Let's take a look at Saigon


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Wandering in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

After settling in to our room at the Caravelle Hotel we thought we would set off to find some lunch. By then It was rather late for lunch and we were quite hungry. Cruiseco had no planned excursions for us in the afternoon - it was free time.

We got a city centre map from the hotel reception and set off. The first place we found was the Hard Rock Cafe. It was hardly Vietnamese cuisine but we were ready to eat.

We both ordered water and a chicken stir fry meal. When the water arrived we noticed it was not n a bottle so we wondered if it was safe to drink. We asked a couple of locals who spoke English at the table next to us and they assured us it would be.

The meal was enormous and delicious and only cost 150,000 dong each which is about $9 AUD. I'm sure we could have eaten cheaper somewhere else that was more traditional but we were happy to eat there.


Lunch at the Hard Rock CafeLunch at the Hard Rock Cafe
Post Office building in Ho Chi Minh CityWe wandered past and into the historic old post office



Church in central Ho Chi Minh CityBeautiful Notre Dame Cathedral near the post office

We had read somewhere about a building with a very high tower that had a viewing platform at the top of it so we set off to find it. We thought our map was serving us well but sadly we should have asked for the official name of the building and got proper directions from the hotel reception. As it was, we walked miles in the totally wrong direction. We even zoomed up in elevators of some of the tallest buildings we came across but there were no viewing areas. How silly could two people be - just heading off randomly in a huge city expecting to find a building which we didn't even know the name of. When I look back now I can't believe the pair of us could have been so daft.

Whilst we were out and about we came across a Singapore Airlines building so we went in and confirmed our plane seats home. It was a relief to cool off for a few minutes in the air conditioned building.

From there it was a long walk back to the hotel. At one stage we realized we had passed the Singapore Airlines building previously so we had probably been walking around in circles part of the time.

On the walk back to the hotel we went back past the famous post office building. This time at the front of it was a man selling donuts on a huge tray which he balanced on his head. We were intrigued. We didn't want to buy any donuts but we wanted a photo of the sight before us. It was agreed between us and the donut seller that $3 USD could secure us a photo of him with the donuts in situ atop of his head. That done, the donut seller thought it would be a good idea if I took a photo of Ian with the donuts balanced on top of HIS head. Even better. I can't imagine why the seller thought he needed to hang on to the tray himself, ha ha!



Ian balncing the donuts on his headIan and the donuts


It wasn't too far from the post office building back to the Hotel Caravelle. It was so good to slip off our shoes at the hotel and rest up for a while.

Ho Chi Minh City - Things To See And Do

Check out the major tourist attractions - Ho Chi Minh City attractions

Motor bikes galore in SaigonMotorbikes abound in ho Chi Minh City


Building in Saigon Greenery on display in this building



City centre in Ho Chi Minh City

Later on after we had cooled off and revived ourselves with a few cups of tea we ventured out of the hotel again. We came across a couple of fellow travellers from the boat. They commented on a cheap market building not too far away that they had bought things from so we decided to check it out on our walk. It was called Lucky Plaza and apparently had lots of steps at the front of the building.

We found Lucky Plaza easy enough. Several little shops in there had snow globes which our daughter collects so we went from one to another getting prices and seeing which one looked the nicest globe. We finally haggled and got one for 195,000 Dong. Starting prices at some of the stalls were 895,000 Dong so haggling was definitely the way to go. Lucky Plaza had a little supermarket up on the top floor which we thought would be useful.

After going to Lucky Plaza we strolled around just looking at things. We went down as far as the river and back.

After our rather large and late lunch we really didn't think we wanted a big dinner that night so on the way back from our walk we went back in to the Lucky Plaza supermarket and bought ourselves some bread rolls, cheese and milk etc and headed back to the hotel. I think we were totally knackered from our long walk earlier in the afternoon.

We had showers early, sat around in our pj's and veged out for a while having our cheese rolls later on in the evening. We tried our nashi pears that were complimentary in our room. Ian ate even less than me. He wasn't feeling quite 100%. A good night's sleep was needed.



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