We were picked up at our hotel by our tour guide who looked like an adventurous old man.
Apparently our tour group was supposed to be larger, but one family could not make it so we pretty much got a private tour with five people, for the price of a group tour.
It makes a big difference that the tour guide is enthusiastic. Our guide, Son, told jokes and explained the history of Ho Chi Minh which made our bus trip feel much shorter.
Son said he enjoyed his job (unlike Johnny from Cambodia who had “no choice”).
Cu Chi Tunnels
The Cu Chi Tunnels are located one-and-a-half hours from Ho Ch Minh. They are a network of underground tunnels dug by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War to hide soldiers, transport supplies, among other things.
The tunnel we went through was only 100 metres long, but it felt much longer due to the fact it was hot, dark, and cramped. I was able to hunch over for some sections, but other sections required crawling. The tunnel was already made larger for tourists and there were no poisonous spiders or scorpions unlike the tunnels Viet Cong soldiers used.
I could not imagine living in there for years.
We were dropped back at Ho Chi Minh and walked to a market we passed by a few times. We snaked through all the clothing stalls and found the food court where we ate cheap food.
Then it started raining very hard. At first we wanted to wait it out, but when the rain showed no signs of giving up, we walked the 5 minutes back to our hostel.
By the time we made it back to our hostel we were soaked. The clerk was nice enough to let us stay and dry off and even called a taxi that we took to our next lodging, the Le Blanc Saigon Hotel.
On mange des escargots!
For dinner, we ordered multiple snail dishes and a grilled fish.
The seafood dinner was quite expensive and did not fill us up so we wanted something cheap and filling. Luckily for us, we found a hole in the wall restaurant that served pork on rice, with egg and meatloaf for 35,000 VND ($1.5 USD). A similar dish in Canada would run around $9-10 USD. The man who served us was friendly and we got our food very quickly.