This is… HCMC


Ho Chi Minh City aka Saigon doesn’t really attract me, it lacks the charm and laid-backness of Hanoi, the attractions of Hue and Hoi An. My first impression wan’t very good as there were too much hustling at the travellers and tourists. That’s for being the starting or ending point of most trips in Vietnam, but on the positive side, it’s easy to find bargain and cheap accommodation and food.

At first glance it’s just another modern sprawling city with speeding motorbikes but when I took time to wander the streets and get out of the touristy area, I did find pockets of interesting sights.

Vietnam reminded me of the Chinese culture, especially the influence of Chinese Buddhism in the local culture and how the temples intertwine with the houses and its rituals with the people’s routine. One thing that struck me when I first arrived in Vietnam was the presence of Christianity, it felt a bit out of place coming from neighbouring countries where Buddhism thrives. But I never thought I would see a Hindu temple right in the middle of HCMC.

As much as I enjoyed the snippets of religious devotions in the city, I do find the city kind of lost its identity in exchange for modernization and development. For me, anyway, it’s not as memorable.



About the Author


A modern nomad who wanders around the world calling no place home and every place his Ithaca



Been enjoying following your travels around Vietnam. Now I’m in your footsteps. I did enjoy the fact that Hanoi had a lot of character. I hope I can find those little pockets of interesting in HCMC. Any suggestions where to look?

Also, did you go to the Mekong Delta? Have you written about that on the blog?
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Hi Stephen, my only recommendation is just wander. I walked all the way to the “chinatown” (can’t remember what it’s called in Vietnamese, and there are temples in every other lanes.

Yes, I went to the Mekong, that’s my next article. Sorry, I’ve been very very slow. Need to pick up the pace!


A Hindu temple?! Pocket of suprise indeed! Again, you gave HCMC a second chance of redeeming itself in my list. 🙂 haha


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