I am now in Ho Chi Minh City, the last town in my Vietnam exploration (or commonly known as Saigon). In my trip planning it was very important for me to include this city since it would help complete my tour of all the different parts of Vietnam. Each area of Vietnam has its own culture and style of food and I wanted to experience as much of it as I could given my short window (3 1/2 weeks in the country).
I am seated next to two friendly Vietnamese men on my flight. One lives in the United States and is visiting family, and the other is an infectious disease doctor in Saigon. I probe the doctor about the need for Malaria pills (since Cambodia is coming up soon). He assures me that I will not need the pills in any of the places I am visiting. It is so much more helpful to get the advice from a doctor that lives in the region you are visiting. The doctor gives me his business card in case I need any help around while in the city.
I stay in a hostel-like hotel in the middle of the action for my Saigon visit. I book a private room at the very pretty Aquarizon Boutique Hostel on the busy Bui Vien street. The hotel is funky and cool. Unfortunately my first room assigned is too moldy and musty for me to enjoy. After one night of sleep I fear I will get a sinus infection. Luckily the hotel has a spare room and is willing to work with me. I am moved to another room in the front of the hotel. The new room still has a musty smell but not as bad as my original room. I decide it is good enough for my stay. The noise from the street is louder in the front of the hotel but luckily I can mostly sleep through background noise; plus I have my ear plugs if I really need them.
Because I book a private room instead of the hostel dorm I get an upgraded breakfast. My breakfast is a buffet with more choices at the sister hotel next door. It is a bit of a maze to access the breakfast room but there is connectivity via one of the upper floors of my hotel.
My first evening I decide to try some mexican around the corner. I ask for a seat outside so I can people watch at Sancho’s Craft Beer & Mexican Kitchen.
Bun Cha 145
The next day I go out for Bun Cha. I have heard they make it differently in Saigon. It is true. It is sweeter down south. The place I choose is popular. I arrive before it opens and there is already a small line outside
I can’t resist ordering the fried banana in green rice. It has a fun chocolate dipping sauce.
I decide to wander around and find an indoor food court. I have recently eaten but make a mental note in case I run out of places to eat nearby.
The food court is next to a park. A collegiate girl stops me to practice English. She wants to major in hospitality and wishes to visit the USA someday. She tells me interesting things about the city.
I walk back to my hotel via Bui Vien to take advantage of the happy hour offered downstairs that evening.
I have tours booked tomorrow so no late night for me.