Thursday, February 7, 2013

Beautiful and Wonderful Saigon

Today was our last full day in Vietnam. This country is wonderful! Would I come back? Of course! The people are so nice and helpful and, although the streets are crazy crowded, it has been easy to navigate around Ho Chi Minh City.

Today Alexis and I started off by heading back to the French built Notre Dame cathedral. We really wanted to see the inside because it was closed on our last visit. The architecture inside is beautiful and the stained glass is also breathtaking. After taking some photos we heads across the street to the Central Post Office to book a water puppet show for the evening.

Inside the Saigon Cathedral
After finding a map we determined that going to the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens sounded like a great idea! It was a few blocks away but totally worth it! The ticket price was 8,000 Dong. That roughly translates to $0.38. Only 38 cents to go to the zoo!

In my mind I imagined the zoo to be small but it was actually rather large! Alexis and I saw zebras, lions, tigers, giraffes, monkeys, elephants, hippos, goats (that was a little random and strange to have in a zoo), ten species of deer, a whole lot of birds, otters, snakes of all variety and a ton of other animals. In the snake enclosure they had live food for the snakes to eat. Alexis felt really bad for one super cute bunny that would surely be eaten, but at least pythons swollen their prey whole then let their stomach do the work.

Zebra at the zoo in Saigon
It was super fun to see the zoo especially since it was decorated for Tet, the New Year!

After the zoo we grabbed a bite to eat at a cute cafe next to the Cathedral. I got a very fun colored Italian Soda that hit the spot! Alexis and I then went back to our hotel to wait until the water puppet show started.

What is a water puppet show you ask? It's a traditional Vietnamese... I loved the show and everything about it, for anyone going to Vietnam you simply must watch one of these! Even though it was all in Vietnamese, the music was beautiful and the puppetry was outstanding! It was one of my personal trip highlights!

I didn't plan on spending more money in Vietnam... But I really wanted a hammock so I got one. I think it would be fun to have in the summer up at lodge so if I had a break and wanted to relax I could lay in my hammock! Plus the hammock I bought it purple! I also bought I cute skirt and headband! I hate spending money but I am super happy with my purchases here!

Tomorrow will be an early day as we get started on our journey to Singapore!

Below you'll find a YouTube video of the water puppet show Alexis and I watched. This is only one act of many called the "Fairy Dance." Some of the acts were really funny - but this was a little more serious. Also - the beginning few minutes are pitch black, so don't worry if you don't see anything, just keep watching.

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