View from the top: EON 51 at Bitexco Financial Tower, Saigon, Vietnam

Cafe EON 51
Bitexco Financial Tower, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
http://eon51.com/cafe-eon/

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If there’s a better view in Saigon, I don’t know where you’d find it…

The day after we arrived in Saigon, we went out on a tour to see the Cu Chi Tunnel complex, and our tour guide was amazing. She was a young lady who spoke English particularly well, and as clearly very well educated. She told us so much, not only about the tunnels and the history of the area, but so much about life in Vietnam for the average citizen. One of the other things she told us about was the Bitexco Financial Tower, the big, shiny high rise in the middle of the city. She said it would give us an incredible view over the city, but not to bother paying to get up onto the observation deck; it was cheaper to just buy a drink each at the cafe on the level below!

While the drinks up there weren’t cheap (we paid around AUD$18.00 for a fresh coconut and a mango juice), it was still cheaper than the observation deck tickets (around AUD$12.00 per person), and gave us the advantage of being able to sit down in an air conditioned cafe and enjoy our drinks without rushing. And with the most spectacular view…

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If you’re visiting Saigon, this is definitely something to add to your to-do list, because seeing such a big city from that high up is pretty amazing! They also do food, coffees, cocktails and desserts, so you’ll be well catered for any time you decide to drop in – I feel like sunset would be pretty incredible up there…

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A view from above: Top of the Rock, New York

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Well, if you’ve stuck around this long, allow me to thank you for joining me this week as I reminisced my way through New York… Truly, it’s one hell of a city, and I’m already planning my return (seriously). I thought it only fitting to end the week off with this post; there haven’t been many other times in my life where I have felt both literally and figuratively on top of the world to this extent…

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Taking the elevator up to the 67th floor of the Rockefeller Center on a cold but clear January day was exciting, but walking outside and up the stairs to the 70th floor was something else. From way up there, out in the fresh, open air, I could see so much more than I ever could have imagined possible in the middle of such a big city. From one side, Central Park sprawled through the middle of the metropolis. From the other, the Empire State and Chrystler Buildings sparkled in the morning sunshine.

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Do yourself a favour when you’re in New York, don’t bother waiting in the ridiculous line to get to the top of the Empire State Building; surely when you take your photos of the New York skyline, you want that to be in there! Buy an express pass for the Top of the Rock, visit early in the morning if you really want to skip the crowds, and enjoy the most gorgeous view of the city without the long waits  : )

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Urban paradise: Milton Lee Olive Park, Chicago

It’s incredible how well hidden this park is in plain sight… It’s not like it’s particularly small, and it’s right near Navy Pier, yet when we visited, we were the only people around; it was completely deserted.

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Located just north of Navy Pier and just west of the purification plant, Milton Lee Olive Park is a beautiful little urban paradise. It’s the perfect spot to escape the city craziness of Chicago, while simultaneously enjoying one of the most beautiful views of the city over the water. The sand of the beach was spotless, the bare trees were beautiful in their own skeletal way, and the water was the most gorgeous shade of icy, winter blue.

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It always amazes me to find such perfect little paradises like this so empty and barren… I guess it just goes to show that city dwellers everywhere probably need to take a little more time to escape the hectic, fast paced lifestyle and take a little time to sit back and enjoy the beauty of a big city from a distance every now and then.

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