DEXtination : Ho Chi Minh City
Day 3 (PM) : Meet Saigon

After our Cu Chi tunnel tour, we (Lauren and I) were dropped off in War Remnants Museum to wait for our Ho Chi Mihn City tour coordinator. The museum was not part of the tour, so I decided to go inside and asked our tour coordinator to wait for me. I paid 15,000 dong for the entrance fee.

War Remnants Museum

The museum houses different artifacts, photographs and pictures documenting American war crimes

Vietnam map
Such documents illustrate the killing of civilians, torturing of prisoners and setting some places in fire.

Planes tanks, bombs and helicopters are also on display.

U.S. Air Force plane
It's so hard to see what transpired in Vietnam during the war through the remnants museum, but I guess, this is   put here so people will remember and learn from history.

I only stayed in the museum for around 10 minutes since Lauren and our tour coordinators are waiting for me. We then rode a motorbike going to the Reunification palace.

with our tour coordinator
We waited outside the Reunification palace for the group that we will be joining.

busy street

outside the palace

When the group arrived, we paid 15,000 dong for the entrance and proceed inside the palace. The Reunification Palace (formerly known as Independence Palace) serves as the house of Vietnam's president when the government system is not  yet parliamentary.

Ho Chi Mihn
The palace architecture is nice. According to our tour guide, everything was maintained and preserved since it was built, even the furniture.

inside the function hall

function hall

the president's desk, distinguished by the red phone which is the color of the president's phone

living room


reminds me of inception's paradox

receiving area

inside garden

the president's bed

dining table

helipad  + helicopter

our tour guide

IT room. lol.

Then we went to the Central Post Office and the Cathedral Notre-Dame. Nothing remarkable about these landmarks, in fact there are better cathedrals here in  the Philippines but it's nice that they consider Notre-Dame as one of their tourist spot since if I'm not mistaken, most of them are Buddhist.

Central Post Office

Cathedral Notre-Dame

After the tour, I asked our guide to drop me in Ben Thanh market. I went to one of the stalls and looked for goods and pasalubongs, I saw a lampshade made of stone. The vendor told me that it cost 60,000 dong but he'll give it to me for 40,000. Nice deal. But when I looked closely into the item, I saw a tag price and it's only 30,000. Hala! He tried to hide it and I realized that he's taking advantage of me so I immediately get out of the stall. I was supposed to buy key chains but decided to buy in a different stall.

So I just went to the stall with fixed price-no haggling, at least I'm sure I'm getting a fair deal. :) At this time, Roch told me that our tour coordinator called her and asked if she knew where I was because he's worried that I was lost since I haven't picked up the ticket for the water puppet show yet. Lol.

After shopping, I went back to Dong Phuong and fixed myself. Haha, I already felt haggard. Then, I rode a motorbike and went to see the water puppet show.

Water Puppet Show

inside the gallery

with the usherettes

the show will start in a few

The water puppet show showcases the different dances, beliefs, cultures, legends and ways of Vietnam like dragon dance, fairy dance and some war dance. It's a nice show, a must-see if you go to Saigon but I didn't understand it because of the language. I was laughing but didn't have an idea why. All in all, it's pretty entertaining. Until now, I'm still wondering how they do the show. I mean control the puppets. are they below the water or just at the back, I don't know. :(
the puppeters

happy or sad?
After the show, I met Roch and we went to Nha Hang Ngon for dinner. It's a class A restaurant in the city that's why we waited a bit for a table.

Nha Hang Ngon

Roch ordered spring and shrimp rolls. The food was a bit oily but it's very tasty. I loved it, especially their fish sauce. It's the best! :)

After dinner, we walked around the streets and went to see the city hall and ho Chi Minh's monument.

cit hall

Ho Chi Minh

communist symbol
Then, we went to the airport to go back to Manila, to go home. Vacation for me is over.

This was my first time out of the country and I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot from this trip. Not only about Vietnam and Vietnamese but also about myself and Roch. It was a memorable learning experience and I will truly treasure this. Thanks Roch. 'Til our next travel. :)

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

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  • DEXpicable Me

    DEXpicable Me
    i always wanted to write. i want to voice out my opinion on issues that interest me. i wanna chit-chat about tv series i'm hooked and music in my playlist. i want to talk about math and politics; culture and literature. i want to share my story and be relevant. and with this labyrinth as a medium, i'm making myself vulnerable by letting you in to my life. it's up to you to depict it. you may see it differently. you may be lost. but in this maze, there is only one way out and i hope you find it.