Vietnam Tour 2017 – 3 days (March 1 to March 3) @Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

We flew into Ho Chi Minh City from Philippine on Feb 28 to arrive on Wednesday for 1am. The flight had a base cost of PHP 2,598.00 via Cebu Pacific each about seven months before.

We have 3 days for our tour in Ho Chi Minh City. Most tours of Vietnam start off in one of these two busy cities. We are first timers are often overwhelmed by the chaotic traffic, busy markets, pesky touts, and hot weather  hang in there, it just takes a bit of getting used to

Important Note:

Please be aware when arriving by major bus, most of the taxi drivers waiting to “help” you are there to drive you all over the city and scam you. We are located just across the park from where most major buses will drop you off. It should be around a 5-minute walk to Vietnam Inn Saigon.

‘Feb 28, 2017 TUES

5:00 PM

Meet at Junction, Cainta

It takes 2 hrs travel to NAIA International Airport (terminal 3). We paid the terminal fee, go to baggage counter and immigration.  I thought there is a question in the immigration but there is none but he takes picture and stamped my passport. And after that is we take our dinner at the “Tapa King”  worth Php200. And wait for an hours for our departure

Travel Tax

1620

Dinner/Water/Snack

200

10:45 PM

Departure

Day 1: Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City

12:20 AM

Arrival – Tan Son Nhat International

Airport Terminal 2

We got a taxi to our hotel from the airport. Our hotel, the Saigon Friends Hostel. From the airport, guests can get to our hostel by taking taxi or airport bus. The taxi cost around 5$ (include fee), the airport bus around 1$. It will drop you in front of the 23/9 park and our hostel is opposite the park.

They told us to only get a Mai Linh or Vinasun taxi, which was advice echoed throughout our trip. The other taxi drivers tried to pretend they were from these companies, or that these companies ‘didn’t pick up here anymore’: not true.

It was about a 20 or 30-minute drive away from the airport and cost us 200,000 dong for the taxi . He dropped us right at in front of the 23/9 park and our hostel is opposite the park

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The staff at Saigon Friends Hostel were friendly and accommodate us. We were shown to our room, all great, all awesome, very tired.

Conversion Rate (Buy/Sell) VND/PHP = 454.55
Currency: Vietnamese Dong

Saigon Friends Hostel
120/1 Le Lai St, Ben Thanh Ward, Dist 1
Ho Chi Minh
Vietnam
p. +84-938091549
email: saigonfriendshostel@gmail.com

Confirmed booking from hostelworld.com – Saigon Friends Hostel,Ho Chi Minh

Booking Type:

Non-flexible Booking

Date

Room Details

Per Bed

Pax

Total

Tue 28th Feb 2017

Basic 6 Bed Female dorm

US$6.00

2 Beds

US$12.00

Wed 1st Mar 2017

Basic 6 Bed Female dorm

US$6.00

2 Beds

US$12.00

Thu 2nd Mar 2017

Basic 6 Bed Female dorm

US$6.00

2 Beds

US$12.00

Total Cost: US$36.00

Total Paid: US$5.40

Your Payment

The balance of US$30.60 is payable on arrival at the property, in the property’s currency, unless otherwise specified below.

Results: 30.60 USD = 765,000.00 VND (our balance)

Your price includes all taxes.

 In our Day 2,  We wake up at 7am for our early tour and of course we need to find a place to eat. And we find a cafe and store near Le Lai St. A coffee worth 15K Dong and a bread worth 17K dong. For our city tour we need to find a  xe om (zay-ohm) or motorbike taxi.  It is true that we need to negotiate the price and we agree. We paid them at 500k Vietnamese dong each which is too high.

Our motorcycle taxi named” Sung” and other name I forgot.it.  We came back at 1245pm and take our lunch near Lei Lat Street. My lunch is worth 80K Dong fish soup, rice and tea. They dont served water plus some fresh vegetable. But I guess it is delicious food I taste

The xe om (zay-ohm) is a motorbike taxi. Xe means motorbike, om means hug (or hold), so you get the picture. Getting around by xe om is easy, as long as you don’t have a lot of luggage.

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Fares are comparable with those for a cyclo, but negotiate the price beforehand. There are plenty of xe om drivers hanging around street corners, markets, hotels and bus stations. They will find you before you find them…

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Day 2: City Tour
9am – 1pm

Reunification Palace

135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Entrance: 40k dong. We did not enter here, just outside the gate:)

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The Reunification Palaceis one of the holy triumvirate of attractions in Ho Chi Minh City’s downtown District 1. Just like the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Post Office, it sits as a time capsule of the city’s turbulent.

War Remnants Museum

28 Vo Van Tan St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
T: (08) 930 5587

Entrance: 15K Dong

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Just few blocks from the entrance to the Reunification Palace, Saigon’s War Remnants Museum offers a narrative of the war from the North Vietnamese

Post Office

2 Cong Xa Paris, District 1

Just across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral, and a short walk from the Reunification Palace, the Saigon Central Post Office is one of the most recognisable landmarks in ..

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Notre Dame Cathedral

Nguyen Du St, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

While Vietnam is a predominantly Buddhist country, Ho Chi Minh City happens to be home to a large Catholic community and where better to find them than at the spectacular Notre Dame … Read more about Notre Dame Cathedral .

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Thien Hau Temple, Cholon (Chinatown), Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

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Jade Emperor Pagoda

73 Mai Thi Luu, District 3

Saigon is a city filled with places of worship, and while many of these spots are nothing particularly special in terms of architectural or historical significance, the Jade Emperor Pagoda, built in 1909 by the Cantonese, is an .

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Day 2: Cu Chi Tunnels (half day)

1pm to 6pm. The tour package is via Ann Travel agency worth 150k dong each. The Ann Travel agency pick up us in our hostel and go to our bus. The tour start at 1pm and the tourist guide name “Ton” or Mr Heavy.  Our local guide will take you on a fascinating tour around the Cu Chi Tunnels where you’ll learn more about the conditions the Vietnamese people lived in, the hardships they faced and the amazing ingenuity employed to maintain life in the tunnels.

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The Cu Chi tunnels are a site worth seeing if you are visiting Saigon. However, since they are roughly 70km round trip from the city centre, visiting them on a tour can take the majority of a day. When time in the city is limited they may seem unreachable, but fear not: you can get there and back and still have half a day to ..

Highlights

  • Exploration of the extensive underground Cu Chi Tunnels
  • A chance to learn about the world of guerilla warfare
  • A visit to a local family to discuss customs & history
  • Insightful commentary by a local & knowledgeable guide
  • Learn more about the ingenuity of the inhabitants of the Cu Chi tunnels
  • Interact with the local people from the Cu Chi region

What You Can Expect Cu Chi Tunnels

Escape the metropolitan mayhem of Ho Chi Minh City in a comfortable, air-conditioned coach, and journey west towards the Cambodian border. Appreciate the scenic sprawl of countryside as you travel to the Cu Chi Tunnel. Your guide sets the historical scene of the subterranean structure’s past.

Enrich your knowledge of the Vietnam War and discover how the tunnels were built by fighters as a base from which the Viet Cong could operate. During your exploration of the 124-mile (200-kilometer) underground network, hear how schools, hospitals, meeting rooms, and sleeping quarters comprised the city, and learn of the hardships faced by the Vietnamese people living below ground.

Stop Over to

Mekong Rest Stop

Mekong Rest Stop restaurant serves fresh seafood and traditional Vietnamese dishes. The restaurant offers nice surrounding and great

Address: KM 1964+ 300 Quốc lộ 1A,Huyện Châu Thành, TIỀN GIANG, vietnam, Vietnam
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Touring a Saigon lacquer factory

664 Vo Van Kiet, District 5
T: (08) 3923 1166

If you find yourself shopping in Saigon, a walk through any market or mall will inevitably lead you, sooner or later, past a souvenir stand selling lacquer art. Lacquer can be very impressive to look at but the process of making it is also quite interesting. If you have time to spare while visiting the city, taking a tour of a lacquer factory can be an educational way to spend an hour or .

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Day 3: Mekong Delta tour

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda

339 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 3, Saigon

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If you could use some adventure in your pagoda life, it might be time for a visit to a pagoda where something is going on: Vinh Nghiem Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City’s District . Read more about Vinh Nghiem Pagoda .

Mekong Delta tour

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The Mekong Delta is a region in southwestern Vietnam where the mighty Cuu Long, also known as Mekong River, nourishes the surrounding landscape before flowing into the sea.

