Today several of us had the opportunity to attend a church service in the Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral. The individuals who did not go to church went to the War Remnants Museum. The museum had a lot of artifacts from the war. In front of the museum are several huge planes and tanks. You don't realize how big they are until you're standing next to them. The inside is filled with information about the war including various guns and Agent Orange.
After church and the museum we stopped at the Saigon Central Post Office. It took approximately five years (1886- 1891) for the large sunshine yellow building to be completed. Inside the post office were individual booths people used to make phone calls. Interestingly you can still call people around the world! Thank goodness we have cell phones!
After the post office we went for another wonderful meal. This time we ate at the Co Ngu Restaurant. We enjoyed spring rolls, beef with green pepper sauce, bread, fried chicken with lemon grass and chili, mixed vegetables, fried fish fillets with tomato sauce, steamed rice and fresh fruits. Everyone is getting really good with their chopsticks!
Next we visited the Reunification Palace, formerly known as the Independence Palace. This isn't actually the original palace; the first one was built by the French in 1868 for the governor of Indochina. In the 1960s, when Vietnam existed as two countries, this served as the home of the South Vietnam president. The palace has lots of rooms open for the public to see. Everything is still decorated like it was in the 60s. One room had pea green carpet! Can you believe they even had a cinema room?! We didn't get a chance to see the upstairs party room or the helicopter landing pad, but everything we did see was very ornately decorated.
Tonight is our last night in the country. We hope to venture to the market one more time to pick up any last minute souvenirs and get a few hours of shut eye before our 3 am flight home.
Kaleigh Kerns and David Cook
UPDATE: Since this blog post was written, our flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong was cancelled. We are working on rescheduling our flights and will get back to you with more information shortly. Everyone is fine; although we're anxious to get home, we're still in very good spirits.