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  • #16
    Howdy Folks ... I am new to the forum. I am currently staying in Saigon for about another 2.5 weeks. I'm in District 3 and we go in to District 1 on a daily basis.

    As may be obvious, I love history.

    My uncle served here from 65-66 but I don't think he was ever in Saigon.

    I was wondering if anyone can direct me to any landmarks here where some of you Nam vets may have stayed, partied, fought, etc.,

    I will only be in Saigon (as far as I currently know) until we go back to the States on 02-28-2015.

    I've been looking for your old billets but I don't know the former addresses/locations and I am having a hard time finding anything solid except for whatever used to be at Ton Son Nhat.

    Interestingly ... there is a Hard Rock Cafe across from the US Consulate compound (former embassy compound). I may be able to start from there regarding directions ... (???)

    Thanks for your input and information in advance. If there is anything (or anyone) any of you would like for me to visit, see, pray, etc., here in Saigon please let me know the location soon.

    God Bless !!! (GRA)

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    • #17
      Why stay in Saigon for the next few weeks? You can catch a bus to Nha Trang, or take the train. The bus is usually easier. It will pick you up at your hotel. A good hotel in Nha Trang is the Phu Quy, which is 1 block from the beach behind the Khanh Hoa music hall. THe Phu Quy (Foo Wee) has a nice rooftop area with hammocks and a good view of both the ocean and mountains. It ran $20 a night in Tet 2014. If you need something cheaper, but still decent, "Son and Daughter Guesthouse" has rooms for $10 a night, and backpacker bunks for less. Both are near Nha Trang's tourist and backpacker areas. Things to see in Nha Trang are the Cham Temple (Po Nagar), the Buddhist Temple (Long Son pagoda), the beach, and the bay. A day's boat trip around the bay with stops at certain islands cost $10 in 2014, and they pick you up at your hotel and drop you off after. You can catch city buses to take you out to the Cham Temple and Big Buddha.

      Nha Trang saw heavy fighting in Tet 68, and the Buddha (and neighborhood around its base) was one of the major scenes of fighting. There was a special forces team out at Dien Khanh 11 kilometers west. Dien Khanh was a citidel built by the imperial army (under direction of a French Engineer) in 1793. The stones have all been carted off, but the pressed earth centers of what were the walls remain, along with several gates. The SF Team (A-502) occupied the southern edge of the citadel where a grade and middle school stand. There are a few coffee shops in and outside the citadel, but mostly Party and government buildings inside. What was the ARVN Draft Center is still in operation, under new management, but the PAVN military presence in the old A-502 area was gone. Getting out is easiest by Taxi, and the cheapest way is to take the bus to the Long Son pagoda, and take a taxi from there. Make sure the taxi driver has a business card, and arrange for him to return at a specific time and place. (Check with hotel for reliable taxi companies.)

      If you get bored after a few days in Nha Trang, take the bus to Dalat ($12), stay somewhere near the center of town for a few days. Find the Easy Rider cafe, and make arrangements to see a montagnard village. They'll take you out on the back of a motorbike. A few days in Dalat should do, then catch the bus back to Saigon. In Dalat, you have to make arrangements to get taken out to the bus terminal. Also, the Lam Dong museum in Dalat is worth a few hours.

      Oh, in Nha Trang if you want to meet locals without getting hustled, Partick's Wine Bar is good. But there are load of pubs and clubs. I'd avoid the Russian bars and clubs at present, as well as the street they're on. If the economy's as bad as they say it is, there should be a lot fewer Russian tourists this year.
      Last edited by lirelou; 12 Feb 15, 12:16.
      dit: Lirelou

      Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá ǵ!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by lirelou View Post
        Why stay in Saigon for the next few weeks? You can catch a bus to Nha Trang, or take the train. The bus is usually easier. It will pick you up at your hotel. A good hotel in Nha Trang is the Phu Quy, which is 1 block from the beach behind the Khanh Hoa music hall. THe Phu Quy (Foo Wee) has a nice rooftop area with hammocks and a good view of both the ocean and mountains. It ran $20 a night in Tet 2014. If you need something cheaper, but still decent, "Son and Daughter Guesthouse" has rooms for $10 a night, and backpacker bunks for less. Both are near Nha Trang's tourist and backpacker areas. Things to see in Nha Trang are the Cham Temple (Po Nagar), the Buddhist Temple (Long Son pagoda), the beach, and the bay. A day's boat trip around the bay with stops at certain islands cost $10 in 2014, and they pick you up at your hotel and drop you off after. You can catch city buses to take you out to the Cham Temple and Big Buddha.

