This week we’re treated to a trip report from the heart of South East Asia. After being blown away on their first trip, our member puppysparkes recently returned to Vietnam and Cambodia for a new adventure.

The trip got off to a fantastic start on arrival into Ho Chi Minh City. As an Accor Le Club Platinum member, a triple upgrade to the “Signature Suite” was on the cards! This upgrade was just the first of many…

I booked a deluxe room at the Pullman Saigon… We were escorted to the executive lounge and it was explained along the way that platinum members are upgraded to the next available room type. That moment was like hearing the boarding scanner beep and being asked to step to the side for a J boarding pass. While a next room upgrade is the norm we were triple upgraded to the Signature suite!

Ho Chi Minh City has a lot to offer, and one of the best ways to get in amongst the action is to simply explore by foot. In one day, our member managed to visit attractions including the Ben Than markets, Notre Dame Cathedral, opera house and central post office. Our member even discovered a nifty trick to enjoy the views from Saigon’s tallest building for a fraction of the regular price.

Vietnam is perfect for shoppers looking to bag a few bargains. The markets are packed with almost anything you could imagine, and the salespeople are only too eager to please.

The thing with a tourist market is that everyone has your size or colour. ‘What you looking for madam, I help you’ ‘Sir Sir your shirt, I have for you’. In the end it was two nil to me. Nike dry fit mens tops cost roughly 8AUD in Siagon. The recommended retail price in Australia is 80AUD (minimum).

Vietnam is rich in culture, but it’s also a country with a checkered history. The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, while confronting, is definitely worth a visit. But simply getting there proved an interesting exercise for our member. As a tourist in a foreign country, it is not uncommon to see a few touts. But one sale didn’t go exactly to plan for this “coconut guy”!

On our way to the war museum a fellow (coconut guy) offered us some helpful directions. Before I knew it he handed me a coconut. Suddenly we heard yelling and a man appeared on a motor bike. Coconut guy hotfooted it across the busy street with his bundle while the man on the motor bike continued to yell at him. I finished the coconut drink and we continued on to the war museum. Coconut guy reappeared and told me motorbike guy was a police officer. I handed him 10000 dong, he told me the coconut was 50000 dong. I had the feeling that if I had’ve handed him 50000 to begin with he would have asked for 100000, hence the police officer.

The trip continued northwards to Hanoi where the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, delicious street food and much, more awaited. With other stops including Nha Trang, Phu Quoc and Cambodia’s Siem Reap, what else will our member get up to?

Follow the trip report HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]