If you’re traveling to Vietnam, you will probably go to Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, Vietnam’s biggest city, a huge, buzzing, metropolis, home of 10 million people! I’ve seen quite a bit of Asia so far, but I’ve never seen anything like this before! The best world I can use to describe Ho Chi Minh is crazy.
What makes it so crazy is traffic, trust me, traffic in China is nothing compared to Ho Chi Minh. The very first day I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, I was alone and I didn’t know how to cross the streets. Yes, I literally didn’t know how you were supposed to go on the other side of the street. Sounds weird right? But the amount of motorbikes, that made it close to impossible to make it to the other side, was beyond any of my expectations! or I guess it’s not really the amount that makes it impossible, but the fact that these motorbikes pretty much never stop. It doesn’t really matter if the street light is green or red, they will drive anyway. So in the beginning I would walk in circles, trying to find relatively empty streets everytime I wanted to go on the other side of the road (which wasn’t the easiest task).
After a couple of days I got used to it, and realise that if I will keep waiting for the motorbikes to stop, I might as well keep waiting forever. The only way to get anywhere in HCM is to just go for it, just cross the street, don’t run, walk in a same pace, and the motorbikes will drive around you, they are used to it.
Ho Chi Minh is a great city, very interesting and unique, definitely a must when you’re in Vietnam, but after a couple of days you might need something a bit more peaceful and quiet, and Mekong Delta is the perfect place to go if you’re bit tired of city life (crazy city life).
Mekong Delta is located in south Vietnam, nearby Ho Chi Minh City, and if I would have to choose my favourite place in Vietnam, I would choose Mekong Delta. When I googled it before the trip, it sad that Mekong Delta is “a vast maze of rivers, swamps and islands, home to floating markets, pagodas and villages surrounded by rice paddies” and I thought that this is exactly what I’m looking for, and Mekong Delta definitley did not disappoint me. It was everything google said it would be; beautiful, authentic, peaceful (sometimes), warm, wet, green and super interesting.
So this is what you do if you want to see Mekong Delta. Although Mekong Delta is not far from Ho Chi Minh, the roads are not amazing and the traffic is insane, so the first 50 km out of Ho Chi Minh City took us about 3 hours! That’s why I would recommend to stay in Mekong Delta more than one night (many tourist take one night trip to Mekong Delta from HCM), we stayed 3 days (2 nights), and I would definitley not make this trip shorter, because every single day we saw so many different and cool things!
Usually I’m not the biggest fan of organised trips with a guide, I like to think that I can do everything on my own, but in case of Mekong Delta I really recommend to buy an organised trip. If we would go on our own we wouldn’t see 80% of things we saw, because we wouldn’t even know that these places exist and we wouldn’t be able to get their on our own (in Mekong Delta the most common form of transportation are boats).
If you’re interested in buying a trip, just find a tourist office in Ho Chi Minh City (there is a tourist office on every corner), they are usually way cheaper, than what they would charge you for the exactly same trip in hotels or hostels. Our hotel wanted to charge us twice us much to what we ended up paying at a tourist office down the street! (it’s obviously a good idea to ask about prices in a couple of different places, to be able to compare). For a two nights/three days trip with hotels, transportation, boat rides, breakfast/lunch, guide, all kinds of attractions (as temples, sailing, fruit farms, local performance) we paid 50 dollars per person!
This whole photo diary is only the first day of our Mekong Delta trip, so as you can probably tell, we’ve seen a lot already on this first day! Day two and three in Mekong Delta coming soon!
I’ve been recently making vlogs documenting the whole Vietnam trip, so check out my youtube channel! 🙂