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Saturday, 22 December 2007

Dam Sen Park, Saigon

What to do on a weekend, shopping loses it's charm for me pretty quickly so the obvious option is to get out and see the sights. We haven't "done" the reunification palace or Cu Chi tunnels yet. We're saving those in the vain hope that someone will come and visit us some day. So we went to Dam Sen Park in District 11, HCMC.

It's a kitsch family park, there's a water park too, places to eat, an Ice Lantern, a Dinosaur Land, odd statues, orchids, a monorail, very tacky topiary, and a big lake in the middle.

Welcome Dragon

An interesting use of crockery, in the UK this would be smashed to pieces within minutes of it being installed.

Crockery Art

Pink on Pink

This was taken in the garden area outside one of the floating restaurants (also a dragon made out of plates and spoons). Dam Sen is a popular place for weddings and pre-wedding pictures. In Vietnam the official pictures are taken before the day of the wedding and often in several outfits.

Speaking of weddings, I spotted these being prepared at the tradesman's entrance to the restaurant.

Piggies on parade

Piglet parade

No steak pie and prawn cocktail here.

Aside from spying on other people's wedding preparations other attractions include the Ice Palace. A giant freezer full of replicas of famous buildings rendered in ice and illuminated from within. Visitors are provided with puffa jackets to keep out the cold and they're sorely needed. It took ten minutes for my camera to return to outside temperature and the condensation to clear from it.

Great Ice Wall of China

The Great Wall of China I think, followed by the Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal in ice

And here's Santa atop the Ice Lantern centre wearing one of the orange puffa jackets.

Orange Santa

Topiary in Dam Sen Park

Topiary is ever popular.

Bottle Dragon
And dragons made out of little glass bottles filled with green water.

Concrete carriage

And unidentifiable concrete animals pulling carriages.

We're going back at night, they light everything up.

I just heard it was minus 7 in Edinburgh last night. I'm putting on the sunblock and going out to take more Christmas pictures.

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