Ho Chi Minh City Day 1: Arrival | Saigon Central Post Office | Notre Dame Cathedral | War Remnants Museum
Upon arrival at Ho Chi Minh Tan Son Nhat Airport(SGN), our private airport transfer that we booked via Klook, was already waiting for us. It was a comfortable and hassle-free experience with Klook. And much cheaper too, with our hotel offering at US$25 versus Klook at S$16. We headed to Silverland Jolie Hotel & Spa located at District 1 which is a relatively small boutique hotel. It doesn’t has a grand entrance but has a really nice interior. I love it so much!
Although it is located in District 1, it is near to the Saigon river, which is further away from the bustling centre. It is a short walk to the various attractions. We highly recommend this hotel, with the friendly and helpful staff, the cleanliness of the room, the beautiful interior, complimentary afternoon tea and the quietness of the place!
At 4pm, our local guides from Saigon Hotpot came to meet us at our hotel. They are a non-profit organisation that does private, customisable city tours for free. They do accept donations, which they provides for a charity programme – Sky Lantern, that they run for helping children in the unprivileged rural areas of Vietnam.
Our guide’s name is Hau and she booked a Uber for us to start our City Tour. We set off to the Saigon Central Post Office which was crowded with tourists and filled with souvenir shops inside.
I am not that into architecture, but I love the vintage telephone booths and the hand-painted map on the wall! It is in close proximity with the Notre Dame Cathedral which makes this area crowded with tourists and peddlers.
Baby E wasn’t the most enthusiastic initially but the graphical photos made her asked enough questions to understand that there was a war, people fought, tortured, suffered from toxics and many people died. I don’t think she understood everything judging by how happily she skipped around the place. But I’m glad there’s a chance to let her know times were not always peaceful, and terrible things happened, and terrible things have consequences.
After a filling dinner, our guide send us back to our hotel. It was a good experience, interacting with locals and learning things you wouldn’t normally know if you travel by your own. They are very helpful and friendly and responsive even though I only book less than a week before our trip happens. So definitely give them a try!