We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City from Phan Thiet just as the sun was setting. We knew it was going to be hectic but it was beyond crazy. We have never seen so many scooters in one place! We had booked a hostel in the busiest part of Ho Chi Minh City (Quan 1) which is where most backpackers stay (You will find them all in the same place on Hostel World). The reason being was because we needed to finally say goodbye to the scooter.
Our hostel was really difficult to find, we had to park the bike down a road and walk through the back alleys to get to it. It was such a maze but after asking about 10 people we finally found it! We booked a double room for roughly £15 per night with breakfast included. We asked if they had any parking for the bike which they didn’t so they advised us to park it in the large car park near to the park. It was late by this point and we hadn’t eaten so we decided to leave the bike where it was, head out for food and move it in the morning.
We headed to the walking street for dinner and there was an Italian calling our names! The food was great and just what we needed before we both got hangry! With our belly full we took a stroll around town and came across ‘Phuóc’ tailors which is on ‘241 De Tham St, District 1’. We decided to get a suit and a dress made as we had been talking about it for a while but were never in a place long enough to get one made but we had a couple of days planned in HCMC so it was perfect timing. We both got measured and picked the style and colours we wanted. The suit cost ‘$95’ and the dress ‘$45’. They promised to have it ready for two days time just before we were leaving so it was perfect! After that we found our way back to the hostel, put the scooter up for sale on the ‘Vietnam Backpackers Sales’ Facebook page and went to bed.
The next morning we both didn’t have the best night sleep so decided to go for a wonder to see if there was anywhere else to stay. After looking at a few we came across ‘Dragon Palace Hotel’, here they offered us a double room for 850,000 Dong (roughly £26). We checked out of the hostel and brought our bags over to the new hotel. Once checked in we took a walk to ‘Notre Dame Cathedral’ and the Post Office. Unfortunately the cathedral was covered in scaffolding and we couldn’t go in due to restoration going on but it still looked magnificent. We crossed the road to the post office and headed inside to post a box of things home as we were running out of space in our backpacks! We sent our package the slowest way which meant it would arrive in 2-3 months as if we wanted it to be delivered in 1 month it was going to cost around £100! After we had posted our things we headed back to the walking street to book our bus ticket to Cambodia and we also decided to book a tour to the Mekong Delta. We then headed for dinner at ‘Pho Quynh’. Here we had our last Pho, one of the best we have had in Vietnam too! Then back to the hotel as we had to be up and ready for 7.30 the next morning to go on the tour.
The next morning we managed to drag ourselves out of bed and to the tour operators shop for 7.30 ready to go to the Mekong Delta. We headed onto the coach and we had a warm greeting from our tour guide Dong. He had a witty sense of humour which made the 2 hour journey more bearable! Before we got to the dock at the Mekong Delta we Went to ‘Ni Viên Tinh Nghiêm Temple’ here they had three gigantic statues of buddha, one laughing, one sleeping and one standing. The sheer size were incredible and after 20 minutes we headed back on the coach to the dock. Here we grouped up with another coach and headed on our boat to the first island. Here we had fruits while enjoying traditional music and then headed onto a smaller traditional boat through a smaller river. The route looked like something out of a movie. It was incredible. After about a 15 minute boat ride we got back onto the main boat to head to our next island. Here we enjoyed local honey in a drink with lemon and our guide Dong just brought out a beehive with his bare hands as if it was nothing! There were bees everywhere which wasn’t plesent when your drinking their honey! Dong then stood up ready to go so Leila left out of her seat ready to get away from the bees and followed swiftly only for Dong to then pull out a gigantic snake for people to have pictures with! Leila walked straight back to the boat away from the bees and snake!
Our next stop was to the third island here we enjoyed lunch and a mini zoo which seemed to consist of all animals on the menu! There was crocodiles, snakes, frogs, fish and porcupines. (luckily they weren’t on the menu) After a walk around after lunch and a laze about on the hammocks we were then taken to our next mode of transport a horse and carriage. This took us to a traditional coconut sweet making ‘factory’. (This is the only problem the tours they always take you to some sort of factory to try to get you to spend money on pointless things!) Here we got to witness how the sweets were made and to sample them to. It was amazing to see them still doing most things but hands especially how quickly they can cut and packet the sweets. After a short tour and the normal would you like to buy anything we headed back to the boat and then headed to the coach home.
After a busy day out we just had one more task to complete and that was to sell the scooter! From the Facebook page we had a few people interested so we messaged the first person back and arranged to meet them where the scooter was parked in the car park by the park. It took a while for him to find us as the car park was huge but once he did he seemed happy with the scooter, gave it a test run and he was happy to buy it. We sold it for $220, which meant the bike had only cost us $80 for the whole month in Vietnam, Bargain! With the deal done we headed to a bar for a drink. While we were at the bar we had a call from the tailors to let us know our suit and dress were ready to be picked up. We finished our drinks and headed to the tailors. We tried on both outfits and were extremely please! They also let us know that they keep our measurements so if we ever want anything else made we can just drop them and email and they will post it to England for us! We were getting bit peckish so we decided to head to ‘Saigon Burger Joint’, here the burgers were amazing and we would totally recommend going! Once we were full up we headed back to the hotel for our last night in Vietnam!
Our last day consisted of walking around the area and also to ‘Zeus Restaurant’ for some greek food to fill our tummy before getting the sixteen hour bus to Siem Riep. The food at ‘Zeus Restaurant’ was lovely and for Harry it was a taste of home. Before we new it, the time was 3pm and it was time to say goodbye to Vietnam and get onto our bus to Siem Riep. The first bus we boarded was a seating bus but it took us only four hours to reach the boarder. At the boarder the bus driver collected everyone’s passports and took them to immigration. We hopped back on the bus and headed to somewhere for dinner. Once dinner was over our passports still hadn’t been returned leila started to panic but there was no need as once we boarded the bus after dinner they were all returned! After that we contuniued the ride to Phnom Penh.
Tip: Stay in Quan 1 as it is easy to get to places from, good nightlife, great food and good shops!