Friday, September 2, 2011

Trip to Ho Chi Minh City

We were in Ho Chi Minh City from 15 to 17 July 2011. It was a very laidback trip. Unlike when we were in New York City, we didn't push ourselves to see and do everything. The weather was not encouraging - it was very hot and Ryan didn't like that. He was happiest when we were in the air-conditioned comfort of our hotel room. One time, when we went back to the cool room after being in the hot sun, Ryan walked in, stopped in the doorway, put his hands up as if receiving a gift from heaven and exclaimed, "WAHHHHH!" In fact, he did it a couple of times while standing there in the doorway. 

That boy has got a dramatic streak in him.

I don't have many photos to share since I was carrying Ryan most of the time. Richard has some interesting shots on his phone - will get him to share those in a separate post. Here are the ones from my camera.

Here's Ryan waiting pensively for our flight from Changi International Airport.

You can't go to Vietnam without having a bowl of Pho and some spring rolls! This is at Pho24.

We took a half-day city tour on Saturday to see the sights. This is the Reunification Palace. It was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. It was the site of the end of the Vietnam War during the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975, when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates.

Military helicopter on top of the building.

The War Remnants Museum. On the building grounds, there is an assortment of airplanes, helicopters, tanks, and even some boats.

Notre Dame - it was closed for lunch when we got there.

Post Office, across the road from Notre Dame.

The rest of the time, we just chilled in the hotel room. We managed to watch an entire movie on HBO.

On Sunday, in order not to feel like complete sloths, we decided to venture out and check out one of the more famous restaurants in the city for lunch - we went to the Temple Club (so famous that Brad and Angelina ate there). As the name suggests, this used to be an old Chinese temple (ca. 1900), with original wood and masonry.

You walk in through this dimly lit corridor, go up the winding stairs at the end, and...

you emerge into the delightfully charming restaurant. There is a classic old wooden bar in the middle...

... sunlit formal dining hall...

and if you go through this corridor,

and there is a lounge at the back for coffee and dessert.

The floor is terra cotta draped in antique throw rugs, and there are some great Buddhist tapestries and statuary about. A little bit Asian, a little bit French, some Art Deco, but it still felt authentic - maybe because everything looked pretty old! Everything is for sale, from the tapestries to the retro furniture!

The main reason we were there was the food - standard Vietnamese fare from all parts of the country - and it did not disappoint. I won't post all our photos of the food, except for this dish so as to remind myself that I must order it again if I ever come across it. It is boneless chicken in tomato soup with noodles. Looks spicy but it's not. So so so so yummy.

We left happy.

Here we are at the Ho Chi Minh airport, waiting for our flight home. We were at Prima Deli - a Singapore brand restaurant - we ordered good old chicken rice and laksa.

And that was the end of our trip.


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