Glib the Gnome in Ho Chi Minh

Hie everyone! It’s me again. The name is Glib in case this is your first time tuning in. I’d like to share with you my adventure in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

We departed on Saturday morning from Singapore Changi Airport…

…on JetStar Airline.

Found our plane seat! They have instructions in both English and Vietnamese. 

Of course i had to take a shot of the aiplane wing. Love the colour of the sky. It was a generally smooth flight with no major turbulence.

We passed through customs easily. And got our luggages from the belt. Then we went out to wait for the transport that will take us to the hotel. We were expecting a van but…

… two 7-seater cars. There was no jam on the road but it was filled motorbikes! 

They just go here there everywhere! It took awhile to figure that to cross the road we should just cross it. The bikers will just meander their way around pedestrians.

We stayed at Alagon Western Hotel. 

Once we entered our room, Mr Brue made himself comfy on the bed. Next agenda… FOOD! We were hungry coz there was no food being served in the less than 2 hour flight on the budget airline.

We had the Vietnamese popiah, mango fish and chicken pho. Yummy! There were also street vendors selling peanuts, mango and even coffee!

Once everyone had their fill, we headed to Ben Thanh Market which is just walking distance from our hotel. 

They had everything there. Cloth (with tailoring services promising 2-3hr completion with delivery services), handbags, caps, lingerie, souvenirs, footwear, food…& more! It can get pretty confusing finding your way around. That’s not to say that the shops are haphazardly placed. They actually have sections. It’s just the many alleys make it confusing if you don’t have a good sense of direction / you don’t remember the shop number.

Most of our 4-day trip was spent shopping and looking for food. Only day 2 was different. We went to Mekong River. Here’s the view of the boats that brings tourists (local and international) to an island nearby:

The guide was very informative but his accent made it a bit difficult to understand some of the words that he said. We visited the island with honeybees. So they served us tea with honey and some snacks containing honey.

The island also had various fruit trees and flowering plants.

At one of the stops, a musician played while some ladies & a man sang songs to entertain the guests. Then they passed around a basket so that visitors can give them tips. They also have souvenir shops and people selling handicraft items.

We rode on a horse drawn carriage. It was fun! I thought i might slide off the carriage though. Lol…

We also took a sampan to go back to the jetty on the island. The waterway was packed with sampan at one point. It’s a wonder we could get on our way. Watching the lady paddle the sampan got me thinking how much they earn… do they have a salary or do they rely solely on tips given by passengers.

We had one last thing to see before we boarded our boat back to the mainland: 

…people making coconut candy! Yumm!

On the boatride back, they gave us a coconut each to drink. It was refreshing! 

That’s one huge coconut! Hehe… Anyway, i think that was the highlight of my trip. I’m not much of a shopper so i didn’t shop much. It was interesting to find boutiques in three storey houses though. 

It took us around 2 hours to get to this place. The narrow streets didn’t help either. It was almost impossible for two vans to pass by in opposite directions. All i can say is that the drivers are very skilled!

Saw Vivo Shopping Centre while on the to Mekong River (& Takashimaya on the way back to the hotel).

(Above) The view from the hotel restaurant on level 9. (Below) Not sure what the words on the globe mean. Also saw this from the hotel level 9.

We packed our luggages and are ready to head home.

It was heavy traffic towards the airport but we made it with ample time to check in and have lunch.

Yay! We’ve arrived! Till next adventure…

Glib the travelling gnome

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