Mister Saigon

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) was never in my bucket list. When I have chance to go there, I dont have any expectation, like an open book, I ready to absorb anything there and open for everything there. Nothing on my mind. I dont even googled what I want to see there, I just trust the tour that I have booked, with the list of itinerary they have made.

So I packed my back and just flew there, this is the first trip that I used a tour. I heard that Ho Chi Minh have no Mrt maybe no English too and  having booked a tour will help me navigate around the city with no worries of lost.

Arrived in Tan Son Nhat International Airport with Vietnam Airlines (the services are great) it almost at 8.00 pm on October 2016, and sent to the hotel they arranged.

We were staying at Saigon Palace Hotel,  for me the location was very strategic, only a few steps a way from Ho Chi Minh Status square, Ho Chi Minh City town hall , the shopping area and the night markets. The hotel itself is comfortable, and  quite big. There’s a sofa area and balcony overlooking the city. I start to feel something about the city.

After having dinner at local  Vietnamese noodle soup called pho, I decided to go out and see the night. Ho Chi Minh City town hall catch my eyes, the classic French colonial era building  fascinating me. The young people are gathered in the square, became a social point. Makes the city alive. A short walk later I found a night market, They sell a souvenirs, after bit of bargain, I bought a few things.

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Ho Chi Minh Status square

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Ho Chi Minh City town hall

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Night Market

We spent 3 nights in Saigon, but I am going  only highlighted the things I enjoyed much, as we visited a lot of museums, and I dont really in to history, so I just skip that part. Here we go with the list.

I came to Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica on 1st day, beautiful catholic church built in the late 1880s by French colonists. Its remain the original structure and all the material  came from French, Remarkable. The interesting story, A Virgin Mary statue also stands in front of Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, acclaimed by many to have shed tears in October 2005.

 

Next is Saigon Central Post Office, Built by French’s architect around 1886 – 1891 based on Villedieu’s design. Being a mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and French influences, this building fascinates me by its typical colonial French features, from exterior to interior decorations. By the first time, I may feel that they’re brought back to 20th century railway station in Europe, rather than a post office in an Asian country.

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French colonials buiding
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The inside is gorgeous

People like to shop rite? and if you do, dont missed to Ben Thanh Market, it is famous to buy local handicrafts, branded goods, Vietnamese art and other souvenirs. After finish buy those art pieces, I decided to sip the famous Vietnam coffee right across the street.

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Ben Thanh Market

The next day I  blend with locals on a day cruise in Mekong River, hop from one traditional market, try local fruits, try every dishes. I start to fall in love with the city, the mixture hospitality of the people, the tradition and the lack of modernization,  reminds me of my home, Jakarta, before the globalization kicks, as now super modern Jakarta has lost it love warming sense of interaction between the people.

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Mekong River’s cruise

I enjoy activities when traveling, and Saigon become memorable when I try to ride a traditional boat cruising the Mekong Delta, after rain sensation makes me feels being a locals.

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Traditional boats
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City boy riding a boat trough the Mekong Delta

As the Mekong Delta’s tour over, we had a late lunch in Mekong Rest stop. The restaurant is quite big, with the beautiful garden view, ponds with water lilies, and traditional huts. I tried different locals cuisine including elephant ear fish (typical of the Mekong) which looks scary but was very good.

Address: KM 1964+ 300 Quốc lộ 1A,Huyện Châu Thành, TIỀN GIANG, vietnam, Vietnam
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Mekong Rest Stop

On the last night in the city before leaving tomorrow, I have another cruise diner. I came to the saigon piers, boarding on Indochina Junk. And starting a journey from Saigon rivers to Thu Thiem Bridge. While on the cruise we served a complete diner accompanied by traditional music performed by Vietnamese artist. Before the journey come to end, I go to the deck and start memorize the view of Saigon’s river at night and have across my mind the story of one of my favorite Broadway Play, Miss Saigon. It tell a story of an American sergeant served in Vietnam not expected to fall in love, but he did. As myself dont expected to love this city, but at the end I fall in love with Saigon, lets call this journey, Mister Saigon experience.

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Saigon River’s cruise

 

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. mytransitarea says:

    Hey, did you know the guy responsible for the post office has designed the Eiffel tower ? (Gustave Eiffel). I loved reading every bit of your blog. I also explored Saigon last month if you’d like to check it out 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. maxymilano says:

      I knew that Saigon was French’s territory that time. thanks for the info…

      Like

  2. Great entry about Saigon. I have yet got the chance to experience what you saw there.

    Thank you for dropping by at my blog the other day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. maxymilano says:

      Thank you… nice to meet u

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Halo. Thanks sudah singgah di blog kami.

    We also visited Vietnam (crowd Ho Chi Minh City, deserted Mui Ne, and cold Da Lat) last September. Come to our blog to see full stories! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. maxymilano says:

      Thank you juga udah mampir, sepertinya seru pengalaman kamu di vietnam…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. KLIMAX PLUS says:

    I very much enjoyed your posts Maxymilano. Thank you for your lovely photos and insights to the places traveled.

    Like

    1. maxymilano says:

      Thank you for your comment, appreciate it much.

      Like

    1. maxymilano says:

      Thank you for dropping by…

      Like

  5. Hours and Miles says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit Vietnam!!

    Like

    1. maxymilano says:

      Please Visit, nice country, especially Halong Bay, I will write about it soon… Thank you for dropping bye..

      Like

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