Friday, April 16, 2010

The Delightful Asian Dragon Called Vietnam (Saigon)

Finally, this Asian dragon called "Vietnam" is awake from its long slumber! The country remains largely undiscovered and untapped, both in the economic and tourism senses. A best friend and I visited Ho Chi Minh City, more popularly known as Saigon, in November of 2007. The usual tours and common sight destinations filled our four-night itinerary. Two years later, we realize how we barely scratched the surface of the beauty of Vietnam. It remains an undiscovered treasure in Southeast Asia.

The strength of the Vietnamese people is seen in its assortment of handicrafts. It seems as if God gave their race all of the skills and talent (and a lot of patience too) in the field of embroidery and sewing. A trip to the famous Ben Thanh Market is a showcase of their handcrafted work from bags, wood lacquer, to linens! Every article in the market is undeniably VIETNAM. I can assure you that even the best of China's embroiderers will NEVER match the best handicraft laborers in Vietnam. Aside from embroidered items, you will drown in a fanciful display of colorful wood lacquer household items such as bowls, serving dishes, wine holders, and more. Linen articles for the dining room and the bedroom are at unbelievably low prices (if you know how to haggle).

Where To Stay In Saigon (Ho Chi Minh)

I have stayed in a couple of hotels and hostels in the city but my favorite is Dong Phuong Orient Hotel because of its location and affordable price. Below are their contact details so you may book your reservations.

Dong Phuong Orient Hotel
274-276 De Tham Street
Ward Pham Ngu Lao
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
(848) 9203993 to 94

If you like more tips and suggested travel itinerary, you may email me :)

August 27, 2010. A suggested three-day travel itinerary with dining tips has been posted here.


  1. OMG! I'm going there in May! And I'm so psyched! I'd love to buy some of those handicrafts for my profs, but I'm afraid it would be destroyed during transit :(

  2. the trip that solidified a bestfriendship. :)

  3. @Rachel: You WILL surely enjoy your trip for sure! It won't be destroyed if you pack them well in your luggages :D Enjoy!

  4. @Joan: Yes, YOU will always be my best friend :)

  5. Thank you for sharing. This blog has made me re-consider going to Saigon in the future. Keep writing on travel. Would like to know about Bangkok, specifically, please?

  6. @Chelo: I haven't been to Bangkok in more than ten years. However, I've written articles about it lately for a project. I must return to that land. However, with the political chaos at the moment, you should postpone your planned trip to a much later date :D

  7. thanks for sharing this! I love the lacquer-wares in the picture. We will be going to Vietnam in November and I'm starting to do research for our trip.

    I'd love it if you can suggest an itinerary. We will be there for 3 full days only. (not counting the night we arrive and the night that we leave).


  8. Hi earthlyjewels, I have updated this post to include the link to my suggested three-day travel itinerary with dining tips. :D

  9. hi cindy! just to update you, i was able to book and confirm reservation in orient hotel. thanks so much for the help!!!

  10. Hello Zen Mom! I'm glad you were able to book your reservation without problems :D Enjoy Ho Chi Minh! :D

  11. Basically hostels are cheaper than hotels.

    Buzios Pousadas

  12. Hi! I'll speak in spanish, my english is terrible. Muy buena entrada, parece que con tu amigo has pasado una hermosas vacaciones... A mi me paso algo similar con las reservas de dos hoteles en buzios... Bye!