It was more than fifteen years since I visited Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) in Vietnam. My impression for it was just another sprawling urban city in Asia, where it is chaotic and over congested with motorbikes. Recalled taking a boat cruise of Saigon river and was offered tropical fruits as tourist attractions. Nothing wowed me as the fruits were readily available back in Singapore and the sights were *yawn*…boring.
Recently had the opportunity to visit HCMC again. Since it was a business trip, I was not prepared for photo taking other than using my trusty hand phone. New high rise buildings and hotels were beautiful, nested among many well conserved colonial buildings.
Roads are still congested with motorbikes but seemingly more orderly. Subway is being built as of now, so getting around would be much easier in the coming years.
Food is fantastic in HCMC, and you will be spoilt for choices. Seafood are plenty, from murray eels to stingray, the variety is mind boggling. Want typical Vietnamese food like grill pork with rice or beef noodle, there are canteen style coffee shop or fancy restaurants where prices range from downright cheap to reasonably priced.
Coffee, and I mean GOOD coffee, are readily available everywhere. What is there to complain?
Have limited exposure to nightlife so far, but I’m sure the choices are plenty too. Was brought to a roof top bar where loud music almost burst my ear drums. We choose a quieter side where we can still talk and enjoy a beautiful night scene of HCMC. The biggest culture shock was when we were leaving the establishment at 11pm, a huge family entered the place with children, not more than 10 years old. Excuse me, isn’t it past their bedtime? Or rather, why are kids in a bar???
I can see how HCMC will grow on you if you spend more time exploring it. I sure look forward to visiting the place again soon.