Travel: Ho Chi Minh - Day 1

I'm really excited for my first day. I am ready to explore and wander tot he wonders of Ho Chi Minh. My excitement is unexplainable. I'm just too ecstatic to walk around the city. So for our first stop, we went to the Reunification Palace, since it's the nearest spot from our hotel. 
Reunification Palace w/as originally the presidential palace of the south and has been left untouched since the day the communist tanks crashed through the gates at the surrender of Saigon to the north. Be sure to check out the inside with its impressive recreation room, basement and the vintage equipment also left exactly as it was found since that day. It was really a great experience for me to be able to see all that.

Next was their famous Notre Dame Cathedral. is a cathedral located in the downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It was Established by French colonists, the cathedral was constructed between 1863 and 1880. It has two bell towers, reaching a height of 58 meters or almost 190 feet. The first church was built in the city. We weren't able to get inside the cathedral because it's closed and they don't allow tourists to get inside that day.
And then we went to the Ho Chi Minh Central Post Office. The building was constructed when Vietnam was part of French Indochina in the early 20th century. It has a Gothic architectural style. 
Inside the Central Post office are two painted maps that were created just after the post office was first built, the first one located on the left side of the building is a map of Southern Vietnam and Cambodia titled ‘Lignes telegraphiques du Sud Vietnam et Cambodge 1892′ which translates to ‘Telegraphic lines of Southern Vietnam and Cambodia 1892” The second map of greater Saigon is titled ‘Saigon et ses environs 1892′ translating to ‘Sai Gon and its environment 1892.
After wandering around we got super hungry and we had lunch at one of Ho Chi Minh's famous restaurant called L'USINE. It is located on the second floor of a certain building, in a ghetto area downtown, It is somewhat creepy down there, yet once you get in to the restaurant, you'll see a total opposite as what you see downstairs. The place is really classy and elegant. For more photos and to know my wonderful experience, click here.
After a long walk around the city, we treated ourselves with some best buy of dry goods at the Ben Thanh Market. Located in the central district, it is the largest and most popular local market in the city where you can stock up on anything from essentials to souvenirs and dine on the various array of delicious Vietnamese food. In this area you can purchase awesome stuff such as bracelets, shirts, bags and a lot more at a very very cheap price. Just be sure you know how to haggle / bargain, and with that you can get goods at 50-70% off.
And for our final destination for the day, we went to the famous Pho For the President" restaurant, the PHO 2000. It is located just across the right side corner at the back of the Ben Thanh Market. It is known to have one of the best Pho in town. 
Pho is a dish consisting of broth, noodles made from rice, a few herbs, and meat.

That was truly an amazing, exciting, and fulfilling day 1 for me. My first international trip was a wonderful experience. It feels so good to be able to learn new things from a different culture and place. More photos will be uploaded on my facebook and tumblr accounts.

disclaimer: some infos are from the www.footprintsworldwide.com website.
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k l y d e j a r a b e l o © | 2013

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