If you start off your travels in Asia then Ho Chi Minh City is surely going to be on your list and so too is Vietnam in all probability. This a is a well trodden path for the backpacker from North America and Europe and it offers a very different world, one which is both fascinating and in stark contrast to the one which we already know, in equal measure.
Every time I come to a city which I have been looking forward to, I am often filled with some dread as to whether or not it meets my expectations, which I know is not healthy but I just don’t want to be disappointed when the stakes are so high, thankfully, this amazing city ticked all the boxes.
Much like other nations in this region the cost of living is super low and that means that no matter what your budget is you can find a great place to stay, delicious foods to eat and some great activities and experiences which you can have, for not much cash. We were living on around $15 per day each, and we could have definitely done things cheaper if we’d wanted to.
I won’t get into my feelings on the Vietnam war, it is over and done with and a tragic memory of the past now. I had to go and visit some of the sites, primarily because it sounded fascinating but also because I knew it would be a humbling experience. The War Remnants museum in particular was a real eye opener for me.
I know that whenever you read a piece abut a particular destination that everyone will tell you that the people are lovely, usually this is BS, based on a small percentage of the people. Here in Vietnam however, things couldn’t be more different, I genuinely found 90% of the locals that I met to be absolute darlings and so helpful, friendly and kind.
Party Party Party
My days of staying out all night may have gone, but I still know a party place when I see one and Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh city, is most certainly one of those places. There are some greta places to go and see some cool music, there are some great bars and the clubs are really cool here. On top of all of this, the cost of living means that alcohol is super cheap, which of course is the perfect recipe for a great night out.
If you are looking for epic street food then this is a city where you will find just that and I urge you to dive in. The only things to check are that the spot is busy and that they are following some basic levels of hygiene, assuming that the stall meets both of those criteria, get yourself in there and try whatever you can find, absolutely delicious.
This is a great place for an expat of any age, you are sure to have a great time.