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Vietnam: 8~Birthday celebrations are go!

After a long day outside the city and a few days on my own, it was time to meet up with some friends. The birthday girl Danielle, the birthday boy Mark, and a group of their friends had now arrived in Saigon. I wandered over to their hotel for a few G&Ts, checking out the nice digs that I would be checking into the following day.

Me and Dan

Needing sustenance of the food kind, we went up the street to a pho cafe whereupon I had my first try of the Vietnamese noodle soup. Looks pretty healthy eh?

Pho for dinner

A few of us went for a night time wander to admire some of the buildings and hunt down another drink.

City Hall, a beautiful building during the day, becomes a spectacular one at night

City Hall again, behind some illuminated fountains. Purdy!

And City Hall one last time, behind a statue of Ho Chi Minh himself

The Rex Hotel where we visited the roof top bar

Waiting for cocktails at the Rex

I walked back to my part of the city and felt perfectly safe in doing so – the only ruffle in my demeanour caused by a group of scavenging rats.

They were probably as alarmed about me as I was about them

The following day I checked into the Duxton before the organised activities got underway. We caught taxis over to Pho Hoa Pasteur, a famous restaurant, for lunch. It was hot inside and the decor very unassuming but as we were shown through to our air conditioned room out the back, the restaurant’s popularity was obvious.

Pho and beer

Later we had a city tour on foot and on cyclo.

Tour by cyclo! This was a bit of fun

Perhaps we'll let the bus go first

Among the stops we went to the Reunification Palace (and it was good I got to see this again as realised I had missed one or two bits the first time), the cathedral where a service was in progress, and the post office.

Arriving at the Reunification Palace with our guide

The day finished with drinks and eats at another roof top bar. We were just warming up… the actual birthday celebration was still a few days away.

Drinks and nibbles at the Caravelle Hotel roof top bar

Did I mention drinks

The birthday duo

* * * * * *
This is part of a series recounting my July 2009 trip to Vietnam.

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