Presidential Palace And A New Favorite Hang-Out

Yesterday Debbi and I went to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It belongs to a large historical site consisting of other buildings, where Ho Chi Minh lived and worked at for about 15 years. Being Vietnamese, I only think of it as somewhere you’d go to once in your life for a school trip and be done with, but for Debbi, it’s like a dystopia. And I could kind of see that. You are herded along this special walkway to get to the mausoleum; you have to check your bags, then check it again for electronic devices; the buildings are a mix between French colonial, traditional Vietnamese, and 1970′s Russian, and on top of it all there is a giant TV screen playing patriotic songs on a loop. No wonder she thought it was all a bit like stepping into Metropolis.


The walkway to the mausoleum


The French-styled Presidential Palace


Ho Chi Minh’s house (or “Uncle Ho’s House on Stilts” as the sign says. It sounds weird in English)


One-Pillar Pagoda, a temple in the area. Yes, I found the resident cat

I didn’t get a lot of pictures because it was too horribly hot. After we left the mausoleum, we went to this used bookstore that I knew Debbi would love but we haven’t got a chance to check out because it’s a bit of a hassle to get to. I’m telling you – we’ve found our new favorite hang-out. This is a place we can spend a lot of time in without feeling bad about it like the mall. It’s a tiny bookstore full of used (and some new) English books, and there’s a cafe across the courtyard that has all the comfort food from around the world. Best bookstore ever!


We’re in our happy place. Please do not disturb


Falafel (Debbi’s) and fettuccine with duck ragout (mine)


Glorious desserts – German plum cake for me and a chocolate oat cookie for Debbi

A word of warning the bookstore though: the second floor is decorated by these mildly terrifying papier-mâché masks.


Sweet dreams!

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One Comment on “Presidential Palace And A New Favorite Hang-Out”

  1. Oh, I wish I could hang out with you in that bookstore! I love being surrounded by books and readers!


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