Adnice went to Vietnam & visited Sai Gon

Sai Gon: 09 – 11.04.09
Route: Seater bus from Nha Trang> Sai Gon (8 hours)

Good morning Sai Gon! Who actually wakes Sai Gon up? As the night passes by with clanging beer mugs served at bars, the hawkers wake up preparing for their day at 3am. Sai Gon has a good mix of both old and vibrant streets. A stroll down District 1 leaves you in awe of their departmental stores and brands they carry. The cafes sit a melting pot of people & culture watching the young working adults go by. Welcome to Ho Chi Minh (HCM) or fondly known as Sai Gon.

Sai Gon

I leave you to experience Sai Gon from a special guest narration - my boy, Adrian (top pic, 2nd row, right).
“BEEEEEEP!!" Blaring horns. Bright shining lights. Zooming bikes here, & there & everywhere. Mocha swirling dust is churned up like candyfloss & floats gently down to coat people, fruit, merchandise, food in a layer of powder. The clanging of pots & pans. The chatter of Vietnamese sounding like someone who has had 10 too many shots of snake wine. This is Cho Ben Thanh, this is how Sai Gon comes to life when the sun goes down. Beng-like shopkeepers hustling tourists into their little crammed filthy makeshift night shelters for food. We push through the six or so food stalls by the roadside & dodge the ever persistent Viet-bengs with our newfound favourite phrase, ‘Maybe later’. Finally after much comparison, we decide that they are all actually selling the same things at very similar prices, might as well all merge into a full sized restaurant. So we settle on the young teen beng’s shop since my baby has some kinda fancy for him. He shows us in & his grouchy looking mum yells something sounding vulgar to the back where 2-3 other younger Viet girls are scrambling about frying, chopping, rinsing everything possible. We get the menu & scan through it unable to make a case for buying seafood at rip off prices so we agree on Pho Bo & extra chicken rice for me! The bottomless pit! A big black hairy rat scampers amongst the food scraps & puddles of who-knows-what on the floor. Small groups of ang mos come strolling in for beer & coconuts. The friendly old gramma bbqs chicken parts for my chicken rice on a small charcoal stove shielded with a rusty zinc sheet placed on the ground. Im hoping that I dun get some kinda weird unpronounceable disease from this meal. We get our food & ask for Ngoc Mam (our daily dose of this magic juice is strictly adhered to, if not we don’t get our satisfaction), slurping & swallowing the steaming hot pho soup & noodles all together. That’s an out of body experience that will stay with you always. Lovely way to start, pass & end your day. Pho, pho & more pho!!!”
Next stop: My Tho-Ben Tre-Cantho

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