Backpacking Vietnam Travelogue 2013 – Day 1 part 1 (Saigon)

16 Jun

Hi there! Hope you guys are doing great 🙂

I will be breaking up day 1 into 2 parts if not my post will be too lengthy. And so, earlier as introduced in the introduction post, my friend and I bought the plane ticket from Jetstar Airlines. This is my first time on the Jetstar plane as well.

A picture of us before taking off.

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Personally, I think the space for my leg is pretty spacious too! (comparing to Tiger). I also feel comfortable as well throughout this journey. Jetstar Airlines often has promotional fares. Sign up for their newsletter to obtain first hand updates: http://www.jetstar.com/sg/en/home

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It’s a 2 hours flight from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh. We reached the Tan Son Nhat International Terminal at about 0830hrs and took a bus to District one. [By the way, we wanted to get a map from the airport but couldn’t find any]. To catch the bus, upon exiting the airport, just turn right and walk towards the domestic airport. You’ll be able to see the BUS 152 waiting there. There’s only one bus just across the road, outside the airport anyway so it is pretty easy to spot it.

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I don’t know how the buses really work here (like if there’s a timing or what). What we did were to just board the bus and waited for a while on the bus (there are others on the bus too) and then the bus driver came. You will see the locals starting to pay the bus fare. We just went up when we see the others doing the same too. No worries if you are not sure when to pay up as well, cause the bus driver would probably whistle or wave at you to ask you pay up.

We paid for ₫10,000 (S$2.50) per person.  ₫5,000 per person and another  ₫5,000 for our backpack. It is highly recommended that you have the exact amount when you are paying up. Usually, the bus driver do not carry change with them.

Alternatively, if you are travelling with family or just can’t be bothered taking a bus, you can take a taxi. From what we have done for our research, do take Vinasun or Mai Linh taxi which is usually more reliable (in terms of the rigging of the meter or scamming you by bringing you to the wrong destinations). I am definitely not discriminating other taxi companies but from our experiences thus far… it kind of proves so. Check out more on how to identify the correct taxis (there are too many imitations) over here: http://xotours.vn/blog/2013/01/23/saigon-taxi-and-cyclo-scams-a-comprehensive-guide-to-avoiding-taxi-and-cyclo-scams-in-Saigon

Our hostel is located in the famous backpacker’s street in district one at Phạm Ngũ Lão (we’ve also come to realised that each city has the same street name). We booked our hostel way earlier through www.agoda.com. The hostel we stayed was in Saigon Backpackers Hostel. We stayed here for 2 day 1 night and opt for a private room which we paid S$28.40 for both of us.

It’s along one of the alley. The brilliant thing is that they have signs that indicate the shops/ hotel in the alley.

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It has a common lounge and a pool table

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Here’s how the room and the washroom looks like

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Here’s the details of the Hostel:

Saigon Backpackers Hostel
373/20 Phạm Ngũ Lão, Quận 1. Gần cuối đường Phạm Ngũ Lão, gốc chợ Thái Bình
http://saigonbackpackershostel.com/

We met an appointment with our friendly guide from Saigon hotpot which I’ll elaborate in our next post. As there was still some time before we meet the guide and we were a little hungry, we walked around the area and chanced about this stall which sells the Vietnamese style sandwich, Banh Mi.
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Banh Mi is very unique and unlike the western style sandwich. It starts with a Vietnam style baguette and has a light crust around it. You can choose the type of pork that you want in the sandwich. The vegetables includes cucumber and pickled radish and some mayo.  I kind of like it.
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It costs about ₫15,000 (S$3) for this.

This conclude the part 1 posts! Day 1 part 2 will be talking about my visit around Saigon and the night tour that I joined with XO tour group. Till then!

love,
Raine.

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