If you take a stroll through Saigon’s backpacker district of Pham Ngu Lao you’ll notice that the landscape is full of travel agents. They are everywhere. Although they all offer tours that will take you throughout Vietnam, their specialties are trips to the Cu Chi Tunnels and tours of the Mekong Delta. … Read more about Mekong Delta Day Tour .

t takes about 2 hours or so to get to My Tho Pier and another 2 hours back to the city so I decided to avail of My Tho – Ben Tre Province tour. It is cheaper, closer to the city and there’s less travel time on the water.

The delta tour starts with a ferry ride from My Tho Port to any of the nearby islands; Con Phung (Phoenix Island), Con Qui (Turtle Island), Con Lan (Unicorn Island) or Con Long (Dragon Island) and a motorised boat ride through the narrow channels of the river.

Here’s a list of things to expect and “what not” on My Tho- Ben Tre tour.

Paddling on Mekong Estuaries
Expect a pleasant cruise on a smaller waterways fringed by lush jungle of palms. Gone is the roar of the motorized boat and you get a closer look at some villages near the riverbanks.

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Coconut Candy Shop
Expect to see local artisans making candies and other delicacies from coconut in an open space candy shop. It’s their last attempt to sell more stuff to visitors before heading back to the port. They’re cheap and tasty take-home goodies so it doesn’t hurt to give in. The highlight of my visit here was sampling the famous snake wine of Vietnam for free.

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Farm Visits
Expect to walk past some banana orchards and other plantations and ride a horse-drawn cart or a bicycle to the bee-farm.  There is free taste of natural honey, wine and dried fruits at a local café but it was obviously another stop to buy souvenirs. The highlight of our visit here was the python that was brought out by our guide free for anyone to wrap around their necks.

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Ben Tre Province

Fruit Tasting and Serenade
Expect to be serenaded with traditional music and served with tea and tropical fruits for free, although some of the local fruits may not be that exciting and exotic for visitors who are raised in SE Asia. If you’re a fruit lover, the month of April is a good time to visit and sample the fruits in season.

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Binh Tay Market

57A Thap Moui, District 6

If you’re going to visit Ho Chi Minh City your visit will not be complete without visiting a local market and Binh Tay is the largest traditional market in the … Read more about Binh Tay Market .  Here we find money changer, a sugarcane drinks, food, clothes and other items that you want to buy . Binh Tay Market is near Lei La Street but still need a long walk.

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Budget:
PHP  2,958 (base fare cebu pacific)
PHP 560 baggage
PHP1620 Travel Tax
PHP 200 food and drinks
PHP 150 foodies
PHP 1,980.00 Hotel Booking /990 each

Food

15k Vietnamese Dong (33.15 PHP)
17k Vietnamese Dong (37.57 PHP
21k Vietnamese Dong 46.41 PHP
12k mineral water 26.52 PHP
80K Vietnamese Dong 176.80 PHP
15k Vietnamese Dong (33.15 PHP)
30k Vietnamese Dong 66.30 PHP

Tour Package

25K Dong (War Remnants Museum)  (55.25 PHP)
125k Cui Chu Tunnel 276.25 PHP
250k Mekong Delta Tour 552.50 PHP
500k City Tour (Tuktuk TOurist Guide 1,105.00 PHP

Pasalubong 80k  176.80 PHP
(PHP)9000

Important note: If you’re landing directly in Vietnam after a 3 hrs from the Philippines know that jet lag is a formidable foe. You might hit the ground running on your first day and then feel exhausted on day 2 or 3 — especially due to the heat and chaos of urban Vietnam. Try to get onto Vietnamese time immediately (go to bed at a reasonable hour even if you’re not tired, and wake up in the morning). All of the itineraries assume that you’re rested and ready to go, so you might want to factor in some downtime at the start of your trip to get rested.

If I have to do it again, I would spend more days here, experience a local village homestay and explore the region at my own phase. It would probably assure me more of a real cultural experience on this part of Vietnam.

Resources

http://vickyflipfloptravels.com/two-week-itinerary-vietnam/

https://www.travelfish.org/sights/vietnam/saigon_and_surrounds/ho_chi_minh_city/ho_chi_minh_city#sights-1

http://www.lakwatseradeprimera.com/what-to-expect-on-a-day-tour-to-the-mekong-delta/

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