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Knowing Yogyakarta Indonesia

Most Filipino travelers would go to nearby countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau (Visa free country) but very few would go to Indonesia. Most Filipinos would only know Bali and Jakarta but little did we know that Indonesia has so much to offer for all types of travelers.
In July 2016, I got invited by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia together with 50+ other South East Asian bloggers and influencers to travel around Indonesia for 12 days. I extended my trip to Jakarta for 3 days and was not able to do so much because of the traffic jam. Few from our batch went to Yogyakarta and seeing their amazing photos made me want and eager to go back to Indonesia and visit Yogyakarta.
Luckily Last January 2018, I was able to go back in Indonesia, had a 4-day trip to Jakarta with AirAsia and finally extended my trip for another 4 days just to see the wonders of Yogyakarta. I always wanted to visit temples and palaces in this region and finally, I did. Let me share you where we s…

Quick Ho Chi Minh trip x Ibis Saigon Airport Hotel


Saigon or Ho Chi Minh is the largest and most populated city in Vietnam. It was colonized by French during 1950's to 1970's. Over the years, you can still see old buildings and structures that have a Dutch and French style of designs and one of this is Saigon Central Post Office. 


We only had 1 whole day to see Saigon and its tourist spot before heading back home to the Philippines as our itinerary during our 2-week South East Asia/Indochina trip. We didn't expect that we will arrive Vietnam from Phnom Phen at very late evening. We did not expect that Saigon has a terrible traffic problem just like in Manila, Philippines. From Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh (via Giant Ibis Bus), it took us more than 7 hours to get to Saigon. Because of heavy traffic in the metro. 

We booked our bus ticket online via www.12go.asia and our bus ticket costs around 1,000 PHP / 20 USD (one-way). From Giant Ibis Bus Station in Ho Chi Minh, we had a slight problem on changing our USD from Cambodia since we all had old USD and we had a hard time exchanging it to local currency. At the bus station, there is 2-3 Money Exchange shop. After almost 30minutes on looking for a shop to exchange our money and hailing cabs, we're able to get to our hotel - Ibis Saigon Airport Hotel. 

TIP:

Buy a local sim if you are staying in a country 3 days or more if not make sure you rent a pocket wifi router so you can always go online, book a UBER or check maps. 


View from our room


Twin Bed 

My travel buddy/college friend and I stayed in a Standard Deluxe twin bedroom, with cable LED tv, coffee area, en-suite bathroom (small) with complete toiletries. As of today, Ibis Saigon Airport Hotel is the most affordable hotel closest the Ho Chi Minh International Airport, approximately 3-5 minute drive from the hotel. 

The hotel lobby can accommodate guests especially during high season, have enough lounge chairs and the BEST part, Starbucks is inside the hotel, just in the lobby. Open from morning to 1am. Also, just beside the hotel is a shopping mall. We had a lunch and early dinner at the food station/food court at the mall and we only spend about less than 200 PHP for a meal.



Ibis Saigon Airport Hotel Pool - overlooking the airport.  




Ibis Saigon Hotel lobby


The following day just right after our breakfast, we book a UBER to get us to downtown and see the famous tourist spots in Saigon. Our first stop is the Palace but unfortunately, it was closed when we get there so instead we walk across the park, take tons of photos and walk across the street to get to the Cathedral. The church is closed so I'm not able to pray and light a candle. 





Across the Cathedral is the Saigon Central Office. You can buy gifts/pasalubong here and again, take tons of photos. Many tourists come here so expect a flock of tourist any time of the year. 





Outside the Cathedral


Inside the Post Office.

Travel Budget: 300 - 500 PHP/day in Vietnam is good. You can eat a budget lunch, dinner, and snacks on that budget plus your fare. 
Days to stay: In Saigon, you may want to stay 3-5 days so you can see all the nice places in the city. Since the metro has a terrible traffic, 2 days is not enough. 

All places that we went are all FREE/No Entrance fee. I would probably go back in Saigon and see other tourist spots here esp their Palace and Museums. We always book via UBER whenever we go so we're able to spend more than our original budget for every country we visit. 

Quick Ho Chi Minh trip x Ibis Saigon Airport Hotel

Comments

  1. I am looking forward to visiting Saigon and Ho Chi Minhi, I loved your blog, detailed with all the history and your take on the places, It is refreshing to get a different prospective. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Yogita. I hope to be back in Saigon and explore the city for at least 3 to 5 days

      Delete
  2. When I read the title of your article and the introduction, my first thought was immediately "that's not enough time, my dear..." Funny that you came to the same conclusion in the end ;-) Yes, Saigon's traffic is crazy, with all the scooters everywhere, never seen anything as crazy. Well, maybe Hanoi, but no - not even Hanoi. I found it very worthwhile to pay a visit to the War Remnants Museum. Shocking war truths are told there and it is worth spending a few hours there, even if afterwards you don't wanna go partying anymore, as it's very depressing. Moreover, I can recommend a local food tour (I love Vietnamese Food!) and enjoyed the one organized by "Back of the Bike"-Tours. No worries, they drove very responsible and safely! Cheers, Dennis

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was terrified to how much scooters are everywhere and nobody seems to follow the traffic lights so its even more dangerous for people crossing the street

      Delete
    2. I plan on visiting Hanoi next year to see the war museum.

      Delete
  3. The Cathedral and the Post Office are good examples of the kind of architecture Saigon has. That is one aspect I always go looking for, in my travels. How was the food?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. food is great and its cheap even if you eat in a air conditioned restaurant. we have not triwd the local streetfood bec its literally in the street where all the smoke coming out from the cars are all exposing the food from pollution

      Delete
  4. Of all the things, I love your random snaps from across the streets of Ho Chin Minh the most. They capture the essence of the place so well. Looks like you got a good deal for visiting the city, and you really enjoyed your time there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have been dying to go to Vietnam, couldn't make it when I was in SEA 3 years ago. But I hope I can make it there, Saigon and whole country sounds a fun place to be at

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've never been to Saigon before, but after looking at these stunning pictures, I really want to go! seems like a perfect place for some street photography

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looks like a great place. I especially love the pool. I have never been to Saigon but would to visit someday. Hopefully I get to stay more than just a day or two.

    ReplyDelete

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