Friday 17 January 2014

Vietnam for Christmas! Day 1 - Ho Chi Minh City

For Christmas 2013 my husband Evan and I, along with our friend Alyssa, did a quick trip to Vietnam. Ten days in this complex country isn't really enough but it's what we had. Our destinations were all "H" cities: Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An, Ha Long and Ha Noi.

People like to ask, "What was your favourite part?" or "What surprised you the most?" Vietnamese food has been some of my absolute favourite for years (shout out to Viva on Sargent!) and the country did not disappoint! The second 'favourite' thing and most surprising was the beautiful architecture. It was like a modern take on French Colonial with Asian flare. Stunning! I wish I had thought to take more pictures early on. Both of these themes will come up throughout this trip blog. Consider them the main motifs.

I should also note that this trip was inspired, in part, by Top Gear and Anthony Bourdain.

We flew in to Ho Chi Minh City (AKA Saigon) on a Sunday afternoon. Our day started super early so we were tired but excited to jump in!

Our first glimpse of Vietnam from the taxi.

We had arranged our airport transfers ahead of time because we had read that getting an honest taxi could be tricky. Not sure how bad it really would have been but the company we used was great! Our hotel was a tall, narrow building near the backpacker's section on Saigon. The staff were all very helpful. We were on the top floor and had a fun view of the bustling street below.

The Elegant Inn
View from the top
After checking in and getting SIM cards for our phones (because we're geeky that way) we wandered off in search of dinner. We came across a place called Pho 24 which is a national chain. We had salad rolls and pho* and it was all delicious! 

First pho!

Walking back to the hotel we marvelled at the constant plethora of motorbikes and scooters inundating the streets. This was going to be an adventure...

Evening in Saigon
*Pho is pronounced 'fuh'


  1. Replies
    1. Well, most of the hotels are tall and thin like ours. We just happen to get the top floor. :)