It's been a while since that Hanoi backpacking trip in 2011. It was a “说走就走” kind of traveling as Misses Bear scoured the SIA deals and queried the group on who wanted to go Bangkok. I replied never while the other demurred due to their own conflicting travel plans. So Miss Bear counter-proposed Ho Chi Minh and I said sure, let's go. It was a really good thing that I hate to go Thailand because of the bombs that went off in Bangkok last week (just a few days before we flew to Ho Chi Minh).
So it was a short 4 day 3 night trip. We all stated our must-dos and our deal-breakers for the trip, which was a wise thing to do, given our very varied interests and thinking. They wanted the Cuchi tunnels and Ben Thanh market, whereas I was obsessed with Pet Shop bags and Mekong Delta (decided against making new cushion covers and tailoring this time *lol*). In the end, we did both side trips and a massive load of shopping. And the best part of it all, we didn't kill each other, except maybe on the last day where we fought over chocolate ice-cream. Nobody stands between me and my Fanny (omg, the name) ice-cream. LoL.
Cuchi was kind of eerie, and its tunnels were claustrophobic. It made my hair stand as badly as Dachau did. I much preferred the Mekong Delta tour where we covered the predictable tourist route of boat -> rowboat -> horse carriage -> boat amidst visiting a bee farm, and coconut candy factory. And despite the dire prediction by the tour guide, it turned out that my tummy was strong enough to withstand the dirty river water used to make their potong coconut ice-cream.
Ho Chi Minh is more my cup of tea than Hanoi was, but I still think that Halong Bay is the best part that I have seen of Vietnam till date.