Ho Chi Minh City Diaries | Outlanderly

HCMC January 27th 2016 12.15am


Feeling sluggish, hungry and tired, arriving in HCM at 11 pm will make you feel that way. Joetographer and I were already on a mission to find a decent pho restaurant. The street outside our hotel had a few street eateries open, not that it looked inviting or anything. Eye scanning the street for anything that looked like a clean restaurant,  I swear I saw something dark move under the red dingy plastic chair of the Pho eatery in front of us. 

Street food is quite a thing in Vietnam. It’s delicious and so varied. Hygiene is another thing that makes me think twice about eating it. I cannot even count the number of times I got stomach upset eating Bun Cha. 

We walked for ten minutes wishing to find KFC or MC Donalds, almost every street looked the same. Locals were still sipping coffee past midnight and vendors were sleeping on hammocks attached to the road lamps.

We eventually found a string of restaurants that looked pretty busy for this time of night, and surely meant they served good food. The restaurants we sat in didn’t look like a restaurant, more like a tent with corrugated metal as walls.


I’m not a food snob, but I couldn’t help notice how dirty everything looked. Under the tables it seemed like a good hangout place for small rodents: there were chicken bones, vegetables and soup spillages scattered everywhere. I even feared watching how my food was being prepared.  Joetographer didn’t mind at all, in fact, he’s eaten from tables where big ants crawled in restaurants in India.

The broth smelled rich and the noodles were a soft silky texture. It wasn’t exactly appetizing nor a good tasting soup. It was already 12.15 am and I thought I’ll settle for anything than starve. 

HCMC January 28th 2016



Hue Walking Street is a usual spot for feeding birds. I couldn’t help scare off the birds by running towards them and the lady in the conical hat wasn’t pleased.

I love wandering around Hue Walking Street. The 60m pedestrian strip is a cool place to watch locals sing, dance and ride hoverboards. And they more than compensate for the blandness of the physical space.

What keeps me here longer is The People’s Committee Building, a well-preserved French colonial architecture in a spacious garden landscape. It features embossed statues of animals and people, intricate bas-reliefs on the walls, as well as a statue of Ho Chi Minh in front of the main building. 


HCMC January 29th 2016

It was only 11 am and I was sweating at 32 degrees. I was hoping it wouldn’t be scorching as Joetographer and I were scheduled for a fashion photoshoot. Starting at the Central Post office in district 1, we were fortunate enough to not see eager crowds. 


As soon as I stepped out of my hotel, my carefully styled hair just went flat. The intense humidity wouldn’t give my curled hair a chance. 

One of the best ways to keep cool in Ho Chi Minh’s torturous weather is by sitting at an eatery or drink shop. It was around lunchtime and I was ready to change into my second outfit. There were no decent bathrooms in any of these restaurants, only squatting cubicles. Luckily for me, the Central Post Office is surrounded by luxury hotels and stores. 

Going to HCMC and need travel tips? Why not check out the posts below.


hcmc expat guide




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