This is a continuation of my previous Saigon post.
DAY 3: SAIGON CITY TOUR
Our last day in Vietnam started with a rainy, cold morning. As mentioned in my previous post, we scheduled a motorbike Saigon City tour with Vespa Adventures for the day. Thank God that the team’s ready with raincoats, though I haven’t got the chance to take a photo (because of the hassle that my things, especially my camera, will get wet). It was really a F-U-N experience to ride at the back of the motorcycle with every inch of your body covered with a raincoat while the rain’s still damping your face. (Remember the time you’ve been playing under the rain when you were a kid? Ahhh, that moment when you care nothing but have fun and be as wet as you can be!)
Lucky for us, after our first destination, the rain stopped. We visited the Thich Quang Duc Monument which was dedicated to the Buddhist Monk Quang Duc who set himself to fire as a protest for the persecution of the Buddhist by the government in 1963.
Second stop is the “Dangwa” version of Vietnam – the Flower Market in District 10. Boy, I love to have a garden full of these beautiful flowers!
Third stop: The Chinatown (their own version of Philippines’ “Binondo”) in District 5. First we went to the Thien Hau Temple, then to the Cloth Market, as well as the Accessories Market. All types of cloth and accessories to finish off your dresses are here! Though I haven’t tried asking for the price, I bet all of these are cheap since most factories of well-known brands can be found in this country.
Fourth stop: The Ten Thousand Buddha Temple in District 5. All the buddha on the wall are donated and the benefactor’s name are written at the side. (It seems that the bigger the buddha is, the bigger the “donation” was. HAHA). Photos here are from Darika’s as she has better shots of the place.
Fifth stop: Vietnam’s version of Koh Pich (Cambodia’s Diamond Island) — District 2. They’re building this place/ island to be the new central city area once construction is completed. This island’s connected through the Thu Thiem Bridge (connecting to Binh Than District) and the Thu Thiem Tunnel (connecting to District 1).
Sixth stop: The Siagon Central Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral. All I can say is — W.O.W! I personally experienced a bit of Europe in Asia. (Just so you know, it is my life-long dream to go to Europe. *drool*). We had the time to take pictures inside the Central Post Office and just outside of the Cathedral since we lack time. It’s almost 12nn, and we still have a 1:30pm bus to catch!
Last stop: Reunification Palace, also known as the Independence Palace. They said that this was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, as well as the site of the end of Vietnam War when an Army tank crashed through its gates.
After the tour, we’re supposed to have a free lunch at Cafe Zoom, but they just packed ours as take-away (yes, they’re very considerate!) since we told them we need to be back in the hotel by 12NN to give us time to fix our things. We bid farewall to our co-tourmates who lived in Melbourne and Sydney, and thanked our trusty tour guides. If given the chance to go back, I would love to try their other tours too. Again, you can visit this link for Vespa Adventures’ tours and rates.
Before checking out, we still managed to take photos with our new “Vietnam” cap. How cute these all are:
And even if we only have 45 – minutes left, we still opt to go to the HTC shop to buy Darika’s new phone. Based on comparison, prices here are US$100 cheaper than in Singapore. Darika even bought the model (which I forgot) that’s still not available in the Philippines. After all the hustle and the sermon we got from our bus conductor for being late (yes, they waited for us!), we’re happy to be ticking off this phone in her checklist! HAHA!
That’s it for now, Saigon! I would make sure I’ll set my time (and my mood!) for shopping next time! HAHA!
<3 lots, Irene