Thursday, April 23, 2015

Adventure to Asia: Vietnam Pt. 3

Friday, August 1: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

On our last day in Vietnam we decided to walk around the city since our flight didn't leave until 12 am and we had to check out of our hostel by noon. We left our luggage at the hostel and marked places we wanted to see before we left. We first walked to the War Remnants Museum and the Reunification Palace but both were closing for lunch so we decided to eat at another restaurant our hostel suggested. As we were leaving to go to the restaurant a group of about 10-15 students came up to us and asked if they could take our picture. I felt like a celebrity. ;) We ate at NGON Restaurant, and it was pretty expensive compared to other places we stayed at but the food was delicious.

After lunch we still had time before the other two places opened. We walked to the Notre Dame Cathedral and the National Post Office to take pictures. They were really close to the restaurant so it worked out really well. The Cathedral and post office were beautiful!
We walked back to the Reunification Palace and realized it was actually really boring, but we decided to trudge on after the first floor. It was hot that day and the roof had a really nice breeze. There were rooms on the top floor for guests and I think I liked that part the most because it reminded me of Frank Lloyd Wright's work. We went to the basement last and we were so hot that we just sat in some room playing a documentary in Vietnamese to cool off because it was the only place with air conditioning. As we were leaving the Palace there was a group of soldiers playing on kids toys. I tried to get a picture of it but they didn't turn our very well. It was funny though because this little girl wanted to get on but she couldn't.
When we go to the War Remnants Museum this guy with no hands and one eye came up to me. He asked where I was from and I was just waiting for him to tell me "Your country did this to me." It turns out he just wanted to sell me some books. I felt bad, but I politely declined. The museum was very sad, but it is something you should definitely see if you are ever in Ho Chi Mihn. I didn't even take any pictures inside because it didn't feel right. You could tell the museum was Anti-American, pro-communism though. It was blatant throughout the whole thing.
We decided to get some coffee so we walked to a coffee art shop that was kind of pricey. We both got Vietnamese iced coffees (because we were obsessed with it and the Thai teas). We sat and talked or a while. Then we walked across the street to the Chợ Bến Thành market. Every thing was so over priced and we were trying to remember how much stuff was at the store we had went to a few nights earlier. Luckily, we stuck to our guns and only bought a few items which we managed to get for the same price or slightly cheaper than the store. My sister wanted to buy something and the lady almost started crying when my sister said the price she wanted, but she ended up giving it to her for the price. When we went to the other store and saw that it was sold there for the same price she got it at the market she didn't feel bad anymore.

Since we were in a shopping mood and it was getting late we decided to go back to the souvenir store to buy our last minute gifts. Google maps kept messing up though and we got lost. I was getting really frustrated but I ended up just taking a street and it took us to where we needed to be. It was our goal to spend most of our Vietnamese Dong so we didn't have to exchange it later.

After we went to the shop we were both craving fish and chips so we went to a restaurant nearby. We sat and ate for a while because we still had a lot of time to kill. We paid our bill but the guy was taking forever to give us our change. When my sister finally asked about it he acted like he forgot, but he was looking at us the whole time so we knew that wasn't the case. Plus, we were the only ones in there. We were planning on going to this famous bar for some drinks but neither of us had any money left and we didn't want to go to the ATM just to take out money for a drink.

We decided to just go back to the hostel to hang out until our taxi came. We met another traveler whose name was Andrew, and he sat and talked with us until we had to go. This started a night of everything going wrong. First, the taxi forgot us and had to come back and then when we got to the airport they charged us $25 for an extra bag which we never had to do. I was so mad at that point. The problems continued, but I will talk them in my next post!

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