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Thursday, January 28, 2010


David Marder (the ultimate sports fanatic, from Woodland Hills, California) and Karen Gichon-Marder, with Chuck Olmsted, Tauck Tour Director, at Binh Thay Market, the largest in Sai Gon.

Chuck pointing to that noxious fruit, durian. I went back to buy a slipper, taking a taxi from the Sheraton, because it cost all of $1.10, and crossing streets here is definitely hazardous. However, the return cab ride cost $10+, I noticed in the meter, so I asked to be dropped off where Sheraton parking people open doors for incoming traffic. He refused, so I gave him 20,000 dong ($1.10) and walked out. He just said nothing. I guess you need to be careful in Sai Gon to observe the meter when you get in the taxi.

The obligatory photo of Reunification Palace, where the official handover of power to the Communist took palace in 1975. A few interesting stories, but largely boring. If the guided tour lasted three minutes instead of an hour I would have been a lot happier.

Everyone goes to see the Sai Gon Central Post Office, built in the late 1800's by none other than Gustav Eiffel, of tower fame. It looks like a train station. Gloria and Ira Slutzky (Port Washington, New York) posing for this photo. Below, the Post Office with Stephen and Patricia Weiner (Piedmont, California). Across the street on the right (above) is the Notre Dame Cathedral, built in 1877, and only allows certified Catholics to enter.

Finally, Mark and Barb Kuhlmann (Kirkwood, Missouri) at the Opera House. It actually became the Assembly House of South Vietnam in 1955, but has since been returned to entertainment status.

Today, we leave for Cambodia, Angkor Wat and more.

The Dow Jones Industrials sunk 116 to 10,120, markets in the Orient finally went positive after nine days of decline, and Europe largely fell. Gold did not change and oil pretty much remained under $74/barrel.

There remain three tropical storms around Australia.


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