Hello Vietnam

Paying homage to Ho Chi Minh.

Paying homage to Ho Chi Minh.

Well, we are now in the thick of things, as we find our way in this ever changing yet familiar country.  The ease of our entry was aided so kindly by my old friend Anh Toan, who picked us up at midnight at Saigon’s hectic airport.  We relaxed and adjusted for the following 3 days at Riverside Apartments, a resorty place expat families stay outside of the city.  The mode of transport into the chaotic belly of Saigon was by boat, a real treat for all of us.

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This is Mathilda getting excited for the ride back.
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Riverside was great for us as it provided a soft landing with its big pool and even a playground beside the beguiling Saigon river.
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On our second day, we ventured into the city to visit Saigon’s Zoo, which as doubles as an expansive botanical garden. It is a true oasis admist the city’s 9 million people. It is also a historic treasure, as it is the 8th oldest zoo in the world.
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This baby hippo was sort of weird and cute at the same time. Since the enclosures are so old, one can get quite close to the animals.

This baby hippo was sort of weird and cute at the same time. Since the enclosures are so old, one can get quite close to the animals.

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This tiger really had his eye on Merle.

This tiger really had his eye on Merle.

Just like Saigon itself, the croc enclosure was very overcrowded.  How many do you see?

Just like Saigon itself, the croc enclosure was very overcrowded. How many do you see?

It was a national holiday, so we got to enjoy a couple fantastic dragon dances up close in the middle of the gardens. Mathilda was especially into it.
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There are 2 guys under this costume jumping in unison across the small platforms.

There are 2 guys under this costume jumping in unison across the small platforms.

The zoo also had a small kids’ amusement park. M & M enjoyed having a go at the bumper boats. Only in Vietnam!
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Our last night, we had a nice dinner by the river, just a short walk from Riverside.
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And then it was a trip on the famed Reunification Express to Da Nang. Well, it really was not “express” since it took 15 hours by train whereas by plane it would have been 2, but the journey was fabulous. We had 4 bunks in our own cute compartment and a huge picture window to view some of Vietnam’s most pristine countryside.
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We made it exactly on time, and were soon on our way to the ancient town of Hoi An, a world heritage site. More on that soon!
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7 responses to “Hello Vietnam

  1. Dear Merle and Mathilda – I received your postcard . . . how wonderful to hear from you. I love you to the edge of the universe and back🙂 and miss you very much, but I enjoy following your exciting travels through Mommy’s blog. The zoo looked like a lot of fun – hippos, elephants, tigers and dragons – WOW! I saw a picture of the dragon with blue eyes – just like you! Did Lightning enjoy the train ride, Merle? Blanket sauce seems to be holding up very well and I’m sure would have a lot of interesting tales to tell (if she could talk). Yogi is doing just fine – he also misses you and Hazel, but Asher and Jackson love playing with him. OK, are you ready? I’m sending through a gigantic hug right through this computer . . . did you get it? I love you both soooooooooo much – take good care of Mommy and Daddy. Love, Grandmama

  2. Wow! Love the blog! Your adventures are so fun to follow. Looks like you are having a fabulous time!

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