Crazy hits it the second time around in Saigon. RSVP-NO to my 10-year high school reunion and an absence for a weekend getaway with friends at Tagaytay. Enough with the guilt trip na. So here’s a simple guide for a kuripot weekend in Saigon… just because it was unplanned and all. Lol!
Your Stay: Stay at the Bich. Good location. Station 2-ish. Young ones need no diamond accommodations. Clean sheets, AC, TV, and a decent WC are simple basics that you need. No arte please, there will be more room for that one. Email Chan for your reservations. A Bichy stay will cost you around 400PHP/night. BF consits of a baguette, scrambled eggs, OJ, and bananas… Pwede na yun. Promise.
Drinks: Ca phe sua da (Vietnamese iced coffee) is like sago’t gulaman. You can never leave Vietnam without drinking it. A simple concoction of strong Vietnamese coffee, sweetened condensed milk, and ice for less than a dollar is all there is to it. Mas masarap sa sidewalk. Buy beans at the Ben Thanh… not inside, very touristy. Go outside kay Madame near the bags. Swear!
Foodams: One word. Three letters. PHO (25,000-45,000 VND). I don’t give a damn on what resto serves it better or more authentic… Heller! You’re in Vietnam so every pho should be real na, MSG laden or otherwise. Safe choice sa Pho24. But better sa sidewalk, yun kamay gamit for scooping the rice noodles. It’s mas real and mas salty! Magic word!
Two words. Eleven letters. Spring rolls! Have it in rice paper or better yet in leaves of mustard. Love it fresh with basil for the shrimp. Love it fried for the pork. Love it like lola’s lumpia! Bet!
Banh mi sa sidewalk for 15,000VND is nothing like no other here in Manila. Instead of pan de sal, they have it in a baguette… a baguette! Imagine jejemons eating a baguette! No diba?!? Inside are all things fresh and healthy. Never had this when I first visited. Ayaw daddy, baka dirrty. But now, fave ko toh sa Saigon kanto.
Ben Thanh market for basic shopping. Shopping tip: Touch, inquire, haggle, then walk away. Remember: Haggle like there’s no tomorrow. Coffee, fabrics, and touristy shirts can be found here. For more artsy-fartsy finds go to the bacpacker district, the Bich is located there. Kaya nga stay at the Bich.
The Cuchi Tunnels and the War Museum will teach you something new about history. Open your eyes. Open your mind. Forget Forest Gump and all the American movies about the Vietnam War. It’s not about communism. It’s not about democracy. It’s about leaving people alone when they are at peace- Communist Red, Socialist LoVe, or Democratic Gay. I’ve seen the destruction of the West to the East and it’s true pala what they say… pakealamero to the highest level. Anyway, skip the Reunification Palace or the Cao Dai Temple. Next time, I’ll try the cooking lessons na lang. Tour is dirt cheap. Tons of travel agencies to help you near the Bich. Kaya stay at the Bich or somewhere near it. Ours was USD14.00 for Cao Dai- Cuchi whole day. Mekong is nice too but that one is so 2003.
Bars: Café Thi for distillerish ambiance. Go2 for Libis back in early 2000’s look and feel. Cheap naman kaya keri lang.
In closing, the place is fun for 3 days lang cuz it’s kinda small to begin with. It’s still more fun in the Philippines. 3.5 stars of dazzling!