As a part of our 2017 trip to Cambodia, we managed to squeeze a couple of days into visiting Vietnam. We took off from Siem Reap in a plane that sounded similar to a hairdryer. An hour and a half late we landed in Ho Chi Minh City. Delighted to have acquired the Visa before our trip, we expected to sail through passport control. Little did I know the Visa form and fee I paid for were completely irrelevant and I still had to queue for an hour and a half and pay a $50 fee. Tip Use the official government site when getting this Visa online. When we finally got through we got a taxi to our hotel.
The first day there saw us getting a taxi to the war museum. To say the taxi driver screwed us would be an understatement, the mix up of currencies and his shuffling skills left us a ‘few’ dollars short. Lesson learned. The Vietnam war museum was an eye-opening and emotional experience. We saw the aftereffects of ‘Agent Orange’, the chemical that lay waste to sections of Vietnam. The museum was a surreal experience for us, reading stories and seeing images of the devastating effects of the Vietnam war made us more appreciative of living in a neutral country. After the museum, we took to the streets and walked around Ho Chi Minh a bit. We got food in a pub/restaurant where we got to know the Australian owner. This was followed up with a bit of a pub crawl starting in a bar on the 52nd floor of a skyscraper and finishing with a quick successful trip to a casino afterwards. We finished up in a rooftop bar sipping away on cocktails.
The next day was our planned day. We went on an excursion in the Mekong deltas. This was one of my favourite parts of our trip. With our super charismatic guide to lead the way, we got picked up in Ho Chi Minh and took a 2-hour trip out of Ho Chi Minh. We took a boat and got to see some of the river markets.
The boat then docked at a pier where we got to experience the vibrancy of a true Vietnamese marketplace. It was full of energy and revitalising to see people still living in their roots. Our guide Jordan brought us through the market and into a shed area where we got to taste some ‘interesting wine’. I say interesting because after we had shot Jordan took a pair of thongs and pulled a birds head out of the jar and pointed out the dead snake that was inside. Nuts right?
Our boat trip continued onto an area of the river where we stopped to hop on a Vietnamese rowboat. The rower guided us around some of the deltas and we took some snaps along the way. I’m not one for big busy cities so this really stands out as one of the highlights of our trip.
We boarded the boat once again and took off to a local island where we rented bikes and spent an hour cycling around. This was fantastic, we stopped at some local houses to see workers weaving straw to use as roofing and some local kids weaved us some bracelets that we took away. We tried some local delicacies for lunch, followed Vietnamese music show.
Our island adventure ended and we got our boat back to land and took the drive back to Ho Chi Minh where we went straight to a bar to conclude our Vietnamese adventures. Thanks for the tour Jordan.