Continuing the day from my previous post we got back to the hostel, had a nap and shower before heading back out for some farewell drinks. Our friend Beth was leaving to go to Huế, while Danny and I had another day to explore Ho Chi Minh. Eco Backpacker’s hostel, where we were staying, was just around the corner from Phạm Ngũ Lão Street, famous for its nightlife and a popular destination for backpackers and locals alike. We had walked down this street on our first night in search of food, and now we were ready to partay (somewhat).
Despite how many westerners there were, it’s miles away from your typical bar scene. I loved the small street bars, or maybe ‘pub’ might be a better word for them? The arrangement of tiny plastic stools spills out onto the street, giving you a great vantage point to people (or motorbike) watch while you relax with friends. If they’re especially busy, you’re encouraged to fill up any empty seats, meaning making friends with the people on either side of you. Hopping from bar to bar, we somehow ended up in a club where no one was dancing?? Being so inebriated we started dancing and managed to get quite a few others onto their feet too! Eventually getting a little bored of the music, we ended our night at a nice but pricey bar on the corner. (Sorry, no nice pictures from this night to show!).
Having 5 days in Vietnam was a bit awkward as it meant we couldn’t do much travelling outside of the city and by our last day we had pretty much exhausted the things to do. We did go back to the War Remnants Museum and I was happy we did! It was great to learn more about Vietnam’s history and I found the exhibitions on Agent Orange really fascinating, if a little graphic. We stayed until afternoon closing time and then walked to Ho Chi Minh Square. I was running low on money, and ending up withdrawing the equivalent of £3 worth from the ATM, highlighting just how cheap it really is over there!
We explored a really cute little block of small cafes and independent boutiques in a building opposite the square if you walk further down (starting from the statue). It’s easy to spot, we were enticed by the cute balcony cafes and were pleased to discover that they weren’t too expensive either! Coming into the building, you’ll have to walk up the stairs to get up, there’s a lift that’s guarded by a man demanding money for this service, which I found so strange!
Waiting for our taxi to the airport, we decided to grab a quick snack. If there’s one thing you should never do in Vietnam in the evening, it’s buy a bánh mì. Ingredients are much fresher in the morning and what we got was a little stale, not the best way to remember the country during our last couple of hours there! Anyways, onwards and upwards! Next destination Taiwan!