After a wonderful week in Thailand, including a few sneaky days in Bangkok, we said our goodbyes yet again and boarded a flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Having visited Saigon several times throughout our stay in Vietnam, we were eager to get to Nha Trang and so made our way straight to HCMC Train Station hoping we could get a ticket for that day. Sadly, it wasn’t to be… Instead, we had to purchase a ticket for the following day and so we made our way back into town. After finding a little guesthouse, we put our bags down, showered and headed out for some well-earned drinks.
HCMC differs greatly from Hanoi and it’s always refreshing spending some time there. It’s pretty Americanised, particularly on the touristy streets. American grill restaurants littering the streets; bar promoters handing out flyers for promotional drink offers; drunk backpackers spilling out of the bars even at 6am… A completely different vibe to the conservative, police-dictated city of Hanoi where bars get closed at midnight, unless the owners pay the police a bribe!
It was a pretty strange feeling having to get re-accustomed to Vietnamese culture. Hearing the language made me feel quite giddy and excited – bizarre considering how much I wanted to get away from ‘Nam in February.
Now, I couldn’t wait to crunch down on some Nam Chay (vegetable spring rolls) and some Dau Phu Sot Ca Chua (tofu in tomato sauce) and it was lovely sitting outside a restaurant, eating Vietnamese cuisine and watching the chaos of the city unfurl in front of us. I hadn’t expected to be this happy upon returning, and there I was with a huge grin on my face, wishing I didn’t ever have to leave… If only.