Published: June 12th 2012May 18th 2012
What better a way to celebrate turning 21 (again!) than a weekend in the Grand Hotel
. We found a resonable deal and decided to tie it in with a trip to the Saigon Opera House too.
Russ' birthday was on the Friday and his students had found out. One of them was also celebrating her birthday so a big birthday cake arrived which was quite a surprise. More of a surprise was seeing the way that 13 students can demolish said cake with teaspoons in a matter of minutes!
After work we headed into the city and were relaxing in the luxury of our room with a wonderful view of the Bitexco Tower. Dinner was a bit of a splurge too! We had had our eyes on El Gaucho
, an Argentine steak restaurant, for quite some time but needed an occasion to justify the expense. It was amazing and, to our surprise, we were lucky to get in as it was so busy. Empenadas, chorizo sausages, beautifully cooked steak and a great bottle of Malbec were soon devoured and all for, ahem, one hundred US dollars!!! In Vietnam that is an absolute fortune to spend on a meal.
We chilled out for the weekend and spent as much time as possible by the pool. The wet season has just arrived so you have to make the most of any sunshine you get now. We did have to make a quick trip out to the airport though as we had managed to leave both of our fleece jackets on the plane! Luckily we had contacted them and were expected.
On the Sunday friends from work arrived in the city and all met up at Baba's Kitchen
for some of their wonderful Indian cuisine. From there we went to the Opera House where we were entertained by the eclectic mix of Black Voices
. The ex-pat crowd really enjoyed the show but I think the Vietnamese jury were very much out!
And that was it! A weekend gone - just like that - in a flash of lightning and a few heavy downpours!!
There are more photos below