Ho Chi Minh
I arrived to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) from Doha, Qatar on a direct flight, the flight time departs Doha at approx. 2am Doha Time and arrived around midday local time.
The hotel I chose was the Sheraton as it was the only Starwood hotel in the city, having used my free upgrade as a platinum member to secure a suite, the room was very spacious with great views of the city.
The location of the hotel was really good as it was right in the heart of the city. It was surrounded by several restaurants, bars, shisha places and there was also a mosque three doors down and another 5 mins away, apparently they were two of the biggest in the city, which meant there was halal food available in the area also.
Just around the corner from the Sheraton I stumbled across a vibrant courtyard full of restaurants and bars. It was hidden down a little alleyway just off a main road near Park Hyatt hotel . There was a good choice of different cuisines, including a middle eastern restaurant called Beirut, which also does shisha
as well as some Vietnamese restaurants and a Spanish tapas restaurant. All the restaurants were of a very good standard and there is a really nice lively vibe in the courtyard. I would highly recommend eating there, especially one of the vietnamese restaurants called Hoa Tuc.
Whilst in Saigon there are a few popular tours, I chose to do the Vespa tour with (www.vietnamvespaadventures.com) and then a private Mekong Delta Tour which was done by the guy who was leading the Vespa Tour. The Vespa Tour was around 70 USD and the Mekong Delta tour was approx 80 USD. The Vespa tour has three options, an evening tour (which goes to the bars and snacks around the city), a day tour around the sites of Ho Chi Minh (which is what I did) and the other option was a tour along the Mekong Delta on the back of a Vespa. I had a friend do the evening tour and they said it was really good and in hindsight I probably would have gone for that. Although considering I don’t drink and I don’t eat non halal food, I’m not sure it would be worth it in my case but for others it might be the best choice. However, the day tour really was fun and it was cool driving about in a Vespa as you can see in the pictures below . I got to see so much of the city and venture to places I otherwise wouldn’t have known to go to like the ‘Bird Park’.
The Video is of a Woman who is praying for a dead relative, they do this for a number of days/weeks depending on their relationship.
For one of the evenings I decided to go to watch a show. The opera house hosts a fantastic traditional Vietnamese show every couple of days called AO (http://www.aoshowsaigon.com/en) which is honestly one of the most innovative performances I have seen and my words cannot do it justice. If you visit the city it is a MUST and the tickets are very reasonable.
There is also night market which does not have a vast array of products however the quality of products are decent, especially if your looking for trainers which you can find a good pair of Nikes for like 20-30 USD depending on the model.
The one thing I saw that was really popular in the city was these face masks due to the pollution which can get quite bad, and as I love Burberry there was only one style i could get…