This was my first time visiting my birth country of Vietnam since I immigrated to Washington, D.C., and I used @TripAdvisor to plan the entire visit to Ho Chi Minh City – from choosing my hotel, restaurants, excursions, and even a massage appointment.
Great reviews on the app led us to a fun adventure in the Mekong Delta river area. On our group excursion I ran into an older couple that happened to be on the same @Azamaravoyages cruise the week before. When they asked for some restaurant recommendations around Ho Chi Minh City, I shared my find of a vegetarian restaurant that was highly rated and only a few blocks from our hotel. We had a delicious lunch at Hum Vegetarian and actually stayed there for another hour or so to enjoy the music, Zen Garden-like ambiance, and free Wi-Fi.
The older couple was tired of eating at hotels, so I showed them a different page on my TripAdvisor app, where I had a map of all “saved” favorite restaurant spots near the hotel. That made it very easy to earmark good meals wherever we went walking in the city. By following the digital breadcrumbs of previous explorers it made “eating half the fun.” Another couple overheard our conversation and chimed in, “Yes, we love the feature showing the best restaurants nearby.”
I also used the app in other ports of call on the cruise. It’s no secret that I simply love good Chinese dim sum. And it was certainly an adventure tracking down the best place for dim sum in Hong Kong. We used the integrated mapping feature to guide our taxi driver to the exact location. Since the driver spoke no English, this was essential to finding the restaurant, located about 2 miles away from the hotel. Once at Tim Ho Wan, The Dim Sum Specialists, we found a line of 30 locals waiting outside for a table in the crowded restaurant … a good omen for great food is a long line of locals. No surprise that the restaurant proudly displays their TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence right on the front door. The most memorable part of this experience was the BBQ pork buns – a nicely crisp and sugary outside, filled with savory BBQ pork on the inside. Delicious. I could eat 10 more right now!
One of our most memorable stops in Hong Kong is rated #1 on the app’s Things To Do in Hong Kong, which is Victoria Harbour at sunset to watch the light show along the skyline. We had a great time enjoying the cool evening weather, photographing the skyline as the buildings came to life while sampan boats floated past.
With the convenient mobile app form, the whole world is in the palm of my hand and always in my heart. True, getting there is half the fun, but with my @TripAdvisor mobile app, it’s twice as much fun.
Thank you for keeping me company on my journey in Asia.