First Impression of Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam

I traveled to Ho Chi Minh in 2018. This was my second trip to South East Asia, prior to this I had visited Thailand & Indonesia. What it feels to visit a place for the first time. This post is about the same. This post is about my first impression of Ho Chi Minh city.

Flight:

I reached Hyderabad Airport for my flight. The flight is at 11:30 am & I reached the airport at 5 pm. There is still time left. Time flies & finally, the check-in starts. I am third in line, my name is called up I showed my tickets & passport. The lady asked for the approval letter. I presented it & now I am good to go. After clearing the security check, I headed towards the lounge, one of the biggest benefits of the credit card. I ate something & reached the gate at 11 pm. I am waiting for the boarding to start. It's an Air Asia flight (the cheapest flight I could find). There is a layover of 1.5 hrs in Kuala Lumpur, however, due to the delay I had to rush to the gate. Luckily I reached in time. Catching my breath I boarded the flight & daydreaming about my stint in the city.

Landed at the airport, I am looking to find my way. Soon I saw an Exit sign & started towards the same. Soon, I reached the immigration line, somebody from helper told me to stand in line. I thought its so simple to get a visa here. Then it clicked me, that I am standing in the immigration line. I looked for Visa on arrival office. To my relief, it was near only. I went to the office & submitted my forms & papers. After 15 min the lady called my name & here I was with my stamp. The people who travel can relate to the happiness of stamping, for me it is a sense of accomplishment. After receiving the visa I left the airport.

The City:

Stepping out of the airport I can sense some strange smell. The smell is of coffee. I am standing outside the airport to compose myself after the long journey & to plan my steps. I catch the bus to my hostel. Looking out the window, I can see people running haphazardly anywhere & everywhere. It seems like a game where people are not afraid to bump into anyone. There are lots of motorbikes which are not waiting for anyone even for the red lights. This is a common site for developing countries where people struggle to meet the ends. It is easy to see the city trying to keep up with the pace of the world's development. People selling ice tea & snacks for the people walking on the street. Most of the people are buying ice tea & coffee maybe this is what they can afford.

Infrastructure:

Ho Chi Minh has a fabulous infrastructure. It is hard to imagine that developing cities will have such beautiful roads, markets, buses, internet connectivity etc. The roads are very smooth with lush green trees oversees the roads. Most of the people are using a motorbike to commute, just ensure to keep your eyes, ears open as traffic sense there let's just say not so great. The city is not very big; thus can be covered easily on a bicycle or motorbike. If you have confidence in driving then only drive else better to walk the streets. Wifi connectivity is awesome, most of the cafes & hotels offers free wifi & with such a great connectivity there is no need to buy a sim card.

Human Interaction:

Vietnam is one of those places where people are happy & welcoming. The place is vibrant in its culture. People talk well & try to help you if you are in problem. There is an everlasting smile on their face. I visited 3 or 4 places & I generally found people very friendly. The only instance where I was humiliated was in Nha Trang. A bus dropped me at the bus stand & from there I took a motorbike taxi; I showed him the hostel location & negotiated the price prior to boarding the motorbike. The guy said to pay whatever you feel like. However, he dropped & tried to get at least 50 times the amount I was offering. It was very absurd as I already negotiated the price before boarding. He was reluctant to take the money. After 20 mins, I told him to accompany to a nearby store, so that I can call the police & then we can discuss this thing. After hearing about the police, the guy left. The same instance happened to many other travelers. As I had read it before I was much more prepared for such instances. I hope you will too make a note of this.

Food & Alcohol:

Vietnam has dedicated cooking classes & the reason they have one is due to its food. Hailing from India, where the food is mouthwatering good; you are least expected to get surprised with any other cuisine. However, Vietnam has a unique taste they serve boiled food & use fewer spices compared to Indians. However, the taste of the food was good. I eat vegetarian food & Vietnam was one of the places where finding vegetarian food is not a fight. One can easily find veg food. For non-vegetarian, there are a hell lot of variants. I am sure you won't be dissatisfied with the food here. Vietnam has a local beer which is dirt cheap & is available at most of the supermarkets, pubs & bars. While in Vietnam chugging it is a must.

I hope this post will provide you with the glimpse of the beautiful city Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh. For more information on the city. Refer following links.

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