I got lucky and was sent for a very quick business trip to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam a few weeks ago. I was excited because I’ve never been there before. A new place to visit will get anyone excited or afraid. 😄 Good thing, I was born with an itchy feet and so I cannot wait to explore the place.. after work, of course! 😅 Forgive me but the photos were mostly taken at night.
Vietnam is a developing country and I know I shouldn’t expect too much. But, Ho Chi Minh City has it’s own charm. I was lucky to stay in Caravelle Hotel located in District 1. It’s just a few steps from their Opera House and walking distance to places I wanted to see.
I was a bit afraid though because my Vietnamese colleagues warned me to be extra careful as there are petty criminals on the street. I was advised to take off my necklace and not to use my phone outside. Just to be safe I guess since I saw policemen around the area. Seeing them around calmed my nerves. And besides, there were a lot of tourists walking around too!😊
A short walk from the hotel brought me to one of their famous landmark which is the Notre Dame Cathedral. Too bad I wasn’t able to go inside the cathedral to light a candle or say a little prayer. 🙏🏼 It would have been nice to see the inside of the church but was there on a weekday and it was closed.
Beside the church is the Saigon Post Office. FYI, I also collect stamps among the other things I collect (ha!ha!) so a post office definitely interested me. But it was already closed when I got there so the quest to buy a souvenir mint stamp did not materialize. 😄
The busiest area at night was probably the Ho Chi Minh City Hall square where the statue of Uncle Ho stand tall. A lot of people were at the square. Tourists mingling with the locals. The city hall building as with most of the buildings around was French Colonial architecture and beautiful.
What scared me most while walking around though were the motorbikes! I haven’t seen so many on the streets before. Bangkok, Thailand have their share but I think nothing beats Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam in my opinion. Crossing the street was a big challenge for me. And I thought we had a lot of motorcycles / motorbikes in the Philippines. The Vietnamese were simply natural in that transportation. 😰 I pity those driving a car. The taxi drivers were honking like crazy but the motorbikes just went cruising without a care in the world. Criss crossing streets, turning without an ounce of fear for incoming traffic! I’ll probably die of a heart attack or stress related disease if I have to drive a car in the streets of Vietnam. 😂
I wasn’t able to go to their famous Ben Thanh Market although it’s only about 10 minutes walk from the hotel. I got lazy already and a little bit afraid to venture out there on my own. Maybe, next time. ☺️
What made me happy on the way to the office and back to the hotel was to see in different locations our good ol’ Jollibee! 😋 We exported the “jolly bee”. 🐝
I liked Vietnam. Reminds me of some of my country’s cities before modernization came in. They still have a long way to go but the trains and highways are in the works already. I just hope they will preserve their buildings to mingle the old with the new.
I have more stories to tell and some tips but it will have to be for next time… 😉
the traveling KANGaroo