River leading to the city
Views up and down the river, day and night
For my first stroll in Saigon, I head out of the hotel and up the high-end shopping street, Dong Khoi, and, wow, the street signs have the French names and I can read them. This is really going to help me find my way around!
A few blocks up Dong Khoi, I pass the Opera building, home of the city's ballet and symphony, across the street from the new subway under construction.
The street is great, with shops, parks, and, on a wall surrounding construction, pictures from the life and rule of Ho Chi Minh.
Dong Khoi street
Scenes from the life of Ho Chi Minh
Moving on, I reach the Notre Dame Cathedral, completed in 1880, looking like a miniature version of the Paris cathedral with the same name.
Notre Dame Cathedral
The post office across the street from Notre Dame is an incredible example of French Colonial architecture, perfectly preserved to look just as it was at its opening in 1891. The post office is believed to be designed by Gustave Eiffel (also designed a tower in Paris).
Saigon central post office
Leaving the post office and walking around Notre Dame Cathedral, I reach the boulevard extending from Notre Dame toward the Palace. I stroll through the center parkland and enjoy the tropical climate.
Park in the center of the boulevard
It's been fun walking and looking at some important buildings in Saigon, but it's time now to head to down the street to see what else I can find.