Tuesday 26 October 2010

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in Two Days♥

That was the first time that I travelled alone ~ to explore that unfamiliar place, where communication difficulty is one big thing to deal with.♥

First day:

My first day in Ho Chi Minh City was really amazing! Everything turned out well. I had the best tour guide, and his English is good.

I had a half day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels. It’s an hour and a half drive from the City to the tunnel, so on our way there, Thin (the tour guide) kept me informed about Vietnam’s history, etc. We passed by the rubber plantation too, though it wasn't included in my itinerary.

We arrived at the tunnel at around 10.00am (VN time), then watched a short film on how the tunnel was completed. Vietnam’s history is incredible. I was given the chance to crawl inside the tunnel and up to now I am still wondering how those Vietnamese guerrillas built that three-layer tunnel by using just a small shovel. It has a living room, a kitchen, a hospital, weapon factories, storage facilities and command centre.

After that fascinating Cu Chi Tunnel tour, we headed back to the City, and had a sumptous Vietnamese Cuisine for lunch.

In the afternoon, I had a city tour. I visited the Reunification Palace (Independence Palace). Again, I learned a lot from my guide ~ like, how many times it was bombed, what’s the purpose of each and every area of the place, etc.

We visited the Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, and Ben Thanh Market ~ it’s one of the liveliest and colorful markets I’ve ever seen... There I bought “pasalubong” for my “girl-friends”.

At night I was free to have my own dinner, but since I was afraid of those hundreds of motorbikes that would possibly hit me, I just had dinner near my hotel. And speaking of my hotel, it’s a “two-thumbs” up for my agent. Because of my fear of roaming around the city (alone) for the first time, I just decided to stay in the hotel and make use of their free internet ~ from 9.00 till 11.00.

Slept at 12.20am and woke up at 6.30am.

Second day:

After having my breakfast in the hotel, I checked out and waited for my tour guide for the Mekong Delta Tour. I joined a group tour, as advised by my agent. He picked me up at the hotel at 8.00am and then we started the journey to the countryside. It’s again another one and a half hour drive from the city and since I forgot to bring any book to read, I had no choice but to lend an ear and concentrate on what our tour guide was saying. On our way I tried the famous Vietnamese coffee, which my friends used to remind me not to forget, and they’re absolutely correct. Better that SB :)

It was definitely a very wonderful tour. I made lots of friends of different nationalities too ~ Japanese, Indian, Korean, English, Vietnamese, Australian, Chinese.

Again, after the boat-ride, after visiting the coconut candy mill, after enjoying a cup of relaxing honey tea, and after visiting a marvelous temple with two gigantic Buddha, we headed back to the city and arrived at about 5.30pm. With a little miscommunication with my agent, I was quite terrified when the tour guide didn’t send me off to the hotel after (it was indicated in my itinerary). Fortunately; one of my new found friends asked me out for dinner. Good thing I still have enough time for that, (instead of having it alone, again). Since my flight going back to Singapore is at 9.35pm, we had dinner together; a small talk and then I went to the airport to catch my flight.

Flight delayed. Reached Singapore at 1.00am. Long queue at the taxi stand. Home at last, by 2.00am.

It was just a 2D1N stay in Saigon, but, it is certainly an unforgettable one.

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