We arrived Ho Chi Minh City around 6 PM. As soon as we reached the bus station, we had at least USD50 exchanged to a Vietnamese Dong in a nearby hostel. We also took the chance to ask for a direction on how to reach our hostel. The google map states we do not have to take a cab since it will just be a few minutes walk (naniwala naman kami ✌🏼)
It was not difficult to look for the hostel since we were able to ask around but the challenge is they do not know the place if you ask with an English name s make sure to provide the local name..if you can’t pronounce it, show the hotel booking.
We stayed at Elegant Inn — the receptionist was the kindest of them all and she knows English 😍 They informed us that they had to change our room but to our surpise, they actually upgraded it! 🤗
After settling in, we decided to go to the Saigon Skydeck first as it closes at 9:30 PM. Since we were in a rush and we’re not familiar with the place yet, we took a cab to go there. I had a little misunderstanding with the cab driver when I handed him the payment — pero in short — natanga lang talaga ako haha — nalito sa kaperahan nila 😂
For more info, please check their website
It’s getting late but the night was still young in Saigon!
We were already getting hungry by this time so we had our remaining pocket money exchanged. You don’t have to worry as there are several money changers in this area.
We headed back to the backpacker’s district kung saan hindi ka magugutom!
Most of the tourists are here so you’ll enjoy watching them while eating/drinking.
Note that even if their dining area are situated outside, you can’t bring your own drink — I tried drinking my own soda but just before I opened it, the resto staff informed me that I cannot drink it there.
Before returning to our hostel, we dropped by in a Circle-K store and since Vietnam is famous for their coffee, I bought 1 can
When we got back to our hostel, we coordinated with the staff if they have an available tours which we can avail for the next day. They gladly assisted us and booked us for a halfday tour. Our flight will be after midnight so we will not have a problem in spending our time the whole day.
Around 8AM, a van picked us up — we were the last joiners in this group. It was lead by a not so old guy who discussed a lot of information from history to present.
Our destination is the Cu Chi tunnels. These were the location of several military campaigns during the Vietnam War. Approx 2 hours to get there from Ho Chi Minh / Saigon.
Speaking of, we asked the tour guide if Ho Chi Minh and Saigon are the same — he said technically, yes but Saigon is being used more often by the natives while the newest generation of Vietnamese youth growing up under the current government tends to use “Ho Chi Minh City”
For USD 25, the half day tour includes the ff:
Hotel pickup and drop-off in District 1
Transport by air-conditioned minivan English Speaking Tour Guide
All Entrance Fees Cool
Special “Pho” Noodle Soup or Vietnamese Baguette
Syempre, in a group..someone will really standout and it is kuya (ohmygosh I forgot his name 😱 ) who caught my attention 😍 ❤️
During lunch time, we were joined by a Pinoy couple in the table. They were in HCMC to attend their friend’s wedding.
We then headed to a shooting range. Some of the joiners tried this out.
This was our last stop. The weather was freaking HOT but we were all sleepy when we hopped back in the van. Then instead of dropping off in our hostel, we alight in the city proper (National Library to be exact). We walked our way to Saigon Central Post Office and Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral.
As soon as we’re done here, we took a cab to the Saigon Square. Here, I was able to score a few Northface bags which I sold to some of my friends in Manila (the money I earned was eventually used in booking another airfare ticket 😅 )
Our last money was spent in buying additional pasalubong in Ben Thanh Market:
You know the drill — haggle the best way you can 👌🏻
Last meal in Saigon:
Bet ko talaga foodang nila mga bes! Sobrang malasa kaya Pinoys like us will really love their cuisine.
We already checked out this morning so we just needed to return the hostel to pick up our luggage. To our surprise, my love from Cu Chi Tunnels were also in the same hostel (KILIIIIG!!!) — checking our — OMG! I initiated the small convo..ayeeee!!!! Pero hanggang don nalang bes — as they needed to catch their Thai bound flight.
While for us, Elegant Inn has already arranged/reserved a cab who will bring us to the airport. It took less than 30 minutes to get there.