Sunday, October 31, 2010

twelve things ill never forget about ho chi minh

it is in Ho Chi Minh where one can really immerse one self to its diverse culture and history even on a short weekend trip. it is best to explore it backpacking style. here's to run down twelve things i'll never forget about this city.[12] many Vietnamese hardly understand English. this was something i didn't expect when we went to Vietnam. before our trip, i thought that they highly understand English since the Americans somehow occupied the country. so when you're there, a bit of sign language will help. without the language barrier i should say that they are as jolly and friendly as most of the Filipinos.[11] the red shirt with a yellow star. definitely one of the most popular souvenirs for tourists in Vietnam. other popular items would be Vietcong military caps, small Vietnamese keychains, Vietnam coffee, and the famous conical hats. but my favorite souvenir are the Vietnam stamps sold outside the post office. usually sold as a set or in a booklet.
[10] the towering long and narrow buildings are such a surprise sight. they call this the tube or rocket buildings which are noticeable even when you look it from Google Earth. majority of the structures in Ho Chi Minh are of this type. the lower ground floor are usually shops.
[9] the french factor is still evident. mostly on structures like Notre Dame church and the central post office. but beyond these are the tasty Banh mi sold along small streets and alleyways within the city. with options of choosing condiments and the usual ingredients are tomatoes, lettuces varying by its condiments and main ingredient which can either be thin sliced pork, meat or fried egg. c'est si bon![8] great bargain begins at night in Ho Chi Minh and many items can be dirt cheap when one is really good at haggling. Ben Thanh market is the shopping center for these cheap items which is walking distance from the backpacker's district of De Tham, such a great combination.
[7] De Tham and Pham Ngu Lao street comprises the city's backpacker's district with hotels that can just cost to about 7US dollars per head per night for a room with its own toilet, air-conditioned and clean bed sheets. that means you really need not a big budget for a trip to Ho Chi Minh.[6] if you thought that there's not much to see in Ho Chi Minh by night other than shopping in Ben Than well think again. some of the most important structures in Vietnam are best seen by night. the city hall of Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam Opera house are among the most elegant. [5] i highly recommend exploring the many Pagodas with a motorcycle. the number of pagodas around Ho Chi Minh can closely be the same number of churches in Manila. it is in Vietnam where one would refer to pagoda as the tower and temple combined. other countries would refer pagoda as just the tiered-structure. the chance of able to walk up the long step up these pagodas is a great experience. [4] remains of what used to be a war thorn city are among the most visited sites in Ho Chi Minh. the Cu Chi tunnel system is a highlight to most of the tours in this city with an option to duck-walk inside these long narrow and small man-made earth tubes. made by the Vietcongs in defense to the many high-powered opposing forces. another popular site is the War Remnants museum which is just within the city.[3] crossing the main wide streets of Ho Chi Minh on a regular day requires determination. take note that there's almost no overpass in this city which means on most instances, you'll have to cross the road with all those motorbikes coming from almost every direction. it is quite odd though that somehow these motorbikes in one way adds charm to the city.[2] in Ho Chi Minh, walking around the city is such a great activity. most of the notable tourist spots are almost just a block away from the other. you just really have to plan out in advance the spots that you wanted to visit and download a map to create the route. but taking the taxi is not a bad idea, it's still cheap. [1] enter an alley, take a seat on a kid-size plastic chair and pick your Pho! that's how you do it there, the street style. but whether you're on the streets or inside small food shops and restaurants you get to taste authentic Vietnamese noodle soups at a price so cheap. Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh, is a city best for street walk, food tripping and bargain shopping. Chyng and Nina shares their own reason of what they will never forget about Ho Chi Minh.

"Vietnam will always be memorable kasi first country where i traveled solo. learning about the highly skilled Vietnamese, specially the Cu Chi tunnel, the asset of Ho Chi Minh" - Chyng of No Spam, No Virus, No Kidding

"
Food! super memorable is the food tried in Ngon! in terms of landmark, my favorite is the post office. for experience naman, crossing the streets." - Nina of Just Wandering

37 comments:

Mokong™ said...

This post want me to travel to Vietnam... Ang galing parang recap ng mga Vietnam trip post mo Dong...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! BOO!

subfuse said...

Nice pictures. Hope I can someday go to Vitnam too...

BlogusVox said...

The pics are superb, pero doon ako nag-laway sa noodles. Na miss ko tuloy ang mami sa atin.

Xprosaic said...

Ganda pa rin as usual... hehehehehe...

asiong32 said...

kelan kaya ako makakapunta ng vietnam? hehe

alicesg said...

Great posts on HCM City. Thanks for sharing.

chicafabulosa said...

I would love to see the Cu Chi tunnel. It was featured in History Channel I think last year. Btw, how much does it cost you to have this wonderful Vietnam experience? We would like to visit Vietnam maybe next year.

SandyCarlson said...

Thank you for taking us there and exposing the heart of a very beautiful place.

dong ho said...

>mokong, it's a recap as i end the ho chi minh series. it's worth a trip to this neighboring country of ours.

>subfuse, thanks! if it's food tripping, shopping and traveling backapcking style then you'll love hcmc.

>blogusvox, the noddle soups there are really irresistible at syempre masarap din mami natin.

