Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City

Da Nang is Vietnams third largest city with a population of about 900000.  Located on the banks of the Han river, the modrrn developing city is part of a peninsula surrounded by beaches and mountains.  The riverfront is a great place to explore with plenty of bars and restaurants with great views of the brightly lit modern bridges.  It was a major base for the Americans during the Vietnam war.  We only stopped overnight at the new and swanky Northern Hotel in downtown before flying on to Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon is Vietnams largest city with a population of about 8 million people.  With French Colonial architecture, such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the General Post Office and wide boulavards full of an endless procession of motorbikes and scooters.  We visit the War Remnants Museum which shows the Vietnam War through their eyes, with an amazing but harrowing unbiased collection of Journalists photographs on the top floor.  A great place to watch the sun go down over the Opera House and city skyline is the iconic Saigon Saigon bar in the Caravelle Hotel.  We also have a great view of the city, including the Bitexco Tower and river from our room in the Sunland Hotel.  Another great hotel we can recommend between the city and the airport is the Alcove Library which we had an overnight stay on our first visit!  Worth a visit is the Ben Thanh Market and the nearby Backpackers district (Pham Ngu Lao and De Tham St) – a mayhem of crowds, bars, eateries and clubs, a bit of a freak show really but fascinating all the same!!!  We surprisingly really like Ho Chi Minh City, the key to this is to embrace the dizzying crowds, fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride!
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