Thursday morning I left my hotel in Warsaw at about 4:30 for a 6:30 flight. First to Paris with a 4 hour layover, then a nearly 12 hour flight to Ho Chi Minh City. I’ve got to say that the food in both the Paris Air France lounge and on the flight to HCMC was very good. I’ve never been served risotto by Delta.
We landed about 7:30, 6 time zones away from Central Europe. After baggage, customs and immigration (baggage took the longest) I was off to the hotel where I arrived about 9. Traffic in this city is crazy. It seemed like more motor bikes than cars with the horns on all of them fully operational. Traffic reminded me of Cairo, only more so. A pedestrian here takes their life in their hands crossing the streets.
After laying around for a few hours and dozing off a few times I went for a walk. First I stopped for lunch, then went to the Independence Palace/Reunification Palace, the headquarters of the President of the former South Vietnam. The palace was built in the 1960s on what had been the site of the French Governor General’s residence. The Governor General’s residence had been destroyed by a bomb at some point.
After the palace, I went on for a walk. Wandered into a very Western department store (with very Western Prices), the primary difference to what I’d see at home was they actually had staff to assist customers (note to Macy’s and Target, try that). My walk was slightly lengthened when I found a beer garden.
Time for bed. I want to see some of the city tomorrow then meet my tour group for the trip through Cambodia to Thailand at 6:00.
Ho Chi Minh City - Day 1