HO CHI MINH CITY DIARIES #3
28 December 2014 - 29 December 2014. The phrase 'time is of the essence' did not apply to the three nights I was in Ho Chi Minh City. I guess when you are spending time very leisurely, time passes extremely slow. After days of admiring the Saigon Opera House from afar, I finally visited it up close and soak up its grandeur. Of course nothing is comparable to the Petit Palais in France itself, where the Saigon Opera House took its design inspiration from. Nevertheless, its inscriptions and reliefs at the facade was enough to deserve admiration of some sort.
The dining scene in Ho Chi Minh City is vibrant too, with street food, cafes and restaurants all around District 1, which is the Downtown core of the city. One restaurant in particular I find reminiscent to a place where I frequent regularly back in Toronto. It's called L'Usine. Basically it is a boutique that stocks very interesting and peculiar items that range from immaculately cut Cameo dresses to locally made luxury candles to marble cheese boards. La Cafeteria de L'Usine is its restaurant that serves French inspired food. Yes it is definitely Drake at Queen West Toronto alright. Other food places tried and tested are Pizza 4P's (Japanese inspired pizzas with homemade mozzarella), Hoa Tuc (modern Vietnamese food with traditional flavours), The Refinery (French bistro fare) and Khanh Casa Tea House (a good selection of teas in a rainforest setting).
In terms of actual activity, one thing I actually regret doing was going for a massage. I was fooled by the storefront, with its seemingly convincing wood accented decor and Thann fragrances. With a mixture of hot stone, thai and aromatic massages, it is basically jack of all but master of none in terms of quality and satisfaction. Post massage, I did drinks with the beau at Intercontinental while an Argentinian singer sang with all her soul. Definitely one of the more enjoyable moments.