And back to wonderful Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

I started here and finish here in Ho Chi Minh city , the old Saigon. Another wonderful experience of a vibrant, cosmopolitan city on the move, plenty of moves always busy and exciting day or night.  The tourist office info on it is here;

I  ,of course, arrive by plane on Vietnam Airlines, as in my previous posts. From the airport had shuttle to the hotel which stayed in two part to coincide with my trips to the other cities as in my previous posts here. The first period of four days and then at the end the last period of 3 days.

The hotel in both occasions was the Grand Hotel Saigon in district 1; overlooking the Saigon river, and with stylish architecture from the 1930’s. It had spacious first class rooms first part on the 11th floor and second stayed on the 9th floor. Wonderful amenities with in house pool, gym,sauna, spa ,restaurants and bars as well as the Grand Café on the roofstop 22nd floor. I try them all except the Bar des Amis by the pool. All wonderful and great friendly service. The best part was to go to the top roofstop at the Grand Café and listen to live music in English and French!  webpage:

I visited briefly the Cathedral of Notre Dame , it was built between 1863 and 1880  with French bricks & featuring 58 meters tall Romanesque bell towers.  This site has tons of info on Vietnam and best on the Cathedral;

I did a lot of walking all over the District 1 from the river front back to the city , and it was easy and nice , carrying my phone camera and wallet in back Pocket , all safe nothing to it;just always aware of surrounding folks.

I had my hands on the Ben Thanh market , the best of them all, was here before but no time to take photos at night, this time came during the day and it was wonderful.  I would say all coming here should check it out at least half a day.

Right around the Grand Hotel Saigon, I saw one of my favorites from home, the unique Burger King lol!!! yes they are here together with dunkins donuts and pizza hut, KFC etc; its like the Americans are back…peacefully. Could not resist my whopper and coke and fries ::) It’s actually call the Burger King Grand Hotel !

At night went to the Barbecue Garden, a wonderful terrace garden where each table has an oven to cook your meals, nice fish and shrimp dishes with local saigon special beers.  The site has great photos too.

There is a building not visited but great to see is the City Hall, another French inspired building sitting across from Town Square or Le Thanh.  It is now better call the People’s Committee. Great photo shots—ho-chi-minh-city.html

There , I saw the panels of the planned metro of Ho Chi Minh on line 1 still Under contruction ,this is right along the LE Thanh square and there is a Saigon Tourist Information Center where I got me a printout paper map of the city for walks is good enough.

For lunch, on another day locals took me to 94 Quan Thuy crab seafood restaurant and it was a full meal with fried rice and shredded crab that was delicious and true local food.

For dinner we went to Vietnam House resto, again great seafood and nice service.  This is a gourmet place and very refine, a great for an evening with company too.

In the evening I went to the Gartenstadt Downstairs German style pub for a nice Krombacher pils German beer before heading back to eat dinner at the Grand Café roofstop resto of the Grand Hotel Saigon I stayed with. The Gartenstadts was great , full length bar with plenty of imported beers and of course Germans.  At the bar I stayed on the street level which I was told is better than the Noisy smokey lower level floor.

I visited the War Remnants Museum , this is a must to undertand the war from French colonial and especially from the American intervention, with portraits, maps, weapons ,and real remnants of airplanes, helicopters, tanks, machine guns like the 107 mm huge; tracing the history of cooperation and support for the Vietnam liberation of course.  You take it as you know it. It is  well Worth the visit.

I went back for lunch to Rosa Palace, this is rented out for wedding and events but it is a restaurant too, very nice. Once again seafood is great here and fried rice with some good Saigon Special beers.  Very special places I have come like 3 times already, the webpage is in Vietnamese, but believe me well Worth the visit ,

Almost every day here came to the The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf  for a nice cup of coffee as it was near the place I was doing work, yes did work too ::)  They have other branches but this one in District 1 was great.

The theater of Ho Chi Minh or Saigon Opera  was nice another French inspired building ,not went in but was Worth a shot.

I went into the Reunification Palace, the old Presidential Palace of Saigon. Been here before in the garden grounds but this time went the whole walk tour of it. This is impressive and a must to see. There is the jeep the President rode to surrender and the mercedes benz he use to drive around, the helicopter on the upper pad ready to take him away, as well as the bunker control war room and many luscious decorated rooms even his and First Lady bedroom.  I know some will give you all the détails but I rather tell you the whole and let you see the parts, rather not tell you the ending on a movie, rather let you see it for yourselves; the Reunification palace is a must, for me the best thing to do in HCMC.–ho-chi-minh-city.html

Before leaving on way to the airport ,I had lunch at a wonderful place taken by a local.  Com Nieu Sai Gon, at 59 Ho Xuan Huong Street, where the dishes are done with playing servers on the rice paddies thrown at a distance plate to plate, and the shrimp dish with fish in sauce and saigon special beers were the delight in a nice ambiance and great decoration. A fitting end to the visit to Ho Chi Minh ,Vietnam

And I left Vietnam , the third time was the Lucky one and the best; already looking forward to be back ! Enjoy the photos ,and Vietnam.

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