Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ho Chi Minh City 3 Walking Tour (1/2/2013)

Still Wednesday, January 2, 2013
We had a free afternoon, so began our walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon.
Just a block from the hotel is the US Consulate:
Built in 1999 on the grounds of the former US Embassy.
Diamond Place Christmas decorations:
Oh, no!
Successfully blocking motor scooters from entering the park:
Motor scooter helmets:
Kent by the old tree at the War Remnants Museum:
War Remnants Museum:
A piece of a B52 bomber:
Huey the Helicopter:
On the streets, you know where to find a motor scooter repair and tire shop by this configuration at the curb:
The ice cream lady:
No. 164 Dong Khoi, the former Surete:
No. 22 Ly Tu Trong, former CIA offices:
Rex Hotel Rooftop Garden Bar:
Kent and Tamiko:
View from the rooftop:
Rooftop Garden Bar:
Birdcage lamps:
Back on the street; Vietnam military?
No. 4 Nguyen Thiep, Lemongrass Restaurant:
Restaurant interior:
We had a nice lunch before continuing our walk.
Crocodile skin products:
No. 66 Dung Du, Jamia Mosque (established 1935):
No. 19 Ngo Duc Ke, former UPI Bureau:
No. 13 Dong Khoi, Maxim's Nightclub:
No. 1 Dong Khoi, Majestic Hotel (1925):
This hotel as well as most of the major historic hotels are run by the state-owned Saigon Tourist:
A view of the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City:
Bitexco Financial Tower was completed in 2010, and is supposed to resemble a lotus bud. We don't know about the tongue or diving board.
We walked along the Saigon River, past some interesting tourist boats:
The statue of 13th century General Tran Hung Doa:
We ran into several of our Viking mates along the walk, and gave our War Remnants Museum tickets to Sharon and Aaron. In turn, John gave us his zoo ticket, so we ended up in the Botanical Garden/Zoo:
Rheinardia ocellata/Rheinart's Crested Argus with long tail feathers:
The Elephas maximus/Asian Elephants have enrichment toys, too!
We were surprised by the snout of a Choeropsis liberiensis/Pygmy Hippopotamus in the murky pool:
The park is well-shaded, mostly by trees:
We returned to the hotel:
What is Thien doing?!
He's spraying insect repellent on Katherine, since our dinner was in an outdoor venue along the river. Another 5-star dinner at The Deck Restaurant.
The rest of our group was able to go to bed, although some would have to wake up early for flights home or onward. We, however, left the hotel tonight at 23:00 for a flight at 1:50 on January 3, 2013. We made it back home to Shanghai in time for breakfast!
We also returned from tropical Vietnam to find it snowing in Shanghai!
Thus ends our Viking River Cruises "Magnificent Mekong" trip.

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