On our last day in HCM, we toured districts 1 & 3, home of many of the city’s sites and cafés. Our first mission was to find one of the exercise parks that we had passed in our cab the night before.
Scattered throughout HCM are parks with exercise equipment for adults, encouraging you to work out while keeping an eye on your kids at the playground. There are dip bars, benches for crunches, elliptical machines and bikes, to name a few. Kursten and I had a field day testing out all of the equipment. I also discovered the slo-mo video function on my phone, so…welp…this happened:
After our tough 😉 workout in the exercise park, hunger struck. Previously a French colony, HCM has a noticeable French influence, so we were on the lookout for a cute little café. It took some patient searching to find this place, but L’Usine captured our attention immediately with it’s chic urban atmosphere and the smell of baguettes wafting out onto the street. L’Usine sits on the second floor of it’s sister shop, so we picked a spot on the outdoor balcony to enjoy the breeze and watch the traffic whiz by.
After a long leisurely lunch, we wandered. We didn’t have much of an agenda on mind–both Kursten and I were pretty tired and Ryan & Chris had flown out the night before. We toured some of the main landmarks at a leisurely pace, admiring the French architecture.
- The Municipal Theater
- City Hall
- Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica – mass was underway and people were attending their parked motorbikes outside.
- The Post Office
- …annnnnnnd a pretty neat tree (not a landmark, but cool nonetheless ;))
Walking back to the hotel, the realization hit me. My trip was over. The planning, the tickets, everything that I had obsessed over for the past few months was just…over. It’s silly to say, but I felt a loss and mourned the end of the adventure. On the flight home, I couldn’t decide if I was ready to go home in order to (a) relax, or (b) start scheming up something new.
After 6 weeks back at home, I can say it’s the latter. The map’s back out, and I’m scheming.
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