Lately, I’ve had a few people ask my recommendations on Vietnam and Cambodia. This time 2 years ago I was exploring its beautiful scenery and having the time of my life. So I decided to make it my next few blog posts, since there is way too much to say in one about these amazing countries!
I always keep a travel journal (notes on my iPhone on more recent travels), which I then design into a photobook on my return, so below you can read my experiences at the time, rather than a couple year old reflection. And enjoy my favourite snaps from the trip!
I accompanied my friend Coreena, her boyfriend Daniel and his best friend Nathan on what we affectionately named “The Magical Mystery Tour”. We each had a location to plan what everyone would do, eat and stay and the rest of the group wouldn’t find out until the day of. I will admit I was quite unsure about this at first (being such a planner), but it was honestly the best!
I believe one should always show respect and at least learn some of the country’s most common phrases when traveling. Here are a few I recommend learning:
Excuse Me, Sorry: Seen-Loy
Thank You: Gam-Un
For many nationality’s, Visa’s can be purchased at the airport cheaply (about half the price I paid in Brisbane, Australia) but be prepared for a long wait! Also make sure you have a couple passport photos with you.
Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City
Commonly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is the former capital city of Vietnam as well as the largest in the country. All up we spent about 3 days here which was enough to see the sights and enjoy local life thanks to Coreena’s planning! Just be careful crossing the roads! I would be lying if I said I didn’t stand beside others to cross the street as they did, for safety.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the array of traditional Vietnamese food and drinks available. Make sure you try a Pho, fresh summer rolls/rice paper rolls, Banh Xeo (crepes) and their sweet iced coffee and cheap beers! If you have time, check out their cute and quirky bars. We grabbed a few cocktails at Vespa Sofar which has happy hour from 5 – 9pm and has an entire VW Van inside as the bar!
Only a short trip from the city, we went on a half day tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels. During the Vietnam War, these huge underground network of tunnels were used as a base, hiding spot, supply routes and hospitals for the Viet Cong. If you aren’t claustrophobic, you can even experience crawling through these yourself. While there we visited the shooting range. There was a variety of weapons to choose from, but we went with an M16. Lookout, turns out my aim is DEADLY.
A couple other must see’s are the War Remnants Museum, the Ben Thanh Markets and make sure to grab a massage after your flight. It will make you feel like new!
Feel free to contact me if you would like any further information or some travel photobook tips!
Stay tuned for Vietnam Diaries ~ Part Two – Mekong Delta Tour…