Saturday, March 12, 2016

Sightseeing within Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in Vietnam

Saigon Central Post Office
The Saigon Central Post Office is one of the most popular tourist attraction in HCMC. It has a distinct architecture and colour that you will not miss when you pass by.

There was no air-con so it felt pretty old, which was nice to preserve the heritage of this place. You could also buy souvenirs and post cards to mail out immediately.

Notre Dame Cathedral
This cathedral was right in front of post office and another key attraction in Saigon.

The back of the cathedral was less visited and faces Diamond Plaza, a shopping mall that we kind of like and bought many things from.

Saigon Opera House
The Saigon Opera House was nearby but we could not enter so it was rather disappointing. There were no traffic lights along the way so my friend was worried we might get hit by a car or motorbike XD Anyway the vehicles were not moving fast and there were two of us, so chances of getting hit was lower :P

Ho Chi Minh City Hall
The flowers in front were quite nice and you could take a beautiful picture here.

Independence Palace
All museums except for HCMC Museum were closed during lunch time so we could only take a glimpse from the outside... The opening hours were 07:30-11:00 and 13:00-16:00, that's right, they open early and have a 2 hour lunch break! Be sure to check the opening hours before you come!

Vinh Nghiem Pagoda
We wanted to visit a pagoda so we asked the hotel desk for recommendation. He said that this temple is where locals go to and "Ngoc Hong Jade Emperor Pagoda" is where tourists go.

Be careful when you visit here, there were a few peddlers who would pester you for a long time to buy their incense or beg for money. My friend ignored them and was safe but I bought some incense to pray and paid 50,000 dong. After that I was pestered by a middle-age woman for more money...

Inside I believe was a monastery where monks and devotees live.

Ben Thanh Market
This market was also one of the key attractions and well-known for selling cheap souvenirs and goods. We were told that there were many pickpockets and snatching so we had to be very careful. I only dared to take out my smartphone to snap a photo after I got out of the place.

There were a lot of counterfeit goods selling there, such as Chanel, Mont Blanc, Kipling, Burbery, Issey Miyake, etc. I felt it is better for them to remove the brand name and just sell the bags and shirts without the names because they will be an "inspired" product rather than an obviously fake product. But then again if you remove the signature Chanel logo there won't be any design on the hair clips or Tshirt...

I think copyright protection is still weak but I believe as the country develop, the situation will improve and there will be more local original brands and design.

6 comments:

  1. These places are so nice to sketch!

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    1. Haha it's great to sketch but probably not at this time because it was DAMN HOT and dry. I think it was around 36-38 degrees, very dry, no rain nor clouds for the entire 4 days when we were there. I think end of year should be more cooling but may have rain. But the architecture there is pretty nice and they decorated with colourful flowers. All colonial buildings were within close proximity.

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    2. actually, southern VN has only 2 seasons are rain and dry season :))) hope you will enjoy northern :3

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    3. Ah I see, thanks Arthur Queen! I want to visit Hanoi next time, that's where my publisher is :P

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    4. Wow. That's hot. It sounds as hot as Penang.

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    5. Yeah but I think dryer than Penang. I saw lots of clouds when flying past Malaysia, but none over Vietnam!

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