This is going to be my last post about the most recent trip we made to Vietnam. Phew! I wanted to show these two places to those of you who might make a trip to Ho Chi Minh City in the future and those who might not have a chance to visit there, but would be interested in seeing what Reunification Palace and Ben Thanh Market in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City look like.
Reunification Palace was the home and workplace of the president in the South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. (Wikipedia) My husband read the explanation about Reunification Palace on Lonely Planet and thought that it would be interesting for us to visit. I’m very glad he guided us to Reunification Palace as it was quite fascinating and interesting even for our little girls. I highly recommend anyone visiting Ho Chi Minh City to visit Reunification Palace if you were to pick one or a few places to visit in the city. The whole palace is preserved as it was during the war. It is a quite different way to learn about one aspect of the Vietnam War history.
BEN THANH MARKET
If you visit Ho Chi Minh City, you can’t skip Ben Thanh Market even if you know that it’s going to be a typical tourist site. Ben Thanh Market is crazy, noisy, vibrant, energetic, crowded, and above all, interesting! You have to negotiate for prices, which is not easy if you are not familiar with the pricing in Vietnam and I tell you this, they are so used to tourists, they are tough to bargain with. When the time is pressing, it can be stressful, so make sure you give it enough time and go there relaxed and just enjoy shopping and browsing alleys after alleys filled with Vietnamese goodies.
One Thing I Noticed
Here’s a little something for you….
I’ve always wondered why there are so many store and building names that have numbers in Vietnam. We used to live in Arlington, Virginia and our favorite Vietnamese Pho restaurant is called “Pho 79″. That was the first time I wondered why it is 79. Here are all the store names (one building) with numbers I collected during our stay in Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An. I wonder why they like to use numbers. Anybody out there knows the answer?