Ho Chi Mihn City Day 2 & 3
Day 2 – Walk, eat and shop local until you drop before you drink local and energize
After the exhaustive 24 hours in HCMC, Day 2 we decided to take leisure walks around the city center and engage our senses with local grub and intoxicants!
After wrecking our digestive systems with far too many toxins the previous night, we decided to eat a healthy meal at a local bar where I had bia aka beer called Jasmine Ipa by Pasteur Street Brewing Company. It was fresh, flavorful and light – so totally worth it! After having fed my gut some fresh veggies in a salad, I decided to take a solitude walk to reflect on the oncoming new year and headed to explore the town solo-style!
I was delighted to pass by Ho Chi Minh City Book Street close by and picked up a few books while grabbing coffee by my lonesome. Thereafter, I went to the Vincom Shopping center, which you can find all across Vietnam, housing some of the best global brands and a food court, where I picked up a few local branded-bags.
The girls later joined me as we walked around The Center City, admiring the square lit up with several colorful lanterns and electric poles with LED multihued lights! One of my favorite spots was the President Ho Chi Mihn Statue - which is a lotus shaped fountain, lit up perfectly in white, pink and green LEDs, making it an attractive tourist spot.
When in HCMC, you must go to the beautifully light-decorated Chua An Lac Street for some street shopping. I would highly recommend this street for shopping as the colorful clothes, bags, accessories and shoes invite you at throwaway prices! Sit down after a handful of shopping bags, to grab local cocktails and fresh coolers at their hole in the wall local bars.
And, who can miss the Bui Vien (Walking Street) which has 100s of restaurants and bars stacked up next to each other in small lanes. We bar-hopped like 1000s of backpackers and tourists alike, having a single drink or shot in each bar, before heading to the next. We enjoyed our time at Easy Tiger the most as it had excellent live karaoke singers and dancing on stage. I briefly joined in the fun and was out the bar after a complimentary shot from strangers!
Day 3 – Goodbye HCMC, but before we go, let’s rise in awe and humility.
The next day we had food at a local restaurant and headed for some delectable desserts at The Dreamers!
Walking around with a friend, we discovered the HCMC City House, which looked as grand as most such monuments but the welcoming fountains, conference room and dining room décor, embedded with gold piping stood out uniquely.
Afterwards, Nha Hang Ngon was the perfect lunch spot, where we dug into Pad Thai Noodles.
Post lunch, we visited the Jade Emperor Temple followed by the Ngoc Hoang Pagoda - a beautiful pink colored temple. After entering the temple, and paying our respects, I distinctly remember at that moment feeling all choked up with tears, and I just fell down on my knees and prayed because I was so grateful to be on this holiday and even more grateful to have such a blessed life. The calming energy of this place and the beauty of this place really had me, mesmerized, and rightfully so. The temple has a basketball-level seating where people could sit, meditate, reflect, sit in silence and pray. After a joyfully tearful session and a few moments of reflection, we headed out feeling energized, blissful and content.
Next, we went to a local cafe called Great Bahn Mi Cafe, where we had the famous Vietnamese Iced coffee (cà phê sua dá), which is made with local coffee beans between medium and dark roast. This delectable coffee can also be had with egg yolk and or coconut milk, making it more flavorful and unique to our taste buds.
Where else would one want to be but at a rooftop bar to gaze at the sunset and watch the city lights light up the horizon? So, we went to the posh Saigon Rooftop Bar, which is one amongst the tallest rooftop glass bars in HCMC for a drink, the views and to admire the eloquent, niche and uptown vibe!
Before I left the city, a local friend met us at the Heart of Darkness Craft Brewery, where we all enjoyed local varied beers, fast food and caught up and shared our lovely HCMC trip details!
The next morning, we flew to Da Nang, with suitcases packed, excitement surmounting and beachy wardrobes ready to be flaunted!
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