Saturday, 5 March 2016

Ho Chi Minh City In The Fast Lane

For Christmas my brother bought me what turned out to be the best present ever.

Knowing I was going travelling, he decided to get me something a little bit different - a moped tour around the craziness of Ho Chi Minh City. A little nervous at first as I'd never been on the back of any sort of motorbike before let alone in a city that has over 2 million mopeds, I soon switched those nerves for excitement. He booked my tour through Xo Tours for around £30 and it was so so worth it.

I was picked up bright and early from my hostel at 7:55am by a lovely Vietnamese woman and 2 guys, popped on my helmet and headed out to begin the tour! This specific company only uses female drivers and you get from A to B on your own with the driver however meet up with the rest of your group at each landmark - which is around 6 to 7 people. Our first stop on the tour was Ho Chi Minh's old post office:

My tour guide was amazing. She took me around the post office pointing out and explaining all the little details, including the interesting fact that couples set to be married often take their wedding photos infront of this landmark up to 6 months before the actual wedding date. Crazy. After strolling around here we then headed to the palace:

Even though it was still early morning, the temperture was around 33 degrees so we were thankful for the stop after this to take cover in some shade for a little while - the indoor market. Here we were sat down at a little stall where we tried Vietnamese yoghurt and flan caramel. I enjoyed the yoghurt but I can't say I'll be going back to eat the flan anytime soon!

I even got to try sugar cane juice which was so so tasty!

The next 2 stops on our tour before the 4 hours were up were the memorial for the Buddah who set himself on fire, and then a trip to one of the oldest wooden temples in the city. The landmark for where the Buddah set himself on fire as part of a protest was so interesting and we got a full explanation of what happened here before being able to wander around and look at the monument for ourselves. The temple was really pretty to look at too. 

We rounded up the morning by having a group photo infront of the temple. All in all it was such a fun day and I'm so glad my brother thought outside of the box and got me this present. After hearing horror stories about tourists on mopeds I was so nervous to even step foot on one to begin with, but with Xo Tours I can't explain just how safe I felt. The drivers were amazing too and knew the craziness of the roads inside out.

To remember my day even better, I decided to have it filmed for an extra $35. This meant that throughout the whole morning I was followed around by 2 guys from the same company on a moped filming my every move. They then edit the footage and put together the best clips, along with an overlay of music, to make a video of my experience. I apparently get this back within the space of 2 weeks so I keep checking my emails everyday in anticipation! 

So, if you're ever in Ho Chi Minh City and want to properly see the sights, then I would definitely recommend this company to use. They also offer all sorts of different tours including a night tour where you eat your way around the markets in the city!

Book here: XO Tours - Vietnam

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