Have a 2 day lay over in Ho Chi Minh city. Any suggestions on must see/what to do?
#1 travisunderwood has been a member since 6/4/2010. Posts: 3
The city itself is well worth at least 2 days and sure enough you're able to see most of the major attractions in town: the notre dame cathedral, reunification palace, china town and Ben Thanh market, some to name. You may take a half day trip to Cu Chi tunnels. Any travel agents in Pham Ngu Lao, Bui Vien st can help you out with no difficulty.
Food: try the Lemongrass: good food, tasteful decoration and decent prices. On the corner of Dong Du, there is a restaurant that offers chineese and vietnamese food. Very good with set menus, $15 per person. The garlic shrimps are excelent with a cold Tiger beer!
#2 lexkssnbrg has been a member since 5/5/2009. Posts: 53
I agree with all of the above. You can hire a cyclo for not very much and they will take you around all the sites. Most of them have a printed card with the sites written on it. Just make sure you know how long in total the trip will be so they don't just whiz around the sites and point them out but rather give you time to get out and have a look. We had a great time doing this.
#4 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221
Two food places my local friend brought me to, that i would recommend:
Nam Giao (food from Hue city), one outlet is located at Le Thanh Ton St, just opposite Ben Thanh Market:
BBQ garden (nice to chill out, price is affordable too):
You can do plenty thing in Hochiminh City. My first choice is to take a day trip to Vinh Long. It is really intimate trip to visit houses along the Mekong network, boat trip and try different types of tropical fruits. They are so fabulous!
If you are interested in a bit of history, go to Cu Chi and Caodai temple. The tunnels is crossphobic, but you can learn something about Vietnam - US war too.
Cao dai is good for photo trip.
Have a good time
#7 stillgoing has been a member since 10/4/2010. Posts: 20
#8: My opinion is that the zoos in Vietnam cater for the locals only and it's comprehensible that foreign travelers don't seem to like them very much.
But I'll give them a try if I've kids and travel with them :)
#9 lexkssnbrg has been a member since 5/5/2009. Posts: 53
Lex,I am not sure who they cater for but I know for certain they don't cater for the animals. The visit to the zoo was the only bad thing about my Vietnam experience. :(
The animals are kept in enclosures that do not meet their needs. Large concrete structures with wire and little thought or understanding of what these animals actually need. Most of the animals looked tired and many appeared to be suffering the affect of being caged in such unsuitable conditions for so long, particularly the elephants and monkeys.
The elephants and monkeys are fed tonnes of sugar cane and rubbish by tourists at the encouragement of Vietnamese locals trying to make money out of them, which is nothing but a death sentence to the animals.
There are less than 10 different large species kept at the zoo and a few reptiles. I would say, when we were there, there were as few as 80 people wandering around, the majority being locals.
The animals would be best served being sent to other zoos around the world where there is more knowledge and understanding of their care. It is an animal welfare issue.
This is a problem is many places Puggles - and I share your concern. I don't like zoos for this very reason. I have a large piece of land in a thai village in Yasothon and am considering buying a couple of elephants if I can scrape up the cash. My father in law is willing to care for them. But they are not cheap to maintain. They like to eat! I have decent financial means, but also a lot of obligations, so we'll see. I do have a special fondness for elephants, since they are so sentient and responsive.
On a side note from this thread, two years ago there was a mahout working with an elephant here named Dangmo (watermelon). Dangmo was only two, and not all that big. He used to bring her by my house to water her. I would stroke her, she'd put the hose in her mouth and drink her fill, then I'd wash her body down. She liked that. I think it's cooled her off. Anyway, one day I saw her with her Mahout walking on the other end of our street and I yelled "Dangmo" and held out my arms. Her Mahout let her go (street was empty - no cars or people) and she comes running down the street to me like a dog. When she was about 20 feet away and showing no signs of slowing down I suddenly realized "maybe this was a bad idea". But she moved to a walk right after that and we walked to my house for some watering.
Of course, elephants can be dangerous and I know people here do occcassionaly get killed by them. Not only that, but the use of elephants in the collection of revenue is a controversial issue as well. I appreciate all those arguements, but I also see no reason not to give the elephants water when they come by or interact with them.
Well Mac, you never cease to amaze me. I think that's great, and I hope your personal elephant sanctuary comes to fruition.
What's next for Dangmo? Salsa lessons? ;)
Oh, and zoos. Even the best of them are pitiful places to hold wild creatures.