Mekong Memories in Ho Chi Minh City

Saturday, October 25, 2014
Vietnam surprised me in many ways! Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon) attracts a lot more backpackers and tourists than I expected. Especially the street called Bui Vien is always crowded with foreigners and therefore also street sellers, delicious food, travel agencies and most importantly; cheap beer. That's a 10,000 VND beer (less than a dollar)!

Ho Chi Minh City holds a registered population of 10 million people and is a lot bigger than the old Saigon. Staying here my travel buddy Lasse and I once again couchsurfed as part of our experience. This time with a fashionable girl named Cac. She's a busy person with a lot on her hands, but she takes time to take care of her surfers. Together we went out for beers, karaoke and also some of the best seafood I've had here in Asia.

Vietnam has some of the most extreme food compared to what I'm used to back home in Denmark. Here I tasted snails, chicken feet and snake whiskey among other (in Denmark) untraditional dishes and drinks.

Besides the food here, the Vietnam War memorial is inevitable. Especially the War Remnants Museum is a must-see here in Ho Chi Minh City. Outside you'll find planes, tanks and helicopters from the war and inside there's a couple of levels with photos and posters from the war, some a lot more brutal than others. It's not for the weak-hearted, but then again war is brutal.

Apropos the war the Cu Chi Tunnels are definitely worth a visit. The Vietnamese jungle is still full of hand-digged tunnels and there are traps and underground rooms on display. If you dare you'll also get to crawl through a tunnel system which is quite the experience (and certainly not built for Europeans).

I took the Ho Chi Minh City Tour and visited the Reunification Palace, the french built Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office and much much more. For around USD 10 you can get a full day city tour with bus and guide. Worth it? Definitely!

I also went on a one-day trip visit to the Mekong River and the four islands named Phoenix, Unicorn, Turtle and Dragon Island. On the different islands I got a taste of the local Vietnam; honey from local bee farms, coconut candy and snake wine.
I know my grandfather sailed the waters of Mekong and it felt special to be on the same waters as he was many years ago!
On this day it was pouring down by the time we had to get in the smaller rowing boats for a tour down the narrow paths of the Mekong River. As I step out into the rain and got in my boat the rain suddenly drove off. I'd like to think a certain someone was holding his hand above me that day.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.