|Went to the Notre Dam Cathedral, a beautiful church in central Saigon. Catholicism is the second largest religion in Vietnam after Buddhism, although Vietnam is one of the least religious countries in the world. Across the street from the church is the post office which is located in a building that looks like a Victorian train station. There was a huge amount of activity both inside and outside with vendors selling a myriad of items and people taking graduation and wedding pictures in front of the building.
Our next stop was the Reunification Hall, the former Presidential Palace of the South Vietnam government. We viewed many of the offices, reception halls, meeting rooms and even the bomb shelter in the basement. It was all quite palatial and out of character with the poverty in the country.
Next was a visit to a museum showing ancient Vietnamese medical techniques such as acupuncture and herbal remedies. It was quite interesting and Christine ended up buying a number of herbal teas. We ended the morning with lunch at a Pho restaurant.
Later in day we walked around the city, or at least attempted to. It was 94 degrees with a heat index of 106. Saigon is not one of my favorite cities, not just the heat, it is absolutely chaotic. The streets are so crowded that motorcycles drive on the sidewalk, they also park on the sidewalk, completely blocking it for those walking. Vendors seems to set up wherever they want, again blocking the sidewalk. This is definitely not a city for walkers.