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.
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)
No 109 modern bus looks more like an Airport bus.
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.”
I check in an hostel called Khoi backpackers in a dorm(US$5, including simple breakfast like this). Very roomy and cool, good choice.
The highly westernized street of Pham-Ngu-Lao still holds a lady in Ao-Dai.
These guys love anything two-wheeled.
Chock-a-block of tourist cafe in this area, with endless touting from a tuk-tuk driver.
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.
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.
Walking toward Dong-Khoi, a trendy upmarket cafe-filled area.
This colonial French built general post office draws lots of tourist. The building serves as a postal agency and more with souvenir shops in.
Next to the post office sits the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral, the home of a thousand doves and photographers.
Inside the post office,full of tourists, obviously not here to send a parcel.
Selling Vietnamese Ao-Dai dolls.
The Reunification Palace.
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.
Sharing the street food with those girls, stick rice, banana in coconut syrup.