The scene above epitomises the streets of Ho Chi Minh City: traffic everywhere! The sound of horns blaring every second, scooters and bikes coming at you literally from every direction, not caring much about pedestrians on pavements. “Oh there’s an empty spot on the pavement, I’ll just park my bike.” Seriously!
My last trip to Vietnam was in Autumn last year, a last minute decision to show my family a part of Asia they’d not experienced before. We shaved 3 nights off our time in Bangkok and spent it in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Mekong River Trip
The family absolutely loved it; with just 3 days, we went down the tourist route and took a trip out to the Mekong river and crammed a whole lot into our second day. We had a wonderful time on the river:
- fresh coconut water straight out of the coconut was served on the boat which was an absolute treat for the kids
- stopped off at an old temple with newly built statues of Buddha
- visited a couple of islands, enjoyed some lovely tea and honey
- and the highlight of the day – lunch on the Mekong
We had fresh rice springrolls filled with elephant fish meat (above), vermicelli noodles and salad. It was absolutely delicious and one of the recipes I’ve been meaning to post for a long, long time! I’ll get around to it soon!
Ben Thanh Market
The rest of our time in Saigon was spent eating and shopping! I’d booked us into a hotel that was just a 5-minute walk away from the Ben Thanh Market – a shopper’s paradise. We had a whole lot of fun bartering with the shopkeepers, by the third day, I was a pro, but sadly, it was time to go home!
There was just so much to buy; everything and anything you can think of! There was food, household items, beautiful crockery, clothes, shoes, and even amazing human hair semi-permanent tape in hair extensions! We kept looking around in amazement, and my daughters insisted on getting some extensions!
Unfortunately, we were also just 2 months into our 6-8 months of travelling. That seriously curtailed what I could buy because we had to think about carrying it all around!
In the end, it was easier said than done, we ended up couriering (is there such a word?) 2 suitcases back to my inlaws’ when we landed at Heathrow, enroute to Spain.
You cannot go to Vietnam without either falling in love or hating Vietnamese Coffee – sigh, another post that’s been in the wings forever! I grew up in Singapore, so condensed milk in my hot drinks is very natural to me and because I do love my coffee strong, the Vietnamese coffee has always been a big favourite. It’s dark, it’s strong, it’s sickly sweet and it’s sooo yummy!
We had an amazing time in Vietnam, my experience was made extra special by the awe and enjoyment on my children’s faces! Below are just a few more pictures of our time there, I hope you enjoy them!
If you fancy some Vietnamese recipes, check out my Vietnamese Page, for yummy dishes like: