Sunday, October 20, 2013

Vietnam Day 1 - Hello Ho Chi Minh City!

Note: Now, I wasn't able to blog while I was in Vietnam due to slow-ass internet hotel connections, but I did write a little diary while I was there, so my various thoughts and opinions were written in real-time! 

I set out from Melbourne this morning this evening a bundle of pre-holiday anxiety and excitement.
Having reunited with K in the 'Enchanted Garden'....

of Changi airport, we boarded the plane for Ho Chi Minh City. Or rather, Saigon - which is what I understand the locals prefer.

As soon as we landed, I was swamped by the glorious sticky humidity of South East Asia. Thoroughly sick of Melbourne's just-won't-quit chilly winter, and a slow-on-the-uptake Spring, I revelled in the sunny wash of warmth of the cheerful Vietnam sun.

After settling into the hotel in the ritzy tourist district 1 of Saigon, we went out in search of food. Now, I'm sure we had some half baked (pre-emptive pun!) idea about eating something local and traditional, but we ended up finding a Paris Baguette cafe (just like in the K-dramas of our dreams) and decided that's what our first meal in Vietnam would be. 

We spent most of the afternoon, walking around the airconditioned comfort of a couple of shopping centres, before returning to the hotel to get ready for our next adventure - Dinner on a boat. 

We were driven to the dock where we boarded our boat which would be sailing us up and down the Saigon River. Or at least what I think was the Saigon River because as we all know, my geography knowledge is nil.  

Dinner was a huge buffet with cuisines from everywhere in the world and beyond, and we munched while being entertained by scantily dressed dancers and a singer who was clearly used to entertaining a Chinese crowd of a certain age, seeing as she belted out a number of golden oldies which
had all the uncle and aunties cheering like teenagers as a 1D concert. The mind boggles.

Now, to be honest, I was very sleep deprived so my enjoyment factor of the whole evening was capped at a certain point - but I do find dinner shows fairly dated and slightly depressing. However, the somewhat spectacular view from the boat and a cooling breeze that arrived out of nowhere while we were making our way back to the shore made up for it.

So far, so good Saigon.

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