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2017 - Vietnam & Taiwan (Part 1 - Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon)

To the southern part of Vietnam.

View 2017 Vietnam & Taiwan on nzhamsta's travel map.

Thursday 13 April

An evening flight on China Airlines from Auckland to Saigon via Sydney and Taipei.

Friday 14 April

Arrived on time, sailed through customs and immigration (visa not required) and caught a taxi to the hotel. As long as you get the proper taxis (Mai Linh are amongst the best), you will not get stung and will pay the correct amount.

After lunch a walk around the area.

A normal street in HCMC.

I managed to find the main bar and restaurant area for dinner. Beef stew and cold Saigon Green.

Quite true, especially on holiday.

The trip sponsor (very tasty at 29000 dong or less than $2 per bottle).

A banh mi seller.

I need to be quite careful with the amount of beer drunk as the walk back to the hotel crossed two main roads and several smaller ones. Not wise after a few as a lot of the bikes do not have lights.

Saturday 15 April

After a good breakfast at the hotel I walked up to the main square (Nguyen Hue Square). This is a large pedestrian area with bars and restaurants lining both sides.

Nguyen Hue Square in the centre of HCMC

The People's Committee Hall.

The People's Committee Hall.

Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969)

The famous Rex Hotel.

After lunch I joined a city tour. First stop was the War Remnants Museum. This houses various bits of captured American equipment and fairly strong displays of the American War (as the Vietnamese call it).

The War Remnants Museum.

A captured Northrop F5A fighter jet.

More captured American equipment.

The second stop was the Independence Palace (or Reunification Palace). This was the office of the South Vietnamese President until its capture in 1975.

The Independence Palace / Reunification Palace.

The park outside the Independence Palace.]

A representation of the tanks (T54) that smashed though the gate on 30 April 1975.

The third stop was the Central Post Office and Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, both built by the French in the late 1800s.

The Central Post Office.

Uncle Ho overseeing the workings of the Central Post Office.

Notre-Dame Basilica Cathedral.

The final stop was the Jade Emperor Pagoda.

The Jade Emperor Pagoda.

The same bar and restaurant for dinner (and careful walk home).

Sunday 16 April

A very hot day.

Walked up to Nguyen Hue Square for lunch. Found a very nice food court place that did chicken and rice.

The Ben Thanh market is a huge covered market in the city centre. It looks like you can buy just about anything you like there. No hassle, just lots of hustle and bustle as locals and tourists alike trying to find what they want or need.

Inside Ben Thanh market.

Urban jungle?

The Fine Arts Museum.

Dinner was at a different restaurant that was tucked away on a side street. Only 15000 dong (less than $1) for the same beer. That is a problem in that you think the first place is ripping you off, but then you realise that the same beer at home would be $5-$9 depending your bar of choice.

Hotel review
Ben Thanh Boutique Hotel. It is in a back street not far from the market of the same name and the main bar / restaurant area. Huge room, decent breakfast and was probably ripped off for the tours and the bus to Can Tho.

Posted by nzhamsta 12:00 Archived in Vietnam

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