In the middle of Ho Chi Minh City sits two beautiful structures that are a reminder of the country’s French colonial past – the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica and the Saigon Central Post Office. This was our last stop in Vietnam before heading back to Kuala Lumpur.
Named after its much larger and grander counterpart in Paris, the Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica was constructed in the 1800s by the French, with two large belltowers flanking the entrance. It is easily spotted from a distance due to its distinctive red-brick hue. All the materials were brought in from France for the construction. There is a statue of the Virgin Mary just across the road in a small patch of green facting the church.
And across the road is the Saigon Central Post Office, another colonial building constructed around the same time. It still functions as a regular post office apart from being a popular tourist attraction. It’s pink and white facade, along with arched windows and carvings have a distinctively European feel to them. And guess who designed this building?
The post office was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the very same guy who created one of the world’s most well-known structures in Paris today – the Eiffel Tower.
Our stop was very brief as we had to catch lunch and a flight home, so after some snapshots, we were bundled onto the bus again and driven to a nearby Vietnamese restaurant.
We had Egg salad, Vietnamese paper spring rolls, cashew chicken and pho. The rolls were great and filled with shrimp and sliced vegetables, while the cashew chicken was cooked well, tender and had a crispy fried noodle basket to go with it. I had my pho without the herbs and stuff, because they were not really to my taste.
My verdict on Vietnamese food? I guess I like certain things, but it’s very vege-heavy, which is not something I’m particularly fond of. These days I don’t eat meat as much, but I still don’t like vegetables so much. If I were ever to go vegetarian, I think I’d subsist on fungi and legumes. O-o
Last view from the bus as we head to the airport.
Goodbye, Vietnam! It’s been fun:)