taking on HCMC, vietnam.

ho chi minh city or saigon? depends on who you’re talking to, but both are totally acceptable ways to refer to vietnam’s hectic southern city. the older generation says saigon while the menus at modern cafes are stamped HCMC. danny took to saigon and i kinda mix it up depending on who i’m talking to.

the first stop on our voyage through vietnam, we were intrigued by a few things we learned.

: Vietnam has more than 3,400 km of coastline
: Of Vietnam’s 90 million residents, 70% live in the countryside
: More than 50% of Vietnam’s population is under the age of 25
: Half of the population earns a living from agriculture
: The average annual income is about $1,000 USD, many survive on less than $2/day
: In the past decade, the economy has boomed. Vietnam is now the 2nd largest exporter of rice (after Thailand).
: After rice, coffee is the second largest export for Vietnam
: Vietnamese eat dog (for real)

here’s a look at the swirling sights of HCMC, formerly known as saigon.

where we stayed // district oneho chi minh city, vietnam

fresh off the bus – first steps in vietnam. looking for our guesthouse.
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oh, we love you elegant inn. elegant? not so much, but a perfect home base for four nights.
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this is our “city view” from the only window in our room. beautiful, huh?
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fastnood! danny and i couldn’t help but smile at the name & logo of this restaurant.

exploring saigon // on foot

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one of the first things we noticed in saigon were the HUGE trees lining the city streets.saigon vietnam
could i look like more of a tourist dork here? sheesh.

ho chi minh city, vietnamanyone need me to pick them up a rice cooker? they’re for sale everywhere. 

ho chi minh city, vietnam

travel in ho chi minh city, vietnam

travel in ho chi minh city, vietnamIMG_4123travel in ho chi minh city, vietnamd taking a go at being a street vendor.

travel in ho chi minh city, vietnamthe streets of saigon.ho chi minh city, vietnamtravel in ho chi minh city, vietnam

anyone see a starbucks? can’t seem to locate one. woah huge! we called this area “starbucks circle”.ho chi minh city, vietnam
because in asia it’s not that weird to have hello kitty stickers on your awsome sushi menu

the war remnants museum // the vietnam war

P1210008or as it’s called in vietnam, “the american war.”

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travel in ho chi minh city, vietnam

dinner for two // upstairs in a quiet alley

lost for over an hour, we finally found this little restaurant down a tiny alley and were the only guests. we chatted with the chef and between each course took a shot of homemade rice whiskey with him and the servers. after a few hours of eating and drinking, we closed the place down and danny ended up inside with the entire family having snacks and taking more shots of rice wine.travel in ho chi minh city, vietnamit was april 1st and my dad asked danny to play an april fool’s joke on me (my dad always has). so at dinner, ting tried to pull one off, but it was pretty terrible since the kid can’t lie for shit.
travel in ho chi minh city, vietnam 

bến thành // local market
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saigon // by night

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tables & chairs are overrated. in saigon, you just grab a piece of cardboard or a stool and eat/drink curbside.

travel in ho chi minh city, vietnam

HCMC // cafe culture

travel in ho chi minh city, vietnam
waiting for my coffee like a local – on a mini stool. the coffee had to be tossed after a mis-communication about condensed milk vs. fresh milk. travel in ho chi minh city, vietnam
ting was bound and determined to find this cafe / bar he read about online. after being lost for an hour in the sticky heat, we finally found it when a nice local used her phone to call the cafe and get directions. and then…. it was terrible. no joke, they played “best of disney hits” the entire time we were there.

ho chi minh cityso we left disney bar and stumbled upon this place that we loved. visit site here.travel in ho chi minh city, vietnam
and it happened to be a BOGO on sauv blanc during happy hour.
travel in ho chi minh city, vietnamtravel in ho chi minh city, vietnam
four p’s pizza cafe 
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