Friday, 30 May 2008

Further exploration of Ho Chi Minh City

We're continuing to enjoy our explorations of Ho Chi Minh City. Yesterday I started at 6am with a run along the river. Running here is very hard, with heavy traffic, clogged footpaths and very hot and humid weather. On the plus side, I get to see friendly locals do their Tai Chi and other exercises, and explore further parts of the city. After breakfast we explored the parks and streets of the city. Carolyne rested in the afternoon while I continued to explore, clocking up 16km in addition to my morning run.

It took us little time to suss out the best coffee shop, Phuc Long (15,000D for an espresso - AU$1), a quiet spot with good coffee and wifi access. We've also identified some terrific eateries. I'm reluctant to call them restaurants, as the places for lunch are tiny, hole-in-the-wall, places which serve just one dish. We've found a lane full of them: you just find one that serves the dish you prefer and away you go. Yesterday we had the most delicious combination noodle soup with lots of vegies for 15,000D. Dessert was a fruit drink made of avocado, orange juice, condensed milk and ice - superb at 10,000D!

For dinner we found a large, open restaurant, full of noisy locals. The food was superb, with a main course comprising a large, grilled cat-fish and several side dishes. The beer, naturally, is good and cheap.

This morning we were at breakfast soon after 6am.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Ho Ch Minh City: an introduction

We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City last night after a long day of travelling from Canberra. The day went smoothly: I had no problems with my bike and both of us carried hand luggage that was WAY over weight without difficulty. We were quick arranging a taxi from the airport and were settled in our hotel, the Spring Hotel, before 10pm.

Our hotel room is very good, though without a window, at a cost of US$48 plus tax. The hotel is small but in a most convenient location in the Dong Khoi area: the only other hotels here are the large expensive ones.

Today we spent walking around the city which has a modern Asian, big city feel (the population is 6.5 million). The streets are wide, tree-lined and clean in great contrast to those in Kathmandu! We found good, local eateries and are really enjoying returning to the terrific Vietnamese food. It's hot: today was 36ยบ and humid!