Last stop in Vietnam.
I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City early in the morning, around 5 a.m. I was a bit disoriented at first, not sure where the bus driver (I took another overnight bus) had dropped us off at. But I let instinct take over and crossed the street to walk down the nearest intersecting street. Happily I found myself on the exact road I needed to be on, and after a short 5 minute walk, I was at the door of the hostel my friend from Dalat recommended to me, Eco Hostel. I was able to check in and get a bed right away, but I had to pay for a night and a half for such an early check in. It was absolutely worth it though, because I slept for a few hours in a comfortable bed rather than on an erratic bus.
I woke up around 9 a.m. on got ready to set out for the day. I went to the front desk to ask for tips of where to travel the city when I saw a sign for a free tour. It was starting shortly, so I hurried over and was able to join in. A British man, Adam, who has been living in Saigon for four years headed up the tour much like they are offered in Europe. The tour is free, but you are encouraged to tip at the end whatever you deem the tour worth. It was an incredible tour!
We walked around the city for about three hours, checking out some of the historical and notable sites. Adam was very knowledgeable of each of the places he took us and gave us a great history of each of the spots. I really learned a lot on the trip, which made the places we visited much more interesting. I won’t make an exhaustive list of each spot we stopped at, but some were Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Opera House and the Reunification Palace. The tour was the perfect fit for me as I had such little time in the city. I was able to see the important spots worth a visit and find out what made them so noteworthy.
After the tour I went to the War Remnants Museum, which was rather depressing. There were lots of pictures of people who were mutilated and malformed by Agent Orange, a chemical the U.S. used during the Vietnam War. But it was a good thing to see as were some of the weapons, planes and tanks from the war. Next I headed to the market to walk around inside, but nothing intrigued me. I finished the day off with a simple dinner and headed to bed early to sleep before my early morning flight.
It was a short time in Saigon, but I felt like I was there long enough to see what I needed to see. I was pleased with my jaunt around the city.
Saigon Gratitude Journal
1. I am grateful for free tours.
2. I am grateful for learning the history of a place and its people.
Trails & Tales Saigon