Vietnam, and more of HCMC!!

So, therefore, we shall meet again in HCMC or Ho Chi Minh City ,Vietnam. For the historically incline ,old Saigon. Some places and even a district still is name as such. As said been here a few times over the last 9 years and always a pleasant visit. So, let me tell you a bit more of the goodies in HCMC.

Of course, the main dish is the food ,but it has some nice areas to see too. Some of them already mentioned in previous posts in my blog. Let me expand your horizons on Ho Chi Minh City.

Ho Chi Minh City is another wonderful experience of a vibrant, cosmopolitan city on the move, plenty of moves always busy and exciting day or night. I  ,of course, arrive by plane on Vietnam Airlines, as in my previous visits. From the airport had shuttle to the hotel which stayed in two part to coincide with my trips to the other cities. The first period of four days and then at the end the last period of 3 days. 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 walk past LE Thanh square ,there is a Saigon Tourist Information Center where I got me a printout paper map of the city for walks is good enough.

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Above domestic terminal to change to other cities visited.

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. More here from Vietnam Online which I find very helpful. https://www.vietnamonline.com/attraction/peoples-committee-building—ho-chi-minh-city.html

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There is an ongoing metro transport network of 3 lines but repeated mismanagement to say the least has push it back, too bad, the city really needs it. Here is the official organism that is managing the metro of HCMC in English: http://maur.hochiminhcity.gov.vn/web/en/home

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Luckily, where I was lodging was right in center and walking distance to the best of HCMC. This was in 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 where I had some of my dinners too. 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! More on the hotel here: https://www.hotelgrandsaigon.com/

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I passed by the Cathedral of Notre Dame , it was built between 1863 and 1880  with French bricks & featuring 58 meters tall Romanesque bell towers. I was moving on and no time to go inside, but anyway it was under renovation so I am sure most if not all was not available.  This Vietnam Online site has info on the Cathedral: https://www.vietnamonline.com/attraction/saigon-notre-dame-cathedral.html

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I had my hands on the Ben Thanh market , the best of them all, was here before ,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. Only mention because went in on this trip but have a separate post on it. https://www.vietnamonline.com/attraction/ben-thanh-market.html

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And now let me tell you bits about my culinary Vietnamese delights in HCMC!

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. More on Foody VN here: https://www.foody.vn/ho-chi-minh/mien-cua-94

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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.  More on their site here: http://barbecuegarden.vn/address

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I came 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! More on Foody VN: https://www.foody.vn/binh-duong/trung-tam-hoi-nghi-tiec-cuoi-rosa-palace-tinh-lo-743

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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. More info on their site here: http://vietnamhousesaigon.com/

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Several evenings and came back in another opportunity to HCMC , went to the Gartenstadt Downstairs German style pub for a nice Krombacher pils German beer (same I have in France!). 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. Great spot recommended not far from the hotel but photos were in a personal mode ….More on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GartenstadtRestaurant/

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. See them all at official webpage here: https://coffeebean.com.vn/en

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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. More in Foody VN: https://www.foody.vn/ho-chi-minh/nha-hang-com-nieu-sai-gon-ho-xuan-huong

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Some general webpages to help you plan your trip here are

The Vietnam Travel tourist office on Ho Chi Minh City: https://vietnam.travel/places-to-go/southern-vietnam/ho-chi-minh-city

The Vietnam Online travel information web on Ho Chi Minh Cityhttps://www.vietnamonline.com/attraction/category/ho-chi-minh-city.html

A fitting end to the visit to Ho Chi Minh ,Vietnam! Already looking forward to a next time. As work times are changing and me getting ready for retirement in 2021 maybe not; but anyway the memories and good friends will linger forever. Hope you enjoy the post and do come to visit. And do read my other posts on Vietnam.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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