Shortly after my last post I joined Kheang at a cafe next door where we planned out what we were going to do with the remainder of our time in HCMC. We had about six or seven hours before the bus we booked would come to take us to Nha Trang.
We looked through the lonely planet guide and decided to do a walking tour of all the closest sites. Both of us are avid hiker and thought that the required seven hours to complete the walking tour would be more like four for us. I can't recall all the names of the places that we went to, but some were quite interesting. The best was the Jade pagoda. It was located in a real shanty kind of neighborhood and a number of times on the way there we thought maybe we were lost and looked at the map to reaffirm our route. We got to it just as it started to pour and sheltered under it's roof. Being in the pagoda as it was raining quite hard, with the smell of incense and out of the ordinary architecture, it was quite a pleasant feeling. Aside from the pagoda, another worthy mention was the history museum, which had a number of artifacts dating back to the cave man days. While trying to get into the museum, we accidentally purchased tickets to the HCMC zoo. It was quite funny, a zoo is really not something we wanted to see in Vietnam. Both are located with in the same gates so when we asked for tickets, they gave us the wrong ones. We decided to take advantage of the zoo passes and spent some time checking out the Asian elephants.
After our tour we went to the Cyclo bar where we spent the rest of our time in HCMC. There we met Non, a friend of my friend from Calgary, and her mom, Lam (I could be off on that one). They were quite friendly and tried to teach us some Vietnamese but it didn't go too well. Luckily they spoke English quite well and we had a fun night just chatting away, eating and having drinks.