My first ever solo travel (Bangkok Thailand Part 2 & Chonburi). Tadaa! I did it. I sure did. A proud moment of mine. In fact, one of the most proudest by far in my entire life. Me daring myself to travelling alone (Ayutthaya). Thereafter? On the go again. Thanks to the insights, mainly on courage and ditching aside fear I have already picked up. But not as in solo, solo again. I actually joined a tour group. Where to? Vietnam & Cambodia by paying more compared to the stated amount due to single room occupant. Otherwise, everything else being equal and square. Same package basically. The day arrived and off to the airport where tour guide was already on stand-by, and before going up in the air for landing in Tan Son Nhat airport, followed by to Liberty Central Hotel for our one night stay. At this juncture, friendship ice-berg still at it rawness. Meaning? Friendship water has not been broken though we did smile at each other and after collecting our keys, off to our respective rooms. My room. Sincerely. A comfort zone. Nothing to complain about. Simple yet elegant. Spic and span, and ample space for me, myself and I.
Aplenty choices too mind you. But once you start walking around and within the stalls, it will be a matter between which stall you want to buy what because most of the traders are selling almost the same things.
Back to the hotel and once everyone has gathered, Water Puppet Show. Tour guide making the necessarily arrangement and we later taking our seats in the theatre and also given a pamphlet in English. How? Water Puppet Show? Interesting start. Gluing us on our seats. Seeing the puppets going in, out, up and above the water and synchronised by the loud banging traditional Vietnamese sound of music. But within the next 10 minutes? No doubt, respect due must be respect given for the skills, yet. I was bored to death. As if you are seeing the same act over and over again, and the loud music? Must I recommend Water Puppet Show to you? Honestly, don't waste your money and time.
Oh-boy! Finally, show ended within the next I think 45 minutes. What a relief! And we later adjourning for dinner. Our first meal in Vietnam and in Quan Ngon 138 Vietnamese Restaurant. Haven. Ambiance wise, service wise and food wise. Delicious meal. Utterly. Vietnamese rolls, soup, fish, salad and what not, plus the traditional Vietnamese dessert in tall glass, a similarity to our ice kacang/ABC.
Day 1 over and done, and we returning to the hotel. Next morning, after tucking into hotel buffet breakfast, our sightseeing shot off. Reunification Palace. Previously known as Independence Palace and where Vietnam War ended. In other words, the fall of Saigon. We walking into the compound and at once, so much of excitement seeing the vintage cannons and tanks outside. My-My! I think the first ever live experience of seeing these military war equipments for most of us. Of course, how can we not have our moment to candid shots. Must be included right? Right.
Almost two hours in Reunification Palace, and then to War Remnants Museum. Vietnam war and its relevancy again. Believe me, can stir up your feelings. War torture, pain, misery and aftermath on all those effected and impacted. Pretty much, the outcome of the years of Vietnam War. Worth the experience seeing and reading. Yes. Why? Because by the time you walk out and also view the outside torture chamber, you won't complain how unfair life is. In fact, you will be lost for words.
Up next? Saigon Post Office. Nothing much actually. Maybe not even twenty minutes of your time. Of course admirable and Saigon Post Office still functioning as usual till this day. Built in the 20th century by renowned architect Gustave Eiffel and when Vietnam was part of French Indochina. Says it all I suppose? Vault roof and arched windows, the reminiscent of early European railway stations? Additionally, those colonial period phone booths? Already converted to ATM machine booths, and also, the historic map of South Vietnam on the concourse walls, a mosaic of Ho Chi Minh and souvenirs you can pick up.
The end of our half a day sightseeing in Ho Chi Minh City. Lunch was next and off to the airport for touching down in Cambodia.