Trip Start Nov 08, 2007
15Trip End Nov 24, 2007
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Then we headed to the War Remnants museum. This is a really interesting place because of all the neat photos from the war. Lots of them were quite disturbing but they really told the story in graphic detail. Of course, the captions below told another story. They were very anti-American, full of propaganda. I think Allen got kind of ticked reading some of them. Of course, their views are going to be skewed but we had no idea how bad until seeing this.
The place shut down at lunch so we left and went to find some of our own. I wasn't too hungry (suprise!) but we found this neat place where you grill your food in the middle of your table. Allen ordered these steak rolls with cheese and onion in them and grilled them to a crispy perfection, so he was in heaven!
After lunch we got suckered into an hour ride in a cyclo, but we enjoyed it. It was hot as all get out but we got to see some interesting sights in the city including the Emporer of the Jade Pagoda
Then it on to the Ben Thanh market for some shopping. It was jam packed full of everything you could need, though not even close to the size of the Chatujak market in Bangkok. There was tons of stuff; clothes, jeans, handbags, jewelry, perfume, makeup, shoes, dried fish, squid, beans, rice of every different color, vegetables of all sorts, Vietnamese handicrafts, candy and so on. A definate aroma that can only be understood if smelled through one's own nostrils! Since you won't probably be coming here yourselves, I'll try my best to give it to ya. Imagine, dried salty fish, about every kind you've ever seen (and many you haven't), mixed with the smells of fresh, ripe fruits and flowers, incense burning, meats grilling and sewer smells wafting in, along with the ever present deisel exhaust and there you have it. As Allen put it today, "When I see the dried fish coming, I take a deep breath and hope I can hold it until I make it to the fruit stands."
Anyway, after that we were tired and decided to go home and shower up and head out for dinner to a nice restaurant I'd read about in the Lonely Planet. We got there and saw something we knew meant disaster.... A TOUR BUS!! How could it be? This place was in the middle of a very unpopular area of town. We went in and the girl said, "Sorry, it's Friday night and if you no have reservations, I cannot seat you. We are full." Damn those guided tours! So off we went for option #2. But it had zero ambiance, so we just started walking until we found a place that looked nice and had a good looking menu. Can't remember the name but the service was great. Allen had a steak and I had grilled eel. Allen's was mediocre, mine was pretty tasty. Although when Allen told me he saw the eels swimming around in the tank on the way to the restroom, I lost my appetite. At least I know it was fresh!
Finally, we headed to the Saigon, Saigon bar on top of the Caravelle hotel and spent $15 on a coffee and one dessert! That's PRICEY for Vietnam. We are spoiled!
More to come from Vietnam tomorrow! (Make sure you check back on the prior blogs since Allen has recently updated with photos!)
Love J and A