Ho Chi Minh City
Tan Son Nhat International Airport
District 1, Ho Chi Minh
I generally suck at crossing the streets until I realized years back that it's an important life survival skill next to breathing. But crossing the streets of Ho Chi Minh is so different!!! At first, we were so comfortable walking around. We felt safe from any raging vehicles until we didn't anymore.
We would always laugh when it's time to cross. We even likened it to that of Super Mario because we had to go through several obstacle courses
Everywhere we went, we had to remind ourselves to look left, right, front, and back because motorbikes could be everywhere! The worst part was they wouldn't pause or slow down at all. It's like they're not seeing human beings crossing the street. Most of them are beating the red light too. It's literally breathtaking.
The traffic situation in Cebu is probably no different but the main difference I've noticed is that... in Ho Chi Minh, the motorbikes and cars have a life of their own, lol. And they never slow down. I even held up my hand once to signal that we were crossing but eehhhh, nothing happened. I think they have a Vietnamese sign for that?
Something PrettyJust to get a nice photo of the City Hall, I unknowingly stepped on a puddle of mud and I was wearing white shoes. Ahhh, the things we do!
Around Notre-Dame Cathedral & Central Post OfficeVietnam is a largely Buddhist country and Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, officially known as Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception, is one of the remaining fortresses of Catholicism in the country.
It's also a famous landmark for tourists but we didn't go inside the cathedral. The Romanesque architecture is a sight to behold though and if you're like me who love buildings with so much personality and character, you'll love it too.
Yes, I really have to post 3 pictures of it because my feeling is intense. Haha!
The Saigon Central Post Office was built in the 19th century which makes it one of the oldest buildings in Ho Chi Minh. The interiors and exteriors are both fascinating. You will feel like you're transported back to the colonial era because of its French features - high ceilings and stunning pattern-tiled floors. It's big, spacious, and grand.
Meanwhile, outside the Central Post Office, you will see this. I have to say it's a pretty unique way of selling donuts.
Then there's this. ♥♥♥
Food Stalls All The Way!
I ate some of these though. They're like different kinds of empanadas. And the obvious donuts. On the left side, there are those that resemble a shakoy or lubid-lubid (twisted fried donuts coated with caramelized sugar), only that they don't look like lubid or rope and there's no sugar.
And if you see the ones that look like squid's arms, we don't know what they call those, hehe! But they're like bread sticks.
And interestingly, they have their own version of pungko-pungko too, yes??? Pungko-pungko (or squat) is what Cebuanos use to describe a dining style where customers are made to sit in low benches or chairs. They're all over the streets of Cebu.
We often spot locals and some foreigners drinking traditional Vietnamese iced coffee in the streets too. Morning, afternoon, and evening - locals are all over.
These are only 1/4 of all my photos and I don't wanna make this blog post burst so this is it for now, lol! I hope you somehow got a feel of how the city is like. For me, the vibe is really like that of Cebu, only different people and different language.
Ultimately, the comparisons I made here are not meant to point out which city is better over the other. It's just that when you embark on a journey to another place you haven't been to yet, there's this human nature of searching for something familiar or something that speaks a little or a lot like home.