Saigon, Chock-a-block of motor bike

Saigon(locals prefer to name their city Saigon rather than Ho-Chi-Minh city) is a bold city that is not shy to reveal its charm to the first comer. In the Than-Son-Nhat airport, a man moving on a bicycle in the runway.

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To get to the central, two buses head down, No 109 new bus(20,000 dong) or No 152 local bus(5,000 dong) if you don’t want to haggle with a taxi driver.(US$25)

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No 109 modern bus looks more like an Airport bus.

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Pham Ngu Lao, Saigon’s answer to Khaosan Rd in Bangkok, gives chaotic noisy vibe to a first visitor.  Finding a room should not be a problem here as the hostels are overflowing in every corner.

Funny thing you will encounter is the beer drinkers sitting on a stool facing street, not seeing their mates each other. So when you walk in road, you will be like “I am being heavily watched.”

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I check in an hostel called Khoi backpackers in a dorm(US$5, including simple breakfast like this). Very roomy and cool, good choice.

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The highly westernized street of Pham-Ngu-Lao still holds a lady in Ao-Dai.

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These guys love anything two-wheeled.

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Chock-a-block of  tourist cafe in this area, with endless touting from a tuk-tuk driver.

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Crossing the road looks like an unachievable task at first with waves of motor-bikes, but just follow the locals. Once you start crossing, never stop. Just walk slowly. No backward movement, or change of walking pace. Keep an eye on a local how they make this task easy and you do the same.

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Top of the Pham-Ngu-Lao, the landmark, Ben-Thanh market. You don’t have to buy anything here. Prices are tuned to the foreign tourist.

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Walking toward Dong-Khoi, a trendy upmarket cafe-filled area.

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This colonial French built general post office draws lots of tourist. The building serves as a postal agency and more with souvenir shops in.

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Next to the post office sits the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral, the home of a thousand doves and photographers.

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Inside the post office,full of tourists, obviously not here to send a parcel.

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Selling Vietnamese Ao-Dai dolls.

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The Reunification Palace.

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On the way to the army museum, I meet a group of Hanoi university students who rode the bicycle from Hanoi to Saigon, in this scorching hot weather.

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Sharing the street food with those girls, stick rice, banana in coconut syrup.

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