One of the best things about living in Guangzhou is that the rest of Asia is right on our doorstep. A couple of weeks ago was the Dragon Boat festival, so we took advantage of the long weekend and took the girls to one of our favourite cities – Ho Chi Minh City.
This was my third trip there, but the first time visiting with the girls. It’s just over a two hour flight, which makes it super convenient and ideal for a short trip for us.
Rather than choosing a hotel this time, we stayed at Riverside apartments in district 2. It was perfect – plenty of room for all of us, and the kids adored the pool. There was a playground, a small shop which was very handy, and shuttle buses and a shuttle boat along the river. There were always taxis available which made getting around very easy. We weren’t all that familiar with district 2, but it had a great feel with loads of fabulous restaurants and cafes nearby.
Living in China with high rise buildings all around us, the beautiful French architecture and boulevards were a welcome change. We visited the main areas of district one, including Ben Thanh Market. The kids didn’t really enjoy our visit there, the stall holders kept touching them and grabbing their shoulders, and Anna especially found it quite harrowing. The kids enjoyed shopping much more in the nearby Saigon Square markets.
Of course the food was amazing, so fresh and delicious. I’ve really missed Vietnamese food since moving to China – I took for granted what fantastic Vietnamese restaurants we have in Melbourne.
One of our favourite activities we did with the kids was to visit the Artinus 3D museum. We went there on a recommendation from a friend, and we were blown away! On every wall there was these 3D interactive murals, with a mark showing where to stand to take photos to capture the optical illusion. We got some amazing shots – here is a small selection!
I posted these on facebook and my uncle asked if I had enough pictures to make a calendar…um yes, great idea! Guess what the grandparents will be getting for Christmas this year!
Artinus is ideal for kids about 4 and up – they do need to be able to follow some simple instructions to make the pictures look great. Older kids and teenagers particularly would love this place, for both taking fun photos and posing in shots.
We had such a great weekend and wanted to stay longer. Next time we’ll definitely head out of HCMC and check out the Mekong Delta and surrounds.