Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam — Holiday Visual Diary

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Been wanting to visit the sand dunes in Mui Ne, Vietnam ever since I chanced upon a friend’s Instagram post and thought it was Windows XP wallpaper worthy.

I mean, just look at this beauty.

Here’s a visual recap of what went down!

We got flights to Ho Chi Minh City for about S$100 and from there, we bought bus tickets to Mui Ne. You can buy these tickets on KKday: here. It was about a 5 hour bus ride and we checked in a resort.


Mui Ne is a sleepy beach town with no public transport so we rented a scooter to get around. It's a really small place and we rode the scooter to tourist attractions like Red Sand Dunes and Fairy Stream. Be warned - please layer on sunscreen and bring your sunhat and shades along. The sun was extremely unforgiving. I was pretty much burned and got a few shades darker after the first day.


We also got to catch the sunrise at the White Sand Dunes before we got back to Ho Chi Minh City. The White Sand Dunes are a little further from where the other attractions are, so we got a jeep ride to take us down. Pro tip: I would recommend doing all their attractions via a day tour offered by their local agencies but since we're staying for 2 days, we had the luxury of time to explore on our own. 


We’re back to the city on day 3 and we visited some touristy spots like the Saigon Central Post Office, Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica and Bến Thành Market. And yesssss, we had phở!!! At a popular chain restaurant and omg, i don't understand why Singapore haven't brought this chain in yet. Gotta up our Vietnamese food game in Singapore. This trip completely changed my opinions on Vietnamese food. I LUVVVV IT. I will be recommending some food places at the end of the post, so keep readin'!


What is going to Vietnam without visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels?!? We got tour tickets from KKday. You would need a guide to go there and also to explain some history on the Vietnam war along the way. I thought it's going to be one of those must-see but really boring tours, but noooo - tour guide proved me wrong with a fantastic sense of humour. Really one of my most enjoyable tours yet.



There wasn’t much shopping in Ho Chi Minh. There was absolutely nothing to buy but if you’re looking to check out some beautiful sights, history and legit goooood vietnamese food - you should give HCMC a shot.

Some note-worthy restaurants I would like to mention:

1. Cục Gạch Quán
Okay, I don't have photos of this gem because i was too hungry and also, lighting sucks. People have the impression that food and everything in Vietnam is going to be cheap but this restaurant isn't exactly like $1-roadside-pho kind of cheap, it's more of like $6 fried rice. Think traditional Vietnamese food served in a classy atmosphere with wines and/ or cold pressed juices (at $5).

2. Secret Garden Restaurant
We found this by accident AFTER our dinner because we saw a steady stream of people going up this flight of dodgy stairs at some back alley (this is how i die) and we got curious. Turns out it's a rooftop restaurant serving authentic, traditional Vietnamese food. Because we greedy, so we ordered dinner round two. NO REGRETS.

Pardon me, recommending restaurants with no food photos. But do yourself a favour, please google for reviews and trust me, you'd see that they both have glowing reviews on tripadvisor, google and whatnot. Oh and when I say traditional Vietnamese food, i don't mean phở. They are really similar to Chinese/ Thai food where you choose dishes and pair them with carbohydrates (noodle/ rice).

3. Trung Nguyen Legend
The most famous coffee place in town! I chanced upon this one by accident and we were like, why does this place have a sand pit?! Turns out they filled the cafe out with fine, white sand. Do note that not all Trung Nguyen Legend outlets have the sand as they all have a different theme.

A photo posted by Fiona P (@popthebob) on



4. Maison Marou
My friend is a huge fan of chocolate. I think he spent almost $100 buying chocolate bars home. Also, they have some real good chocolate cakes here.


5. Padma de Fleur
Okay, this isn't a food place. It barely qualifies as a cafe. They are a florist and they serve coffee and juice. But just look at how pretty the place is. I can't possibly pass this up.

 

Till next time, Vietnam! x

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