Vietnam: Death by scooter, love by caffeine
We spent only one day in HCMC but 24 hours was enough for us to savor the energy of the city. (That, and do a LOT of shopping! Haha.) Here are some of tidbits about the city that got my attention.
Scooters everywhere! Like I said, hundreds and hundreds of scooters, that being their basic mode of transportation. There were a handful of cars driving by, most of them luxury cars. I don't think I saw any of them simple sedan-type cars. Either you're maneuvering a scooter or cruising by in a BMW or Lexus.
Cheap shopping FTW! Php 4,500.00 or 2 million Vietnamese Dong will get you far. In Saigon Square, you will find all the cheap but original Crumpler and North Face items. And when I say cheap, think 1/4 of their selling price in the Philippines. Ben Thanh Market, meanwhile, houses all the nice trinkets, coffee, and teas.
|Saigon Square. |
77-89 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Opening hours: 8:00am-10:00pm
|Ben Thanh Market.|
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Opening hours: 6:00am-6:00pm.
Weather in HCMC is sunny but not at all humid. The cool breeze makes for a nice walk around the city.
Vietnamese coffee is love. Strong taste without the bitterness. Rich aroma too. When you buy in Ben Thanh market, they make you smell a big jar full of coffee beans. You'll feel like you just died and went to coffee heaven.
|A stall in Ben Thanh market that sells a wide variety of coffee and tea.|
|Iced coffee. The key, like Ger said, was the condensed milk. Lots and lots of condensed milk!|
The backpackers' area bears a huge resemblance to Malate, Manila. The lights, the energy, and all the foreigners everywhere!
|People watching. Almost all the restaurants have tables chairs outside, facing the street where foreigners kill their time people watching.|
Almost all pubs lining the Bui Vien street are three to four stories high and are built side-by-side.
I would love to go back to HCMC. And maybe next time, aside from burning Vietnamese Dong and drooling over all the Crumpler bags and pretty trinkets, I'll visit the nearby provinces for more adventure :)
A little story of misadventure: In most hotels in HCMC, they ask you to leave your footwear in a nook in the lobby before proceeding to the rooms. Little did I know that that would my first misadventure. It was already our second day in Siem Reap when I noticed that I was wearing a mismatched pair of slippers! Apparently, I had taken the pair all the way from Vietnam to Cambodia.
|Mismatched pair. The left one had matte thongs while the right one (the one that was really mine) had metallic thongs.|
Luckily, when we came back to HCMC, the other mismatched pair was still there. Talk about finding my SOLE-mate! Hahaha. And that's just the tip of my and my friend Cecille's misadventures.
More stories soon! I just have to stop laughing first :p
|Reunited. My pair of metallic slim Havaianas, reunited. I just hope the owner of the other pair finds his or her SOLE-mate too hihihi.|