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  • Day14

    Ho Chi Minh City

    October 7 in Vietnam ⋅ ⛅ 90 °F

    We landed in Saigon, checked into our hotel and immediately made it over to the Ben Thanh market. The tourist sites refer to this as the central market in not only Saigon, but all of Vietnam. Lists of places to visit and walking tours all start here. It's a great place for introduction. The market is over 7000 square meters of clothing, knickknacks, bulk items, fresh foods, and food stalls.

    We wandered around the aisles for awhile waiting for just the right scent emanating from a kitchen to lure us to lunch. We found it and took seats along with a couple of Australian tourists on holiday. They'd just finished a beef salad bowl called 'special bowl' on the menu and recommended it. That and a mango Lassi really hit the spot.

    The afternoon we wandered up toward the ex presidential palace and American Consulate. Memories of war coverage came flashing back.

    In the evening we took a Grab taxi to Belgo, a Belgian brew pub some 3 kilometers away. The burger and Belgian frites with Samurai sauce were excellent. The beers were spot on as well.

    Our last night in Ho Chi Minh was spent at the Continental hotel. The legendary historic inn where Graham Greene wrote The Quiet American, the war journalists liked to drink in the 60s, and Bourdain preferred during his visits to the city. The hotel upgraded our rooms to suites. Nancy and I had two bedrooms with full baths and Don and Mary's spacious digs overlooked the Opera House. A night to remember.
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