Short Break in Saigon

Saigon at night – in front of Reunification Palace

It has been almost 3 months since last September when I went to Saigon to pick up some guests. And also 6 months since that day which has been hurtful so far to me. Saigon has not changed much. It is still crowded, noisy and unbreathable.

A crowded street near Ben Thanh Market – Le Loi Blvd

Last Monday, I asked for 2 days-off and went to Saigon with SIT students. We departed around 9 a.m. Sitting on car, I felt car-sick because I drank some cafe sua da in that morning and I think I got cafe-drunk. LOL! sounds funny eh? Man, we were stuck for a while in a long traffic jam in Tien Giang and I felt more tired. Normally, I do not get such tiring feeling. It was weird!

SIT group and volunteer group at farewell party in Tay Do restaurant

We checked in Victory hotel in District 3 around Co Thanh did not book any room for Tien, Thuy and I. We wanted to chill out with SIT so I booked one room for Tien and me (She lent me some cash though). Actually, that hotel is 3 star hotel but its services are not good enough. We loved to have fun so we did not care much about the room’s price. Beds in my rooms were good and warm. I love the light there. I took one photo of the light and me 🙂

Me, arranged-style photo with the light in my hotel’s room

Wow, finally we chilled out and had lots of fun together. Hmm, I was so crazy. I tried a little volka and whisky. They are NOT good at all. I drank them with 7-Up and something like Fanta (one kind of soft drink).

We had fun together in hotel room

At dinner, we stayed in sort of long line to be able to sit down and have dinner in Quan Ngon. Its name can say all. The food in that restaurant is so GOOD! I love to eat out at that restaurant. I ordered my favorite meal – bun cha Ha Noi. Gosh! it is soooo goooood!!!! Trevor – one of SIT – tried tafu and mam (which smells so bad to me). Rebecca had bun thit xao which looked so good too. We had to wait but then we had a very good dinner together.

After dinner, we decided to have some ice cream. Because that late afternoon, we went to Bach Dang Ice cream already, co Thanh wanted to go to another one. We got lost before we found out where the Bo Gia Ice cream. Bo Gia means God Father. Ice cream there is better and cheaper than that in Bach Dang.

Ice cream in Bach Dang Ice Cream – which was a little and expensive dish

Our group at Bo Gia ‘God Father’ Ice cream place where ice cream is cheaper

Amanda, Jazzmin, Ashley, Jazzmin’ mom and I got ice cream with almond, caramel, and chocolate. No words express how good it was!!! Trevor got his favorite ice cream with taro flavor. Alex tried ice cream with red wine. All are so good!!!

My ice cream with almond, caramel and chocolate

Trevor’s is will taro flavor

Alex’s is with red wine at the bottom of the glass and a red strawberry on the top

During the way to Bo Gia Ice Cream, we played some crazy games. Jacob held my arms and swung me. Gosh! Fun! Trevor and I tried to kiss a huge fish on the wall.

A huge fish on the wall was receiving our kisses

And, the funnest thing is to tickle and pillow fight. So much fun! Because that day is Tien’s birthday. We made a small birthday party for her, included pillow fighting. LOL. Later, we learned how to do massage from Alex and we practice to each other. Yo-most !!! LOL And that night, Tien got wine-drunk. She got allergic with wine. That made her eyes swallen and her skin get red. Poor her! That was an unforgettable memory for herself and for us.

Walking in the downtown of Saigon

Tropical Xmas in downtown – Trevor, me, Rebecca,Ashley and Jacob (from the left)

In the morning of the day after, we had to say good-by to Trevor, Rebecca and Amanda who went back to the States. Hugs, kisses, sweet words could not keep them stay longer with us! It was time to go. Tien, Thuy and I wanted to go to the airport with them but there were no room in the taxi. Well, we can meet up together, on facebook. You guys promises me that!!! 🙂

When they left, Jacob, Tien, Thuy, Brad and I wandered around the downtown, went to some bookstores. I got a very beautiful notebooks. I love notebooks and am collecting them. That hobby has just grown up in me recently. So far, I have had 5 beautiful and unique ones. We met and talked to a guy – Viet kieu living in Chicago – named Thanh. He was spending his vacation in Viet Nam with his friends. We accompanied with him for a while. That guy was fun!

Then, we got back to the hotel for Tien’s rest. I went to the airport with Ashley. She had to flight around 4 p.m so we needed to go there around 2 p.m for international check-in. LOL, I never thought that I could go inside; the check-in area. I thought that people who would flight could go inside. But that time, Ashley and I went there together and I thought the security guy supposed me to be a guest. Fun! The international check-in place is so large and well-equipped. Impressive! I wonder how long I will have an international flight ^__^

Inside the international check-in area of Tan Son Nhat airport

Saigon when I stayed was so hot. No rain! Lots of cars and motorbikes! I did not call anyone there. I was afraid that they were too busy to meet me and I just did not want to bother them. However, I met one of my colleague there who rode me to the bus station. He is a good guy and talkative like I 🙂 Moreover, I also met some guests who spent 2 days on the Bassac Cruise last September. One of them could recognize me but two others could not because I had my hair cut so short. They took some minutes to remember who I am LOL

This trip gave me some chances to experience Saigon in another different way. So different than the time I traveled there last year. I went to some luxury places, talked to rich foreigners, and did some other stuffs. This trip made me more mature. People also changed the way they think about me. I have changed. Saigon has not changed. What a life!

Taking photos is not separated from my trip. One time I left my camera in the hotel and I regretted for that action. I could not take photos of inside the big Post Office. Anyway, I can do next time when I get there.

In front of Saigon Center building – Its Xmas decoration is not as cool as it was last year

On the right side of Saigon Center building. Parents take their children to this place to take photos. They are so excited for the coming Xmas! They look very cute ^__^

Parkson – the most expensive store department in Saigon. Inside, there are so many branch products like CK, VictoriaSecret, ect. I did not see many foreigners there, except for Vietnamese ones. Shock!

Dong Khoi street – Freedom street in the war time where American army officiers and soldiers took their breaks after joining the battlefields in other places in the South of Viet Nam. There were many bars, clubs, restaurants, etc. at that time.

One side of the Notre Dame Church – Big Church as Saigoneses call. I wondered why there were so many people sitting and lying along this church. They looked poor and be like farmers. Big questions but no answer!

The Saigon Post Office where I missed a chance to take photos inside. There are some maps of Southern VN along the wall inside the P.O

Pasteur street – along the street, there are many card-selling small shops. Cards are just for Xmas and New Year

I finished my trip and back home around 9 p.m. Tired and sleepy! I miss my bed, my pillow and my Lulu so much. ^__^


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