Mekong River Scenic Cruising 2

and on to Ho Chi Minh City


How do you like my Monty Python muffler? I was extricated from its hug shortly thereafter.


Our tour guide "Tin" and his python friend posing for a memorable photo.


A spot of tea with our English friends.


Crew Appreciation Time


Traditional Vietnamese Music 



Judy enjoys a last meal on-board with a few glasses of wine ... Her table mates are aghast!



Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon)


"Bid farewell to your ship this morning as your cruise through Cambodia and Vietnam comes to an end. Disembark in My Tho, a busy river port not far from the capital of Southern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, take a tour of the Reunification Palace—the site of South Vietnam’s defeat. See the Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral."


HCM City Hall at night...


...and in daylight


Touring the city



Wedding photos, customarily taken the day before the wedding.




Lacquer Factory




The Reunification Palace (formerly the Independence Palace)


I'm standing beside a Chinese tank patterned after the Soviet T54/55, probably designated a Type 59, located at the gate to the palace.



Some interior shots inside the recently renovated palace.







From royal elegance to military functionality ...


Crypto room in basement.



Crypto Duty Officer's bedroom c/w emergency phones.



Touring HCMC



The very interesting Saigon Market


Slow day? Bored? A worldwide a friend on your cell phone!


Market pay toilet, flush(as it were) to ground...




Our Elegant and Luxurious Hotel, The Sofitel Saigon Plaza


Garry & Judy in the main floor lobby.






How about the fresh and delicious buffet breakfast...



and the gorgeous swimming pool on the 18th floor ...


complete with bar and lunch service of course...


and off the rooftop, an intriguing example of contemporary architecture.




Magnificent floral arrangements, with orchids galore, everywhere!


I'm attacked by an elephant on the entrance patio!!!



 The final tour restaurant dinner. Our English friend digging for gold?



Tastebud-stimulating presentations, from appetizers through to desserts!!!







And a final toast with our wonderful tour guide, "Tin"!


The official "Magnificent Mekong" tour was over, but we stayed for three more days, conducting our own tour of local parks and memorials, and, of course, sampled some restaurants.

One special evening we attended a performance produced by a former member of the Cirque de Soleil at the beautiful Saigon Opera House. The A O Show Saigon is an interesting mix of the new and the old, combining elements of Vietnamese music, dance and Cirque du Soleil. Developed in 2009, and performed across Europe, the 500-seat Saigon Opera House is the current home of the show. The performers amazed us with a variety of feats, ranging from travelling across the stage in human-sized baskets to making bamboo/human bridges over which baskets and people were delivered across the stage. In movement and dance, they told the history of the Vietnamese people. Beautifully done!

If you want to learn more, copy and paste this link into your browser:  


The exterior of the Saigon Opera House ...


... and the delicately ornate interior.


Each day I had the typical North American "Bacon'n'Eggs" breakfast, while Judy opted for "Pho", a Vietnamese staple that is available any time of the day or night.





And now on to exploring more of this fascinating city of old and new...


The "Tous les Jours" Restaurant and Bakery serving the basic food groups ... of course...


...and another fave, ice cream sundaes, Asian style. 


A military museum and memorial park included a display of equipment left behind by American Forces.


At the local park some rock music was belting out on stage, so I initiated appropriate western dance steps much to the crowd's amusement ... except for the little girl who seems to be expressing the thought, "What is that old guy doing???"


An on-stage "SNAKE" preview!


Off to the zoo ... I'm the one on the left.


The Gardens - meticulously designed and maintained.


I was lucky on this shot - a "designer" moth with a six inch wingspan, poised on a colourful blossom!


A different take on "Hens and Chicks" 


Hmmm, green elephants ?!? ...


And bunnies!



That's All Folks ! Back to Canada!

What an amazing trip!!!

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