And here's my visual diary from Vietnam! We spent 5 days here and I'll be sharing what we did and where we stayed in this city. It feels amazing being immersed in a completely different culture and taking in what the city has to offer. One thing we learnt for sure - to cross the roads like a total boss. In summary, I would definitely return. Enjoy this visual diary! x
Upon arrival to Ho Chi Minh city, we spent the first night in an Airbnb. We stayed in this lovely studio which was a total gem. It was extremely spacious and bright, and the hosts helped us out so much. (Hello Harry, Ben and Shell!) We were to set off to Mui Ne the next morning, and Harry arranged a transport for us. We paid 3,750,000 dongs (USD168) for a two way transport (7 seater) to Mui Ne and back to HCMC. Also, I have a habit of trying out the bubble tea or boba when I visit every country and I'm so happy that Vietnam didn't disappoint. I know that Vietnam is known for their coffee but I don't drink coffee at all.
I didn't manage to take down the address for this cafe but there are many cafes in Ho Chi Minh City! The next morning, it was time to hit the road! We had Vietnamese Pho for breakfast before setting off with our driver, Quang. It was a 4 hour ride to Mui Ne and I think Quang was very entertained with our crazy talks. Hmm.
We spent the second day in our resort in Mui Ne. We swam by the beach, ate there and cycled out for a massage before returning for a buffet. This has got to be the best resort I've ever stayed in. The beach was almost empty and the service of the staff was impeccable.
On the third day, our plans were to visit the Poshanu Cham towers before heading on our private jeep tour to the sand dunes. The towers were quiet and peaceful, there weren't many tourists and it only took us 20 minutes to cover the whole place. The entrance fee was 15,000 dongs (USD0.67) Yes you read that right, 70 cents! And now, moving on to the highlight of the trip! We paid 400,000 dongs (USD17.90) per person for a private jeep. We were a group of 4, so the mini jeep was perfect.
The Fairy Stream was our first stop of the private jeep tour. Your feet and legs are going to get dirty and muddy so be sure to dress down on the footwear! Next up: White Sand Dunes.
The White Sand Dunes has got to be my favourite experience in the entire trip. Dan and I rented a quad bike for 600,000 dongs (USD26) for 30 minutes. We had a guide with us, but Dan rode the bike for the entire 30 minutes while the guide sat next to me. At one point, the guide took us on an epic quad bike ride. He drove us (individually) down the steep hills of sand, almost like a rollercoaster but, on a bike. Our last stop was the Red Sand Dunes where we were supposed to watch the sunset.
Unfortunately for us, it was a cloudy day. Therefore the sunset was not the best one. But the experience was one of the best I've ever had. The main thing about the Red Sand Dunes are the sand slides. There will be an eager group of kids waiting for the arrival of jeeps, and BAM. You're surrounded by kids wanting you to rent the slides from them for 50,000 dongs (USD2.24). Our jeep tour started from 1.30pm onwards as it was the sunset tour. Sunrise tours start from 4.30am and the first stop would be the White Sand Dunes. So basically: White Sand Dunes: Sunrise | Red Sand Dunes: Sunset.
We spent the fourth day back on the road to HCMC, and we explored the rest of the city before heading back to Singapore on our last day.
Here are some extra tips to take note while in HCMC:
1) When taking the taxis, be alert even when the drivers turn on the meter. Do take note if the fare is increasing way too fast. Well what happened was, we paid 200,000 dongs (USD9) for a 5 minute ride. I noticed that the driver had a button behind his steering wheel. Every time he pressed it, the fare went up, and yes he went to town with pressing the button.
2) We noticed that the sun rises around 5am every morning and it sets at about 6pm. So start your day earlier!
3) Literally any street stall selling Vietnamese Phở (noodles) or Bánh mì (baguette), tastes amazingly good.
4) Cross the road, s l o w l y and carefully. The motorists will somehow, magically avoid you.
5) Yay, cheers if you made it till here! Hope you enjoyed this guide!
All photos taken by myself, Dan and Ryan.