Friday, October 24, 2008

Welcome to Saigon

Thursday, Oct. 23

We feel refreshed after showers and a good night's sleep. The breakfast buffet at the Lan Lan Hotel 2 is fantastic. We're already looking forward to the next breakfast.

There was a package of bottled water and fresh fruit waiting for us at the front desk - a gift from Uncle Hong and Nga. They're on a Mekong Delta tour this week, but we'll see them on Sunday when they return.

After breakfast we talked to Trang from Children's Home Society on the phone. She told us that our Giving & Receiving (G&R) ceremony still hasn't been scheduled and it's no longer likely that it'll take place Tuesday the 28th as anticipated. Now she's guessing perhaps Friday the 31st or Monday, Nov. 3rd.

We set out on foot to explore the neighborhood. After changing money near the Ben Thanh Market, we wandered until we found a park. A cyclo driver tried to sell us a tour, but we wanted to walk after the long day of sitting in airplanes. He warned us about druggies in the park who try to steal from tourists. We didn't meet any druggies, but some students approached and asked if we speak German. They're studying German and have an assignment to interview German tourists. I said I'm not German, but I speak German, which was good enough for them. So we had a little conversation in German about our trip to Vietnam, how long we're here, what places we plan to visit, what we like about VN, etc. Mom will love this story! I guess I must look like a German tourist! We took a picture of the students.

After traversing the park, we sat down to consult our guidebook and the cyclo driver approached us again. This time we took him up on his offer of a little tour. What a fun introduction to the city. We were in the midst of the flowing, weaving, swirling traffic, sitting back and taking it all in. The driver gave me a map so I could follow along our route. This helped me start to feel familiar with the layout of the center of town.

In the afternoon we rested, then wandered around on foot some more and bought a few souvenirs. In the evening we went to bed early- the jet lag is definitely still with us.


  1. I'm so glad you are keeping a blog! I'm anxiously awaiting the next entry.

  2. Thank you for sharing this exciting adventure with all of us by blogging it! It must be an extra (emotional) thrill for Hung to be seeing family he hasn't seen for 33 years; and for Siiri to be meeting them for the first time!
    I told our Staff Accountant, Vu Dihn, about your trip and how disappointing that meeting Alex had been postphoned. He suggests that more "Benjamins" ($$$) may be needed; but he's a cynic, like all accountants. Hugs and kisses, Val