Ho Chi Minh City Day 5 – Change of Plans

Originally the plan was for a few days in Ho Chi Minh city followed by a trip up north to visit Hanoi however without being able to get on the internet really for the first few days getting information / planning an itinerary proved to be quite difficult.  Last night I tried to see about continuing along with the original plan however it did not really look like it was going to pan out.

By virtue of many additional expenses I was not anticipating before coming on holiday and the costs associated with having to change this trip to this week I have come considerably poorer than I was planning on, whilst I still do have my credit card to fall back on I prefer to pay for my trips with cash if I can and the flights to Hanoi were $200+ at this short notice and I could then not get anything to line up with my trip back to Singapore and subsequently home which has lead to my decision to spend the remainder of my time here in Ho Chi Minh,

$17 a night for the hotel for an additional 5 nights only equates to an additional $85 which is more than reasonable.  Based on my new found decision I decided to have a chat with the receptionist here, given that it was my first time here she was keen to make it a memorable one for me and recommended a few tours for me to do, these start in the morning so I will start from tomorrow and spend my next few days on day tours.

So that today was not a waste I had a sit down with her and have decided on going to the Vietnamese Water Puppet Show and additional Vietnamese cultural & heritage show this evening at a price of US$6 followed by a dinner cruise down the Saigon river which will set me back about $12 which sounds quite reasonable for local entertainment, a meal and sights along the river.

The tours that I have selected for the next few days will really take me out of my comfort zone.  I have never made a secret of my dislike for boats, they make me really really uncomfortable second only to my fear of heights.  But travel is all about broadening your horizons and doing new things right?  So one of the trips I have arranged for involve boats, and rivers and did I mention boats?

Trip number one Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai Temple

Taken straight from the brochure at the counter:

08:30 – 18:30

Firstly you will go straight to Tay Ninh to visit the Great Coa Dai Holy See, a place of pilgrimage for quite a few south Vietnamese people  and for those who are interested in Cao Dai sm – this is a unique religion that you might never expect to encounter. (Personal note: Have not heard of this one before so I am quite curious to learn about it) In time for its noontime prayer service, you will enjoy peculiar hymns with followers attired in livery red, yellow, blue and white.  Quite a scene for the eye and for snapshots.  Following is lunch in Tray Ninh, then on return to Ho Chi Minh City we will stop at the underground village of Ben Dinh in the Cu Chi District which was used by the guerillas during the Vietnam War.

Price 495,000VND (about $24)

The next trip will be My Tho & Ben Tre

07:30 – 17:30

An unforgettable way of seeing the Mekong Delta to drive along the provincial roads down on the southern region of Vietnam through paddy rice fields, pine-apple plantations, orchards and small hamlets (2 hour drive)

After arrival in My Tho you will ride on a local motor boat along Dragon Island, Unicorn Island, Phoenix Island, Turtle Island and stop at the famous Unicorn Island. While at Unicorn Island, you will visit pure natural honey at a bee keeping farm and taste some honey wine, banana wine and rice wine.

Then you will walk on to the village to take a rowing boat along the natural water coconut canal to see the local’s daily life in the Mekong Delta.

From there you will continue your motor boat trip to Ben Tre province to visit a handmade coconut candy workshop, then transfer to a small motor boat and travel along the lush green canals followed by a stop off at a local restaurant for a Vietnamese lunch.

After that coming to another area on the Unicorn Island ot enjoy many kinds of tropical fruits at the orchard garden and listening to southern vietnamese traditional music.  A local boat will then take you back to My Tho where the bus will then drive you back to Saigon via the Bonsai Garden at Trung Luong

Price 410,000VND

Although I really do not like boats, I think that this will be an interesting trip and I will hopefully get many great photos.

One Response to Ho Chi Minh City Day 5 – Change of Plans

  • AussieSusan says:

    Love your musings and all the ‘real’ comments in regard to how life is in another part of the world. Sure makes me more than inclined to have a visit. Safe Travelling

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