An afternoon’s walk through history

Old Saigon <Saigon River hotels to Dong Khoi> – Part 2 I strolled the waterfront for bit, and it took me a good while to find a “safer” spot for me to cross the lane so I could view the hotels away from their curbside location. When I crossed back, I ran like hell before…

A morning’s walk through history

Old Saigon <Tao Dan Park to Saigon River> – Part 1 I began my walk that morning – a continuation of a Lonely Planet city walk in their Vietnam tour guide – down Truong Dihn toward Ben Tranh Market. As I exited my hotel, however, I saw a group of young people kitting up for the Lion and…

Neon lights and Saigon nights

In addition to exploring HCMC during the day time hours, I went back to Dong Khoi and few side streets in the evening to enjoy some of the restaurants and lit up buildings. I’ve included a montage here of nightlife, especially during the Tet holiday. The main streets were packed full of people enjoying the…

Don’t you pho-get about banh mi

When in Vietnam, eat all the pho and banh mi you can find – you won’t get it as good anywhere else, no matter how hard you try. I went on a journey to find pho, the best pho, and the best banh mi. It was hard to try out the pho in the major…

The nightmarishly narrow Cu Chi Tunnels

No visit to HCMC is complete without going out to the Cu Chi Tunnels. These infamous tunnels were used during the war by the Viet Cong and the nearby villagers as a safe haven against American troops as well as a “battleground” of sorts. The best way to see the tunnels is early in the…

A stroll up the fashionable Dong Khoi

The presence of the French is felt in the architecture of the buildings in Districts 1 and 3, along with the high volume of French tourists and locals in the city. As I took a side street over to Dong Khoi, I came upon the grand People’s Committee Building in front of the Ho Chi…

The day that Saigon fell

After finding a local Buddhist temple called Xa Loi in all of its quiet unassumingness, I slipped across the street to one of the few open restaurants. It was a local place with expansive seating options and interesting displays like stuffed cobras all hooded-out and ready to bite through the glass. The menu was bilingual,…

The remnants of war

I spent my first full day in HCMC exploring the Vietnamese side of the Vietnam War/War of American Aggression. I started out after breakfast for the nearby War Remnants Museum, one of the highlights of wartime history in the city. As an American citizen whose extended family had experience in the war – a horrific…

Twisted trees, meat on sticks, and wooden cobras

Hoi Hoa Xuan at Cao Tan Park Just a few steps from my hotel was Cao Tan Park, a massive park in the heart of District 3 in HCMC. It was all sealed off for the holiday celebrations, and for 20,000 VND (about 85 cents US), an admission ticket was all mine. I started with…

The motorbike races of Ho Chi Minh

Despite my 2 1/2 hour wait in Immigration at BKK, I was only meant to be in Thailand for twelve hours in total. I was able to get some sleep, eat breakfast at the hotel on the rooftop and watch planes fly overhead, and then move on to Vietnam. After a very short afternoon flight…

There are better things to do at 2 AM.

One of which is not waiting in immigration. CNY Holiday 2016, Part 1 The long evening began with trying to get a taxi to take me the Airport Express in Kowloon. I easily enough got a cab, but it was the wrong colour cab – a green one. Even though Kowloon is part of the…