        Nha Trang saw heavy fighting in Tet 68, and the Buddha (and neighborhood around its base) was one of the major scenes of fighting. There was a special forces team out at Dien Khanh 11 kilometers west. Dien Khanh was a citidel built by the imperial army (under direction of a French Engineer) in 1793. The stones have all been carted off, but the pressed earth centers of what were the walls remain, along with several gates. The SF Team (A-502) occupied the southern edge of the citadel where a grade and middle school stand. There are a few coffee shops in and outside the citadel, but mostly Party and government buildings inside. What was the ARVN Draft Center is still in operation, under new management, but the PAVN military presence in the old A-502 area was gone. Getting out is easiest by Taxi, and the cheapest way is to take the bus to the Long Son pagoda, and take a taxi from there. Make sure the taxi driver has a business card, and arrange for him to return at a specific time and place. (Check with hotel for reliable taxi companies.)

        If you get bored after a few days in Nha Trang, take the bus to Dalat ($12), stay somewhere near the center of town for a few days. Find the Easy Rider cafe, and make arrangements to see a montagnard village. They'll take you out on the back of a motorbike. A few days in Dalat should do, then catch the bus back to Saigon. In Dalat, you have to make arrangements to get taken out to the bus terminal. Also, the Lam Dong museum in Dalat is worth a few hours.

        Oh, in Nha Trang if you want to meet locals without getting hustled, Partick's Wine Bar is good. But there are load of pubs and clubs. I'd avoid the Russian bars and clubs at present, as well as the street they're on. If the economy's as bad as they say it is, there should be a lot fewer Russian tourists this year.
        Thanks for the information. I am staying in Saigon with the family I have over here. My wife was born in Haiphong in 1968. We've been happily married for 10 years now. This is about my 8th. trip over here so far.

        Yes, we've done the Dalat / Nha Trang trip several years back along with a short Mekong Delta tour, Cu Chi tour, and most recently (about 3 years ago) we did the Hue City / Hoi Anh / Da Nang trip. My father-in-law is from Hue City. My mother-in-law is from Haiphong.

        Dalat is a nice place. Nice and cool right up there in the mountains. In Nha Trang we stayed at an 8-story beach front hotel (3-star rating) overlooking the beach and ocean. Had cable TV, full bath, balcony, small fridge for $28.00 a night and an extra $10.00 to get our clothes washed. Traveled up and down the beachfront main drag in a cyclo. Flat wore those guys out but we paid them well. Had a great time with my favorite sideshow being the trip to Monkey Island. Little critters are like a bunch of damn gangsters ... LOL

        Hoi Anh was very scenic and we again stayed in another great hotel. Had a great time (but of course we missed the flood season ). Folks here have always been nice and we've never had any problems.

        At present is the best time of year to be in the south. Weather is a lot cooler than even in November. Of course, the 15 million people here in the city of Saigon alone leaves it somewhat crowded. Hard to move around much.

        Thanks again for the response and suggestions.

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        • #19
          Back in the USA

          We finally made it back and are dealing with our jet lag. Long flight ... especially with a 5+ hour delay coming home to Houston.

          We'll be going back next year and are looking at going to Cambodia for a day or two.

          Made it to the cemetery in Binh Chahn, went to Song Be / Lai Thieu, and Tan An in Long An, and Vung Tau. Saw some pretty country, great coconut trees and had some great coffee.

          Any suggestions for next year folks please let me know.

          Special thanks for everyone's contributions and input.

          I'm open for discussion(s) with anyone that ever served there and your stories and information is always appreciated. THANKS !!!

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