Nachmittags habe ich noch einen Telefontermin, der Rückweg ist hübsch bunt. 🌺🌸🌼
On the way to the the Bén Thành Market I withdrew cash at an ATM and for the first time ever I was a cash millionaire. It felt so weird to select "withdraw 2,000,000 Vietnamese dong".
Anyway after I was done feeling like Donald Trump, Isabel actually picked a restaurant (street food vendor). For those of you who have never been to Asia. Basically a street food vendor/restaurant is basically a bunch of tables and chairs in the street or on the side of the street and they cook your food ons bbq grills or ovens next to the road.
When they asked us what we want to drink, naturally I said local beer, Isabel also wanted to join in the local vibe and she saw they had local vodka so she said vodka and diet coke. She ended up with a 200ml can of diet coke and a 300ml bottle of vodka. The she asked for a cup or a glass to put it in and they brought shooter glasses. She had to explain she wanted a bigger glass before she could start drinking her vodka and diet coke.
The food was awesome, we even had a fan blowing above us, that is what I call upperclass street food.
At the end the bill was 350,000vd, I mean the last thing I bought with that many zeros was a house. But if you do the math its only about $15, for 2 beers, a bottle of vodka, about 5 cans of diet coke to mix with the vodka, a starter and mains, I think thats good value!
(I couldn't resist!)
We have now arrived in the long awaited Vietnam, first stop Ho Chi Minh City!! I have been so so excited!! We have decided to immerse ourselves into the Vietnamese culture a bit more and are trying to learn Vietnamese (so far we know our numbers and a few basic greetings), so we tried saying a couple of things when out and about and jeeze it's difficult. However, day 1 and we said our numbers correctly when paying for our sim card 😂
We are also staying in a homestay which is so great!
The mother insists on cooking for us and wants us to join her family every evening! We had a couple of hours to kill before dinner so we ventured out to get a sim card and cash. Wow... the traffic... It's absolutely crazy but with an odd sense of order. For pedestrians if there's no traffic light you just go for it and it's like the parting of the red sea. You'll have bikes just weave in and out of your path, but don't stop or you might get a bike up your ass! We wondered round the streets and found dance, outside gym, aerobics and even ballroom dancing classes in the main park. Definitely going to have to try it out.
For dinner we headed back to the Home. She is just like an Indian mum and if your plate is slightly empty she fills it up, or if you take a minute to breathe instead of eating she thinks something is wrong. We are currently only booked for 3 nights here but think we will stay till Wed, although I might gain a couple of pounds if she carrys on feeding us like this haha If you are reading this and have friends in Vietnam please hook us up as we really want to meet locals.
Today is St Patrick's Day and the Chiang Mai family are together once again! During the day we walked around the central area near the park, around Independence Palace, went for a coffee and then went to the War Remnants Museum. The museum was so sad. It told the story of the US and Vietnam War Times with stories from the US veterans, showed news articles from the time and incredibly detailed and graphic pictures and videos of the events that occurred.
In particular the stories and images from the after affect of Agent Orange was shocking. Agent Orange was a powerful herbicide used by U.S. military forces during the Vietnam War to eliminate forest cover and crops so they could see the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops,who were hiding in the forests. In addition to its damaging environmental effects, the chemical has caused major health problems for many individuals who were exposed. Up to four million people in Vietnam were exposed to the chemical. The government of Vietnam says as many as 3 million people have suffered illnesses because of Agent Orange. They showed pictures of veterans, their children, their wives and 4th generation offspring that are still exposed to the chemical which damages genes resulting in deformities among the offspring. It was just inhumane to see.
After such a heavy afternoon we walked back through the park and went home to freshen up before dinner and Paddy's Night! Dinner was once again fantastic and I was soooo full!! Yu just keeps putting more food in my plate hehe
After dinner we went to join the family and brought Pow, staying in the homestay too, who had never experience British drinking culture. Being Irish the others were already quite a few drinks in when we joined and the Irish Pub was heaving! It was soooooooooo hot and sweaty inside with every singing and dancing! So much fun and so nice to see everyone again 😊 It was a very late night though and when I got back home I read, every Sunday morning at the Opera House they have live music, so obviously I had to go!Read more
Day started at 12pm. Morning routine. Headed out to Ben Thanh markets. Bought my bucket hats and fippity flops also had my first pho. Headed back to the hostel because I didn't bring my big bag. Siesta for 1.5 hours. Head out for a walk. Made it the City hall building, absolutely stunning! Walked along the river and bought a tea. Sat, drank and chilled. Got to walking again. Went down a localish market, bought a bahn mi. Ate and walked. Decided to head back. Saw a small pho stall, got take away. Ate at hostel. Friends ask if I want to have dinner. I say of course. Go to an Indian curry place. Meals were huge. Entered struggle city. Walked out with a food baby. Semi-rushed back to the hostel because of semi-emergency. Chuck all my things on my bed and run to the toilet. Let loose. My God. The stench. Was so scared other people could smell it. Showered. Cautiously exited bathroom. No bad smell. Walk to my bag and pull out toilet spray for next time. Went to toilet 3 more times. BedRead more
Wir haben über die größte Stadt Vietnams gelesen:
HCMC - das ist eine Stadt der Gegensätze: verräucherte Tempel, moderne glitzernde Einkaufszentren und bunte Märkte in historischen Hallen, Tai Chi im Park und ununterbrochener Verkehrsstrom, Essen am Straßenrand und internationale Gourmettempel. Nichts für schwache Nerven und empfindliche Mägen, dafür ein Paradies für Backpacker mit Vorliebe für Abenteuer.
Und: Die Stadt ist ein einziges waberndes Chaos, aber wer es überlebt, wird viel Schönes entdecken.
Wir sind also gewarnt und stürzen uns ins Abenteuer, das heißt erstmal auf Frühstücksuche. Wir finden ein Petit Café, wo wir ganz lecker Croissant und Baguette futtern und unseren Tag planen. Danach gehts los: Die große Markthalle ist gleich um die Ecke, also hin! Es gibt hier wieder mal alles und es sind auch wirklich schöne Sachen dabei. Es ist laut und bunt und an jedem Stand sollen wir einkaufen!
Auf unserem weiteren Weg sehen wir eine ganz andere Einkaufswelt: Von einem Schaufenster lassen wir uns locken in eine Seidenstickerei. Hier entstehen die allerschönsten Bilder in monatelanger Handarbeit! Wir lassen uns alles erklären und schauen uns drei Etagen Galerie an! Es ist wunderschön und wir sind fasziniert!
Schon allein die ruhige Atmosphäre und die Gediegenheit, sowie die wunderschönen traditionellen Ao Dai Kleider der Damen ziehen uns in ihren Bann, ein krasser Gegensatz zu dem Trubel vor der Tür!
Die Kleider können wir übrigens in den nächsten Tagen noch oft bewundern, denn offensichtlich gehört es zu den Festvorbereitungen, sich in dieser wunderschönen Garderobe im Tempel, im Park oder vor Blumendekorationen fotografieren zu lassen. Das ist wirklich sehr, sehr schön anzuschauen!Read more
You might also know this place by the following names:
Cho Ben Thanh