CAMBODIA TO HO CHI MINH CITY


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February 25th 2020
Published: March 3rd 2020
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Lovely view from our pool in the Millenium apartments
Well we got away on time from Phnom Penh 9.45am. for six and a half bus ride giving us an arrival time of 4.15pm Ho Chi Minh City, ended up being close to 5pm. Overall it was a great bus trip, Giant Ibis Bus company, they were brilliant. We had two drivers and a jockey....the jockey informed us and rounded us up when needed for a couple of toilet stops and also took great care of us at the border crossing, taking all our passports and visas to immigration and getting them all stamped whilst we had coffee and some had a bite to eat....all went very smoothly. Lovely airconditioned bus with free water and even a breaky croissant to start off the trip. Were very lucky the bus terminal in Ho Chi Minh was quite close to our apartment in the Millenium Tower about 5=10 minutes in a GRAB. Another nice AIRBNB with everything you would want for a stay....a lot more provided than the one in Phnom Penh....we have an amazing pool area on the rooftop of the 7th Floor overlooking the huge Bitexco tower. Very close to the Bui Vien walking street which we went to on our
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Walking street =backpacker area
first night for a few beers and ended up eating elsewhere as this street just seems so expensive since we were here last even though it is classed as the backpacker area. We had a brilliant local meal of 2 quite large spring rolls, a bowl of noodles and salad and veg with tender pieces of beef with all the trimmings and a beer for $8aud a head...it was scrumptious! First up Day 2 headed for a banh mi....one of our favourite things even in Melbourne....those gorgeous french baked rolls with lots of salad, pate, roast pork and sauce....breakfast/brunch done and dusted! Then I dragged John along to the Saigon Square for a good look around the markets. Back to the pool to have a swim and cool off.....brilliant day! Birthday day on the 27th more Bahn Mi for lunch and John had booked our favourite restaurant in Ho Chi Minh La Villa for my birthday dinner. It is the most gorgeous old colonial home down a little lane in the middle of the suburbs about 10klms from where we were staying. It was nothing short of amazing...there are probably 4 menus you can chose from or have alacarte....we took
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Backpacker area
a mid priced menu which was about $110 head Australian but the food was to die for. Not only do you get what is on the menu but all these little extras keep appearing. Some of you did notice how small some of them were but hey if they were huge we would not have got past 2-3 courses and there was 8-12 including an extra of 4 mini deserts (being lemon tart, blueberry macaron, almond chocolate, creme brulee). The fillet beef was Australian and truly just melted in our mouth topped with fois gras. Anyway after this beautiful meal washed down with a couple of bottles of delicious french red we were chockers. The chef and his wife are just lovely people and both came out to have long chats with us. Friday we spent walking the streets seeing old and new sites, Notre Dame, Pink Church, City Hall, gave the War Museum a miss...after the last time it is just too sad...seeing deformed babies in jars and bottles all forms shapes and sizes....no thank you!!! We need to know all this but just so confronting ...the Agent Orange disaster. There is so much construction in Ho Chi Minh....I
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Our first night at Bun Bo Nam Bo - Ba Ba....delicious
guess the Chinese are taking over here as well....from what people tell us! Went for a banh mi op la breaky which is sort of like our bacon and eggs then for a nice meal at Cocotte. We love going down to the backpacker area for a few beers before dinner and always meet the most amazing people....tonight met a young Scottish couple who are travelling South East Asia for 4 months.....they were so gorgeous telling us all about their travels....they are off to Bali for their first time tomorrow so they were able to pick our brains too for some tips! Oh and we did get a bit of shopping in too...Keens for John and some Croc sandals for me. Saturday a day of rest....went for a Bahn Mi breaky and then spent the day by the pool and as usual went to the backpackers area for beers and then to one of our faves for dinner. You know we have been here three times before, once on a tour (I do love a tour but in and out quick!) mind you that tour was fantastic, it was just over three weeks and we went into Hanoi up to
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Near our apartment....lazing under the bridge
Sapa by train, did the junk in Halong Bay, bus to Huai and Danang onto Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh, the Chu Chi tunnels and then on a river boat for a week up the Mekong to Siem Reap, fabulous trip but no time to just rest and soak up the local cutlure, second time sort of did our own thing with a luxury escapes getaway, 3 nights Ho Chi Minh and 1 week Cao Lak near Danang and Hoi An in a resort and then back Ho Chi Minh for another 3 nights, now this time we have been able to soak up the local atmosphere, living like a local, spending a few days in each place and just watching the world go by...which we both love so much! Most people here in Ho Chi Minh just spend 2-5 days but is it is worth spending a bit longer! We are loving District 4 where we are staying....just a short walk to the popular District 1...maybe 15 minutes. District 4 is like an island about four and a half klm square area...the smallest district in HCMC.... wedged between two rivers and a canal...it is very local with lots of
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Hoeing into the creme brulee
places not having menus in English but the old translator app is brilliant in sorting that out....getting a bit more gentrified with a lot of young people coming for cheap food and beers but basically very local. We have walked around for more than an hour at a time and not seen one westerner which is a nice change. We found a Bahn Mi place today that was the cheapest we have had and the nicest...lots of succulent roast pork and a nice few bits of crackle as well...delish!! The area was known for its mafia in the day but not now. The Ho Chi Minh Museum is in this area...housed at the old historical wharf where Ho Chi Minh first was employed on a steam boat going to France...well worth a look. Well our stay here is coming to an end, head back to Phnom Penh tomorrow. We spent our last day doing a big walk to a factory outlet place but it wasn't much chop...had breaky at the Hungry Pig and dinner at a local BBQ joint, it was delicious....chicken, pork and beef. The afternoon was spent by the pool and we met a lovely couple and their
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Fantastic western breakfast place
little family from Sydney...their first overseas trip as a family...they are heading up north and are visiting some really lovely spots...the arvo flew by chatting to them. We shared experiences and were able to help them with a few tips. We have really enjoyed this visit to Ho Chi Minh and just want to share a bit of nonsense with you......I worked out today that we spent the same amount of money on the birthday dinner as we have for the other 8 days here in Ho Chi Minh....you can live like a king or a budget backpacker!


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THE HUNGRY PIGTHE HUNGRY PIG
THE HUNGRY PIG

Great breaky!
COCOTTECOCOTTE
COCOTTE

Parmesan Chicken....yummo! Under $10
SEAFOOD STREETSEAFOOD STREET
SEAFOOD STREET

Oc Oanh best seafood and cheap as chips
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OC OANH SEAFOOD STREET

Dozen of these beautiful scallops for $12
OC OANH = SEAFOOD STREETOC OANH = SEAFOOD STREET
OC OANH = SEAFOOD STREET

The baked oysters were not shabby either
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HO CHI MINH CITY

mixing with the locals
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HO CHI MINH CITY

Our Bahn Mi Op La breaky = delish
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HO CHI MINH CITY

Great iced coffee to wash down the Bahn Mi Op La
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HO CHI MINH CITY

Enjoying our Bahn Mi Op La breaky
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HO CHI MINH CITY

There are some quiet spots to rest and catch your breath
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HO CHI MINH CITY

Tiny house near our apartment
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LA VILLA

Our menu for the night
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LA VILLA

Salmon mouse with caviar
LA VILLALA VILLA
LA VILLA

Beautiful old home


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