Most of the pictures taken during this trip were lost after my old laptop was reformatted. Good thing I was able to save some pictures. This getaway was part of a backpacking trip with friends for almost two weeks. We packed only the essentials to avoid checking in baggage. We rode a bus to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) from Phnom Penh, our last stop in Cambodia. We stayed in Vietnam for six days. We arrived late afternoon on the first day and flew to Bangkok from Hanoi around 9 AM on the sixth day.
Tourist visa was not needed for Filipino passport holders to enter Vietnam. After our passports were stamped in Moc Bai (see Lonely Planet’s Vietnam map), we road the same bus and arrived in HCM before evening. We did not book any hotel or guest house beforehand so it took us some time to find one that was cheaper and near the city center. That was one of the lessons I learned from this trip – book in advance especially during peak season or at least research about hotels or guest houses and take note of their names and contact info.
We stayed within the tourist area. We woke up early the next morning and after converting US dollars to Vietnam dong, we ate breakfast. We withdrew US dollars in Cambodia because it was the more convenient currency to use. We wanted to shop but we had no idea where to go. We did not plan to stay longer in HCM so we did not do thorough research. It was a mistake.
We just walked to where our feet would take us until we reached Ben Thanh Market. We did not do a Hansel and Gretel to find our way back. Just kidding. But yes, we were still able to collect our things back in the guest house hours ahead of our flight to Hanoi.