Lonely Planet's walking tour

Ho Chi Minh City Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 16 › view all entries

Started off the day at Pho 2000, apparently the same place where Bill Clinton stopped in for a bowl of soup when he visited. Popped into the Ben Thanh Market, a huge indoor market with hundreds of stalls, many of them pedaling a lot of the same goods: silks, perfume, shoes, fake designer jeans, bags. Sucumbed to the pressure or more likely the hands grabbing my arms and purchased a pair of jeans, supposedly Diesel but I have my doubts since the tag on the back isn't even sewn on straight. On the plus side, they did hem them for free for me. After I bought the jeans, this girl grabbed my hand and led me out of the market across the street to another alley full of shoes into a backroom tailor who quickly marked the appropriate length of my pants where I wanted. Started our Lonely Planet walking tour in earnest after this and went into the Fine Arts Museum, nothing too amazing, some Communist propaganda/art from the 70s and on and some not well preserved "antiquities." We bought some coconuts from the outdoor street market on D Ton That Dam where all the elderly ladies were laughing at me for my insistence upon eating the inside of the coconut. One of the women showed me how to open a lychee the easiest way. Apparently I've been doing it backwards all this time. You should flick off the end so you can open it in one fell swoop. Continued on to see the Rex Hotel and Hotel de Ville, which unfortunately we couldn't see because it's now home to the People's Committee. We went inside the War Remnants Museum, just narrowly escaping the torrential rain. We've been lucky so far with monsoon season. The Museum is a little grisly and difficult to handle on the stomach, seeing all the people killed or affected by Agent Orange and pictures of the My Lai Massacre. Made it as far as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the impressive Post Office before it started raining again and by this time we called it quits and grabbed some food. We accidentally ended up in a Japanese Ramen restaurant, somewhat incongruous in Saigon, but rather tasty. Grabbed a drink before we hopped onto our night bus to Nha Trang.

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