It has come to an end, the conclusion to my first Vietnam trip. An exhaustive, crazy and stressful trip all rolled into one. At the end of the day it was a fulfilling trip that will stick in my memory bank and for the right reasons.
Vietnam, at least the Southern part was interesting to say the least. The hustle and bustle, the chaos, the shoving, the pushing and then try crossing a bloody road. Good luck with that. When I speak of such scenes naturally I’m referring to Ho Chi Minh City.
Did I enjoy Vietnam? Yes of course. I always make the most out of my adventures. Perhaps not my favorite travel destination, however it is still a destination I’m glad I visited and there is still so much more of this great country I want to see in time.
Let’s get into the highlights of day 13-14. The conclusion of Ho chi Minh City.
Bitexco Financial Building
As soon as you get off the express elevator to the 49th floor of the Bitexco Financial Building, you are struck with the mesmerising view of Ho Chi Minh City, as far as the eye can see. I was fortunate enough to go on a clear day, without a cloud in sight as I circled the 49h floor on several occasions, getting a 360 view of an amazing city full of life, colour and chaos.
The city may have a bit of work to do, but it’s on the rise and rapidly. For the cost of about $12AUD, you can see the work in progress from above. A must see.
Highlights of day 13-14
Last day means getting is as much as possible and to get in any attraction that I have not seen in Ho Chi Minh City.
Pearl Plaza in the Binh Thanh District is great to spend a couple of hours away from the heat. Not the largest centre in the city but it’s pretty and boutique. Plenty of great shopping with brand outlet shops, a supermarket, amazing food court and cinemas. Luxury apartments are situated above the centre.
The next locations I speak are all within an ear shot of each other and is great way to spend a day out in the city.
The best shopping mall in Saigon. The centre is full of fabulous retail brand stores, café’s and a top-class cinema. Amazing in its interior design, with a fantastic modern touch, The Saigon Centre is a must see whether you are in the mood for a bit of retail therapy or not.
The Saigon Centre food court is the best I have ever seen. In fact, you probably couldn’t call it a food court, it’s a level full of top class restaurants that has cuisines form all over the world, Japan, Korean, America, you name it. Get there and dine in style, but be prepared to pay a little more for your food than usual.
The Opera House is another French pioneered building, which like other buildings in Saigon is simply beautiful. Built in 1897, at a similar time to the Cathedral and the old Post office. The opera house is certainly worth your time if passing by the area. Especially if you are into lovely architectured buildings.
Nguyen Hue Walking street
Named after an emperor of the late 1700’s, The Nguyen Hue walking street is epic in its colour and design, and a great way to walk in freedom away from the nearby traffic. Unfortunately for me most of the strip was closed due to preparations for the Tet New Year. That was only bad luck for me, but put it on your list if in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ben Thanh Street Food Market
Time to doge bikes and other commuters again. The street markets which is close by to the Bitexco Financial Building, is stacked with food stalls, fresh produce and seafood. It is a crazy atmosphere but worth your time to see the locals at work. It’s great if you want a feed at a ridiculously low price.
That’s a wrap the conclusion to my Vietnam Diaries. It was a unique trip but one I am glad I did to witness a different city and different cultures. It is why I live for travelling.
For a detailed reaction on I what my feelings were towards the country can be read in the I didn’t fall in love with you Vietnam, but I like you a lot.