So glad I got to visit Ho Chi Minh City and I definitely have plans on returning to see up north!
I got in about 2am Friday morning to the airport and was glad the airport shuttle was there to take me to my hotel. After checking in and a quick shower I passed out til about 1130am Friday morning! I got up and went to the rooftop pool for a quick dip before check out then ordered an Uber to my hostel for the rest of my stay. I was able to checkin straight away which was great. After I put all my stuff away I headed out to explore. I got a SIM card so that made it easier to navigate but I actually found it pretty easy getting around. There were a few tourists around but mostly just around the tourist sights. I didn't go in to anywhere today but I went and saw all the places on my bucket list - the Independence Palace, the War Remants Museum, the Cathedral. I ventured back and ate just near my hostel for dinner and made plans for the next day.
Saturday was my biggest day of walking and sightseeing. I went through the Ben Thành markets which were just as big as I'd read about and had so many awesome things for sale! I spent a good hour just roaming around looking! Next I went to the Independence Palace where I paid extra for an audio tour that took me room to room and explained what kind of events took place and how often each was used. The Palace is huge - more than 90 rooms!! And gosh is it beautiful!! Once I finished there I strolled down to the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Saigon Post Office which were both beautiful. The Cathedral is under construction so I couldn't go in but the grandness from the outside was enough. I went back to my hostel late afternoon and ate dinner nearby again.
Sunday I slept in until almost midday! Once I got up I headed across town to the War Remnant museum. My hostel was located pretty well in that most places were within a half hour walk which was good and it only rained once during my visit! The museum was really interesting and I'm glad I went despite it being quite full on with recounts and images of victims of the war. Learning about the Vietnam War here was really special for me since it's not really spoken of in Australia because of the shame. It was a really powerful museum and I would recommend that anyone in Vietnam should go visit. The rest of the afternoon I just chilled in one of the local parks. I've been reading a great book so I finished that off and then headed to have some pho for dinner.
Monday I checked out about 11am but was able to leave my luggage while I went out for the day. I went and had sushi for lunch then went back to the markets and actually got some things - a shirt, some magnets and postcards, and a Vietnamese hat which is like 98% of the reason I wanted to come to Vietnam!! In the afternoon I got an Uber back to the Ibis hotel by the airport. I had left my charging cable there so collected it and then had dinner there. After dinner I went to the rooftop bar/pool area and had a drink while watching the planes come in and out. My flight was just after midnight so the hotel shuttle bus took me across which was great! I think I came for just the right amount of time to see HCMC but wish I had more time to see the rest of the country!!