Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Our fancy hotel room. It was the size of our apartment.
Our hotel lit up at night. 
The rooftop bar at Rex Hotel. The view was fine but the drinks were way overpriced.
A portion of Saigon's skyline.
Car seat improvisation.
Even in a metropolis of 9 million, there is still room for a few roosters. 

We returned to Saigon from the Mekong Delta, knowing we only had one night, and two full days in town. We realized we would not be getting a real feel for the city, but had gotten pretty good at this quick, drive-by style of travelling. We decided not to stay in the backpackers ghetto for once, and instead splurged on the hotel Graham Greene made famous, the Hotel Continental. The palatial room was well worth it (especially since it was less than $100 on sale), and we were reminded of just how lovely a soft bed, nice pillows and high thread count can be.

We wandered around town, making a half hearted effort at souvenir shopping. Having to carry our possessions on our back for 7 months had put a damper on any desire to acquire new things. It's hard to break out of that habit. We did eat at an excellent dinner at Cuc Gach Quan, had noodles in the market and Bahn Mi on the street, and drank over priced cocktails on a rooftop followed by cheap beers in our room. All in all it was a fitting end to our adventures.

Coming home we flew via Bangkok, and then Korea. We had been watching the news so we felt safe enough to plan a day trip into Seoul for our 10 hour layover. Unfortunately we had totally underestimated the weather and found ourselves in 55 degree rain with no jackets or sweaters. Since it was early morning after a long flight we also didn't think through our transit desk vs immigration choice. So, we ended up on the outside, in the boring 'public' part of the airport, waiting 7 hours to check back through to the inner sanctum (clearly the part of the airport that won them the Best Airport title).

Being back in Vancouver visiting family and our new niece is both comforting and a little disorienting. We definitely have a lot to process about our trip (that's a future post), but also a lot to plan for the next one!

- Bree

Approaching YVR over the city.