The former capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon) is a bustling developing urban center for the average adventure-driven traveler. Colonial structures and rugged buildings comprise the skyline. Motorbikes dominate the streets. Drivers speed through pedestrians and traffic lights. Nonetheless, tourists flock this city. I am not saying this little because of my Vietnam experience. :) With only a day to spare to tour the city, I can only say this much given the spots we went to.
In any case, Ho Chi Minh continues to be a city to watch out for. With its high economic growth (if I recall correctly, we should be envious of their two-digit growth rate), foreigners are sure to expect an improved commercial and cultural environment in the future.
“Vietnam: The Hidden Charm” may be its tourism come-on; albeit unrealized in Saigon, the next time I am back, I will look for that charm on the train ride to Hanoi then to Europe. :D
This is how our DIY city itinerary looks like:
21:00 ETA Ho Chi Minh from Phnom Penh
21:30 check-in at Saigon Mini Hotel 5 (USD24.00 for double occupancy); wash-up
22:00 dinner at Mimosa Restaurant
10:00 War Remnants Museum (entrance ticket is USD1.00)
12:30 Notre Dame Cathedral and Post Office
14:00 Ben Thanh Market
15:30 Highlands Coffee
18:00 Opera House, People’s Committee Hall, Ho Chi Minh City Museum and Reunification Palace
18:30 Dragon Water Puppet Theatre (USD6.00 to watch the 45-minute show)
20:00 dinner at Ha Noi Pho Restaurant
23:00 ETD for Tan Son Nhat Internationl Airport
01:00 ETD Ho Chi Minh
04:30 ETA Manila
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