4. Ho Chi Minh City – Bars, Bikes and Border Crossings

Our names are called as our coach stops at the Vietnamese border. Liz and I turn to each other, confused as to why. Turns out we’ve arrived ahead of schedule and our Vietnam visa doesn’t start for another three days. Luckily, we just had enough dollars between us to cover the extra charges.

Yet this didn’t come near to dampening our love of the vibe in Ho Chi Minh City.

Gratefully arriving into the city, we are somehow ushered onto the back of two motorbikes and taken to our hostel. Whizzing around the mad and disorganised traffic, feeling free, we arrive at the hostel and are welcomed into a room with three guys already occupying beds.

We grab food (an omelette filled with meat and veg), before heading out for beers. We were staying near the typical backpacker area, heaving with bar lights, motorbikes and street wires, so it wasn’t hard to find a bar. Before long, we reunited with our roommates and headed for a couple of rooftop bars (HCMC is filled with them). We found a pretty swanky one (we were the only ones in flip flops), but the view was amazing! Especially from the 32nd floor.

Feeling pretty rough in the morning, we eat a late breakfast and take a long stroll with several café pitstops. The city has such a bustling and nifty atmosphere that having a lazy day was no problem. Although trying to cross a Vietnamese road with a hangover is not desirable – but we earned the pity of an old local man who took charge and shuffled us across the road.

We book a coach to Mui Ne, a beach town, but before we head off we spend a night being woken up by “The Moaner” – a guy who moaned in his sleep for the WHOLE night.


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