This past weekend I finally got to do something I've been wanting to do for years: spend two nights in a nice Hotel and pretend to be a tourist. I can't afford four-star hotels back in the US, but they are definitely in reach here when the timing is right. Natasha's birthday provided an appropriate occasion, so I surprised her with a stay at the Liberty Central Riverside on Ton Duc Thang. It was a nice break from daily life and having to drive around - we were able to walk almost everywhere, as central District 1 actually has usable sidewalks. The rooftop pool wasn't bad either, with its cool water and expansive views of Binh Thanh and across the river into District 2.
We also had a bird's-eye view of the Vietcombank Tower, Saigon's newest skyscraper, which just happened to have its grand opening on Saturday. It's a fantastic addition to the skyline and is thankfully free of the garish colored LED lighting that so many developers drape over their high-rises here.
We also ate very well. I love cheap street food as much as anyone else, but some of the best western places in town are near the hotel, so we took full advantage. This enormous omelette from Jaspas was certainly a highlight.
The pollution, noise and congestion of Saigon make it necessary to take regular breaks from the madness, and this was a great way to do it without actually leaving the city.