What a busy week over here in Vietnam! Ho Chi Minh City is already behind us, and we’ve continued our adventure to a coastal area called Phan Thiet. We’re enjoying the weekend at the lovely Seahorse Resort & Spa before heading back to Ho Chi Minh City tomorrow. Even though there’s nothing like a hot steamy day at the beach with a fresh coconut, I have to admit I miss the madness that is Ho Chi Minh.
As I’ve told you guys before, there’s something in these massive Asian cities that make my heart beat a little faster. I mean, my favourite cities in the world are Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore, so it was almost given that I would adore Saigon! And here’s why;
Oh noodle soup, oh glorious magical steamy bowl of noodle soup. The world’s most glorious dish – well at least right after donuts (donuts are a dish, right?). The noodle soup, or pho as they call it, is sold on every corner of the country. Pho is usually served with beef, but there are many vegan options in Ho Chi Minh City if you know where to go (I’ll give you tips on that later). And talking about veganism, over here in Vietnam vegetarian automatically refers to a vegan.
2. The fabulous combination of tradition and modern way of living
Vietnam is well known for its history, culture and traditions, which are still an important part of the locals everyday life. Often only the thought of Vietnam will make you think of traditional costumes, temples and perhaps the bit left-behind infrastructure. I mean, you still see people on the streets wearing their áo dàis and nón làs. But meanwhile, Saigon is also a fast-developing ultra modern business hub in the heart of Asia.
3. Hipster-friendly trendy coffee culture
Vietnam has forever been known for its fabulous cafe, but in the recent years, the city has become somewhat a hotspot for the world’s trendiest cafés, which will surely knock the socks off Instagram addicts like myself. But many of the cafés are well hidden, so you do need to know where you’re going.
Some of my favourite cafes here are L’usine, Banksy Studio Cafe and Loft Cafe.
4. They know hospitality
Coming from a background of hospitality and having studied in the world’s finest hotel school in Hong Kong, hospitality means something more to me. And over here in Asia, they often know how hospitality is done right. It doesn’t matter how many stars your hotel has if the customer service is bad, but also, you can really increase the quality of a lower rate hotel by great hospitality.
I wish Europe would one day be even close to doing customer service in hotels the way it’s done over at this end of the world. We stayed at Le Meridien Saigon while in Ho Chi Minh City, and I got to enjoy great service from the minute I got out of the taxi to the time I left.
5. That breathtaking skyline
Many of you probably also already know my love for rooftop bars in big cities. Ho Chi Minh City just happens to be home for many of the world’s greatest rooftop bars, such as Glow, Broma Not a Bar, or Saigon Hotel Des Arts Pool Bar Social.
The skyline of Saigon is beyond breathtaking. I could have spent all my days in my hotel room just starting at the view, day and night.
Oh Ho Chi Minh City, see you again tomorrow <3
I was invited to Vietnam by ITE HCMC (The Mekong’s largest travel event) through Nordic Travel Bloggers Collective, but the opinions are always my own. Follow our journey in Vietnam on social media with #TBEVietnam1