Blogs from Ho Chi Minh City, Southeast, Vietnam, Asia - page 3

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City March 5th 2014

A day in the city, exploring, as next two days are reserved for trips out and about. We had intended first of all to visit the Reunification Palace which is in the park a little way up from the hotel. A check of the guide book showed it was closed 11am to 1pm and our timing was out so we decided to leave it for another day. A little odd when we headed out in that direction, right along the park where the map showed it to be, we couldn’t see it. The invisible palace. Our first stop was the Cathedral, very French in design of course as it was built during the French colonial period and the same for the magnificent Post Office building, built and decorated in an altogether grand style. A popular tourist ... read more
Sahdy tree lined boulevard in Saigon
first of the Saigon wedding photos of the day - not a real wedding we think
Saigon Cathedral

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City March 4th 2014

Not much to today. Got up, had breakfast, packed our bags and checked out. Realised later we must have left the little camera somewhere – that room had a lot of cupboards and drawers. Not worth asking hotel to post it on as postage probably cost more than camera is worth. May email Nha Trang and Hue hotels to see if they found it when we get back to Jane’s. We hadn’t checked but had expected the airport to be a little inland, back from the sea. nstead we headed south following the coast. Spotted a few luxury style resorts and the road was all laid out with flowers down the centre, for miles, along the way. Drive was about 30 minutes and we were well in time for our flight. Far too well as it ... read more
Airport to Saigon
Airport taxi to Saigon
First experience of Saigon scooters

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 25th 2014

So its time to move on from Cambodia... but i've learnt so much and have to recommend it to anyone that is into a culture that is pretty rich in history. The Gloria Anglor hotel was amazing.. and my guide Pysth also was great. Apparently WWE wrestler John Cena is a popular figurehead here as I was repeatly reffered to by the name from the local people when walking in to a restuarant or bar and having a drink. I took it as a compliment. The temples are worth the hype and the sunrise at Ankor Wat is unparrell to anything i've seen. I recommend taking the 3 day pass ($40).. do the temples in the morning and relax and in the afternoon. it gets hot at 2pm and its easy to get "templed out" and ... read more
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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City February 23rd 2014

Kaylene and I have had an amazing start to our trip round Vietnam - the first day, we joined a morning city tour of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and saw a few of the sights including a temple and huge wholesale market... as well as learnt how to cross the road!? Basically just step onto a busy road, keep walking and the motorbikes go around you .. well that's the theory anyway! On several occasions, a local has taken us by the hand to help us cross!! This city would suffer from terrible gridlock if they had more cars, but with millions of scooters they weave in and out of each other. Major intersections are quite exciting to watch! And then, as it was Kaylene's birthday and a great excuse to treat ourselves, we had ... read more
Saigon by Night
Local Market in Mekong Delta
5 Star Birthday!

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 20th 2014

Tired, but happy, Karen and I finally landed in Saigon on Valentine's evening sans luggage. Sometimes a trip teaches you that wits and an occasional washing of essentials in the bathroom basin are all you need to get by. We caught up with Karlie who had gotten to Saigon the day before. We met Karlie in Chefchaouen, Morooco where, on one cold night, we waxed poetic on warm Saigon and the next thing we knew we were all booking passage to the Orient. We cruised down to Lam's Cafe; Our old favorite restaurant on the main drag of Bui Vien. The paths were crowded with revelers from around the world. The street scene in District 1 now surpasses anything I've seen on Bangkok's Khao San road. Outside cafe tables filled with bright young faces all watching ... read more
Trying to Stay Awake
Karlie, KJ and Truc at Banh Xeo dinner
Card Seller

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 15th 2014

We had just finished a somber walk through the War Remnant's museum - the sky outside was an ominous shade of grey as the staff impatiently ushered us through the entrance gates - the sounds of the traffic seemed more dense than usual in the thick humid air. We had made it about two-thirds of the way back from the museum when the sky finally opened up and furiously pounded the streets below - the moment seemed cinematic almost, though I can't necessarily say why. We sprinted through the park, backtracking across the street to the large Ben Thanh market to seek refuge until the skies might relent. As we wandered through the market we realized how the infatuation we had once felt for all of the tourist items and trinkets had dissipated after more than ... read more
Thi Hoan's Letter
Spraying Agent Orange
Hoan visits a child in the hospital

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City February 13th 2014

Chào! J'ai quitté Phnom Penh et le Cambodge ce matin, direction le Vietnam. Nouveau pays = nouvelle langue, nouvelle monnaie, nouvelle culture. Va encore falloir s'adapter. Le bus ne ressemble pas vraiment à celui qu'on m'a présenté en photo quand j'ai acheté le ticket mais bon, pour 6 heures de route, ça va le faire. Le passage de la frontière se passe sans problème même si on nous a un peu lâché sans trop d'explications. Certaines compagnies de bus ont des guides qui vous accompagnent à la douane et vous disent où aller. Pas grave! J'avais fait mon visa à PP avant de partir (pas de visa à l'arrivée pour le Vietnam contrairement aux pays visités précédemment) et le guide s'est quand même occupé de faire tamponner nos passeports à la sortie du Cambodge. Y avait ... read more

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 12th 2014

Hello from Asia! For those of you who don't know Amy and I are on a month long trip that takes us from Vietnam across Cambodia to Thailand. At this point we just arrived in Ho Chi Minh City after spending a week in and around Hanoi. First thoughts are that HCMC is a much more modern city than Hanoi. This being the first time either of us have been to Asia we've had some adjusting to do. We mostly stuck around the old part of town in Hanoi. Street food is a big part of the locals lives and we dove right in as well. While sitting in a 6" tall plastic chair 2 feet from a hundred motorcycles wizzing by we've eaten pho, steamed buns, grilled meats, spring rolls, traditional sub sandwiches, strange delicious ... read more
Street side Pho
Water puppet show
Kayaking in Ha Long Bay

Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 10th 2014

So for Sam's birthday treat we went on a night time tour of Saigon with xe om tours. 2 young Vietnamese girls picked us up from the hotel and we hopped on the back of their scooters and whizzed off into the traffic, visiting 6 different districts and stopping for various food experiences. I was freakin scared to start as it was 5.30 and so rush hour - Sam was fearless - but it was fab fun, and we all arrived alive at each stop. 14 of us in total, and our personal guide did all the hard work peeling the prawns and winkling the edible stuff out of crabs legs. WE had loads of stuff - goat, frog, scallops and the most hardcore - duck foetus (Sam refused and I've spent today trying not to ... read more
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Goat, which was a bit dull
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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1 February 9th 2014

Hello, lovely friends and family, as well as random strangers with time on their hands! China Southern airline worked very very well for the second year in a row. An hour late leaving Guangzhou on the second leg, which gave us time to correct the naff information re gate number given by Mr Helpful. Through Saigon immigration in record time, as the company we got our VOA letter from had also attached the immigration form, so we had filled this in in advance, saving having to queue twice. Not that there was a queue. There wasn't! Nor was the taxi rank very busy, so we located the Vinasun man and got into a legit taxi who hardly overcharged us at all - just went dead slow in a few back streets to make the meter run ... read more
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