8th November, 2017
Good morning Vietnam!!
We flew into Ho Chi Minh (Saigon as the locals call it) last Thursday night. The four of us managed a few hours sleep and landed just after midnight.
Greeted by a friendly face at the airport and driven to our Hotel in air-conditioned comfort.
Off to the Le Méridien Saigon, home for the next few days.
We all crashed like a tonne of bricks and woke for a delicious buffet breakfast.
Anyone who knows me will know how much I love breakfast. My favourite meal of the day. I have had many buffet breakfasts in my time, but this, this takes the cake!! Quite literally. The selection on offer at the Le Méridien Saigon is incredible. Vietnamese cuisine, danish pastries and donuts. Fresh fruits, bacon, sausage and eggs – cooked anyway you’d like. Pancakes, crepes and waffles. Toasted sandwiches, cereals and yoghurt. Gourmet cheeses and cold meats…even icecream. Spolit for choice!
The hotel is in a prime location, situated alongside the Saigon River. Only a short stroll or a few minutes in a taxi, and you’ll arrive at some of the best attractions in town.
Notre Dame Cathedral-made entirely of materials imported from France, the 19th-century Central Post Office and City Hall.
We stayed in a Grande Deluxe Room. Jam packed with mod-cons, from the smart TV to the motorised blinds. WiFi, huge work space and lounge area. Ample storage, giant bath tub and a shower big enough for the 4 of us. We had all we needed and more.
Our days were spent exploring the city, admiring the stunning architecture, swimming in the hotel pool, visiting the gym and finding some great eating spots. The kids worked on their diary entries and enjoyed a relaxed few days before getting stuck into their formal ‘school work’.
The city is fairly quiet during the day and much busier in the evening. Like many South East Asian countries, the traffic is chaos, but it just seems to work. Crossing the street was a little nerve-wracking the first few times, but we got the hang of it. Grab hands and go…!
It is hot, yet overcast. Averaging around 31ºC each day.
I checked up on TripAdvisor and found some great places to grab a bite to eat. Den Long was definitely a favourite and one we would highly recommend. Wonderful staff and scrumptious food.
Our top picks- the Caramalised pork with pepper and Morning Glory doused in garlic – YUM!
We also visited Nonla Guys which was another fabulous find! The Bun Cha Rice Bowl was a winner with 3 of us ordering the same thing. The bill was a measly $25AUD for the 4 of us, including drinks!
For our last night in Saigon, we visited The Avenue Cafe. Arriving for an early dinner around 5pm, we had the place to ourselves and were lucky enough to have the Korean owner join us for a chat and give us some travel tips for Vietnam. We enjoyed a lovely meal here, and I had the best coffee I’ve had all week!
We also visited the Bến Thành Market. Stalls for miles and miles. From t-shirts, sunglasses, hats and bags to seeds, nuts, lollies, fruit and flower arrangements. Worth the visit.
We found shelter from the afternoon rain and I tried Pho (pronounced: fuh) for the first time. It was fresh and pungent and packed with much more flavour than I expected.
On Sunday night we booked tickets through the tour desk at Le Méridien and took the kids along to see the Water Puppet show. We decided on the new theatre at the Rex Hotel after reading reviews about the seating at the original theatre. We were all very impressed. It was so well done and the music was beautiful. A must see if you’re visiting Ho Chi Minh City.
That’s all for now. Next stop Nha Trang…
Tạm biệt (Goodbye)
PS: Here is a little YouTube video Andrew put together from our 5 days in Saigon, enjoy x
Click here to watch
Thank you so very much to the amazing team at Le Méridien Saigon for taking such good care of us and welcoming us as guests of your beautiful Hotel. You are a wonderful team and should be very proud x
(As always, all words and opinions are my own)
*Images of hotel are courtesy of the official website.