On our second, and last, day in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), we were on our own for further exploring. We decided to just stroll around the city and take in as much of it as we could before we would have to catch our flight to Hoi An in the evening. First we just randomly walked through the area where our hotel was located, watching people live their everyday lives. Or sleep on their motorbikes. And watched the crazy traffic. There's just so much to take in.
Beware: this is going to be a long post. We also had a million pictures we wanted to share and quite some trouble blogging because we didn't take a laptop with us - but here's what we came up with.
Before we left Germany, we looked for a guide to HCMC via Couchsurfing, so we wouldn't be too lost in this big city and foreign culture. We got in contact with Cuong, who agreed to show us the city and (very important to me!) introduce us to the local food. We could definitely not have found a better guide. We were picked up at our hotel by Cuong and his wife on their motorbikes (I guess I would call them Scooters, if I was in Germany, but here it’s used for both) and then had a glorious day exploring HCMC.
Getting to Vietnam took us a full day. We left Frankfurt Airport at 21:45, had a 1 1/2h stopover in Abu Dhabi, and landed in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) at 19:05.
The first hurdle was getting to the hotel. I had looked up our options before the trip and we wanted to take the shuttle bus into the city center. But as soon as we stepped out of the airport, one after the other of the Vietnamese taxi drivers stepped up and offered their services. Taxi-Ride into the city for 20$. It took a bit of persistence to shake them off, and in the end we found our yellow shuttle bus, Line 109, paid a fare of 40000 vnd (approx. 1,60 €) for the two of us, and got on.
It was raining when we got to Vietnam and it kept raining all evening. We walked through the rain to our hotel, 'Town House 23’, which is fairly central, close to Ben Tanh Market.