Vietnam is busy AF and they start early in the day to early in the morning. At 6am, everyone was up, opening shop, on their mopeds and going from point A to point B. It’s so humid and warm in Vietnam so morning is actually the best time to roam around. It’s a little quieter because as the day leads into night, the crazier it gets.
Everyone told me horror stories of how they became sick eating street food but luckily, my friends who were with me gave me the low dow. First thing I was told was don’t eat anything raw except for fruits, don’t go crazy and try anything you’d never had (insects, meats and so on). If you do want to eat veggies, get them steamed or boiled. I was completely fine my entire Asia trip. Good thing too because I didn’t get any shots or take any meds even though my Doctor recommended Typhoid pills.
There are so many carts around any of the towns selling food, drinks and their famous coffee (aka crack). In Ho Chi Minh, I honestly could say, the food was ABSOLUTELY delicious and cheap! I had traditional dishes like Pho, Banh Mi, Banh Canh Cua and more. Of course their noodle soups were to die for. They were full of flavor and everything was made with love. Each place I ate at, it was like my mom or aunt was in the kitchen and just slaved over the broth for the past 2 days. I cannot say I dislike anything I ate. Even my first breakfast was delicious and it was simple rice, cha, pate, egg, hot sauce and pork. These are all very basic ingredients but it just all homemade and tasty. I was in Vietnam for 3+ days and spent $21 USD… $21 FUCKING DOLLARS on food AND transportation.
Getting around the cities was a lot easier than you would think. A lot of the districts are walkable although some districts are far. Taxis in Asia are the way to go but ensure they are a taxi and not just posing as one. There were a few times guys would ask me if I needed a ride and pointed to their car. There were no markings such as phone numbers or company name that confirms they are a taxi. I stayed away from those type of cars. Something I would recommend downloading is Grab. It’s literally like Uber but for Asia. They take cash so you don’t have to pay with a card, I actually recommend paying with cash so you don’t pay any fees. That’s how I was able to keep my trip SO cheap.
There were so many things to do in Vietnam. First off, there are so many markets. This means food, scarves, bags, shoes, whatever you can think of! Walking the markets was my most favorite thing to do. I was able to get the best fruit like durian and soursop. They also sell snacks at the stands like spring rolls, sticky rice with banana or coconut and best of all, all of the fresh coconut juice or sugar cane. I had like.. 5 a day and it cost me like 2 dollars.
Something that all my friends and I did was get massages, hair cuts, nail painted and anything pampering. You could get a full body massage, nails painted, hair shampoo’d, cut and styled all for $10-$15 USD. The night life here is also insane or at least it is in Saigon. They have a walking street that is full of bars and it’s the BEST place to people watch. SO many different choices, drinks and entertainment to choose from. It was a highlight of the trip for sure.
I would recommend exploring as many districts as you can but venture to the country side for a more authentic experience. I spent my time in South Vietnam this trip but venture North. They are completely different as the North is more lax, and the people are a little sweeter spoken. They have amazing beaches like Ha Long Bay and in Hanoi. Get the best of both worlds and go to different cities. The flights between cities are like 50 dollars or less if you plan it in advance. Book a flight for yourself babes. Remember – eat AND travel rich or die tryin 😉