Support this website by joining the Silver Rails TrainWeb Club for as little as $1 per month. Click here for info.

24 Day Transpacific Cruise

From Los Angeles to Singapore
Hawaii, Guam, Malaysia & Vietnam
Carnival Splendor

Ho Chi Minh (Phu My), Vietnam
Day 23 - Sunday, October 27, 2019

<<<PREVIOUS PAGE            NEXT PAGE>>>

If in this report you see any typos, misspellings, factual errors or other types of errors, please let me know. Please include the web address (URL) of the report in which you found the error. Thank you! Send your email to:

Click on each photo below for a larger image.

Carnival Splendor Fun Times Daily Guide

Approaching The Port Of Phu My, Vietnam

Tourism is a huge industry in Vietnam as you might guess by the number of tour buses parked waiting for us at the port of Phu My.

BEST OF HO CHI MINH CITY ($124.99 Per Adult)
Tour Duration: Approximately 9.5 Hours (10:30am - 8:00pm)

Note: The drive from Pho My to Ho Chi Minh City is approximately two hours each way and includes a restroom stop.

Because of Barbara's wheelchair we were the first ones on the bus and got to sit in the front seat. There were a number of people using canes but Barbara was one of the few on our bus using a wheelchair.

Photos During The 90 Minute Drive To Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Our First Views Of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Vietnam is a nation of contrast. Despite the number of people that live in poverty there are skyscraper buildings of more than 80 floors and dozens, maybe hundreds, of high rise office and apartment buildings. The cost to own a residence in the city can be $100,000 USD and up while the cost of a home further from the city are likely to be $40,000 USD and up. In the city most people get around by mopeds and motor scooters but there are also plenty of cars and trucks. The data roaming service in Vietnam is the best that I have experienced anywhere and is free for T-Mobile customers who have one of their low cost international plans.

National History Museum

Water Puppetry Show

Click the above photo to play the video.

Scenery On The Drive To Lunch

Vietnamese Buffet Lunch On The 7th Floor Of The 5 Star Windsor Hotel

Live Entertainment During Lunch

The Local Beer We Had With Lunch

A Tea & Coffee Shop With My Name!

Historic Thien Hau Temple in Chinatown

Street Markets

Street Markets are everywhere in Ho Chi Minh City and even along the side of the road for miles and miles during our 90 minute drive from the port to the city. This may be a communist nation but capitalism, entrepreneurship, and businesses of all sizes flourish everywhere in Vietnam!

Apple mobile phones, Apple Watches and AirPods are popular here too. Everyone has a mobile phone and with how well the internet and mobile networks function here, it is no surprise. Unlike in China, all social Apps work here. There are almost no restrictions on what websites you can visit with the exception that the government will attempt to censor websites that speak against government policies. I thought this "Mama Buffet BBQ & Beer" was an interesting venue with sign wording only in English. "Big Man Beer" was another interesting sign.

American Brands

We did not see as many American brand shops and restaurants in Vietnam as in other nations such as all over the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico and even Malaysia, but there were some. We did see a KFC, a McDonalds, a Circle-K, and even a Curves!

The Way Most Get Around In Vietnam

Minh Phuong Art Co., Ltd.

Independence Palace

Declared a National Site in 1976, then Special National Site in 2009, the Independence Palace, which was first opened to the public in 1990, has been the scene of many of the most important and dramatic events in Viet Nam's history.

Today's Palace occupies the site of the former residence of the French colonial Governors General, designed by Achille - Antoine Hermitte and completed in 1871.

Following the 1954 Geneva Accords, the old structure, renamed Independence Palace, became the residence of the first President of the new Sai Gon Republic Ngo Dinh Diem. After a bomb attack on 27 February 1962, President Diem commissioned the celebrated Vietnamese architect Ngo Viet Thu to design a completely new structure. The project took 4 years to complete, with a 6-month suspension of work following Diem's assassination in 1963. His successor Nguyen Van Thieu assumed the presidency in October 1967 and occupied the Palace until his abdication on 21 April 1975, when he was replaced by his Vice President Tran Van Huang, and then a week later by General Duong Van Minh.

