the heat, and Hannah and I decided it was time for a mani/pedi. We found a decent place and got both done for $7. I will definitely looking for a place to get a massage in the next few weeks!
Other major highlight for the day was the monsoon at dinner. Suddenly every scooter driver had a poncho- the change was almost instant.
So far, so good! Today my new friends and I head to the Cu Chi Tunnels!