We haven’t done any traveling since Memorial weekend. We spent the summer getting readjusted to life here in Hanoi and getting back into a routine, so we decided to take an extra long Labor Day weekend and explore Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
As can be expected, our weekend consisted of lots of time in the hotel for naps and diaper changes. Luckily we already knew that and stayed in a hotel with a nice playground and pool area. The kids had ample room to run around and play in our spacious room.
Saigon is more polished than Hanoi, and we brought our coveted double stroller to haul the kids and their stuff around in. It was SO nice not to have to carry them and all their gear around the city, especially considering it was sunny and humid all weekend. Saigon is a bigger city than Hanoi and we enjoyed indulging in some western food that we don’t get back home. Some favorites were steaks at B3 Steakhouse, burgers at East West Brewery and burritos from Cali Burrito.
In between naps we visited some of the more famous spots in Saigon. Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon which we couldn’t enter due to renovations, Saigon Central Post Office which was constructed in the late 19th century, and Saigon City Hall. It was sweltering, so we cooled off inside when we could. Oliver made friends with a little boy while he was running around a display for the upcoming Moon Festival in a local mall.
We visited the Imperial Palace on the morning we flew out. It was a whirlwind visit but we’re glad we didn’t miss it. The Independence Palace (also known as the Reunification Palace) is the site of the Fall of Saigon in 1975 when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates. The palace is largely untouched and can be seen as it was in the 1970’s. It was good place for kids because it has a large lawn where they can run around.
Our flight home was easy because our two tired babies slept the whole flight. We know how to tucker our kids out!