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2 Amazing Day-Trips From Ho Chi Minh City

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.

Vinhomes Central Park

Vinhomes Central Park

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.

Mekong Delta Cruise from Vinh Long

Mekong Delta Cruise from Vinh Long

Mekong Delta Cruise from Vinh Long 2

Mekong Delta Cruise from Vinh Long 2

Mekong Canal Cruise

Mekong Canal Cruise

Bike Riding in the Mekong Delta

Bike Riding in the Mekong Delta

Rice Pop Factory

Rice Pop Factory

Rambutan Picking

Rambutan Picking

Shower at Ut Trinh Homestay

Shower at Ut Trinh Homestay

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!

Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels

Cu Chi Tunnels

For a better preparation

Itinerary

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.

Lifestyle

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.

Vinhomes Central Park

Vinhomes Central Park

Strolling in the neighborhood

Strolling in the neighborhood

Relaxing at Vinhomes Central Park

Relaxing at Vinhomes Central Park

Our lovely vietnamese family

Our lovely Vietnamese family

Food

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.

Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo

Crab

Crab

Elephant Ear Fish

Elephant Ear Fish

Homemade Bao

Homemade Bao

Pho Bo

Pho Bo

Veal Tail

Veal Tail

Expenses

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.

In detail:

Expense Category Amount Spent
Flight and Visa 364 USD
Accomodation 0 USD
Transport 10 USD
Food 97 USD
Activities 215 USD
Total686 USD

In a nutshell

Dates2019-01-07 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)

Conclusion

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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