The storm had continued throughout the night and into the early hours of the morning. We woke up to a very wet and grey city skyline.
We stayed in until 9am, hoping it would chill out a bit, and it did!
Rain macs at the ready we headed out to see what Ho Chi Minh had to offer.
Breakfast was NEEDED first. And a huge breakfast it turned out to be! Eggs and croissants with bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and fries, and 2 thick strong cups of Vietnamese coffee!
Today's itinerary started at the War Remnants Museum. We had been warned by Pierre to be prepared for what was to come!
We had already been to many war sites and museums on our travels in Asia but this was really shocking. There was no holding back on displaying the brutality of the war with the US. Thousands of pictures, displays and donations from before, during and the aftermath of the war displayed a very graphic inside to what Vietnam had to go through. The Agent Orange room was the most graphic, displaying photos of the civilians directly affected and generations still being affected to this day. The display of several unborn deformed foetus was the most visually shocking.
On a lighter note, we found a great tea shop where we found the best cup of tea since being on the road!
Full of tea and cake we headed for the 'Notre Dame the 2nd' and the central postal office. Both buildings were big and modern, but not at all impressive. Therefore we soon moved on.
Walking back to 'our neck of the woods' we came across the Opera House and the wealthy shopping district of Ho Chi Minh. The area wouldn't look out of place in a European city, whereby every other shop is housing designer brands and Michelin starred restaurants.
We soon walked on by and back to where we felt comfortable: a street market haggling for flip flops and being unhappy with the $5 price tags!
At 6pm we were surprisingly still full from breakfast and the tea and cake, so for dinner we opted for a street stall selling more Bahn Mi (our new fav).
We ordered: 2 chicken baguettes, 1 pork baguette and one 'mixed' baguette!! (They are small baguettes, we promise!)
We sat on the side of the road, devoured the baguettes with a beer, and watched Saigon go by.
4* baguettes and 2* drinks = $4!!! We love street food!!!
It's now 7pm and we had been out for 10hours!! With throbbing legs and black feet from all the walking, and with full stomachs, we headed back to the hotel.
Ho Chi Minh for me is a mix of Hanoi and Bangkok. It has just enough of each to make it a great city and a place I could potentially return.
Siobh on the other hand found it too crazy and 'inconsiderate' (after nearly being knocked down several times by speedy scooters), although she'd probably come back purely for the quirky shopping!