It was all about not missing out on chances when it came to Pranav Pingle’s holiday in Vietnam.
This was a journey filled with cuisines that never ceased to delight, sights that repeatedly fascinated, and destinations that made him and his companions look forward to their next visit. This week,
You & I sneaks a peek at the highlights of a marvellous holiday that included the best of Ho Chi Minh City, Ben Tre of Mekong Delta, and the Phu Quoc Islands.
“Vietnam should definitely be on the top of everyone’s travel list,” said Pranav, filmmaker and founder at Mirage Media. He reiterated his statement by saying that it is one of the simplest decisions a traveller can make. The trip lasted two weeks, and Pranav and his friends made the choice to visit this particular destination when they were already headed towards Bangkok for a friend’s wedding.
“With its dramatic landscapes, fascinating history, epic food, and pulsating energy, Vietnam certainly succeeded in electrifying all of our senses,” shared Pranav. While it was
always Cambodia and Thailand as their go-to option, this time they made the perfect choice to explore the South of Vietnam along with the untouched islands of Phu Quoc, which they had read up on quite a bit.
As many of Vietnam’s attractions are based around its natural beauty, Pranav and his friends made sure to not miss out on the colonial history which was genuinely magnificent.
“Buildings that were built decades ago were still kept intact and were definitely worth being visited,” he said. Diving right into tourist mode in Ho Chi Minh City, Pranav and his friends did not miss the chance to traverse through and experience the city on its precarious yet infamous mopeds. “Here we visited most of the museums, which is something we always do when we are travelling, as this allows us to learn more about the history of the place,” explained Pranav. The group also visited a number of temples and explored the local markets, which offer some of the most amazing street food in the world.
Vietnam is a contender for having some of the best street food in the world, and so Pranav felt there was no way he could leave the country without trying at least a majority of their
local food options. “We were able to find baguettes in almost every nook and corner of the markets. However, a must-try for every foodie was the Saigon beer with a side of seafood,” he reminisced.
Exploring this delicious topic further, he also shared that their local dish is called pho, which is basically a beef noodle soup. One also has the option of having the pho with seafood
instead. Though Pranav’s favourite was the one with beef, followed by the local flan for dessert.
Just as the majority of the Indian nation has a soft corner for a hot cup of chai, Pranav and his friends were able to experience what was by far one of the best cafés which offered a drink which was basically coffee with Milkmaid. Looking back on this trip, Pranav remembered how he and his friends would start their days with at least two cups of this drink. By the time the sun set, they would easily have polished off around six or seven cups of coffee. Moreover it was easier for us to indulge in this drink as we found it everywhere! he exclaimed.
Apart from exploring and experiencing the food, temples and museums, Pranav and his friends were also impressed with the Mekong Delta, which had the most beautiful and pristine beaches, fascinating enough to take one back in time. “The untouched beaches at Phu Quoc were truly worth visiting. And I would definitely recommend scuba diving as well as trekking
to the waterfalls, as they truly made for thrilling experiences,” said Pranav.
“As we wound up our trip, which we made a fortnight ahead of the wedding celebrations, I couldn’t help but wish for more time that we could’ve spent at Phu Quoc and experiencing more street food,” he said. “That was certainly the highlight of the trip for me,” he added. When we asked about the weather, Pranav shared that the moment one lands in Vietnam, weather is one factor that doesn’t matter, as the city and sights are too beautiful to think about anything else. “While the seafood was perfect, with the mussels, snails, and pho as my favourite, it’s the islands and the varied cuisines for which I would eagerly re-visit Vietnam,” declared Pranav. – as told to Roshni