I just spent a weekend in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Like any trip, even of very short duration, it is rewarding. Once again, I do not regret having opted for an unknown destination. For the sharing of experience and avoid long digressions, I have listed my trip in order with all the information that could be useful.
- A / R ticket Chiang Mai – Ho Chi Minh City about 100 €, 2h flight. As this is an international flight you have to be 2h in advance at the airport (not 3 as stated on the ticket). This delay makes it possible to be on time, knowing that you will lose time queuing for registration and security checks.
- Airbnb 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, balcony, gym, infinity pool, all in a huge building (Millennium) brand new: 60 € / night.
The Pho served just outside the airport is very good. There is flow and the portion is generous.
The journey from the airport to Airbnb takes 40 minutes and costs about 250000 VDN in taxi. With Grab I paid 110000 VDN.
Once in Airbnb, waiting for my friends, I plug my smartphone on the internet box to load. It crashes instantly and only offers me the factory reboot mode. Backup solution, I use my laptop to contact my friends and can accommodate them. I am forced to reboot my smarphone by losing all my photos and documents. Google asks me for an identification code that arrives via SMS on another smartphone that I left in Chiang Mai. Fortunately I have paper codes.
Rule of thumb: Always remember to keep paper back-up codes when using Google services on the move.
On site, what I appreciated
- The modern and glitzy architecture that rubs shoulders with more modest buildings. Multiple small alleys, street stalls in unlikely places.
- Vietnamese friendly and patient when we communicate with them in a language they do not understand.
- Tourists / expats who look less like boyscouts in Sunday clothes than in Chiang Mai.
- Good underground techno / house on rooftops, at night (The Observatory) and in the morning (Broma).
- The slightly chaotic side of this city that looks in some ways like Bangkok but a bit wilder.