Vietnam is the country I’ve been looking forward to seeing the most, so I’m really excited to arrive at our first stop of Ho Chi Minh City. We dump our bags at the hostel and head out for an explore, which loses momentum slightly when we realise it takes about 2 hours to cross any road. After successfully tackling our first wall of traffic we get to a place called Phuc Long, which says it sells coffee but sounds like it sells something else, and we sit down to plan our next few days.
The next morning, we start the day with a breakfast combination of fry up with salad, rice, iced coffee, and a mysterious green drink, which I think covered all the food groups in one go. Our table is right underneath two big TV screens playing YouTube clips of Mr Bean over and over again on a loop, and I can’t tell if it’s because it’s a popular show over here or because the green stuff is making me hallucinate.
After breakfast we go for a wander, passing City Hall, a bubble tea place and a few quirky independent shops, before ending up in a town square that looks so European I forget where we are for a second. Or maybe that was the dehydration.
At the edge of the square is Saigon Central Post Office, which is the fanciest looking post office I’ve ever seen and makes my local one back home look like a shed. We go inside and it feels like a different place entirely; the room is covered in fancy painted artwork and wooden features that people around us are using as a backdrop for their Snapchat selfies. (Not sure you’d get the same effect in one back home.) I send some postcards home to let people know I’m still alive and we head back to pack up our things before hitting the road again tomorrow.