Vietnam Day 1 - Saigon

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Asia » Vietnam » Southeast » Ho Chi Minh City » District 1
November 1st 2014
Published: February 20th 2016
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My first experience with Vietnam was in the customs hall. My old passport photo is me with brunette hair however I have dyed it now and it's blonde. I guess the Vietnamese customs people haven't seen blonde hair dye because he was unsure that it was me in the photo. It took me a while to convince him that the passport was mine, but it didn't help that he didn't speak English and I don't speak Vietnamese.

My next experience was my missing luggage, as it hadn't made the flight from KL to Saigon. I had to report it missing to the lost luggage counter, where I had to fill in some forms and describe my bag and then hope that it would make it to my hotel. They gave me a reference number and I went to find my driver.

The transfer to my hotel was easy as a driver was included in my package.

I stayed at the Saigon Signature hotel and would stay there again because they gave me an upgrade, even if the bed was as hard as a rock!

The hotel staff would keep an eye out for my luggage whilst I walked around the city for the afternoon.

Some of the places I visited included:

*Reunification Palace forecourt*Notre Dame Cathedral*Saigon Post Office

By this time it was mid afternoon and stinking hot. I had forgotten to put a change of clothes in my carry-on (never do that again) so I was in clothing suitable for a cold plane, not a humid tropical city! I headed back to my hotel to see if my bag had arrived and to have a bit of a siesta. Unfortunately when I got to the hotel, by bag still wasn't there.

After my sleep and still missing a bag, I decided I should probably at least buy some clothes for the following day, in case my bag didn't arrive that night. I headed off to the Ben Thanh Markets to see what I could find. Personally I hate haggling in markets (because I'm no good at it), so I shopped around the outsides where everything has a price tag. I probably paid too much, but that would have happened anyway. I also had my dinner at the markets and it was some Vietnamese soup of some kind that I hadn't seen before. I also dropped into Saigon Centre to get some more emergency clothing and toiletries.

I headed back to my hotel and had a shower. Just as I got out of the shower, there was a knock at the door - it was one of the hotel staff with my bag! Yay! I did sleep well that night.

(Remember to keep scrolling for more photos!)

Additional photos below
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Saigon - Day 1 - Inside the Central Post OfficeSaigon - Day 1 - Inside the Central Post Office
Saigon - Day 1 - Inside the Central Post Office

Note the portrait of Ho Chi Minh on the back wall

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