Sunday, 27 June 2010

The Endless Saigon Walking Tour

Late start again today - none of us woke up until about 1030, and then ended up having a long breakfast of pancakes; so didn't actually get underway on finishing our walking tour that we started two days ago until about 1130.

We went back to the big market first and did a fair bit of browsing - Ben had to buy a new hat because he lost his one he bought two days ago already - Opps! The others bought a few things aswell. It's good fun just walking around and bartering for prices - especially when they drop their price to 10% of what they were originally asking! Also if you walk through the clothes section then you get pretty much mugged by all the women trying to drag you in to their stalls to look at their shirts etc. - Ben pretty much got kidnapped by one lady.

From the market we went to the Notre Dame style cathedral - quite interesting as it is almost a replica of Notre Dame (I went there last september on a cycling tour), but all of the ornate stain-glass windows have been holed or boarded over as they were all bombed out during the Second World War. After just passing past the cathedral (we couldn't get in) we went to the Re-Unification Palace.

At the palace we had an interesting tour by an english speaking guide - I'm pleased to say that it was alot more impresssive that the Summer Palace in Dalat, and it has a lot of significance as it was the household of the last ever president of South Vietnam, and the place that was "liberated" by the VietCong when the took control after the Americans left the country.

After the Palace we went through a few markets, including the War Remnants market - full of rusty dog tags and hammocks etc left behind from the war. It's debatable how many of them are genuine, but it was cool to see at least. All pretty shattered after our massive trek Ben and I stopped at a street side stall for some food then we all met back at the hotel. Still pretty wacked out; we are heading out for a meal later.

Off to the Mekong Delta tomorrow - just two days left in Vietnam!!

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