The following day, Wednesday, March 15, still in Saigon, we decided to “do Saigon like a Vietnamese”, and took a Saigon tour by Vespa:

The first stop was the Bird Lover Club at Tao Dan Park, where a group of bird owners bring the elaborate bamboo cages to the park in the morning, and hang them in hooks for the birds to sing. There’s even a small Insect Market nearby, so the birds can get “fresh treats”.

In the park there were a lot of policemen “taking a break” and having coffee, and people practicing Tai Chi and Kung Fu (with swords and fans):

Then we made a quick stop at the Thich Quang Duc memorial, that honors the first Buddhist monk than immolated himself to protest the War:

Following a walk through the colorful Flower Market

we visited the very picturesque Nhi Phu temple (Chinese):

The Accessories & Fabric Market was small, crowded, and dark

but it was on the way to the Herbal medicine quarters, where we stopped at a traditional medicine store, after which we visited a very ornate (in the inside) Buddhist pagoda:

After the pagoda we had some fresh sugar cane juice, and then drove through the Thu Thiem Tunnels to catch a glimpse of the Saigon skyline from District 2 (a luxury suburb):

On the way back we stopped to see the inside of the French style Post Office and the outside of Notre Dame.

Finally we returned the scooters and had a quick lunch before heading back to the ship.

I “caught a bug”, and developed a fast fever (with other unpleasant symptoms that do not need to be discussed in this post), so I decided to take a nap while my wife went to get a cocktail from Guest Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganin (winner of three Iron Chef contests) and come back to the stateroom to take care of me.

I slept through the evening and night like a log.