So in Vietnam I was a millionaire, 1 million dong is approx 30 quid, I found that funny! I really loved Saigon, it is definitely one of my favourite places during the trip, this was probably down to the great tours I did, the people I met and the cool bars and amazing food. I ended up in Saigon for two nights then travelled up to Hue and Hoi an, then I travelled back to Saigon for another night because I could and again I had a great time, it is holiday right, I can do whatever I want.
The two tours I did were Mekong River Tour and the Chu Chu Tunnel tour. The Chu Chu tunnel tour was defo my favourite, I love history and I got to be totally bad ass and shoot a M16 gun! The bullets are expensive, I paid 17 dollar for 10 but I really felt it enhanced the experience, plus the tour guide was great, his English was superb and he recommended the M16 over the AK47 as he said apart from the AK47 being really powerful and can hurt with the force it fires at, he said the bullets fire out in 10seconds, therefore the M16 is better value for money, which is nice of him to be honest. All the tours are out of the city so be prepared for a hour or so bus ride to the locations.
I stayed in the backpackers district, which was District 1, there was plenty of bars and restaurants and street food to keep everyone of different budgets happy. The baguettes on the street in Saigon were delicious! The rolls were so soft and fluffy, and only 15000 dong.
I mingled with people at my hostel bar, met some really nice travellers, everyone is so transient, the next night was a complete set of different people, it was fab. Very friendly vibe here.
I Left Saigon very hungover and the hostel booked me a taxi to the airport, here I caught my cheap as chips flight via Jet star to Hue. With my time constraints I decided to fly, not very backpacker of me but it saved me lots of time! Unfortunately I can’t tell you much of Hue as I had to spend the day arranging stuff for my next steps, but I dined in a great cafe and had some really delicious food. I stayed at a typical backpackers place, it was very clean and tidy with a nice veranda for sitting out on in the eveing. My main reason of coming here was to do the tour on motorbike from Hue to Hoi An, Top Gear eat your heart out. I booked a easy rider bike and it cost 60 usd for the day. My driver was MrTy (Vietnam-smiling-easyrider.com, firstname.lastname@example.org). This by far was one of the most epic points of my trip, where I felt completely free and in love with life and Asia.
Many people ride motorcycles themselves and if I rode I would, but I quite enjoyed having the company and being able to totally relax into enjoying the stunning scenery around me. The day went so quickly because I was having so much fun, MrTy stopped in all the places that us tourists visit, American bunkers from the war, waterfalls, caves and beaches, for lunch we stopped right at the seafront where I picked my food from fresh, I had barbecue shrimp with a noodle and mixed seafood dish for 70,000 dong, It was a beautiful place to sit and eat. As I was travelling alone MrTy was very sweet and always offering to take a picture for me, his kindness was actually overwhelming, he couldn’t do enough for me. When we got to Hoi An he dropped me outside his friends tailors, I wasn’t going to buy anything but I came away with quite a … bit oops!
The tailors were fab, I got recommended several other tailors by people but I couldn’t be bothered trekking around as I am sure they all do pretty efficient jobs, my tailor was TUONG, 67 Tran Hung Dao St. they had catalogues for you to choose from but what I did was choose pictures that I had found from online, I got them to make me a wool coat from a picture on Asos and two copies of designer dresses, then next door they had a shoe shop run by the same family, they knocked me up two pairs of leather boots, I was more than impressed with the quality and the service, these tailors can knock you up a coat in 4 hours if you need it, I explained to them I was leaving early the next day and they did all my stuff by 9pm that night, even including a quick last fitting to make adjustments. I wish I could get all my clothes made! So I left with a extra heavy backpack, clever me.
Hoi an had such a great vibe, after walking around in circles l soon realised it wasn’t that hard to navigate, the markets at night are great, the food stalls I loved the most, between the markets is a little food hall where loads people have set up street food stalls, I went and ate in there for 30,000 Dong (1.5 Usd) that included dinner and a beer! The lady told me to put this chilli sauce on my food which gave it some extra kick. I got a yummy doughnut off a stall lady for my dessert, food is great here in Vietnam, I think I could easily outgrow my trousers here. Here I stayed very near the centre in Hostel Backpackers, it was a nice little hostel with a small communal area at the front, from here I managed to book a taxi to take me to the airport for my flight back to Saigon.
On my return to Saigon I decided to stay at Kohi Hostel which was just down the road from Hideout Hostel on Pham Nag Lao in the backpackers district, this time I got a bus from the airport which was easy enough and only cost 12,000 dong, 6,000 for you and 6,000 for your case, the bus stop is just outside on your right and leaves regularly. I decided to stay at Kohi hostel so I could have a quieter affair, but alas I do not think that is possible in Saigon or just possible for ME! The hostel was by far the nicest I have been in so far, the bathrooms were pretty standard but the rooms were so clean and spacious with free toothbrushes and soap, the lady even greeted you on check in with a banana and water, she was also super helpful, mapping out places to go and where best to exchange money. The communal area was a good size, this enabled lots of socialising. The hostel itself is just by a market down a little side street so it made it feel like a home, really authentic and cute. As soon as I got there I acquired a Australian friend, we both decided to be proactive with our day and go walk the city, the museum was apparently a 40 minute walk, we left at 10am and due to our lazy meandering, stopping for drinks, chatting, we made it there about 3pm. The museum is worth a visit, it doesn’t give much info about the war itself, it mainly focuses on what the toxic chemicals the Americans dropped had on the vietenmese people, then and now still to this day, well worth a visit, yet again, more sad history. In the evening a group of us played cards, drank and listened to music, it was a fab day and I met some fab people, yet again I was leaving Saigon the next morning with a hangover!