Dubbed one of the most up and coming cities in the world, Hồ Chí Minh (originally Saigon) feels like it’s moving at 100 miles per hour. The Vietnamese people who whizz around these streets appear carefree on the busiest morning commute I’ve ever seen – every hour is rush hour.
Flying through the day but arriving at 6:00am local time, we had very little sleep but were determined to make the most out of the little time we had in this historic city. Our first night stay was in an AirBnB homestay in district 7, apparently a relatively new and quieter district but is home to sweeping streets full of fresh fruit sellers, local street food stalls, hidden away cafes and even vegan restaurants!
Nothing could have prepared us for the chaos on the roads of Hồ Chí Minh. Hundreds of motorbikes and scooters speed down every road filling the air with the sounds of horns and beeps and making crossing the road a task in itself. Following the locals it seems the best tactic is just to walk forward through the traffic whilst they weave their way around you…
The people we stayed with in district 7 were some of the friendliest I have ever met. A man called Đăng Nam looked after myself and Claudia cooking us traditional vegetarian Vietnamese food and buying us fresh mangoes for breakfast (THE RIPEST SWEETEST MANGO I HAVE EVER EATEN)
After our first night we moved onto district 1 staying in another AirBnB with our host KyMy. We spent the day exploring the parks around Hồ Chí Minh City and a trip to the War Museum which is definitely worth a visit – it is equally as shocking as it is deeply moving, it’s hard to imagine what horrors happened only 43 years ago.
Later on we ventured to Bến Thành street food night market and ate our fill of rice noodles and stir fried veggies. We ended the evening in a rooftop bar sipping on Saigon – the Vietnamese lager, and watching the world buzz around beneath us!
It’s fair to say that we were both pleasantly surprised by Hồ Chí Minh itself. We didn’t know what to expect when getting to Vietnam but after a hectic few days we have left this city with our heads buzzing and our hearts (and bellies) full – Hồ Chí Minh I wish we could stay longer but now we’re off to jump on a train up the East coast 👋🏼