Our flight left Bangkok at 7:30 AM so we were in a taxi by 4 AM heading to the airport and we STILL almost missed our flight!! A MASSIVE crowd for the same airline as us came in right before us, so we were stuck in a long line for check in, by the time we got checked in it was like 6:50 and our boarding time was 6:55… hAAAAHHAHA shit.. Luckily we were able to talk to one of the airport people and they let us jump the line for leaving the country and we made it through security super fast and RAN to our gate and WE MADE IT!
Ho Chi Minh (used to be called Saigon) is a pretty nice city, we found a shuttle that goes to near our hostel, and as I was sitting in the shuttle and I was thinking… something is weird here. And then I realized that they drive on the right side of the road like we do in Canada, and I’ve gotten used to being on the left side!
The shuttle let us out and the guy kind of told us where to go, so we just started walking. The locals seemed to psychically know where we wanted to go because whenever we looked lost they would just point. It was pretty great. They are actually amazing at communicating detailed instructions without speaking any words, and extremely helpful!
Found the hostel, the people seem cool, had a nap and went exploring. The first thing we did was find fresh Vietnamese summer rolls! The place said they were vegetarian rolls, but they ended up having this weird rubbery chicken in them, it didn’t even look fully cooked, so that was awkward, but we just took those out and ate the rest lol. I’m seriously not picky but that was some WEIRD looking chicken.. Maybe it wasn’t even chicken… I really hope it was chicken. We later learned that pretty much everything even if it says vegetarian or vegan has some kind of meat in it. It’s like a surprise every time!
I think my FAVE thing so far about the cities here is they use this app called Grab, which is pretty much the same as Uber, but you can also book scooters, and a guy will come pick you up on a scooter! Which is awesome because you can get around a lot faster and it’s super cheap, and it’s just way more fun lol.
After Ho Chi Minh we caught an overnight bus to Da Lat. It was beautiful there and quite a lot cooler than Ho Chi Minh. It was 5 AM when the bus dropped us off, but we now had sim cards for Vietnam so we could use google maps to find our hotel. It was only like a 15 minute walk so we just walked there, expecting to just wait outside, but we were lucky and they were open and let us check in super early for a small fee!
I had a kickass birthday in Da Lat, first we found a really good sushi place (after trying one the day before that was really gross… like it was rice wrapped around cut up hot dog weiners I’m not even kidding, and I ate it because I was hungry and I didn’t know what I was ordering at the time LOL.) Then we went to the Da Lat flower park, it was BEAUTIFUL! Then we went for pedis! ( finding that place was an adventure in itself, once again saved by the psychic abilities of direction giving Vietnamese. I DO NOT KNOW HOW they know what we’re trying to find but they are always right! After that we went for a nice dinner and on the way back found a SNACKS AND WINE STORE! What!?!? So that made for an insanely lucky and great birthday!
The next day we went to see a waterfall.. Makes me sad that people have to pay to see natural places like this that are fenced off and regulated. There was the option to walk down to the falls or take a ROLLERCOASTER THROUGH THE JUNGLE LOL so that choice was easy. They were like free moving carts that you control the brakes, I was expecting it to be kind of lame but it was actually pretty scary, especially when Corrina’s brakes failed and she crashed into the person in front of her. I also almost crashed into Corr because I was distracted by the view lol…
That night we caught another overnight bus, this time we’re getting out of the city and heading to a more rural area outside of Kon Tum called Mang Den.