15 March, 2019 – Ho Chi Minh City

Dock at 7 am and a drive of 1 hour 15 minutes to the central city. The roads have been significantly upgraded – expressway.

Our tour guide is Vu and our driver is Ting. The tour guide is young and very good English and westernized lingo. For example he says when we see the traffic we should say OMG. Two seasons – wet and dry. Typhoons every year an average 5 a year in this region but rarely reach Saigon. “Since we have one political party – nothing is free.” School costs money so some can go by working for their entry fees. Others go to the private schools run by different countries and they cost ‘millions of Vietnamese Dong. They have income tax about 10% on anything more than $10M Dong. They have to pay for health care. Most have no pension so three generations live together.

Food is anything you can eat – dog, rat, snake, etc. There is something called snake wine – red wine with snake blood. Of course there is regular food and side stands along the streets. .

Coffee or white coffee that is the choice. White coffee has condensed milk added. It tastes like hot chocolate. We stop at a beautiful popular coffee shop and with wi-fi.

Cao Dai – this is a religion unique to Vietnam. Yet there is still the French buildings and influence of Christian religion. The church of Norte Dame built in the 1850’s, towers were added later.

The opera house, the Intercontinental hotel and the Post Office buildings are also from that early era of French colonization.

The Rex Hotel where the US officers hung out in the war era. Now many buildings going up around it

city hall is still beautiful with the gardens in the forefront

Many street scenes to observe.

Saw this sign -must be the me too movement Vietnam style promotion

Coffee done; no more wi-fi. Heading to lunch a short walk.