7/23/2017

Vietnam 2017: Hello Saigon!




"It was a quick, fun and memorable experience! Vietnam has a lot to offer. I will surely come back."






It's weird to admit but, Vietnam was the first country that I have visited. Well, aside from the Philippines where I grew up. (Of course!) So last January, I started teaching English to a Vietnamese student and he invited me to visit his country with one of my closest friends. We were so excited because it will be our first out-of-the country travel together. Our flight was around 7pm and we landed in Saigon around 12mn because the plane got delayed.




We stayed at Bich Duyen hotel which is located at District 1 of Saigon or Ho Chi Minh city. As soon as we arrived, we went out to have a quick dinner and rush into bed. It was tiring but we were so excited to roam around the city the day after our long travel. (I am saying long travel because we came from Quezon Province which was 4 to 5 hours bus ride to Manila.)





The next day, we woke up around 7am and went downstairs to have our free breakfast. The lady who prepared the food in Bich Duyen hotel is kind and accommodating. I also like to mention Ti, the receptionist there who has been so helpful carrying our luggage up to the fifth floor. Bich Duyen Hotel has no elevator so imagine climbing the stairs up to our room. After breakfast, we just took our shower, put on clean, comfy clothes and head out.

We brought our map so that it will help us finding the location of the spots that we want to visit. We got tired of using it so we have decided to rent a motorbike. Our first stop was at the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral. It was a huge orange-brown church with an instagramable architecture design. It looks so beautiful on pictures but you can appreciate it more personally. We took a lot of pictures, of course! 



After visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral, we went to the War Remnants museum and we saw different stuff being stored there as a memorabilia. There were jets, photos and weapons there. We didn't go inside so we just took pictures from the outside. We payed 30,000 dong for the ticket entrance. We went to Saigon Square after visiting those well-known tourist spots to take a look of what's in there for us to buy as pasalubong when we go back to the Philippines.






Then, we went back to the hotel and had some lunch. I forgot the name of the restaurant but they offer big servings of food. I have ordered a rice and vegetables because that is the only food that I think I will finish. (Haha!) I was in Vietnam and I must try their best spring rolls. It came with peanut sauce and tastes so good! It was hot and sunny lunch time so I took advantage and also got myself to try their iced-coffee. Joyce was right, the coffee culture in Vietnam is very strong. (By the way I have met Joyce Le, a Youtube who creates informative videos about Vietnam. You'll see here on my upcoming blog posts. You can check her channel, just type in Joyce Le or follow her on Instagram @bitofmadness).


While traveling, I make sure that I get proper rest to get more energy and explore the place so after lunch, I slept and woke up with a text from a friend inviting us to watch the Water Puppet Show. I've done research before my travel to Vietnam so I know that it is one of the must-visit place if you go to Vietnam. The show was fun and the puppets were telling a story. At the end of the show, the artists behind it went out from the back and gave thanks to the people who watched it. That was a cool experience! Plus, we get to sit in front of the stage or mini-puppet pool. (So when they splash water, we got a free shower, lol!) And sorry for being a bad blogger cuz of too much fun I just took videos. No photos. 

That's the end of our first day in Saigon. The day after, we woke up early for Da Lat. This post is not going to end here because we have spent most of our days in Vietnam at Da Lat which made us feel like we're in Baguio City (the only different thing is, it is bigger and we speak English most of the time lol!)

Traveling to Vietnam soon? Have a safe trip!
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Blog by Zane Saria