Sunday, February 20, 2011

2011 February: Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour

Travel Date: February 18, 2011 Destination: Ho Chi Minh City I’m on my walking tour around the city. Started at the Independence Plaza just behind the Blue Diamond Hotel. The entrance is 40000vnd and the English booklet is sold at 10000vnd.
Independence Palace (also known as Norodom Palace, Norodom Palace) 135 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
At around 9.40am, the English guided tour started. Since there is a conference being held at Ground floor, we were not able to see it. We continued to roam around at the 2nd and 3rd floors (reception areas of the President, Vice President and First Wife). Then we checked also the 1st and 2nd basement – were mostly used during the war related activities. After passing the park and Pasteur Road, I reached the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica. Take note that the church closes at 11am and opens again at 3pm. Just across it is the Saigon Central Post Office. Here you could buy the post cards and other local products. There are many restaurants near the area as well. I walked further to see Rex Hotel, then visited again Saigon Center and had a quick stop at Ben Than Market. I stayed at the hotel until 6pm, and went straight to the airport. I’m now at the boarding gate, waiting for my flight. Food at the airport is expensive, the bun or sandwich costs 3usd-8usd, water inside the boarding gate costs 2usd. I decided to buy the water on my flight back to Manila for only 50php.
I don’t want to say it, but would consider Piolo as the highlight of my trip, hehe!. Thank you to my family who again allowed me to do this adventure alone. Thank you to my tour guides Dinh (Halong) and Minh (Cu Chi). To the hotel employees and cab drivers thank you for keeping me safe and for being very accommodating.