On 30 April 1975, Liberation Forces entered the Palace grounds and raised the flag of liberation for the first time from its rooftop. General Duong Van Minh offered his unconditional surrender. Victory had come. The liberation of the South had been achieved.

Gate Of Palace Designed To Look Like Gates Of Buckingham Palace

Russian and Chinese built tanks that
burst through the gates of the palace on 30 April 1975.

Cabinet Room

The meetings held in this room included sittings of the President and ministers.

By decree of President Thieu in November 1967, the government consisted of the Prime Minister, 19 cabinet ministers and 7 deputy ministers.

From 1967 to 1975, there were 5 Cabinet reshuffles. The longest was General Tran Thien Khiem, who remained in office for 6 years. The last serving cabinet and its Prime Minister Vu Van Mau were appointed on 29 April 1975 and were in the process of being formally presented to the President on 30 April at 10 am at the moment when radio Sai Gon was broadcasting President Duong Van Minh's statement of surrender confirming the end of hostilities and the transfer of power to the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam.

The Bombing Of The Palace

On 8 April 1975, an underground member of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Lieutenant Nguyen Thanh Trung, who had infiltrated the airforce of the Southern Republic, seized the opportunity provided by his assignment to fly a military mission to Phan Thiet.

Evading detection by the local control tower, Lt. Trung flew his F5E aircraft directly over Sai Gon and succeeded in dropping two bombs on the Palace before landing at an improvised airstrip prepared by the Liberation Forces.

The helipad on the upper terrace of the Palace and the main central staircase were damaged in the attack, though they were subsequently repaired. But this feat seriously undermined the republic's authority and prompted the US President to order the evacuation of the last of the Americans still in Sai Gon.

The First King Of Viet Nam

Conference Hall

Receptions for as many as 500 guests were held in this room, which was also used for the installation of each new Cabinet.

At 19:30 on 21 April 1975, President Thieu delivered his resignation speech in this room: he spoke for over 2 hours about the country's situation in the wake of the Americans' decision to discontinue their support. Vice President Tran Van Huang then succeeded to the Presidency, pledging to continue the struggle "to the bitter end". He resigned just a week later, and was replaced by General Duong Van Minh, from whom the revolutionary authorities received the formal declaration of surrender.

In November 1975, the Consultative Council for National Reunification used this room for its deliberations. Today it is used for official receptions and other important events.

State Banquet Hall

President Reception Salon and Outer Room

The Architectural Design Of The Palace

Vice-President Reception Salon

Command Center & Bomb Shelter

Communications Center in the Command Center & Bomb Shelter

President's Bedroom in the Bomb Shelter

President's War Room in the Bomb Shelter

Back On The Tour Bus

Free bottles of cold water for everyone

Post Office

McDonald's Even In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon

Hotel Continental Saigon

Music Hall in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam - Japan Subway Construction in Ho Chi Minh City

Barbara in front of high end shopping mall in Ho Chi Minh City

Rex Hotel

Ho Chi Minh City Hall?

New Modern Buildings in Ho Chi Minh City

Road tunnel with separate lane for motorbikes

Queen Tribute with Ebano Strings
Splendor Lobby, 3 Fwd, 7:15pm - 8pm

Your Time Dining at The Black Pearl Restaurant


Appetizers: Brioche Crab Melt - Cheese sauce; Chorizo Potato Skin - Bacon, sour cream.

Appetizers: Three Bean Salad - Chick peas, kidney and string beans; Goi Cuon - Vietnamese Summer Roll Filled with Port and Prawns Served with Nuoc Cham, a Dipping Sauce made with Fish Sauce, Lime Juice, Chili and Garlic.

Main: Penne Newburg - Shrimp, scallops and squid, lobster sauce with aged brandy.

Main - Featured Vegetarian: Indian style vegetable dish with lentils, basmati rice, pickle, papadam and raita.

Departing Viet Nam

Another Towel Animal


Click on each photo above for a larger image.

If in this report you see any typos, misspellings, factual errors or other types of errors, please let me know. Please include the web address (URL) of the report in which you found the error. Thank you! Send your email to:

<<<PREVIOUS PAGE            NEXT PAGE>>>

ad pos61 ad pos63
ad pos62 ad pos64

Support this website by joining the Silver Rails TrainWeb Club for as little as $1 per month. Click here for info.