29 September, 2013

Saigon part 2

For those who don't know or haven't had the pleasure, a Vietnamese coffee is a very strong coffee that comes with a dollop of sweetened condensed milk at the bottom.  It's like dessert in a cup.  mmmm.

After spending a few hours wandering around the art museum we slowly made our way back to the hotel and dropped off our purchases (I bought a lovely little print), got changed and headed out (in a cab this time) to a restaurant Matt had had a recommendation to called Ngon (Pasteur St).  A great place, good food, nice atmosphere and another fantastic building.

We sat outside in the (covered) courtyard.  See that table to the left of me...as we sat down, Matt joked that we were sitting down next to our "new best friends" as we were so close to them.  We shared a few comments with them and then right as they were about to leave they made some polite conversation and asked us where we were from.  "Tassie originally", says Matt to which they both 
burst out laughing.  They live in Tassie, although he's from Sydney and she's Korean. Small world.

We walked back from lunch to try and digest our food.  We met this lovely coconut seller as we walked along who commented at Matt "wow! you big one!"

Of course we bought a couple of coconuts from him to lighten his load.

We spent the afternoon in the hotel spa having 90 minutes of massages and hot stones.  A good way to recover before heading out for even more food.

Matt had heard about a French restaurant out of the city which was worth the cab trip.  Called Trois Gourmands, it was about a 30 minute cab ride and looked like it was set up in a private house.  But OH the food!!!  Superb French (Fancy French) food.  Matt had the 7 course $45US, me the 6 course $40US.  We both had the most amazing food, the lovely Vietnamese wait staff were amazing, and we had a really good night.  I'm not one to take photos of my food, but when the owner brought out the cheese course of 11 different cheeses that they make on site, I thought it was worth a pic (iPhone)...and yes, I really should have got Matt's head in the photo.
We went to bed with very full tummies ... 

The next morning we had quite a few calories to burn, so we set off on foot and hit up the Ben Thanh markets again and bought gifts for all the kids, lanterns, tshirts, coffee etc.  We walked around for  a while just looking at things and then we realised that we were quite close to another restaurant that had been recommended to Matt.

This place was my favourite of the trip.  Just a stunning setting and divine food.  Called Temple Club, we got to sit out by the window and avoid the rain for a few more hours. (Apparently it's a favourite of Brad and Angelina too)
Perhaps more evidence of the 4th pattern in the painting on the wall.

Best plate of spring rolls ever.
 Once again we had to walk off our meal...

Check out the French lamp posts

  On our way back to the hotel we stumbled upon Antique Street which had some of the most incredible examples of French style architecture.
More French Lamp posts

Most of the lamp lanterns were broken...some deliberately so that people could fit their awnings underneath.

 We discovered that this street led us right back to the art museum from a different direction.
The I heart New Yok New Yok cafe.
(last lot of photos are iphone photos)

After a nap, we went out for our last night in the city.  Based on another recommendation to Matt we went to another roof top bar at the top of an office block called Shri (Sen Tec Tower).

We were enjoying sitting out watching the light fade and the lights of the city come on until it started to rain again and we were ushered inside.

 [ Have I mentioned that I was cold most of the time we were in VN?  I didn't take any cardigans, pashminas or anything thinking that it would be hotter than SG, but it wasn't!  The rain made things relatively cool, and it was quite breezy too.]

 After the rain had stopped again, we headed out, not really sure where we were going.  We passed a sports centre and spotted people in black ghis practising kicks and punches.  I'm sure they were learning the 4th pattern (although Matt wants to tell Dad that they had sloppy guards and bad stances).  I tried to collect photographic evidence with out much success.
 Further on we passed the Notre Dame cathedral where many people were parked outside watching the service from the comfort of their motor bikes.
On another recommendation (Matt really did his homework) we ended up going up to the roof top of the Caravelle hotel in the fancy area of town.  Not really an amazing place, but we'd heard that they had a Cuban band playing, so we hung around until they came on.  And while we ended up not even eating dinner (this place had no decent food), we had such a great night watching an AWESOME authentic cuban band play for hours.  We were the only people clapping them and we even got up for one dance, so we felt like we couldn't leave.  Who would have thought we'd see a Cuban band in VN?
We spent Monday morning having a bit more of a wander around...escaping from another downpour in a cafe again...before heading off to the airport in the afternoon.

It was a great weekend away.  I have to say that I was exhausted coming home and this week was pretty busy at work.  We had fun catching up with the kids; Oscar and Ella had gone to the killers concert at the Grand Prix on Saturday night (Ella's first concert and her favourite ever band), Oscar had worked at a function on Sunday night (10pm-7am) at which he saw David Beckham, Louis Hamilton, Fernando Allonzo along with some other mega stars .  

As I said, it's been so nice this weekend just to do nothing.  (sorry Dad it took me so long to get this post up...I know you were waiting)


  1. Wow, a fantastic account! I felt like I was there. I'm glad you uncovered all those fantastic places that Matt had researched. mum xxx

  2. Actually you have to go to Hue for the best spring rolls ever. Maggie will explain on her way back from Wales.

  3. Actually you have to go to Hue for the best spring rolls ever. Maggie will explain on her way back from Wales.

  4. PS Drinking Vietnamese coffee...I couldn't... I apologize for seemingly always repeating my comments...don't know why that happens.

  5. PS Drinking Vietnamese coffee...I couldn't... I apologize for seemingly always repeating my comments...don't know why that happens.

  6. yes, Dad, there is a bit of an echo

  7. I eventually, actually from your photos believe that,remembered that we (Spiller and me that is, so it must have been 1993) had a fabulous night at the roof bar of the Rex looking down towards the Caravelle...but the band was nowhere near as flash as the one Tri took us to in 1991 upstairs ,inside top floor, at the "M.......".overlooking the Saigon River with the best bass player I have ever heard, even better than Simon...


Thank you so much for reading my blog. I LOVE to have comments-even if I don't know you, please stop by and say HI! If you have a question for me, I'll answer in the comments, so please check back.