Monday, 17 June 2019

Ho Chin Minh City, June 2019

We had breakfast on our first day at Les Monts Cafe. Banana waffles - perhaps the boys' favourite food the whole time we were there!





We wondered past Nha Hang Ngon on Pasteur which we later came back to for dinner. 


Notre Dame cathedral was closed for renovations, unfortunately

The Central Post Office was built in 1891, and doesn't seem to have changed much in the last 130 years!






We visited the Reunification Palace, which was fascinating and creepy in equal measure.


Ross in front of the North Vietnamese Army tank which crashed through the palace gates in 1975, ending the war.

In the grounds of the palace was a beautiful French colonial villa, which housed an exhibition about the main players in the Vietnam War.


This is the projector room for the Palace's private cinema 
Helipad on the roof, as you do. 

J&F in front of the wide boulevard known as Le Duan. The feng shui is not great, what with the traffic heading straight at the palace, so they designed a curving driveway and a fountain between the road and the palace. 


The very groooovy bar!

Complete with round sofa

And a barrel shaped bar

In the basement were the war rooms, full of equipment to allow the coordination of troops. 

Typewriters

It was not spacious!

Cosy

Here's the pool where we were staying, at Icon 56, which I highly recommend. We had a little apartment which was well maintained and clean, and as you can see the rooftop pool was awesome!

Dinner



Josh's Carmen Miranda impression



Next morning we had booked a cooking course, so we headed off to meet our guide at the market.


Ben Thanh Market, Le Loi street


The market was rammed with everything imaginable. The main part was dedicated to food, but there were clothes, bags, and souvenirs too. It was quite....um....ratty. 

The fruit looked super fresh and yummy, but there was a lot of plastic packaging everywhere. 

Wish we had tried this place for breakfast!

Huge choice of coffees




Glad I am used to HK style meat markets!

Lots of offal



At Vietnam Cookery Centre in the most amazing old building. We had so much fun, and learnt a lot. Lunch was particularly yummy that day!











Chef Cedric








This was the lobby of the building where we did the cookery class.


Canine street barber



Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens. This was a sad and disappointing place - the zoo part was obviously depressing, but there was also no garden to speak of. Big anti climax, not recommended. 

However the topiary was quite cool!







By the time we got back to our apartment we were exhausted and boiling hot, so we went to the convenience store downstairs for ice cream. Sweetcorn lolly anyone?

There was loads of Korean food in 7 Eleven, including this slightly weird banana choc chip lolly.



Sky Tower, which we didn't end up visiting!






Our flight back to HK was at 11am on Sunday. We easily got a taxi (there are masses around the city that you flag down, or you can use Grab) straight to the airport. There's an extra fee to pay for the taxi entering the airport area. I am so glad we got there with 2 hours to spare, which we don't normally do within Asia, because it took absolutely ages and ages to get through passport control and security. 

We also ate at anan, which is a super trendy restaurant that was a bit overpriced and although it claimed to be family friendly, was not terribly welcoming.

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