We arrived to Ho Chi Minh city ( aka Saigon or HCMC ) to the airport in the morning. Thanks to an advise from fellow travelers we took a local bus to our hotel instead of taking an overpriced taxi. The cost difference was huge and we were happy to save some money. When we arrived to the hotel we met another guests. They just got robbed in the middle of the day! Their experience made us to be aware of our surroundings and cautious . The hotel’s location was very good, and we were able to walk to District 1 where many notable Saigon’s attractions are located. During our short stay we visited Notre Dame Cathedral the French Catholic Church. Unfortunately the church was closed during the time. The opening times are posted on the door if someone is interested in seeing it the inside.
Literally next door there is a Saigon Central Post Office. It’s a beautifully restored building in a neoclassical architecture style. Walking inside felt like walking into a movie scene.
Not a far distance from it there is a The Municipal Theater of Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon Opera House . We realized there was a show A O playing that night. What a better way to visit the opera building like during a performance. The show was only one hour and it was an interesting mix of elements of Vietnamese music, dance and acrobatics. The performers were young and very good. We enjoyed the show and the Opera building inside was worth a visit as well.
The District 1, is probably the most elegant in Ho Chi Minh City, with the high-end stores and hotels. All stores had beautiful Christmas decorations.
The visit wouldn’t be completed without stopping in the backpackers part of town to enjoy the local food and cheap beer. The next day we left for the Mekong River tour.
The Bus #152 cost 5000 Dongs ($0.25) and the bus stop is just outside the terminal. We heard the taxi can cost $25.00 despite the short distance to the city. The location of our guesthouse was good. The owner nice and very helpful. The hotel itself probably the worst we slept so far. The cost $25.00 including breakfast The A O show tickets are from 600 Dongs ($30) to 1600 Dongs. ($80.00) We got 20 % discount .