Ho Chi Minh City
If I had to do my Vietnam trip over again, I’d like to have spent another night in Ho Chi Minh (HCM) firstly to enjoy the hospitality of the lovely Park Hyatt hotel Saigon but also to explore the less touristy trails of the city.
The new Emirates flight to Vietnam gets you into HCM at around 7.30 in the evening local time, splurge with the gorgeous chauffeur service offered by the Park Hyatt and enjoy your first impressions of the city.
It’s less than half an hour to the hotel, and in it’s in District 1 or the very centre of the city. While there are a clutch of other 5 star hotels in spitting distance, my advice is not to bother with any apart from the Hyatt, but maybe that’s because I’m a romantic at heart.
I loved the abundant and overflowing vases of huge white lilies flown in from Dalat in the lobby, the characterful wooden furniture in the rooms with old fashioned shutters on windows overlooking the historic Opera house and well the amazing fresh lemongrass martini meant I wouldn’t stay anywhere else. Did I mention the award winning Square 1 restaurant that’s also in the hotel ?
Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City
We explored the Chinese market with it’s mountains of sea cucumbers, dried mushrooms and sea horses! We also visited the famous Ben Thanh market from where it was almost impossible to extricate two teenage girls! Think bags, shoes etc and bargaining is de rigeur.
But do visit the imposing Reunification Palace and drive out to the Temple of the Goddess of the Sea and the pagoda near the zoo where tiny turtles can be bought and immersed into the Temple ponds for good luck.
Everyone eats Pho, a noodle broth soup with heaps of fresh herbs (prounounced Fur) for lunch in Vietnam, we just let our guide take us to where he was eating and we did the same, US dollars 10.00 for 3 of us.
But like Dubai, HCM has its fair share of New York type cafes and we loved Usine again in District 1, but be prepared to pay New York type prices for your Red Velvet cupcakes and lattes. Do wander round here Click and explore the art galleries and boutiques all over district 1. Crossing the roads isn’t for the faint hearted.
And if HCM has whetted your appetite for more Vietnam posts, click here for a look at the historic Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi
If you need advice on a tour guide or the details of the sensational old house we had dinner at the next night, simply ask your question in the comment box below and remember to like and share the post on facebook. Venture into Vietnam, it’s worth it….thanks Monica.