Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 2: Vibrant Ho Chi Minh Part 2 - Night Stroll / Dinner Cruise

*click on the photos to enlarge*

After the Mekong Delta tour, we were dropped-off at the city center by our guide. It's still too early for our dinner cruise so we took a stroll along the streets of Ho Chi Minh.

The streets have colorful lights and there were alot of high-end shops like LV and Gucci.

We also checked out Notre Dame Cathedral. The facade was beautiful but we were not able to go inside because we thought it was close. The mini garden/park outside was equally beautiful. There were some Vietnamese devotees intimately praying and offering flowers on Virgin Mary's statue, it kinda reminds me of a typical church scene here in the Philippines; colorful balloons for sale, ice cream vendors roaming around and different kinds of food abound the nearby streets.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Just across the Notre Dame Church is HCMC's Post Office . The Post Office facade was said to be influenced by French architecture. Once inside you'll see a portrait of Ho Chi Minh; the nation's former leader and to which the city is named after, mosaic tiles, world map and phone booths. I've never seen a post office like this at least not in the Philippines. We spent a good 30 minutes of our time inside amazed with what we saw. We wouldn't let it pass without taking some souvernir shots.

Post Office as our background
Post Office ceiling  *photo grabbed from travelpod*

inside the Post Office
By 6:30pm, we found our way back to the dock. We were at the port but we cannot see the Bonsai cruise ship. We search the whole dock but still no sight of our cruise ship. We now got only 30 minutes to spare before the boat leaves . A kind police officer helped us even though he couldn't speak english much. He hailed a cab and instructed the driver to bring us to port area in District 4..

We barely made it! The ship was about to leave. *whew*

Upon boarding, we were greeted warmly by the crew, which surprisingly are Filipinos.

meet the Filipino Crew

Before dinner starts, there was a short program about the history of Bonsai. There were a series of dances and songs performed by our kababayans. Dinner commenced a few minutes after; the menu consists of Euro-Asian dishes. The cruise runs for 1 1/2 hour, it also includes live entertainment and complimentary neck and hand massage too! The Filipino crew showcased our very own Tinikling dance, and when they asked for volunteers to try, the 2 bibo kids Josh and Jachel went infront and danced.

Dinner Cruise
We really enjoyed the cruise, its the highlight of our 2nd Day in HCMC.