Our last day in Vietnam was still quite packed. Our flight to Manila was at 1:00 am the next day so we had the whole day to shop, dine and tour the rest of the city!

07:00 – 08:30 Breakfast at Jollibee Vietnam
Hey Pinoy! Yes, there is a Jollibee outlet in Vietnam. We wanted to see what types of products they sold in this branch, but alas, we weren’t able to. We didn’t get to eat there, but we saw it on our way to the War Museum. Let us know if you do get to try it!


View Larger Map

08:30 – 11:00 War Remnants Museum
Have your taxi driver take you to the National Vietnam War Museum. This museum will bring back events and revive stories from the Vietnam War. I’m sure that most of you are familiar with the play, Miss Saigon. Well, in this museum, you will see more of the realities that happened during the war. Fighter planes, tanks, and huge machine guns that were used during the war are also on display.

Vietnam War Museum: the Chinook

Vietnam War Museum: F-102

Vietnam War Museum: Bombs

The display that brought tears to my eyes were the pictures of those that were affected by defoliants / chemicals (most infamously, Agent Orange) used during the war. You will get to see pictures of disabled and affected men, women and children.

Birth Defects caused by defoliants

A new addition to the place is something like the “hall of photographers” where they display the works of many war correspondents, showing the atrocities of war from both sides. You could feel the anger, dread, and despair from those times.

If there’s one thing I learned from this museum, it’s this: WAR – What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

The museum is made up of three floors and is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. They close the museum though from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and they turn off the air conditioning and they actually ask people to step out. They resume operations right after.

11:30 – 13:30 Lunch and Dessert
We had lunch at Quan An Que Nha. We noticed that a lot of the places that serve authentic Vietnam dishes were all open. They had no air conditioning and only have sprinklers to keep the air cool.

Quan An Que Nha

Another variant of Pho

After lunch, you can have dessert at V Cafe. They serve ice cream and other pastries. Or, you can always go walk along Pasteur and back to NYDC (we did!).

Ice Cream... yum

It’s located a block past Jollibee, on the rotunda.


View Larger Map

13:30 – 14:30 Vincom Center

Vincom Center

This is one of the relatively new malls in Sai Gon (HCMC). The mall has 3 basement floors and 5 levels, and houses some of the more expensive brands in HCMC (Marc, Swarovski, etc). To find what you are looking for, here is a guide.

B3: Supermarket & Casual Dining
B2: Living & Technology (Electronics, Home Décor, Home wares)
B1: High Street Fashion (Men & Ladies)
L1: International Fashion & Designer Boutiques
M: International Fashion & Designer Boutiques
L2: Branded Children, Maternity, Lingerie
L3: Banking & Edutainment
L4: Executive Entertainment

14:30 – 19:00 Gift Shopping and Coffee
You can go last minute shopping again in the streets of Sai Gon. We had our last taste of Trung Nguyen coffee. Don’t forget to try the Legendee coffee and the Number 5! These are both drip coffee, but they are the best that we have ever tasted.

19:00 Dinner at Quan An An
This is a hole in the wall restaurant. My friend who stays in Vietnam says that the best and most authentic Vietnamese restaurants are in the inner streets and alleys.

Cross this dangerous looking alley...

Quan An An

Quan An An is located at 71/5 – 71/6 Mac Thi Buoi St., district 1, Ho Chi Minh city.


View Larger Map

21:00 Drinks at La Habana
From what we saw, this is a bar where a lot of expats go to drink. Which means the establishment is most probably english-speaking-friendly. And believe me, the last thing you want to deal with when you’re wasted is a language barrier.

La Habana

The House Band

The band that plays there is a group of very entertaining and talented (you guessed it) Filipino musicians. The place is very cozy and the ambiance is relaxing. La Habana is located in 6 Cao Ba Quat, which is about 2 blocks away from Hyatt. Drinks are at around 60,000 dong or Php120. Those cocktail drinks that come in a pitcher are at 150,000 to 180,000 dong (Php 300 – Php 360).


View Larger Map

SOME NOTES, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND TIPS:

We wish we tried the Cu Chi Tunnels. You get to crawl the fox holes that were made during the war. We didn’t get to try it anymore because we had to do some last minute pasalubong shopping. If you do plan on going, make sure you allocate half a day for this.


View Larger Map

If you plan on going to Myanmar (and of course Angkor Wat), know that the bus ride (per way) takes 12 hours. Which means you’ll be spending 1 whole day on the bus, back & forth. 3 days is not enough if you want to include Myanmar in your tour. I would recommend AT LEAST 2 more additional days. You can get tours from Delta Adventures as well.

The comfort rooms/toilets/WC’s are generally not clean. So be sure to do your business in the hotel before going out.

Print out the street names or map locations of places you want to go to. Show these to the taxi drivers. The language barrier is HUGE. (Again, and I can’t stress this enough, take ONLY Vinasun or MeiLinh taxis!)

The GPS on my Android helped immensely. I used Osmand so everything was free — but be sure to download the Vietnam Vector Maps using WIFI somewhere.

QR code to Osmand



Speaking of WIFI, Vietnam is one of the most wired countries I have ever been to. There is FREE WIFI EVERYWHERE. This was a blessing because I was able to use Google Translate on my phone and I was able to give clear instructions (please bring me water, my tongue is burning).

The taxi ride to the airport took 2 hours and there was no traffic so we weren’t stressed coming back home.

All in all, Vietnam was a fun country to visit but knowing the place, where to go, and having some local friends, do help in enjoying it a whole lot more. Hopefully, this 3 day guide we shared helps you get the most out of your Vietnam vacation.

Be Sociable, Share!

About The Author

Ginger is the General Manager of ManilaWorkshops.com. She is also the co-founder of a tech start-up company called Turn Up Trumps, Inc. She is a business coach and has her own program called Love the Leap. She has been a blogger since 2005, writing for MommyGinger.com, ManilaFitness.com and ManilaReviews.com. She graduated MA in Communications Major in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of Asia and the Pacific. She worked as an account executive for a couple of ad agencies. She also managed a food franchise store. Her longest corporate stint was as a product manager for a known bank in the Philippines.

2 Responses

  1. RM

    This is very helpful. We’re leaving for Vietnam later, and we’ll follow your itinerary to the letter.

    Cheers!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.