Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Streets of Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon was the name of this city was named after the Communist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. I didn't know until I went there and saw the huge banners with his photo in it. He ruled the foundation of the country of its being a democrat by defeating the French Union. The meaning? -- "bringer of light" - "enlightened will"; Chí meaning 'will' (or spirit), and Minh meaning 'light').


Flight duration from Singapore is 2 hours and 5 minutes. We didn't plan this at all but we needed to go out for some reason. We probably booked the flight and hotel 3 days earlier and off we went. We immediately went to the taxi bay where a couple of red painted cars are lined-up. We hopped in and a woman dressed in a semi-Vietnamese themed dress gave us a small note of the cab's plate, just like the ones they give in Manila. When we arrived at the front of the hotel, we were having a hard time counting the bill since they amount of numbers here are high. We were showing the no-habla Ingles driver and had him took the supposedly right bill for us. He took about 200,000 something from us. We were feeling ripped off so we asked the warm-welcoming staff of the Alcove hotel where we stayed. Turned out, we were right, if converted he took about 6 more SG dollars from us. The staff were very helpful and called the taxi company to raise a complaint. As a return, they received a reply but the driver denied and said he only got the right fare. We didn't need to action further and let go. The staff advised to either go with Vinasun or Mailinh. They said it was safer, and they have honest drivers, turned out its true for we did not experience any more trouble for the rest of our stay.


On the other news, we were too early and our room was not yet ready. We had to leave our stuff behind and had to go somewhere else.  Good thing there was also a this small brochure where there is a map to see some tourist attractions. We ended up seeing 50% of our to go to on this same day and came back to the hotel in the late afternoon.


Ho Chi Minh City or Vietnam (as what I've heard) is the busiest street of scooters. Everyone probably 90% of its population are using motorcycles/scooters as their primary transportation. Everywhere you look, there are scooters. 

There's a lot of vendors selling local food and that familiar feeling of huzzle buzzle. The streets are just like of Manila.

Street vendors are everywhere but I kinda like the establishments where they have their own distinct style of ambiance. Not too crowded compared to Manila but the weather is just as hot!


Updated with a video taken approaching Ho Chi Minh City Hall