Monday, March 05, 2007

12nd Day - 7th Day (Saigon - The Parks n Typical Tourist Spots)

I arrived in Saigon (from here on, referred to as HCMC, Ho Chi Minh City) very late at night, after a long and adventurous journey from Phnom Penh which I will remember very vividly for a very long time and a good story to tell.
I was lucky enough to get a room in the famous backpackers area, Pham Ngu Lao St. And again, the LP proved to be a valuable source as I saw the the Yellow Hostel straight away, nicely tucked in the 1st right side lane of the Pham Ngu Lao St.

The pics below were taken on the official 1st day of mine in HCMC and I was in awe, not only by the massive crazy traffic but the healthy lifestyle of Saigonians (is there such a term?) themselves.

The Pho for the President! Notice the phrase? As mentioned in the LP, this particularly clean and sterile shop is famous for its pho and even former US President Bill Clinton had eaten the pho before. A good marketing gimmick. Well.... since Clinton is mentioned.... I'm just wondering if the manufacturer of the cigar that he used "with" Ms. Lewinsky ever thought of coming out with tagline such as ... "The Cigar FOR the President" or something like tat? OK... off the path already.....

Nice famous spring rolls served with Char Kuew in Pho 2000.

The spring rolls are tasty and the nice glass of creamy white stuff u see in the pic above is actually a ice-blended "ciku" juice! Tasty and delicious though the price in Pho 2000 is not cheap. However, with the cleanliness and food presentation guaranteed, it's worth it. Having said that, I enjoy the street food more and it's more adventurous especially for those with a strong stomach.

Taken in front of the Ben Thanh market where the traffic is crazy and for those without determination and courage, you will wait forever to cross the road. Do what the lady with the kid did, just cross and the vehicle (car, motor and bicycle) drivers will avoid you in some nerve-wrecking and fashionable ways.

Taken at one of the round-abouts.

The Art Museum

The Theatre

My patriotism strikes again. Parkson Mall in HCMC.

The architecturally stunning post office (Buu Dien).

Uncle Ho with the Buu Dien as background.

Taken inside the War Remnants Museum (previously known as War Crimes Museum or Museum of American and Chinese War Crimes)

This museum house the images which will be very dear to the heart of every anti-war person around the world. Visit and look at everything with open heart and mind and you will be having an objective view of the whole thing. Worth to note that the museum is also a popular spot for Saigonians to take wedding photos as I stumbled a total of 7 couples taking the pictures which were supposed to document their happiest day of their lives.

Self-Portrait 1

Self Portrait 2

Reunification Palace - a good example of squarish no-nonsense communist design feature. Notice the red flags on the left? Another reminder that Vietnam is still a communist country which embraces capitalism as fast as China, or even faster.

A place where government officials used to meet and entertain foreign visitors and ambassadors.

Go retro?

Notre Dame Cathedral

A devoted is praying.

Notre Dame Cathedral 2

Notre Dame Cathedral 3

The park in front of Reunification Palace

He said I'm his first customer of the day, it's 11.00am. I think he told tat to everyone who buy coconut from him haha.....

Taken inside the titbits and herbal tea shop at a junction.

Russian Market : Place to get winter clothing

Typical Vietnam traffic

Moto rules!!!!!!!!!!!!

Typical street stalls with cheap, pretty, hot ( peng, leng, jeng )

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