Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Welcome to Saigon

I've arrived safely in Saigon. I'd been back from Malaysia and Indonesia nearly two weeks, and I'm already on another 2 week trip. This time it's a business trip to Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City) and the Mekong Delta.

The organisation I started my new job with is organising an awareness campaign in the south, and they've sent me along to help coordinate it.

Saigon is a crazy busy city, not unlike Hanoi. Though there are similarities, there is definitely something different about this city. The traffic is slightly worse and it is much bigger than Hanoi, but there seems to be a lack of street life in comparison. I spent about 25 minutes walking around the centre trying to find a cafe where I could just sit and enjoy a ca phe sua da (iced coffee with milk). I settled for the lifeless Highlands chain where I spent a good 50 minutes chatting to Jeannette and using up all the credit I had just charged to my mobile.

In between meetings I have quite a bit of time to spend exploring the city. I was able to eat at two really good and cheap vegetarian restaurants. Even though the organisation gives me quite a sizable per diem while I'm here, I just can't bring myself to spending a lot. I did get the extra fancy coffee (and most expensive) at the Trung Nguyen cafe, but that still only set me back 45,000 dong (2.50 USD). Also I sent all my newly tailored clothes as well as some old ones to the hotel laundry service, even having them iron them. There's nothing like having crispy-dried clothes when you've been hanging your clothes up to dry for the last 5 months. Plus the shrinkage was definitely needed on some of my pants and shirts. Splurge as I try, I'm just not a natural big spender.

I'll try and post some more of my experience here in Vietnam's largest city, the old capital of South Vietnam.


Rebel said...

Thanks again for meeting up with my friend - she said she had a blast playing JENGA with you guys. =) I'm just sad I missed it!

Jonathan said...

I had a fun time with her!

If ever you come to hanoi, we can TOTALLY play Jenga!

出張ホスト said...