Mekong canoe ride

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam AKA Saigon

How can you top Siem Reap? They were big shoes to fill for Ho Chi Minh. Unfortunately, Ho Chi Minh fell short. Kelly and I agreed not long after arriving that we desperately wanted to go back to Cambodia.
Ho Chi Minh (aka Saigon) is a dirty, smelly city filled with motorbikes. And I don’t mean a few. I mean millions of motorbikes…..everywhere. The streets, the sidewalks and everywhere in between. Their roads seemed lawless. No organization. No one obeys lights or pedestrians. It is each man to himself when on the road. When trying to walk across the street, we had to just think of it as playing Vietnam frogger. You just have to move into oncoming traffic a few steps forward, a few steps back, a few to the side and maybe a jump here or there and you will hopefully make it across, albeit, white knuckled. 
We spent our first day at the war museum. When we were in Cambodia, we went to the museum on the last day. We felt, this time, we should go first so when we sight see we would know a little about what we were seeing. Well, this really wasn’t the place to teach us that. However, we were taught how Americans loved to kill women and babies and deform people with agent orange. We were shown how destructive and horrible the American soldiers were to the Vietnamese. There was no explanation in the museum of how the war started or even why. Just photo after photo of how horrible the Americans were to the Vietnamese. 
We walked out of the museum confused and ashamed. We were approached by two sitlo drivers trying to sell us a ride. They asked where we were from. We looked at each other and I quickly replied, “We’re Canadians!”. They perked up and gave us a thumbs up. One driver said, “Canadians good!” Yes, that was us, two Americans walking out of the Vietnam war museum ashamed of our ignorance to what the war was really about and confused about why the Americans were so awful to these people.
I guess they didn’t really teach us much about the Vietnam war when we were in school or maybe I missed class that day. Whatever it was, we were in dire need of a briefing. Maybe a briefing from an American would balance the score.
We still tried to give Vietnam another chance at impressing us. Maybe a nice boat ride down the Saigon river would cure us of the ache the war museum left. It was a nice ride. We visited a temple and a man-made, park like island that I really think was the only serene setting in the whole city. I was supported in that theory by the dozens of brides that were there having their wedding photos taken.
The next day we scheduled a tour of the Mekong Delta. A three-hour bus ride would bring us a to a boat that would then bring us to different local village businesses. We visited a bee farm and a coconut candy factory. The best part of the tour was climbing on canoes for a row down the canals of the Mekong. The three-hour bus ride there gave us a four-hour tour where we then had to jump on another 3 hour boat ride back into Saigon. It was a long day of commuting for a short tour. 
The boat ride back was enjoyable. It was a low-lying covered long-boat. During the ride, a massive thunder and lightning storm was rolling in. The skies turned black as we passed through moments of torrential downpours. I loved it. I have missed having weather so much living in LA with thunderstorms being top of the list.
It poured down rain the rest of the night and part of the next day as we headed to the airport for our flight back to Singapore. It would be when we arrived in Singapore that I would find out that the jewelry case I packed into the side zipper pocket of my luggage was gone and conveniently found its way into the hands of an airline employee.
Sorry, Ho Chi Minh, I do not think I will be coming back :((
Motorbikes everywhere

Kelly on the sitlo

Our sitlo tour

Rolling down the Saigon river 
Lighting a wish lantern at a temple

Inside the temple

The pretty park we stopped at for lunch

Walking across the monkey bridge in the park

A leather store. Had to snap a pic. They pronounce it Chin-Chin-Naaateee….Italian.  I found it funny.

Such a sweet face

Canoeing down the canals of the Mekong Delta

A water buffalo….in the water. Imagine that!


Kelly and the water buffalo

A bike ride through a village on the Mekong Delta

Something you don’t see everyday

Rolling back down the Mekong towards Saigon

I was in a pharmacy and this old lady was standing next to me. She kept grabbing my boob. She did it three times! 

The Ben Thanh market

3 Responses to “Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam AKA Saigon”
  1. Ty says:

    As someone living in HCMC I found this article wildly inaccurate and misleading to anyone who’s never been to Vietnam. I hope you will return the Vietnam and take the time to experience the many wonderful aspects you failed to cover, i.e. amazing cuisine from around the world, great night life, blending of western and eastern cultures, friendly and hospitable locals, etc. Next time you write about a destination spend the time to develop a balanced stance.

    • Chrissy says:

      The articles on this website are based on my experience and my opinions. You are free to write an article based on your own experiences and your own opinions on your own website.

      The story is as accurate as it is going to get based on MY trip to Vietnam and MY view.

  2. Danny says:

    I’m very surprised you felt ashamed to be American… and how embarrassing! I’ve been to Vietnam before and they always seem to love Americans! Too bad you felt that way.

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