Ho Chi Minh City Journals

New Year's In Saigon

A February 2011 trip to Ho Chi Minh City by nofootprint

Saigon Traffic Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam More Photos
Quote: The city was alive with festivities on the Lunar Chinese New Year Eve when we arrived !! The lights hanging everywhere were unbelievable. We were pretty tired from our long travel day but we tried our best to join in the merrymaking.

Airports Visas and Taxis

On Arrival

Story/Tip

Saigon Traffic Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Quote:
We were snowed in and our flight was cancelled. Air Canada did a good job rebooking us with all our connections,including our Cathy Pacific leg from Hong Kong. They were much easier to deal with than a few years ago...a welcome change.We had a good flight with lots of service. No complaints.Visa On Arrival Armed with our agency letter which we arranged online and brought with us ,we had only a short wait to get our visa.Honestly I don't think they even read our application or letter. If you don't have a photo ...no problem they take your picture with a digital camera and charge an extra $2.00.( beats the $17.00 we paid at home). Getting our Visa on arrival sav...Read More

Accommodations

Saigon Mini Hotel

Hotel | "An Oasis in the Middle of Caos"

Photo of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Quote:
We were very happy with this hotel and would definitetly stay again. I was concerned about its location which was described as being on a quiet alley off the main drag. The "alley"is lined with little cafes and lots of people always there enjoying some food and drink. The hotel staff are very friendly and even packed our breakfast " to go"for our early morning bus trip. Nice King size bed ,AC and shower. We sratyed here three nights .Quite a deal at $35.00 a night.


Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 17, 2011

Saigon Mini Hotel
102/1A Cong Quynh
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 848
84 8 38361008

Restaurants

The New Pearl

Restaurant

The New Pearl Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Quote:
New Pearl Restaurant- Across from the Tourist Bus Stops in District 1

There are 3 floors to the restaurant and it is always busy. The food here is the best we had on our whole trip. I loved the beef with mushrooms and the prawn curry. We spent the Chinese New Years Eve here. We had a great outdoor table with a ringside view of the festivities on the street..



Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 17, 2011

The New Pearl
District 1, 205 Pham Ngu Lao
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Crazy Buffalo Saigon Photo, Saigon, Vietnam
Quote:
Crazy Buffalo Saigon- District 1 Saigon

You can't miss this place ..its lights are the brightest...with the blazing red buffalo. This has got to be the best spot to sit at a sidewalk table ( and there are many) to watch the excitement of Saigon. We enjoyed a cold Tiger beer here in the last hours before we head to head to the airport to begin our trek home.

The food is pretty good here too!!

Crazy Buffalo Saigon
District 1
Saigon, Vietnam

Siteseeing

Dried Fish Anyone Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Quote:
The city was alive with festivities on the Lunar Chinese New Year Eve when we arrived !! The lights hanging everywhere were unbelievable. We were pretty tired from our long travel day but we tried our best to join in the merrymaking. We roamed the narrow and hectic streets ,conjested with motor bikes in District 1,trying our best not to get knocked down. Pat seemed to be doing a much better job of it than me . I had several bikes and a car stop short right infront of me!!Lots of shops and most of the bars and restaurants were open....until the wee hours , I imagine. We even saw a "Dragon" join the fun much to the delight of the tourists with cameras.We d...Read More

War Remnants Museum

Attraction | "A Glimpse at the 70's"

War Remnants Museum Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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The War Remanents Museum -Here we saw the gruesome yet "famed"tiger cages and many old posters from the 70's proclaiming " Stop the War".There's lots of historical data although much of it seems to me one sided and leaning towards propoganda.One sided or not though it does the job of describing the horror of war and the devastation to all involved. One floor is devoted to the devastation caused by "Agent Orange".Its too distrurbing for words and I couldn't bring myself to look at it all.Outside the Museum are some USA tanks helecopters and heavy equipment .I was a young girl when the war was raging but I remember it well and seeing the US tanks here brought back so many unpleas...Read More

War Remnants Museum
28 Vo Van Tan St, District 3
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
(08) 829 5587

Thein Haw Pagoda Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Quote:
Thein Haw Pagoda -Located in Chinatown ,this is not one of the more elaborate temples but it was sure a happening spot on the New Years day that we visited. It was interesting to see the throngs of people coming to worship and ask for good tidings in the New Year.The Hadicapped Handicraft Museum -This was started after the war in an effort to make work for the many who were left disableled.There are gorgeous lacquer works here.Some are made with sea shells and others with duck egg shells.. Visa is accepted and they will ship worldwide.The Tea House- Here we had a chance to sample Lotus tea ( hot or cold) and sample a variety of cookies and candies.Of course th...Read More
Reunification Palace Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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The Reunification Palace -This is the site where the tanks roled in from the North in 1976 and the War was ended.Its rather plain and worn looking inside. There's no AC so it was a bit of a challenge climbing the 5 flights of stairs.We looked in on what was the dining room ,Presidents Office and various other official rooms and living quarters. It was all left intack and just as it was in 1976 when the President fled.The upstairs office with maps was actually just a decoy .The real heart of it all was in the basement. The basement, was for me, the most interesting part. This area served as a secret headquaters and the heart of operations for the So...Read More

The Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office

Attraction | "A Look At Some French Architecture"

The Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office Photo, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Notre Dame Cathedral -This grand cathedral was built by the French in the 1800's. So beautiful on the outside .It looks rather barren inside ,however but while it lacks the gilded alters and priceless art of other Cathedrals it is built in an elegant style.It stands proudly in the square and has with stood the test of many turbulant years.The General Post Office- Across from the Cathedral is the famed Post Office.This is another example of the magnificant French design. Its massively high ceilings and numerous wickets ,speak of another place in time. Lots of people like to buy post cards to mail from here.There are a couple of good souvineer shops on either side of the en...Read More

The Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office
Dong Khoi, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam