Saturday, 29 January 2011

SAIGON Jnaurary 2011

On Friday the 28th of January we boarded the hotel bus and were taken to Danang Airport to fly to Ho Chi Min City. We checked into a hotel just across the street from the Ben Thanh Market in central Saigon. It was small, no window, awful breakfast and quite expensive so we moved up the road to Ha My Hotel. 120 LyTu Trong Street, District 1, Tel +84 8 38233981. Email; It was a very good clean hotel and we had nice rooms on the front overlooking the street and good breakfast all for $US34 per night including in room computer and internet and air-conditioning. This was the norm for hotels throughout Vietnam in this price range.. There were plenty of wireless hot spots every where we traveled.
The flower sellers were packed into every vacant median strip.

TET or the Vietnamese equivalent of Chinese New Year was about to start so the streets were swarming with a mind boggling mass of produce and stuff!. Everything was on a motorbike or a street cart. The flower sellers are endemic at this time of year and numerous bikes with really large potted cumquats were very common. The huge main street islands were a mass of flowers of every colour and description from dragon fruit display to orchids and sunflowers. Chrysanthemum was very common and the overall effect mind blowing!

Our first tourist destination was the War Remnants Museum, which I suppose every tourist to Saigon visits. It is high impact macabre and graphic! You certainly don’t leave there in any doubt as to the extent of damage to human bodies and appalling and grotesque nature and carnage of war!
Lovely shop fronts abound.

Next was the visit to the Cu Chi Tunnel complex several hours out of town by bus. I suppose one must do it. However get a car and driver and do a few detours. Its packed in those busses and very uncomfortable!  There must be thousands go through the tunnel complex daily. Interesting but more of a boy tour!. They got to fire off a few rounds too!

Vern and Jo hired a motorbike in Ho Chi Min city centre and had a bit of a play with the traffic. VERY BRAVE! Vern insisted it wasn’t any more difficult than mustering freshly shorn sheep in long grass in a stony paddock! We walked
The streets and shops were lavishly decorated for TET.

We only spent 4 days in Saigon. There was plenty more to see but we decided to head to northern Thailand to the hill tribes and elephants in lieu of Sapa. You always need to leave something to come back for.

More Photos of Saigon