How to Cross the Street in Ho Chi Minh City
When our clients ask for a destination that is exotic, challenging, and an escape from familiarity, Vietnam always jumps up to the top of our list. The only thing we love more than Vietnams natural beauty and rich culture is sharing it with our clients.
You just can’t visit Vietnam without spending some time in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, where you can explore underground tunnels and zip around in Vespas. We also have two essential tips for getting across the street in one piece.
Ho Chi Minh City offers plenty of ways to explore the fascinating history and geography of Vietnam. In fact, the Cu Chi tunnels offer the perfect opportunity to do both at the same time. A huge strategic advantage during the Vietnam War, the underground Cu Chi tunnel system has been widened to accommodate visitors who don’t enjoy feeling claustrophobic.
After learning about the significance of the tunnels as they meander through them, guests can sit down for an authentic military-style dinner within a command center. Because this is an opportunity to literally get a taste of history, the food is not gourmet. It’s mostly rice, which is just about all the Vietnamese soldiers had to survive in the harsh conditions within the tunnels.
An authentic introduction to the aboveground city life of Ho Chi Minh is via the peoples’ favorite mode of transport: the scooter. It’s especially fun to ride Vespas, which have recently become a status symbol among the Vietnamese.
The streets of Ho Chi Minh City are flush with around three million scooters, so here are two things visitors have to learn to negotiate these “motos.”
Don’t make eye contact with the drivers. It can create a deer-in-the-headlights effect. The deer tends to lose in that situation.
Move with confidence. I’ll never forget a metaphor that a local used when describing how to get across a busy street. He said to be like a stone rolling across a river. While I’ve never seen a stone roll across a river, I immediately knew what he meant, and it works.
We at GMS encourage you to explore Ho Chi Minh and everything else that Vietnam has to offer. We’ll be posting more insider tips about this enchanting country in the weeks to come.