So, it’s my birthday and we have spent the day crossing the Vietnamese border from Phnom Pehn. I won’t say it has been the most enjoyable of birthdays or the perfect way to spend my 30th, but we have arrived, we are safe and apart from being sweaty messes, we are ready to explore the city.
That’s what I expected to happen when I started writing this blog but that night we went out, had some delicious dinner …AND… I got food poisoning! YAAAY… I think that’s 4 times in the past year and it was bad. Again, no idea what it was from as I loved my dinner but I am literally in bed dying on the day I was meant to be exploring this wonderful city. Fuck you HCMC!
Before I got mega ill however, we did manage to explore just a little bit but an assault of megacity chaos, courtesy of 13 million people and over 7 million motorbikes, we found it to be less than pleasant, in fact I would say that almost all first-time visitors leave feeling disillusioned.
Even though, we didn’t get to experience everything HCMC has to offer, or in fact any of it, we still managed to explore as much as we could. My favourite street due it’s absolute chaos was Bui Vien Street. This is the main street of the so called ‘backpackers’ area’ of Ho Chi Minh City. Here you find a wide variety of inexpensive restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and hotels/hostels. During the day it is fairly subdued and nice to walk down (beware of getting ploughed down by motorbikes) but then at night it transforms into a completely different scenario full of lively bars, street performers, cheap drinks, loud music and parties all night.
Regardless, the highlight of the city for me once I managed to gain control of my gag reflex was seeing one of my best friends from childhood who moved to Vietnam 9 years ago. Despite the city being huge, I suddenly felt right t home again when I was able to catch up with her and her wonderful partner. It’s really not where you are but who you are with, I guess and with that, we had a great time and I can say my Birthday was a success (despite all the vomit)
Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!