From Hoi An we landed in Ho Chi Minh city, once of Vietnam’s most energetic (read: hectic) cities. HCMC has a certain vibe – in short, it’s fast paced, and chaotic. The streets are never not intense, and crossing the road feels like a life risk – the traffic is notorious. I also had some pretty spectacular meltdowns – the heat was next level, and my husband will vouch for the fact that I absolutely tested his patience (and possibly our marriage) on the streets on HCMC. Though you do get used to the pace, and because our travels always seem to be very food focussed, I have to say we had some really amazing meals in Vietnam’s largest city. I’d say all in all good times were had… and yes, we’re still married.
Then, after a few days amongst the craziness of HCMC, and after spending time earlier in the trip in Hoi An, we had definitely developed a taste for the Vietnamese coast. So it was lucky we had planned to spend the final few days of our trip in the most magnificent location yet – Con Dao. If you haven’t heard of the Six Senses resorts, do yourself a favour and look them up. It’s basically a series of five star resorts in some of the most incredible locations around the world. The Con Dao resort is so remote, it feels like you’re in the middle of Jurassic Park, on a private beach, surrounded by the most beautiful jungle. It was absolutely the biggest ‘treat yo self’ we’ve ever done as a couple. The perfect honeymoon location (even if our honeymoon was 3 years late!) Our time in Con Dao was completely magical, it was the perfect way to spend our final few days in Vietnam.
HO CHI MINH CITY
Where we stayed:
We spent our Ho Chi Minh nights at The Alcove Library Hotel – a boutique hotel with the cutest lobby library space. It was quiet, tucked away in a little street behind the chaos, but close enough to be able to walk to a few key places in Ho Chi Minh during the day. Tidy, comfortable, aircon, good iced coffees. It had all the necessities.
Where we ate:
Anan – a modern Vietnamese restaurant and bar in the centre of the city. The food was absolutely amazing, as were the cocktails. A great modern example of Vietnamese cuisine. This place gets BUSY, so making a booking is probably a good idea. Well worth a visit!
Propaganda – simple & delicious, Propaganda is a safe bet for lunch or dinner. The food is similar to the Vietnamese we have in Australia, so you’ll recognise most of the things on the menu, and with everything being fresh and locally sourced, you know it’s going to be good.
Bahn Mi Huynh Hoi – the best Bahn Mi in the city. This place is a little hole in the wall local spot which only opens from 2.30pm daily. Be prepared to line up, but the Bahn Mis are worth the wait.
Ice Kitchen – the ice-cream shop of my dreams. Located above a health food store, follow the stairs up to a pink paradise. With ice-cream!
Where we stayed:
The Six Senses Resort at Con Dao has ruined us for life. I don’t think we’ll ever be more relaxed as we were during the week we spent in our beautiful beach front villa. This trip was technically our honeymoon, even though it was 3 years in the making, so we splurged a little (a lot) and really soaked up our time in Con Dao. Waking up in (literal) paradise, exquisite food, massages, bike rides through the jungle, private 4 course dinners by the beach, swimming in our private pool overlooking the beach, swimming in the sea looking back over the jungle, every single day was magical. I’m already dropping hints to plan our next Six Senses adventure in the Maldives…
Wrapping up our holiday in Vietnam can be done in a few words. Colourful buildings, coffee, intense heat, glorious beaches, good food, great food, and incredible food.
I’m not sure when our next O/S holiday will be (with Baby HQ&Co. due in July, I may not be leaving my house/pyjamas for a while!) but looking back though our photos I just realised, shit we’ve had some amazing travel adventures so far. And I know there will be many more to come. Eventually. When the baby can carry it’s own suitcase.