Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City, Part 1

At the beginning of October J gets a week off work for National Day. This year we decided to head to Vietnam. We had a bit of a rough start to our journey. We spent all day at the airport but didn't go any where. Our tickets were "suspended" and apparently neither the airline or Expedia could do anything about it! It was very frustrating, and in the end we book a flight for the next day with a different airline (and NOT through Expedia).
There was a sea of mopeds on every street.
Our first full day in HCMC was a busy one. We went to the War Remnants Museum. It was really interesting. There are some powerful (and graphic) photographs. I wish that we could have had more time here, but they closed at noon for a lunch break so we had to rush a bit at the end.
We had lunch at Pasteur Street Brewing Company. Baby O slept though most of it. The place was tiny! The beer and sandwiches were really good.
After lunch we went to the Reunification Palace. The palace was originally built in 1868 as a residence for the French governor-general. After the French departed the South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem moved in. Diem was very unpopular, his own air force bombed the palace in 1962 in an attempt to kill him. Diem ordered a new palace be built in the same location, this time with a large bomb shelter in the basement (it was also a communications center). Constructions was completed on the current building in 1966. The 1960's style and d├ęcor were still in place at the Palace.
Reception Salon
Baby O makes friends everywhere he goes!
Card playing room
Part of the command center in the basement.
Communication center.
That evening we did a Foodie tour with XO Tours. It was a blast! We each rode on a scooter with our Vietnamese driver (Baby O rode with me in the Egro carrier). We ate a ton of food - lemongrass soup; BBQ goat breast, frog, shrimp and okra; and lastly we had some seafood and dessert. J tried an unhatched chicken egg, I just couldn't do it. The food was all delicious, and we got to see a lot of the city. Baby O did a great job, even though we kept him out way past bedtime. And the drivers LOVED him!


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