Sightseeing While Venturing Viet Nam

If you are wondering why sightseeing in Viet Nam is venturing, then you need to find the answer when you get there and you will be amazed. If you have been there, then, you definitely know it is a risk doing sightseeing by foot on the road.

Well, Ho Chi Minh City is indeed an amazing city. It has a lot to offer to a traveler like me who is seeking for fun and adventure. In Ho Chi Minh City or also known as Saigon, you will see great and magnificent piece of architectural designs inspired from Europe. To mention the places I’ve been to are:

1. Saigon Opera House
It is located in the famous shopping street of Dong Khoi. Saigon Opera House is inspired in a French colonial architecture. Every night, they have a show for an affordable fee.

Saigon Opera House

Saigon Opera House

vn10

The AO Show in Saigon Opera House

The AO Show in Saigon Opera House

2. Dong Khoi Street
The street itself is a tourist attraction. It has wide choices of store known locally and internationally. Thus, a lot of tourists comes to this street to shop.

Dong Khoi Street

3. People’s Committee Hall
They also called it Ủy Ban Nhân Dân Thành Phố Building. Too shame that I didn’t appreciate the view due to the current construction of a subway yet I was able to get some photos of the building. The façade of the building was amazing.

UBND Thanh Pho Building

4. Reunification Palace
The Reunification Palace is also one of the attractions in Viet Nam. It has an entrance fee and opens from 0800H to 1200H with 1 hour lunch break and resumes from 1300H to 1600H daily. It is known also as the Independence Palace. I have decided not to go inside because there were a lot of tourists and maybe it was overcrowded. I saw almost 5 big buses coming inside so, I have thought to just take pictures outside the palace.

Reunification Palace

5. Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica
The cathedral is in honor of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. It is located in downtown city and is also inspired in a French architecture. Upon seeing the cathedral, I was astonished with its magnificent design. I have the opportunity to look on the interior design and it was stunning. Since I am a Catholic, I sat down and spent almost an hour of prayers there. I made also a wish because it was my first time to get inside the church. My family does that whenever we entered a new church.

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica

View Inside the Basilica

6. Central Post Office
It is just across the street from Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica. Currently, they are doing restoration on the right wing of the building. But it still looked great.

Central Post Office

7. Bến Thành Market
This market is so famous in the country. It is a large marketplace in central Ho Chi Minh and is popular with tourists seeking local handicrafts, textiles, souvenirs, as well as local food cuisine. Most vendors here were wearing the national costume called áo dài. When you want to buy something, you can haggle the price until you can buy it at its lowest cost. I bought my souvenir here.

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market

Souvenir

Souvenir

Here is the tour map I followed during my free and easy tour and I did that by foot without any help of anything that has wheels.

Tour Map

Tour Map

OK, too much has been featured about this city yet you might still wonder why sightseeing in the country is risky. Well, in Viet Nam, most of the locals travel by motorcycle. They can take the motorbikes wherever they want to go, they even use footpaths as roads just to get away from traffic. So, if you are not careful enough, you might get hit by motorbike while walking in the sidewalk.

To sum it up, wandering in Ho Chi Minh City felt like I was somewhere in France. As you all know, Viet Nam has been under the French for quite some time during the years of 1862 to 1945. That might be the reason that most structures and buildings in the city are influenced by French.

Advertisements

Staying at N.Y. Kim Phuong Hotel

It was my first out of the country trip and I made sure that I will not miss any fun, thus, I always picked a hotel closest to a lot of tourist attractions. I was searching the entire web as well as the application I installed in my electronic device which is Booking.com. Then, I found N.Y. Kim Phuong Hotel.IMG_1100

I flew from Manila, Philippines to Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam and arrived there at 0020H. I was kinda nervous that the taxi cab drivers don’t know the place. Yet, I was proven wrong. I just told them the address and the taxi driver knew it at the back of his hand. It only took about 30-45 mins drive from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to the city centre which is near the hotel. I paid around 150,000VND (Vietnamese Dong) to get there.

