Saturday, 15 March 2014

Vietnam 7-Day Itinerary: Day Two

7 Day Itinerary in Vietnam

Read Day 1 here - Ho Chi Minh City
Read Day 2 here - HCMC
Read Day 3 here - Mekong Delta
Read Day 4 here - Hanoi
Read Day 5 here - Hanoi to Halong
Read Day 6 and 7 here - Halong Bay/Departure

Day 2

After waking up we enjoyed a nice breakfast in the shopfront of the hotel. Breakfast is available from 7 to 10am. I got a bowl of noodles with chicken and a cup of hot tea.

Our hotel is in a convenient location so we decided to walk to our destinations. On the way we saw a Trung Nguyen, which is like the Starbucks of Vietnam so we decided to go in. I ordered a medium bitterness coffee and it was the most bitter coffee I have ever tried. However, it also had the smoothest texture. I can see coffee-lovers enjoying the richness of the coffee even though it was too much for a non-coffee drinker like myself.

Trung Nguyen Coffee (VND 40,000)
Post-coffee break we walked to the Saigon Central Post Office. It was about a 20 minute walk away but we were going leisurely and looking at things so you may be able to reach there faster. The first impression the building gave me was that it looked like a train station. There was a booth that sold postcards that many tourists - myself included - bought and sent directly on the spot.

Saigon Central Post Office (outside)

Saigon Central Post Office (inside)
The post office is right next to the Notre Dame Cathedral which wasn't open for entering so I only have an outside photo. It did not seem to be a well maintained building.

Notre Dame Cathedral
We wanted to eat lunch at a specific banh mi place and opted to take a taxi (VND 32,000) there instead of walking. The placed is called Huynh Hoa and just ask your taxi driver to drop you off at the Starbucks on Le Lai Street. Walk directly across the roundabout and a short walk will bring you to the location (the address is on signboard).

This location opens at 3pm and was recommended to us by our tour guides yesterday. Each banh mi cost VND 30,000 and was about the size of a Subway footlong but much more filling because there was at least 4 kinds of meat, carrot, radish, and cucumber slices in addition to pork floss and a meat paste. I really enjoyed the first half of it but the latter half became a bit too filling for me in one meal. I'd recommend you to try it!

Delicious banh mi sold here!
After a fulfilling lunch we walked to Saigon Square which has two floors and sold clothing, shoes, accessories, and electronic accessories. The indoor market has many stalls and is air-conditioned so even though the space is slightly tight, it was easy to shop there unlike at Ben Thanh Market. 

Saigon Square is only a short walk from Ben Thanh Market so we made our way there and found a street directly in front of the main entrance that had a hair and nail salon. The prices were affordable and I got a haircut including a shampoo wash for VND 120,000 (about USD6). Brittney and Sandrine got a hair wash, massage, and blow out for about the same price.

Leaving the salon we realized that the night market outside Ben Thanh has started. We walked around to look at the stalls which sold similar products to the ones inside the market. Use your bargaining skills here!

We ate dinner at a food stall in the one-street night market before proceeding back to our hotel for the night.

One last photo of the tallest building in HCMC.

Tallest building
End of Day 2!

Read Day 1 here - Ho Chi Minh City
Read Day 2 here - HCMC
Read Day 3 here - Mekong Delta
Read Day 4 here - Hanoi
Read Day 5 here - Hanoi to Halong
Read Day 6 and 7 here - Halong Bay/Departure
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