First day in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh

We woke fairly early, mainly as a result of the 4 hour time difference to Sydney.  We wandered down for breakfast, which was buffet style.  It was very good, and the service is very attentive.

There are beautiful flowers everywhere, some beautiful furniture, and some beautiful art.  It really sets the scene for what a nice hotel this is.

So, we headed out.  The Notre Dame cathedral and Saigon post office building are right next to each other, so we aimed that way, stopping by the Opera House (where some couples were getting their wedding photos taken).  Beautiful day out there !

Traffic is busy, although I have seen worse in other places.  I think it just seems very busy because of the sheer numbers of motorbikes, scooters and mopeds, often carrying 3/4 people.  We got to the post office and decided to take the bus tour.  I enjoyed it, as it gave us a good flavour of the city and for £18/$25 or so for the two of us, I thought it was priced ok.  You can actually hop on and hop off if you want, but we chose to just stay on and enjoy the ride (which has a commentary if you can take the music that goes with it ☺️☺️).

It’s an interesting city, with lots of old, lots of new both mixed in with each other, French influence, Chinese influence, and lots of parks.  I like it.  It’s almost unrecognisable from my last visit here back in 1993/1994.

Anyway, the tour ended back at the Post Office where we started, so we got off and went inside.  It’s a beautiful building, and inside dominated by the giant hall and the huge picture of Ho himself on the wall.

Time for a little souvenir shopping, and then we strolled back to our hotel.  It was a good day.

Valentines Day Flight to Ho Chi Minh City

We were up in reasonable time, to take a peek out of the window, and see the giant cruise ship had gone, to be replaced by a smaller one.  Weather wasn’t bad, despite some threat of a storm apparently approaching.

Anyway, we checked out and waited in the lobby for our ride to the airport.  This is a nice hotel, and for us, well placed in the city.

Drive up to airport was relatively quick at just 30 odd minutes, and we were soon checking in for our Vietnam Airlines flight to Ho Chi Minh city.  Under normal circumstances, I probably would have avoided Vietnam Airlines, but I was familiar with the airline from my AerCap days and knew it would be pretty good.  It was on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner too, although not very full I have to say.  Nice as a passenger.

Quick visit to the lounge and we were soon on our way.

service was good, food was good, loos/toilets were clean, we arrived early, what more could you ask ?

Immigration was straightforward (although US citizens need a visa which we got for Betsy, UK citizens do not), baggage collection was fairly quick, and we were soon on our way through the traffic, and 55,000 mopeds/scooters, heading to our hotel. We are staying at the Park Hyatt Saigon which is a very nice hotel.

Quick bite in our room and then off to bed.

Day in Sydney

Of course, we only got to look out of our hotel window last night, so it was dark.  Turned out we had a pretty decent view.

We had a nice day in Sydney, mainly spent wandering around the Harbour area.

Breakfast in the hotel, then off we walked.  It was enjoyable, mainly because of the scenery, but because the troubled weather we started with had picked up a lot and it was nice and sunny.

A giant cruise ship was in port, so dominates part of the view, but still pretty spectacular, I suppose more so as the ship is there as well.

Strolled down to The Rocks (as it’s named), wandered down by the cruise ship, past where the various ferries leave from, along the quay up towards the Opera House.  We enjoyed our favourite pastime of people watching !

Stopped and had a coffee at the waters edge where we saw a wild parrot (later joined by his mate) working a sugar packet from the cafe 😂

Gentle stroll back via the shops for the obligatory shopping before returning to the hotel for a while.  Then off again strolling around the other end of The Rocks, up close to the cruise ship, the Harbour Bridge, and a stop off at our favourite little pub.

Early bite to eat and off to bed, as we head to Vietnam in the morning !