There are two excursions to be made from Ho Chi Minh City – visiting the Mekong Delta and the Cu Chi tunnels. It is with great joy that I returned to Vietnam after 7 years, this time with my family, for a short but unforgettable stay. The first time was in the North of the country in 2011, to attend the wedding of my brother who married a Vietnamese girl. This time, we discovered the South and more precisely the area of Ho-Chi-Minh City.
The amazing day-trips from Ho Chi Minh City
The Mekong Delta
It is from Vinh-Long that we set sail on the mythical Mekong Delta. For two days, we were able to explore the canals of the delta, cycle on an island, discover local crafts and a floating market, as well as pick and eat as many rambutan as we could. The excursion also included a night in a superb homestay and all meals.
The Cu Chi Tunnels
We had the opportunity to visit the Cu Chi tunnels, a 250km underground network from which the Viet Cong conducted their military operations during their war against the Americans. Most of the tunnels were accessible through a small ground hatch. The children and I were the most reckless, because we managed to walk on all fours in a small tunnel measuring 100 metres long. We came out of it totally exhausted! And how amazing it is that people managed to live in these tunnels without light for months during the war!
For a better preparation
We spent only 5 days in Vietnam, our intention being mainly to visit our Vietnamese family. We therefore chose to stay solely in the Ho-Chi-Minh City area, where they live. Duc and May have prepared a superb program for us, with two days of boat trips in the Mekong Delta and an afternoon in the Cu Chi tunnels.
It was in an incredible way that we were welcomed by my brother’s in-laws. We were grabbed by the hand and pampered from the moment we left the airport, and right up to the step of the airport when we left. All the small gestures of these people demonstrated their remarkable generosity, starting with the mother-in-law who prepared a pho (tonkinese soup) for us as soon as we arrived, because she knew it was my favorite dish.
The sister-in-law and her family welcomed us into their home, in one of the most exclusive districts of Ho Chi Minh City, in the middle of which stands Landmark 81, the highest skyscraper in the country and the 14th highest in the world. Located on the banks of the Saigon River, this real estate complex includes a park inspired by NYC’s Central Park, luxurious stores and car dealerships such as Bentley and Lamborghini, as well as pools, training rooms, playgrounds and sports fields for its residents.
Above all, we have enjoyed the Vietnamese food, whose reputation is well established, and which I personally consider to be the best cuisine in the world.
Our expenses are out of the ordinary, since our Vietnamese family housed us, fed us and were absolutely determined to pay for everything for us. However, we were able to pay for a restaurant and the excursion in the Mekong Delta by credit card. So to speak, we didn’t have time to see the color of Vietnamese money. The cost of our stay for our family of 4 is:
- 686.00 USD;
- 137.20 USD per day;
- 34.30 USD per person and per day.
|Expense Category||Amount Spent|
|Flight and Visa||364 USD|
In a nutshell
|Dates||2019-01-07 to 2019-01-12|
|Number of days||5|
|Cities we visited||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Inbound||From Cambodia by plane|
|Outbound||To Sri Lanka by plane|
|Mode of transport||Private car and boat|
|Distance travelled (car & foot)||542 km|
|Number of photos taken||1100 (220 per day)|
|Currency||The Vietnamese Dong (1 USD = 23200 VND)|
This time of respite to be pampered and walked has done us the greatest good. Thanks to the kindness of our beloved Vietnamese in-laws, our stay in Vietnam will remain a highlight of our world tour. We will soon meet them again in Quebec. But until then, Sri Lanka is awaiting us!
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