>xprosaic, salamat.

>asiong, it's just a matter of saving a bit and booking a promo flight.

>hi alicesg, thanks!

>hi chicafabulosa, if it's backpacking style with less expense on shopping on 3days can be as low as P3000 without the plane ticket, air tax and terminal fee. a budget of P5000 will be perfect to enjoy shopping. email me at i.dongho@gmail.com if you want other details.

>hi sandy, thanks!

Ria Jose said...

WOW! The cathedral and the pagodas look nice.

The tunnel tour seems interesting.

And the pho looks really yummy. :)

witsandnuts said...

As I followed this series, I found your tunnel experience to be the most interesting (aside from the food!). :)

pamatayhomesick said...

ito ang pinakamahirap, ang street photography at landscape...galing pare, kaya sa susunod abangan mo yung email ko sayo, para magpaturo ng tamang view...

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

Very good pictures and some nice thoughts about your trip.

Rizalenio said...

Ito ang the best sa pagfollow sa mga bloggers na sobrang galing sa pagdocument, parang di ko na kailangang magpunta sa Vietnam. Parang nakapunta na din ako sa Vietnam. Complete na complete.

Ang daming motorcycles talaga sa Vietnam.Hopefully,di madami ang motorcycle accidents related dito.Sa atin,parang laman ng mga news ang nakakagulat na motorcycle accidents.

All photos are well-composed,and the stories are very informative.The best talaga.

Borneo Falcon said...

I think Vietnamese speaks a little Mandarin or Chinese.

Really a beautiful place. Hope I can explore the country one day

Photo Cache said...

I will have to keep this post in mind when I finally get a chance to plan for a Vietnam travel - especially the 7 dollar accommodations with private bathroom.

gillboard said...

i love the pic of the city hall. reminds me of a scene from final fantasy viii.

beautiful.

Chyng said...

what a way to summarize your HCMC trip! ang galing! and i knew it, number1 nga si PHO! hehe kain tayo nyan dito sa manila.

thanks for the mention Dom. =)

sheng said...

The pagodas and the site around Ho Chi Minh are very nice, i wish to see them in the future.

princess_dyanie said...

bwisit na dengue yan! eh di sana nakaka relate nako now sa hcm post na to haha! ill see u soon hcm!! at for sure eh babalikan ko tong post mo dom! :)

docgelo said...

fantastic, dom!
pwede ka talaga sa tourism, di lang ng pinas, SE-Asia pa!

i like the very 1st photo; wonderful shot! saka where's my vietnamese shirt? kala ko may pasalubong; kundi man pakontest ka? =)

Dejemonos sorprender said...

Beautiful city scenes..i liked
Saludos desde lejos..

Major Tom said...

You captured the historic city so well bro with your keen camera eye, I enjoyed it so much :-)

Eric said...

Vietnam is among the country nearby that I love to visit.
Thanks for sharing your adventure there...

Pietro said...

Twelve good points indeed, accompanied by beautiful images. I find pagodas and the tunnel tour very attractive, and I am also interested in all the other features of HCM City of course.

Traveling Hawk said...

Hi, there, from Romania! I like your blog very much. It is so informative and the photos are exceptional. I'll come back many times.

pusang kalye said...

sa 12 na yun---yung 2nd ang naka-agaw ng atensyun ko. I one character in a tv series say "you will never feel the spirit of the city until you walk through its streets""I agree. walking makes you appreciate the city and its essense, and its nice to know that Ho Chi Minh is a walkable city...Manila is not. sad but true. when you walk through the streets of old Manila, esp at night, expect trouble, expect bad things to happen. sad no?

fufu said...

i want pho!!!!!!!!!! #13 --> night life also great!!

SandyCarlson said...

Amazing. Again, thank you.

Reena said...

great recap. :) i missed the other posts so this is just perfect. how much do i need to save for a trip like this? - reena

eunice said...

hello Dong! long time no c!
Wow u went HCMC! I went there in 2008 n couldn't forget the traffic and cuchi tunnels hehe

bertN said...

I never figured out why they build those odd-looking tall and narrow buildings and/or apartments. Most of the ones I saw are located in areas where there are huge spaces to spread out horizontally.

Bengbeng said...

i dont think backpacking is my style. i am too used to creature comforts and my legs r a problem. i am jus as surprised as i also thought English would b widely understood there

nuts said...

with your vietnam series, feeling ko nakarating na din ako.. best blogger ka talaga! detalyado, galing.
out of your twelve things.. i like most the cu chi tunnel and try myself in the tube. ^-^ and stay there.. lol

Lawstude said...

woohoo. this is a great series dom and i must say that vietnam fits your name perfectly. dong ho :)

ajpoliquit said...

And I thought you were Vietnamese! Blame it on the name. :)) Anyway, agree 100%. It's uber cheap in Saigon. It takes less budget to go there than to Bora! Nice photos too, btw.

Jaki said...

hi dong, point number 12 is a bit misleading. the vietnamese are very proud people and as one vietnamese postdoc friend loves to point out, they defeated the US during the 70's war so they're were technically not occupied by the Americans. Saigon has been more of a French Colony, as evident in some of the food. Have you tried the baguette ubiquitous in the sidewalk? :D

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