Monday, January 20, 2014

Veitnam: Saigon City Tour

Another organized tour we arranged was with a company called XO. City tours can be a bit hum drum so we thought this one, astride a scooter and with a Vietnamese young lady as a guide, would be a bit more interesting. The concept was pretty good and the city tour pretty good as well. Here are a few highlights.
Our first stop was the Post Office which seemed to be more of a tourist attraction than an actual post office. Lots of souvenirs for sale and lots of tourists as you can see.
This guy volunteers at the Post Office and has for most of his life. He translates letters for people into a variety of languages. I think the guide said he was in his 80s! He's not employed by the Post Office, but has worked at this table for many many years.
Here is one of our drivers and one of the guides outside the Reunification palace. And yes, it was a bit frightening how they zipped through traffic. Brian's driver was particularly aggressive, but mine is the one who ran into another scooter . . . twice!

The nice thing about the tour is the guide kept taking our picture - we never have pictures of ourselves on our vacations! (I know you're proud of us Kevin ;)
This is a memorial to a monk who lit himself on fire in protest a number of years ago. A beautiful place with a really disturbing history.

Another photo op - this time with our drivers!
The ladies taking a fruit snack break while we visited a Buddhist temple. Even though it was warm, many of them wore hooded long sleeved sweatshirts and gloves. Not against the cold, but against the sun. Having perfectly white skin is the goal here.
Inside the temple, our guide bought each couple an incense cone, which is supposed to bring good luck. The pink slip on the top has our name on it. We light it and then hang it from the ceiling and we'll have good luck for the next few days as the incense burns.

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