Monday, June 29, 2009

Saigon Days

Got back yesterday to a messy house no thanks to my brother. Dropped the heavy Deuter backpack on the bedroom floor and almost immediately fell asleep.

Only woke up this morning with a groggy head and a massive hunger pang. After sitting it out for a while, that's when the withdrawal starts to kick in. Yes, the post-vacation withdrawal syndrome for those not familiar with it. Symptoms are diorientation, and a heavy feeling inside, though symptoms may vary.

Saigon is a sprawling city made up of numerous narrow buildings packing the small streets. We stayed at one of those buildings along Bui Vien which is made up into a backpackers' hotel. Surprisingly the rooms are very nice and clean with daily maid service plus breakfast, and all for about USD3 per person per night.

Me, Loblo, JJ, Mulder and Abu all have never been to Vietnam before, so we don't really know what to expect. Now I can safely say it is more modern than Phnom Penh, with better sanitation and infrastructure, but not yet near KL or Bangkok's level. The people are friendly enough for the most part, the cabs are cheap if you know which companies to take. The standard rate from Ben Thanh market to our hotel was about 15,000VND, we got ripped off once by a meter-cab which quoted 50,000VND instead. A tip, use Vinasun or Vina Taxi only.

The traffic was crazy. Gazillions of motorbikes, and crossing the roads was like a suicide bid. We did what the locals do - just cross and hope for the best! Yeap, those bike will avoid you smoothly with only a few honks for the trouble. Otherwise just take a cab. Food was very cheap and good, no problem finding halal or at least seafood/vegetarian meals.

Those are the basics, which somehow combined to have this effect on us all, making it so hard to leave it all behind to come back to KL. Would I go again, yes. Definitely.

For pictures, go to


nismo said...

definitely be coming back thr.. prolly next year??

cacah said...

wah. bestnya gi vietnam!

Anonymous said...

i love vietnam.. best shopping (esp for girls la).. beaded handbags, lacquerware, craftswork.. colourful accesories and friendly locals too !!

wish that i could go there again..

The Banker said...

nismo: of course, since the southeast asia circuit dh settle (almost)

cacah: mmg!

anon: indeed, the shopping part are more for the girls..not much for us guys to shop there. whats stopping u from going again?