Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Trip Start Oct 23, 2011
22Trip End Nov 12, 2011
Fortified, we made our first successful street crossing and a pilgrimage to the Ban Thanh Market, navigating the narrow aisles of household goods, clothing, fabrics, carved wooden masks, silks, interesting foods, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and of course tee-shirts and souvenirs, goods stacked to the ceiling with hardly enough room to move. It is chaotic, busy and a must see. If you find something you like but not the right color or size, no worries, the merchant will run to another stall until they find exactly what your want or what they think you want, never let a sale go . . . customer service on steroids.
We lunched at Pho 2000, the restaurant's walls are covered with photos of Bill Clinton with staff members. He was discovered quietly dining here in 2000. The pho was good and the restaurant quite crowded with mostly Caucasians, I guess all of the tour books recommend it. For $5 each we had spring rolls, pho and a beer . . . deal!
We had a restful afternoon, caught up on correspondence on the public computers in the lobby running into others from the group as they came back to their rooms after a day of exploring. We gathered in the evening for our first group dinner and got the bad news . . . tomorrow morning a 6:30 a.m. flight to Rach Gia . . . that means a 4:00 a.m. wake-up. Let the fun begin.