We had a great start of the day with breakfast at Sozo. It’s a restaurant hiring only people from the streets, mainly with disabilities. Their motto is “Restoring hope, changing lives”, and both the food (western) and service was great. We continued to the War Remnants Museum, which is focused mainly on the American phase of the Vietnam War. The exhibitions here were a lot more balanced than the Cu Chi tunnels, and showed the sufferings and histories from both sides. Outside there were several tanks, planes and weapons, and inside there were 3 floors with different exhibitions. What made the biggest impression on us was the before-after photos, and the terrible stories, photos and long-term effects of the chemical weapons used.
After this we needed a break, and stopped at a nearby brewpub, inspired by German beer. Better than tasteless lagers, but nothing special. We walked past the Saigon Opera House (French colonial architecture) and the Notre Dame (built in red bricks imported from Marseilles). We made it up to the skydeck of the Bitexo Financial Tower (49th floor) just in time to take some photos while it was still daylight. We enjoyed some very expensive drinks in the bar on the 52nd floor, before taking some more photos of Saigon by night.
We really love the Vietnamese food, but needed a little bit of variation and had a Mexican dinner and some gin tonics in the pub street. There’s so much going on here, that we could probably sit here for hours watching whole families on small scooters, food being cooked on the sidewalk, locals selling vegetables, souvenirs and photocopied guidebooks and have fun spotting which tourists just arrived and which that have been here for a while (big difference, especially when crossing the street).