Sunday, October 14, 2012

This Weekend: A Long Stroll Through Saigon

With our Argentinian pals in town this weekend we were busy beavers.  Another great Yoko Thursday night spent with the house band shredding its way through rock standards, Geisha on Friday night for a dub party with Echo Monkey, and Saturday at the newly-minted and bizarre Hideaway Bar in the Pham Ngu Lao to see Sunless triumphantly claw their way out of endless sound trouble.  Good times were had, but unfortunately the camera was left at home and memories are all that remain.

However, our Sunday afternoon city-stroll was well-documented and somehow managed to encompass almost all of Downtown Ho Chi Minh City's sights (and sighs).

Phở (fuh) n. - Traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup. Enjoy it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
We enjoyed it for a late breakfast.  We like the big portions and banh quay that accompanies your soup at Pho Hoa @ 260C Pasteur, District 3.

Iced-coffee street side on the corner of Pasteur and Dien Bien Phu with the accommodating and warm Ms. Hoa.

Under the canopy of towering teaks, we meandered down Pasteur.


Turtle Lake (Ho Con Rua) on Pham Ngoc Thach.  Stalinist, weather-stained concrete artistry and stagnant, emerald water.  A sight to behold and a favorite place for groups of listless local teens.

 Notre Dame Cathedral (Duc Ba). An island of piety in a sea of sordid traffic.

The Old Post Office (Buu Dien).  Throwback maps, key chains, sweat-ringed tourists, and disgruntled postal employees... a veritable menagerie inside a cake-pink Colonial fortress.

Saigon circa 1892.

The connubial womb awaits...

The Reunification Palace (Dinh Thống Nhất).  More sweat-ringed tourists, art-deco conference rooms for visiting dignitaries, and an iconic rooftop helicopter pad.  A must visit for keen history types, but avoidable under most situations.

Tao Dan Cultural Park.  A good place for an afternoon stroll and a remarkable venue for capturing Saigonites engaged in a variety of rigorous sporting activities.

Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool in the sculpture park.

A walk through the Mariamman Temple @ 45 D Truong Dinh, District 1.  One of the last remaining vestiges of a turn-of-the-century South Indian Tamil community once active in the money-lending business.

Late lunch at Tokyo Deli @ 240 Le Thanh Ton, District 1.  Long-term travelers crave creature comforts...

Happy travels to our lovely friends, Guido and Aylen! Ye shall be missed...

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