Travel, Food & Books

The Honking Heaven

What’s it like to be in Ho Chi Minh and how was the celebration on New Year’s Eve? Crowded! Yes, that’s what I experienced in this honking heaven.

Ho Chi Minh was the noisiest city I’ve ever been to, not a minute past that my eardrums were at ease from perpetually honking by the car and motorcycles. I started hearing it the moment I stepped out of the airport until I finally reached the hotel.

I’ve never experienced anything like it before, the sea of motorbikes on the road coming from everywhere, without really obeying the traffic, I was surprised I didn’t see any accident throughout our stay there.

We stayed at the Grand Silverland Hotel from 24th until 27th December 2014. The hotel’s location was perfect, and it was only about 250 metres away from Ben Thanh Market. This market have food, Vietnamese coffees, souvenirs, clothing, groceries, shoes, counterfeit goods etc.

My favourite beef soup noodles

We didn’t do any sightseeing here because most of the places were closed for Christmas and New Year. So we just wandered around and filled our tummy with beers and food.

We went to Pham Ngu Lao for a night out, eating tapas at Pacharan, mingled with locals at their local beer place called Bia Hoi and also being a regular customer at Quan Hoa Dong, a stall situated next to the hotel.

When we came back from Phu Quoc Island on the last day of the year, we stayed a night at New World Hotel Saigon. In the evening, we went for our last meal of the year in Casa Italia.

The restaurant had a great ambience and the food was lovely. We even chit-chatted with the friendly owner too. I ate so much because it was my last meal and I could only eat again next year!!

Calamari Gamberi @ 200,000
4 Cheese Pizza @ 240,000
Amatriciana @ 240,000

We also went to Cargo Event Space, the place owned by one of Mike’s mates and it’s a cool place for partying and drinking!

The crowd outside the hotel waiting for the new year to arrive

We took a taxi back to the hotel just before 11 pm, but the ride was a nightmare, the distance to the hotel was only about 2.4km, but it took ages to reach the hotel. Halfway to the hotel, we figured we could just walk back to the hotel so, we asked the taxi to drop us.

As we walked to the hotel, the road and the pedestrian walkway were difficult to move around as countless motorcycles occupied the space. They just parked and lounged on it while waiting for the countdown to begin in an hour. One thing was for sure, If you don’t like a crowded place, avoid coming here during New Year’s eve.

Travel Date: 24th ~ 27th & 31st December 2014  ~ 01st January 2015

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