When I arrived there, the receptionist welcomed me and took my passport. No need to fill out any form for personal information, she just told me to head to my room to take some good sleep since it was dawn already. In the morning, I checked the room and it was ok. There is a cable TV, a free wi-fi connection, toiletries, towels and a fridge full with different kind of sodas and water.

Queen Size Bed

Queen Size Bed

Flat Screen Cable TV

Flat Screen Cable TV

The Toilet

The Toilet

My room was in the 10th floor. Good thing there was a lift. It has also free breakfast in their own restaurant downstairs and that made the hotel the best since it served the most delicious pho noodle soup. I also tried chao trung or a rice gruel with eggs. It made me feel really good after sipping those soup from the days I didn’t eat well.

The Menu

The Menu

Chao trung or rice gruel with egg

Chao trung or rice gruel with egg

The hotel's restaurant

The hotel’s restaurant

Pho Bo Soup

Pho Bo Soup

Additional points for the hotel is the superb services of the receptionist. He assisted me on booking my next trip to another country. He even offered a tour by bike within the city but I refused. Instead, he gave me a map and pointed out what directions to take so I won’t end up exhausted.ny2ny3

The star of the hotel may not be the facilities they have but the people working there. They are the ones making your stay memorable. I would definitely recommend this hotel to my friends who are going to Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.

Decorations in the Receiving Area

Decorations in the Receiving Area

Receiving Area and the Lift

Receiving Area and the Lift

The Best Staff of N.Y Kim Phuong Hotel

The Best Staff of N.Y Kim Phuong Hotel

Receiving Area

Receiving Area

Just outside the hotel

Just outside the hotel

Here is their contact card if you want to get with them and a map.nyny1

Start the Year in the Land of the Ascending Dragon

Previously, I’ve been inactive in my blog. Well, it was due to a busy schedule that I never got the chance to sit down and write blog entries. Now, I have the time and I will tell you what I’ve been doing these past few weeks.

I have traveled to one of the countries in Southeast Asia and that was in Viet Nam. Viet Nam or officially called as Socialist Republic of Viet Nam is one of the countries that I considered I would love to visit and it’s been written here in my blog for almost 5 years. It’s number 7 on my list.

List of Countries that I Would Love to Visit

List of Countries that I Would Love to Visit

So, let’s start the year in the land of the ascending dragon. After all, I did write a post with regard to Viet Nam’s airport hub, Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport. When I sat foot on this great land, it was a dream come true. It was a very extraordinary feeling upon getting off the plane and leaving the airport. I arrived in Saigon or so-called Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh at 0020H. I’ve stayed in a hotel near to almost all tourist attractions in the city. It was surreal and I still can’t believe that I’ve been able to explore the country that I’ve been wanting to see with my two eyes.

After I caught some sleep, I headed out to the city and explore. There are too many things to see. These are the photos I got.

Plaza near Saigon Opera House

Random Building in Dong Khoi Street

Random Building in Dong Khoi Street

Random Building in Dong Khoi Street

The AO Show in Saigon Opera House

The AO Show in Saigon Opera House

BiTexCo Financial Tower

Shopping at Dong Khoi Street

Saigon Opera House

UBND Thanh Pho Building

Bao Tang Thanh Pho Ho Chi Minh or Ho Chi Minh City Museum

Saigon Notre Dame

Buildings near Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica

Buildings near Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica

Photoshoot in Central Post Office

Central Post Office

Central Post Office

Ben Thanh Market

Ben Thanh Market

Undeniably, Viet Nam is the land of the ascending dragon.  They called it ‘ascending dragon’ because when you look at the map, it appears like the dragon standing up. The culture and the history also are so rich that you will love to check up on. Not to mention, I have shown only the second city and I haven’t gone yet to Hanoi which is the capital of the country. For sure, Hanoi offers a lot more also to travelers like me.

So, be a traveler. It is time for you to get on your feet and experience Viet Nam first-handedly.