Reconciliation with the cities thanks to Ho Chi Minh

On 6 March 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos

I do not like cities , even less when they are large . Based on this assumption and further having heard many negative things about HCMC ( frequent steals, impossible to cross the road, unpleasant people , expensive …) , I confess that I arrived with an a priori rather negative about the city even if I do not like to get ahead with something.

imageSo I arrived from Dalat by bus and I was thinking that if it was really too much, I go on tour in the Mekong Delta which is calm. But just arrived , I do not know why , I had a good feeling with this metropolis . Yes there is lot of people , yes it is huge, but leaving the bus I arrived on a large park, with smiling Vietnamese who played sports . It was beautiful , GH where I stayed was well placed in a small quiet street overlooking the large main avenue . There I found Beth , one of my favorite travelers met in Hanoi for a few hours before she takes her flight . Then I met Severin at the GH , super friendly German with whom I spent the first evening, and Sean , Canada , who joined us.

imageFirst “real” day in the city so , I woke up early and knowing it was very hot during the day here, I went directly to walk around 8am . I crossed the park full of people doing sports, I arrived at Ben Thanh Market. I then discover the Notre- Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office , which is superb. I wandered around the neighborhood to the edge of river passing through the town hall or theater . Honestly, this city is full of very beautiful monuments. Some call it the little Paris . Although it is far from Haussmann architecture of the French capital , it is true that there is a little je ne sais quoi … add to that all the French culture seen in cafes, bakeries , music and other, we believe it almost :)
imageAfter lunch at the market , I was refuge for dessert at the bakery A day in Paris (which I recommend both the food for the fact that the owners are super nice , I spent 1 hour talking with them and take pictures of their shop !) . I then went at the Museum of War Remnants . I ‘m not very museum but I heard a lot of it . Well … must hang his heart , some (ok most) pictures are very shocking , especially in the part of the ” orange agents.” I wanted to cry, to scream at times, I look away sometimes but it was too late … Outside this psychological aspect, I learned a lot in this museum. Finally, I did not know much about this war and so I filled some gaps ! But I would not recommend for the faint hearted …
I continued my way to the Jade Pagoda east of the city and then I finished my day with the rise of Bitexco tower from where you have a magnificent view over the city especially at sunset when the lights come on !

imageFor my 2nd day, I headed for the Cholon district , Chinatown in the city. After a loooong walk in the sun , so I arrived in this pretty lively neighborhood. I discovered a small temple unfrequented quite nice tourist, the market Bin Thay ( after much research! ) Which is more authentic than the downtown one. I wanted to go to the most famous temples but after 3 hours of walking, I was tired and a taxi agreed to take me back to the center for a price beating all competition so I am not gone . calm afternoon after a lunch in the market to discover the glacier Fanny ( excellent! ) , walking here and there . HCMC is a fairly simple city to orientate easily , big plus ! Then I rested at the park a few hours observing the life around me .

imageSo a city that has charmed me that do not meet my ” 1st choice ” travel . A great way to close this chapter of Vietnam before flying back to the Philippines to join 2 friends ! For sure I will return to this country to explore all these places that I have not had time to visit …

Ps: an advice to cross in HCMC that someone gave to me in Delhi but is valid in all major cities who scoff pedestrians : ” close your eyes and cross .” Of course, this is a way of talking and not really close your eyes but just go ahead, do not hesitate and do not wait because nobody will ever stop to let you pass !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: