We have been back home in China for just over a week now (yes, that still sounds weird), so I finally had some time to sit down figure out how I wanted to catalog our adventures in Vietnam. This will be post one of a “I don’t know how many” part series filled with pictures and descriptions as I have some time.
We arrived at our first destination, Ho Chi Minh City, later in the evening, so I am going to call it day 0. After surviving the slightly chaotic visa on arrival process1 we were rightfully in need of a cold beverage and opted to try out the rooftop bar right at our hotel so we would not get too lost in our exhausted state. We met someone from South Korea there and proceeded to have a good chat about traveling and beer.
DAY 1: FOOD TOUR & COOKING CLASS
The days activities centered on food and included a tour of the banana market, a bunch of snacks, several full size meals, and a cooking class! Needless to say we were quite full once all the festivities for the day ended. The price2 of the cooking class and food tour were well worth it as we got to try many things we likely would not have found on our own.
Overall it was a very eventful, albeit filling, day. We even met some new friends (English and Israeli) in our cooking class and went out for drinks after to wash everything down. Then we pretty much went into food comas for the rest of the day because we had to be up early the next morning to go explore the Cu Chi tunnels!
Footnotes for those who wanted more than just a bunch of pictures…
- US passport holders require a visa to enter Vietnam. The two options are get one from the embassy before you go, or go through the visa on arrival (VOA) process. Getting an invitation letter is not difficult as many tour companies online can arrange to get you one for ~$20/person within two days or so. The visa itself was $45 (for <30 days) and they preferred payment in USD.
- Though many place will take USD, the official currency of Vietnam is the Dong. Every note is worth some multiplier of 1,000, so David liked to joke that we were Billionaires in Vietnam. If only…