As we prepare to bring in the new year I am blown away by crazy Saigon. There are thousands of motor bikes on the street, most carrying families of four including the cutest chubby face kids. I must have given enough high fives and pinched fat little cheeks to last me a lifetime. Since traffic is virtually at a standstill I guess the babes are safe.
The excitement is palpable and energy high. I have never seen anything like it in sleepy Minneapolis. And I love it!!!! It’s warm and humid and we all are wearing red and gold for prosperity and happiness. In a short while we will be on the steps of the French Opera House (opposite the Caravelle hotel, our abode for the night) to watch the fireworks and laser show and bring in the new year. It’s like being in the heart of the action or Times Square on New Years Eve!
Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City is known for its food and we had our taste buds truly satisfied with Saigon Pho at ‘Pho 2000’. We even sat at the same table as Bill and Chelsea Clinton 😄. It was delicious and the foodie experience continued at Lemon Grass for dinner. Hopefully pictures speak far more than a thousand words.
We arrived in Saigon on an early morning flight from Hue, and had our fill of the independence movement under Ho Chi Minh with a visit to the Reunification palace or former presidential palace of South Vietnam. The helicopter and red circles denoting the two dropped bombs that convinced America to leave Vietnam, and the famous iron gate through which the communist tank crashed into and forged unification was a walk back into history.
We also got to witness a Vietnamese wedding celebration outside Notre Dame cathedral and the operational Art Deco post office built by Eiffel the architect behind the Eiffel Tower.
2015 came in with a bang. The firework and laser show was breathtaking. I have been fortunate to have seen many spectacular shows but none with an Asian flair. The tallest building in Saigon and its helipad served as a launchpad for waterfalls of fire, trees of life, rising suns, whirling dervishes and writhing dragons in orange, yellow, green and red. So we sat in harmony with thousands of our motorcycle friends and brought in 2015 with a smile.
Happy New Year!!
Adios till next time!!