An early start this morning to catch the flight from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh city. Not sure my body knows what time it is so I didn’t sleep very well.
Caught the hotel shuttle to the airport and checked in and then headed to the airport lounge to get some breakfast. Breakfast is perhaps the most different mask around the world and the choices available encompassed things as varied as bacon, chicken sausages and corned beef sandwiches to salad and fresh fruit.
Our flight was delayed by about an hour but we boarded and took abstracts of a pre flight juice… More airmiles coming in handy to book this leg!
There was even a fresh flower in the seating area! Completely over the top really, but nice none the less!
We arrived in Ho Chi Minh city at about 11am to be greated by 33°C temperatures and went swiftly through immigration and met our transfer taxi.
After a quick check in to the hotel and a charge to something more suitable for the climate, we headed out to have a wander. We went into the Ben Thanh market, a huge covered with sellers offering a vast array of items.
After this we headed to the Dong Khoi area, which was bustling with shops, bars and hotels. Ho Chi Minh city definitely seems to be a developing place and there were lots of high end shops selling expensive western brands.
We headed to the riverside and saw the old colonial hotel, the Majestic, before retracing our steps to have a drink in the rooftop bar at the Rex hotel… One which many journalists used during the Vietnam war.
Finally, we returned to an area near our hotel which had many ‘backpackery’ type bars and restaurants for a couple of beers at happy hour before heading back to our hotel for a freshen up and to have our induction meeting at 6pm!
So, our tour has nine members, our tour leader is Phuong (Fung), and 7 others plus us… Four Australians, one German, and two from somewhere that we haven’t yet determined. We had our tour briefing and then went to a restaurant for a meal. I had the pork and fish caremalised dish cooked in a clay pot.
After eating some of the group returned to the hotel and others went for a wander. We had a quick nightcap at another rooftop bar (above!), before heading back for an earlyish night….6am alarm tomorrow for the trip to the tunnels!