Being in South-East Asia, it is a must to hop to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). From Jakarta, it takes less than one day to get there.
Saigon is still greatly influenced by the French colonial architecture and gastronomy. The eclectic hybrid of Vietnamese and French cultures beautifully adapted to each other through its chaotic streets and slums, the luxurious shops and the ancient landmarks.
My goals for the next 5 days were to try some cafés, visit Buddhist temples, sightseeing and stuffing my stomach with good food. I was lucky enough to have my cousin take care of my hectic schedule from Visa appointments to hospital's checkups on top of all the places that we wanted to go see.
Viêtnam has one of the best food in my opinion because of the variety of vegetables, fruits and the combination of flavors. Vietnamese cuisine can be very creative and, let's just say, out of our comfort zone.
Café culture is hitting every part of the globe and Saigon is no exception. Small local cafés are popping up in various districts and offer different themes and concepts for the coffee, food and setting. For example, we went to De Bear coffee shop where you can print an edible picture on your coffee. You choose any photos on your phone and they will print on the coffee's foam.
Saigon is so vast and the cityscape will not stop growing for the next decades. Nighttime is my favorite time to go for a ride because of the chill air and the great sight the lights are showing us from afar.
Outside the city, we can found magnificient temples and pagodas. I had the chance to visit Buu Long Temple in district 9. The thai-inspired architecture was breathtaking. The ornementations are so detailed, yet perfectly carved into the stones.