Blogs from Ho Chi Minh City, Southeast, Vietnam, Asia


Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City November 24th 2023

Our flight from Da Nang to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) was quick and uneventful, and we soon arrived at our hotel for the next two nights, the Avanti, set on one of the main streets of Saigon, with the busy Ben Thanh market just across the road. On the front door of the hotel was a notice banning Durian in the building. Durian is the world’s smelliest fruit, and is very popular in South East Asia. I can concur that it is indeed a very unpleasantly smelling fruit, and having sampled a Durian sweet (candy) will not be doing so again! It’s also very obvious when one is nearby, and I seriously can’t understand the appeal. I read that it tastes like ice cream and is sweet, while others say it’s more like eating cheese. I ... read more
Durians banned and  come above spitting!
Hang on in there, you guys!
A random grave in a field.

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City March 27th 2023

We took a break from the fast pace of visiting a new city every 3 days and booked a home exchange in Nha Trang for sun and beach time. Nha Trang was a 1 hour plane ride north of Ho Chi Minh City (but it is not listed with this travelblog site so I had to use Saigon again). We spent 16 days here and loved it! I felt that Nha Trang was like the Vietnam version of Waikiki but with less people, cheaper prices and a much better beach – 6 kilometres of soft sand with no rocks and gentle waves! We loved splashing and sunning and watching the intriguing culture of this Vietnam beach. Our host, Khanh was wonderful! We loved staying at her studio apartment, right in the Nha Trang Centre across the ... read more
Nha Trang Beach - Daily ritual with Beach empty until 4 pm!
Nha Trang Beach - March 22-23
Nha Trang Beach after 4 pm

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City March 19th 2023

Our river cruise took us further down the Mekong Delta to Sa Dec, a typical village on the Mekong where we stopped at the local market. They work here 364 days of the year - one day off on a national holiday only! The market was labeled a fish market but there was everything that a Vietnamese family could want here! We saw them butchering chickens - dropping them in boiling water, plucking and chopping up with hatchets. Talk about fresh! The fish was even fresher as it swam in tanks, and basins ready to be killed and taken home. Lots of vegetables as well, many I had to ask about as I didn't recognize them. We stopped at a fading French colonial home that was the site of the true life romantic novel by Marguerite ... read more
Sa Dec Market - Fish Vendor
Sa Dec Market - Plucking Chickens
Sa Dec Market - Vegetables Wholesale!

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 October 14th 2022

Well, I had a pretty rough night going at both ends!! We consulted our symptoms sheet from the Travel Doctor and decided some azithromycin could be in order. My dear husband brought three slices of white toast back from the dining room for me … and that’s all I ate all day. I managed only half a slice with a scrape of Vegemite for breakfast. For lunch and dinner I was able to get a whole slice into me washed down with lemon and ginger tea. Thank goodness I brought the Vegemite, my ultimate comfort food when recovering from feeling dodgy in the tummy. I stayed in bed all day just about comatose! Steps for the day: 1,337 (0.89km) I’m actually surprised that I moved that much! Meanwhile, Bernie, Cathy and Steve visited the Ben Thanh ... read more
Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market
Ben Thanh Market

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 October 13th 2022

We were due to be picked up at 7.00am for our big day trip today. I set an alarm for 5.15am so that we could be in the dining room at 6.00am when it opened for breakfast. As is always the case when one has an early alarm set, I was awake at 4.45am! After laying in bed for a few minutes debating with myself the pros and cons of trying to get another half an hour of sleep I decided to bite the bullet and head into the shower. We were in and out of the dining room by 6.30am which left time for us to clean our teeth and be back downstairs to meet our tour guide for the day at 7.00am. Nam was already there when we arrived in the foyer and took ... read more
Ho Chi Minh traffic
Bird at our first stop
Black Virgin Mount

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 October 12th 2022

We decided to get an earlier start today so that, hopefully, it wouldn’t be quite so hot and humid as we walked to our first sightseeing stop?? We hit the dining room for breakfast about 7.45am and we were out of the front door of the hotel before 9.00am. We were exploring on foot again today. Yesterday we saw the Hop On Hop Off bus so we looked into that on the internet yesterday afternoon. Hmmn, it turns out that it’s a bit of a misnomer because you can’t actually hop on and off the bus! You board the bus at the Opera House, you complete a 45 minute loop of the city’s main points of interest and then you hop off the when you return to the Opera House. There was also a long list ... read more
Jade Figurine
Brass Drums

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 October 11th 2022

I woke up about 4.30am local time (8.30am Melbourne), but managed to go back to sleep until 6.30am. Figured that wasn’t too bad for trying to get the body clock aligned with local time? Fortunately Bernie noticed this morning that Telstra had charged my phone with a $10.00 day pass. Oh no, we don’t want that to be happening at all. We have purchased e-sims so that we don’t need to be paying $$ for international roaming with Telstra. Grrr, tried to turn it off from my phone, but it would not allow us to do so and gave a free number to ring to have it sorted out. After a bit of mucking about and waiting for a call-back via the app I spoke with an operator who has turned roaming off. Hopefully that will ... read more
Lanterns in Book Street
Notre Dame Cathedral
Post Office

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City October 10th 2022

Finally! Four years, one month and 12 days after returning from our last overseas trip we are on a flight to a destination outside of Australia. Our cruise on the Mekong from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap was originally booked in 2019 for October 2020 but, like so many other holidays, the pandemic put paid to that. In due course Pandaw officially advised that the October 2020 sailing would not be taking place but, if we would like to retain our booking, they would roll it over to October 2021 and they would upgrade us to a cabin on the upper deck. So we left our deposit with Pandaw and put it in our calendar for 2021. When 2021 rolled around, world travel was still up in the air so Pandaw offered to roll ... read more
On final approach into Ho Chi Minh City

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City April 10th 2021

This virtual tour with Heygo took us to A Communist apartment complex. A vibrant local market & The second oldest cafe in Saigon. The apartment complex once inhabited by the Vietnamese military is now given back to local people who enjoy a great community. The highlight of the tour was in Saigon's District 3, the café at 287/72 Nguyen Dinh Chieu Street used to be a weapons vault. It is decorated with memorabilia of soldiers in the Vietnam War, the country's war against American invaders which ended in 1975. The three levels building still has its original brick floor and tiled roof. The house’s specialty is a tunnel system that opened to visitors in 2018. In the 1960s, under the guise of repairing the house's bathroom drain, Lai asked his trusted workers to build this vault ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 25th 2020

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 ... read more

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