We were so excited to see a sunny blue sky when we looked out of our hotel window in our first morning in Saigon. We missed the sunshine. We just came from northern Vietnam where the clouds didn’t allow the sun to peek almost the whole time we were there. We decided to spend the day strolling around the city to take in as much sunshine, while taking in Saigon’s modern and historic architecture and local street scenes.
(Ah yes, we prefer to call the city Saigon, instead of its official name Ho Chi Minh City, because it sounds more romantic and easier on the tongue:) Besides, the locals still prefer to call their city Saigon, so why don’t we.)
The French established this market building they called Le Halles Centrales in 1870. It was renamed Ben Thanh Market in 1912 and today, it is a bustling marketplace where the locals can shop for all their daily needs. The main entrance with its clock has become the city’s symbol.
We walked around Ben Thanh Market a bit. Its sheer size and enormous merchandise were pretty overwhelming. You can find almost all products you can think of – from the things you wear everyday to the food you have not even heard of.
A mango vendor next to a bus stop.
Peering through the gate of one of the ghosts of Saigon’s past – the Reunification Palace. It used to be the office of the President of South Vietnam. It was the site of the end of the war during the Fall of Saigon in 1975 when the tanks of North Vietnamese troops stormed the palace.
One of the famous and imposing landmark of Saigon, the Notre Dame Cathedral was built by French around mid-1800’s.
I tried to relive the Opera House’s romantic belle epoque era by walking down its red carpet:)
It was a perfect day for a stroll. Aside from the sunny sky, the temperature was very comfortable (it was early December) and because it was a weekend the streets were devoid of its crazy, notorious traffic. We hope you enjoyed strolling the streets of Saigon with us.