After lunch, we had some time to kill before I catch my flight. We asked the waitress to recommend a spot where we can have a leisurely afternoon stroll. She scribbled something on a piece of paper and we passed it to the taxi driver to take us there with very little idea of where we were heading.
It turned out to be a park:
After visiting the park, I paid a quick visit to the General Post Office and other city attractions before I headed to the airport:
It was much of a coincident that an ex-classmate of mine, K, whom I have not seen since 1996 (17 years!) was in Ho Chi Minh City together with V (also my ex-classmate) at the same time.
I actually arrived a day earlier and since we stayed in hotels near each other, we arranged for a late supper as well as coffee the night they arrived. It was a great catch up reminisencing our school days. During coffee, V recommended a villa styled resturant we should try and we agreed.
After coffee, as we departed and crossing the road, a man chased after me and I realised that he is the waiter in the cafe we went to. I have left my newly bought camera behind in the cafe! I was grateful to that gentleman.
On the day we were scheduled to meet, I took a twenty minutes taxi ride to where we were suppose to meet. I didnt expect the restaurant to be that far but the food was good.
The French owner, being generous gave us almost non stop serving of free cheese and truffles too!
Food is good and we spent about US$90 for three.
3G Trois Gourmands
Address: 18 Tong Huu Dinh Street, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, HCM City, Vietnam
No visit to Ho Chi Minh City is complete without a visit to the former Presidential Palace (now called Independence Palace). I was looking forward to the visit as I had on a sideline basis, studied the Vietnam War for many years.
During the Vietnam War, the Palace also served as a command center to coordinate war activities. Much of the remnants stayed the way it was since 1966.
The hotel may be far from the central of Ho Chi Minh City but it does have its good points. Being relatively new, the facilities inside the hotel are top notch. The spa and the buffet breakfast are perhaps the best in Ho Chi Minh City.
The hotel also provides shuttle bus services to and fro the main attractions too. Location, I feel, in this case is not too much of a problem.
Vietnam was a place I a place in South East Asia I have always wanted to visit. So one day, I made an impromptu booking over the internet, threw in some T-shirts and jeans into my bag and off I went.
I picked Ho Chi Minh City as I am particulary interested to visit come remnants of the fallen Saigon from the Vietnam War (like the Presdential Palace, Rex Hotel etc) as I had previously made some in depth studies into the conflict before.
That aside, I picked the relatively new Nikko Saigon Hotel for my stay. Though it may be a bit far off from the city center in District 1, but hey the facilities there are great !
More photos coming up next but these are the photos I took of the Saigon night scene:
Over drinks on Friday, a friend of mine shared how her travel mates and were able to constantly upload their photos on Facebook on the go without incurring bill shocks for her data roaming , bringing an extra phone or the need to change SIM card. (I noticed she has been uploading a lot of photos in every key destination she went).
Apparently, she got herself a Mifi (mobile wireless router). She would then purchase a data plan SIM card in each of the country she went to. When it is time to mass upload the photos on their social media profiles, she would switch on the mifi and all her travelmates would tap on the wireless access to do what they need on their mobile phones.
Furthermore, the mifi can be used for wireless access on laptops and tablets back in the hotel.
Now that is a good idea ! I might get a mifi router myself.
If you are a first time visitor to Shanghai, you might want to do that too.