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Lauren's Adventures: The first week in Ho Chi Minh City

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 13 November 2013 | Views [11260] | Comments [1]

Lauren’s adventures: First week in Ho Chi Minh City


On my first day in HCMC I woke up early, had a shower and then decided to brave the city. I wanted to go for a walk around and as soon as I got on the street, I was stopped by a man on a cyclo (google it). I’d heard stories about these guys trying to rip you off so you have to agree on a price at the beginning. At first I said ‘no, thank you’ but he kept cycling next to me showing me a book that people had written in saying how nice it was, so I thought why not. I tried to agree on a price but he said we could go for chicken soup first and then we’ll fix a price.

We went for traditional chicken soup, and I have to say that it really was delicious and we agreed on 300,000d to take me to the Ho Chi Minh museum and back. We cycled through the streets, over the motorway, through thousands and thousands of motorbikes, bus, cars and what not. It was pretty scary because you think you’re going to get run over all the time, but it actually works well. The drivers just go around you.

We arrived at the museum and I had a look around. I was a bit disappointed because I thought it was going to be about the history of the city, but it wasn’t. It was a museum dedicated to president Ho Chi Minh.

After the museum, I was very tired so I asked him to take me back to my hotel. On the way he said that we’ll go to a beautiful temple. I actually didn’t want to go at all because I was pretty tired but it was easier not to argue so I just went in and had a look around. Not to be rude, but it wasn’t very beautiful.

Later we got to near where my hotel is and he suddenly asked for 400,000d. I realised that I didn’t have any money so I had to go to my hotel to get my credit card so I could go to the ATM. I couldn’t find my card so the hotel receptionist had to lend me the money, which was lucky because he got the cyclo man to lower the price.

What wasn’t lucky was me realising I had lost my credit card. Panic! And I realised that I had the wrong PIN for my backup card. I cried in dismay for a while until I got through to the bank and cancelled my card and ordered an emergency one. Not a great start to my trip!

I spent the rest of the week in the city. It was okay but it wasn’t the best week of my life. The traffic is sooo bad that I was too scared to cross the street so I didn’t do any sightseeing. I also felt lonely and missed my friends a lot. I really wanted to go out and see something so I decided to book a tour bus to take me around the different places, plus I bought a bus ticket to go to a quiet town near the beach to get away from the chaos.

The tour was great but very long. I saw the War Museum, the post office, the big cathedral and lots more. The war museum is so sad and takes a lot of energy, similar to the Dachau concentration camp. The post office is a very lovely, big building and so is the cathedral.

In the evenings I went to some different places to have dinner. I went to one place which was fairly quiet and a bit hidden, but it was a lovely evening. The waitresses were so friendly and so, so happy to be able to practice speaking English that they literally giggled with delight! They were super-sweet and gave everyone really good service.

So, that was my first week in HCMC. Feeling lonely, lost credit cards, crazy traffic, good food, super friendly staff. I was definitely ready to go to the beach!



Hi Lauren, What a great week in Ho Chi Minh City. After this week I think you have good chances that it would become better.
This was definitly a week you won´t forget.

All my best for your next adventures

  Roland Latz Nov 19, 2013 6:39 AM

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