Trying desperately not to get run over

Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
Trip End Jan 09, 2010

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Where I stayed
Miss Ao Dai Apartments

Flag of Vietnam  , Hồ Chí Minh,
Thursday, December 31, 2009

We reached Sai Gon by the Mekong Express bus. The trip from Phnom Penh to HCMC took about 6 hours, but the ride was actually quite short. We spent some of the time at a restaurant stop where we had Banh Mi Cari Ga (Curry Chicken with Bread). We spent a lot of the time at the border waiting for the Vietnamese immigration authorities to call our names to pass.

On our way into the city, I traded seats with Victor so he can see Sai Gon through the window. It was a lot for him to take in. He commented that he already wants to come back.

The bus dropped us off at Duong (street) Pham Ngu Lao. It's pretty much an area full of backpackers from all over the world, that and Duong De Tham.

It seems every time we arrive in a new city there's a slight feeling of disorientation. Nevertheless, we managed to exchange money. 100 US Dollars amounts to 1.8 million Vietnamese Dong. In other words, a fairly thick wad of cash in your wallet.

Oh, and to cross the street here was a truly risky adventure. We learned never to take a step back or hesitate because the drivers are looking to ride around you. The most predictable thing for them is that we are moving forward.

We found a place to eat, Pearl Garden, where we pigged out on steak and fries, sticky rice, Sai Gon Beer, and Sinh To Dua (Coconut Shake).

Next stop was the apartment we'd stay in for the night, which was very graciously offered to us by Victor's dad's cousin, Chu Trung. I should mention that Xe Om drivers (motorcycle taxi) hassled us a lot for their help getting us places. Rather than giving them the satisfaction, Victor and I took our big backpacks and trekked the whole way to Duong Le Thanh Ton for the Miss Ao Dai apartments. It took quite awhile to get there and we were soaking in sweat, completely beat, by the time we got there.

I have to say I was really excited about spending New Year's Eve in Sai Gon. The moment I got to the hotel, I wanted to get ready. However, things got ugly for me pretty quick. Something about what I ate gave me the worst nausea ever. Weirdest thing was that Victor and I ate the same things. I tried to sleep it off after takings some tums and other stomach medicine. I woke up a couple of hours later and rushed to the bathroom where I had my head over the toilet bowl for several minutes.

So much for New Year's Eve in Sai Gon. I slept through the night.

We woke up early this morning to re-pack all of our items, walk around the city to take photos, and eat. We ate at Pho 24 and had our first real Cafe Sua Da (Vietnamese Iced Coffee). Then we picked up some baked goods to take on our plane ride to Hue.

Now we're waiting for the driver to pick us up and take us to Tan Son Nhat airport. We'll be in Hue just after lunch time. Then we have to get situated at a hotel. I've stayed at the Bamboo Hotel in Hue before so I hope that they will have a room available for Victor and I. We'll keep you updated!

Til then.

Angie & Vivi
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Christopher & Marisa on

Happy New Year! You guys sound like you're having a great time (sorry about your bout of stomach unpleasantries, Angie)- stay safe and have fun. Keep the updates and pictures coming!

Brother & Sister-in-law

Louis on

Happy 2010 Vi and Angie! Im jealous of that authentic pho and Cafe Sua Da haha. Vi, hows the 24 mm working out? Safe travels till the next post!


Tina on

Thanks for all of the great entries! Happy New Year and I miss you both. Have an amazing time in Hue!



Cau Hai on

Glad to hear that you made to VN safe and not too healthy (Angie) . Take a little white pill (Lomotive) and thing will be fine. (Speaking from an exeprience). Here are the things to do and eat in Hue:
- Tu Duc Tomb
- Minh Mang Tomb
- Khai Dinh Tomb
- Thanh Noi (King Palace) (Your cousins used to live here)
- Make sure to book a tour on Fumer River (Song Huong) in the evening to hear the traditional Hue song) (Tell the young lady singer that Cau hai says hi to her)
- Things to eat: Hue Dishes at Quan Ba Mu Do (Cau Gia Hoi). Bun Bo Hue (Across from the Post Office), Banh Khoi Thuong Tu. (Things may change but the best way is to ask the Hotel)

Not sure what's your itinerary, but you should spend a night in Hoi An and make sure to buy several Long Den (Lanterns) for your families (especially for Cau Hai)
- Let me know where you're head and I wil tell you what to go and eat.

So Long

PS. ViVi, Watch Out for those Cutie Girls, if they're staring at you, it's OK to stare back but don't let Angie catch you......(Once again speaking from an experience....)

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