Saigon, also known as HCMC is a pretty bustling and crowded city. I would probably say its the crowds and the hustle-bustle reminded me of Mumbai. Earlier today we flew from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The decision to spend 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City was probably based on the fact that when travelling I somehow don’t find crowded cities that attractive. Even during my Thailand trip, I stayed in Bangkok for just 1.5 days.
Day 1 of 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City
Transport from Tribee Bana Hostel to Da Nang Airport
We had a very pleasant stay at Tribee Bana. We decided to book a cab from them directly to the airport. The other option was
- Walk 1.5-2 kms with our luggage to the Hoi An bus station.
- Catch the bus no. 1 heading towards Da Nang, cost 70000 VND for 2.
- Then get down at a stop near Dragon bridge and take a cab to the airport (60000 VND)
We scrapped out that option since we had our full luggage with us and the cab was more convenient. The cab costed us 300000 VND. Thats roughly 1000 Rs. Normally, you can share the cab with others but most of the hostel folks had a 9am flight and we didn’t want to leave the hostel that early.
You can check out the detailed hostel review here – Tribee Bana Hoi An – Review
Flights Details – Da Nang to HCMC
|Origin||Departure Time||Destination||Arrival Time|
|Da Nang||02:40 PM||Saigon (HCMC)||04:05 PM|
The flight got delayed by few hours and as a result by the time we reached HCMC Airport it was already 6 PM. From the airport, we had to catch a bus which would drop us directly outside our hostel Hangout Hostel – HCM. We caught bus no. 109 from outside the domestic airport terminal and got down at Pham Ngu Lao street. Ticket price – 30,000 VND.
First Impressions of the Hostel
Frankly speaking I wasn’t stoked. It was a typical party hostel with dark neon paint and the rooms had black curtains and no sunlight at all. On top of that we were staying in a mixed dorm with 5 other guys most of whom had a crazy night out and had blacked out in the room. As a result, not only was it dark even taking a quick shower without disturbing them was a task.
You can check out the detailed hostel review here – Hangout Hostel HCM Review
Anyways, we got ready and since we were super hungry decided to head for dinner. Luckily, there was a food-mall right in the park across the road. We tried the famous hot pot. We have been meaning to try it since we saw it in Hanoi, but never really got the time.
Vietnamese hot pot, is like a soupy stew which consists of lot of stuff like
- Broth in which all components are cooked.
- Sea food (prawns, squids etc)
- Greens & veggies
- Some crispy crackers
- Tuna, pork and other choice of meat
The hot pot basically is your food getting cooked in front of you. Oh, I forgot the interesting part. We grabbed a table in the mall, placed an order for the hot pot from one of the stalls and paid for it. Thereafter, a guy from the stall came up to us and kept all the stuff you see in the 2nd photo at our table. He probably thought we knew how it worked. So after waiting to see if he shows up in few mins, I asked the lady at the stall to help us out.
So, she came to our table, lit up the stove and added a few ingredients. She would later show up every 5 mins to add the remaining ingredients and stir the hot pot. After 10 mins or so, she asked us to eat directly from the pot using our chopsticks. And that ladies and gentlemen, is how you eat a hot pot.
Don’t worry and freak out looking at the photo. All the food is properly cooked in the hot pot.
Back at the hostel
I have already told you my first expression of the hostel, but the hostel came to life after 9PM, they had loads of fun & games and one free beer/person. The staff got us involved and before we knew it we were having a crazy time. My complaints and apprehensions about the hostel were going away. But let me be clear if you are not a party person, this hostel isn’t for you. It’s best suited for folks who spend their nights partying and days sleeping.
The hostel had a pub crawl around 10:30 PM which we joined for a few hours and then headed back to the hostel. We were tired after a day’s journey and just lying down on the bed felt so good. We just crashed into the bed.