For this month’s ten on ten, I’m sharing photos from our long weekend trip to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in Vietnam. No, I would not recommend anyone with young children to ever travel there — logistics and safety -wise, it was an absolute nightmare — but we’re glad to be able to put into context some history and to have seen a taste of a culture totally outside of our everyday. We stayed at the Hotel Continental Saigon, which is right in the middle of the old French society, and also the center of a lot of history with the Vietnam war journalist scene. On this particular day, we ventured out to see the Jade Emperor Pagoda, and spent the afternoon lounging around Dong Khoi street (the old Rue Catinat) near our hotel.
As with most outings, we couldn’t miss getting some Ca Phe Sua Da, or iced sweet coffee (intense filtered coffee with condensed milk).
The Jade Emperor Pagoda was a lot less polished-looking than our guidebook had led us to believe, but it seemed to be a legitimate place of buddhist/confucianist/taoist worship of some kind — there were a lot of people lighting up incense, and quietly making offerings and praying.
Back on Dong Khoi at the former Place Garnier… we had a great view of the Opera House, and it was just a few steps away.
This view of our hotel really showcases the traffic situation, and the general ambience of Ho Chi Minh City. Motorbikes everywhere, and every which way. No lines on the streets, no order, no right of way — just filth-spewing bikes speeding past every intersection, and sometimes onto the sidewalks themselves. Oh my!
Now you can click through to the next blog in our ten on ten circle — Jessica’s blog.