We've met up with our tour group, an Australian couple and a British couple and a very cheery Aussie tour guide. The Sheraton Saigon is in the older downtown area and like most Sheratons, a nice luxurious hotel. It's a busy city - lots of motor bikes, bicycles , cars and trucks all vying for space on the roads and sidewalks so lots of honking going on. To cross a street requires great faith - nothing stops so you have to just keep moving across and the bikes avoid you. Of course, you have to stay out of the way of cars as they expect you to move. We started with a walking tour to learn how to do this!
The main old buildings have been nicely fixed up - the opera house, the post office and the cathedral. We've arrived just after Tet, the Vietnamese New Year and the streets are covered in lights, red banners and pots of yellow chrysanthemums which are on either side of most doorways to keep out evil spirits while the spirits of the ancestors are being welcomed in.
Our tour guide took us to her favourite pho place. This is a local noodle soup which contains meat or seafood, and then you add your own fresh bean sprouts, Vietnamese basil, mint, and hot sauce. Delicious.