Everything you’ve read, watched and learned about Vietnam, put it in the back of your mind. This vibrant, welcoming city will catch you off guard if you aren’t aware of its transformation.

As I entered this fast-paced city the energy and love for one another was tangible. People take care of people. They give others rides. Jobs are available to people who don’t qualify for typical jobs. I found the Vietnamese people were incredibly kind and overwhelmingly forgiving. Of the many Asian countries I’ve visited the most profound experiences were here, in Vietnam.

Must-See list

War Remnants Museum– This is a must-see if you’re in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I’m not a museum person and I highly recommend this to anyone who visits. Start your self-guided tour on the top level and work your way down as the war progresses. This museum tells a story you won’t soon forget. Children and adults sell handmade items throughout the museum. I bought some bookmarks as a small gesture to help pay for their healthcare. I learned during the tour that the effects of Agent Orange/Purple are passed down by generation.

Jewelry and traditional Vietnamese hats are near the entrance of the museum and are also help pay for medical care. I bought a necklace and apologized, more tearful than I anticipated, about what their country had gone through. The woman said, “That is in the past, today we focus on the present and the future, and today we are friends.” Wow, what an amazing act of forgiveness for people who have been through so much.

Necklaces from Vietnam Memorial Museum
Practicing for dining in the dark at Noir
Noir restaurant


Noir: Dining in the dark– Make a reservation before visiting Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam! This dinner was one of the most enlightening experiences of my life. Thank you Erin for the recommendation. Upon arrival you’ll practice what it will be like eating in the dark by trying to solve puzzles blindfolded. You’ll be escorted to your seats by putting your hand on top of the waiter/waitresses shoulders. The restaurant hires people who are both blind and deaf to serve and make the meals. Disability insurance isn’t common and this restaurant provides the means to make a living. I strongly encourage anyone looking for an out-of-the-box experience to make a reservation. I learned more about the person sitting across from me (my travel buddy Joanna!) than I ever would have ever imagined. Support people while eating a delicious meal!

Boat Cruise

Kissing Rocks of Halong Bay, North Vietnam- Many people believe Vietnam is best seen from the water and I have to agree. Take a boat cruise to soak up the beauty of the landscape. We witnessed the famous kissing rocks and took a tour of one of the caves people hid in many, many years ago. Of note, the Kissing Rocks can only be seen by boat therefore I highly recommend taking a boat cruise!