Ho Chi Mihn City Day 1
What happens when 6 women from all over the world and all walks of life decide to celebrate their New Year’s in an underrated, hence surprisingly marvelous Asian country? Divine intervention!
Yes, it was divine intervention that my girlfriends decided to plan a trip to Vietnam to bring in 2020! We now look back knowing what we didn’t know then, that given the unfortunate and sudden pandemic hit us all 3 months after, it was the best decision we made. Additionally, thanks to the trust we share, their extraordinary planning skills and my busy schedule, I relied solely on their judgment and experienced one of the most varied, recreational and fulfilling group trips in my life! Being mainly a solo traveler, this was exactly the refreshing change I needed at the end of the year! So, after researching umpteen hotels, things to do, places to go and foods to eat … our WhatsApp chat group was also eager to get acquainted with Vietnam!
Vietnam is an extremely underrated, beautiful, affordable and diverse country which has great architecture, extremely cheap and varied shopping, marvelous night life and also beautiful scenic views that many don't yet know about. Having traveled to a country with extremely advanced infrastructure, technology, litter free place and friendly people - Vietnam was like a warm hug that we all needed just before the pandemic hit us all in 2020.
Vietnam’s diverse experiences range from beach-ing, kayaking in Halong Bay, exploring night bar streets, shopping at local and lit while afloat night markets, to rooftop bars, Vietnamese coffee tastings to trains that pass you only inches away while you sip cold Vietnamese coffee or local Bia (beer) and so much more! Due to time constraints, we didn’t cover them all but glad we decided to and covered the experiences we did!
Hence, in this post, I would like to cover Ho Chi Minh City on 31st December, in the wee hours in the morning.
Vietnam had just been shedding its Christmas spirit but nonetheless, the several colorful street lights invited us to the oncoming of the new year! After taking a much-needed nap, at the Diamond Suite - a three-bedroom service apartment, we rose to the clear blue skies, light cool breeze and luxurious amenities of this complex building! Promising each other, we will take a dip in its pool later that evening, we headed out for a day in Ho Chi Mihn, the grand capital of Vietnam.
1st stop – Lau Hong Kong
Ok, so the girls had heard this place was local, had several vegetarian options and served large feast-like portions to its customers! After the plane food we had, we were ready for our scrumptious 1st well-deserved meal – It was a custom made noodle bowl - where you could choose the types of sauces and vegetable toppings that you wanted. It was a warm and wholesome bowl.
The delectable dish was filled with rich Asian spices, the tofu was fresh and felt homemade, the vegetables were just the right amount of cooked, hence both soft and crunchy respectively! And, the spice level … was Sulphur-ous! To accompany our lit tongues, we all chose an assortment of fresh juices or drinks – I obviously chose Dừa Tươi (coconut water), because when it humid Asia, you palm the fridge out!
With stomachs full and eyes not yet so much, we wandered off to the streets, when we walked past Greyhound Café. The colorful, rich and tasty-looking drinks invited us like zombies to flesh! Vibrant interiors and polychromatic fresh coolers, were drooled over for several minutes, before settling in and ordering some of their favorites that I recommend – Chocolate Lover Parfait and the Pink Journey (under healthy drinks).
Now even our eyes were full, but only for food! We were now hungry to shop and so headed to a famous street - Saigon’s Umbrella Street and delighted our eyes to multi hued bags, accessories, clothes & shoes! After a little shopping and more than satisfactory bargaining, we reached the famous Chill Sky Bar, a rooftop bar, on the 26th floor, where we had decided to buy tickets for their NYE party! Standing in the queue to buy these tickets we realized how popular the place was, as queues ran up to 100s of people! We were even afraid we wouldn’t get tickets but nonetheless, 1.5hrs later, tickets in hands we did a little happy dance right outside Chill Sky Bar lobby!
Thereon, we headed home, got dressed to kill and headed up to see Trong Hieu’s performance at the Chill Sky Bar, where we had a complimentary champagne waiting for us. He is known to the Michael Jackson of Asia and did he rock our world – figuratively of course! He is a pop, R&B and V-pop singer who gained major recognition after he won the sixth season of Vietnam Idol 2015. In the realm of divine intervention, he noticed us amongst everyone else later that night and invited us to party with him and his crew for a while, which was mind-blowing, well because such things always are!
Several champagnes, wines & gins later, we ended our night at a local burger joint, of course, feeling like the city consumed us as equally as we knew consumed it!
Well, so much for our dip into our luxurious pool plans!
Check out this space next week for our adventures in the rest of Vietnam!
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