Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

Most people seemed to still refer to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) as Saigon, and I was a little concerned that, as the musical claims "the heat is on in Saigon," but actually, the weather seemed fractionally cooler than Hanoi. We were forced to buy a flight from Danang to HCMC because even the black market could not help us out on that leg of our journey. We arrived late because our flight was delayed, but it was interesting that it was so obvious we were traveling the discount airline even from the departure lounge (no A/C and limited snack options) and how you get on the plane (by bus and walking, no jet bridge). You were able to make purchases on the plane, and I got a cup o'noodles, (or pot noodle), which worked out to be about 75 cents, a ridiculous mark-up for what is essentially ramen.

From the brief time we were in HCMC, I got the impression it was much more flash than Hanoi and cleaner with wider sidewalks that were not filled with parked motorbikes. The pho, however, was not as good, but maybe that it is an unfair comparison since we got it from a pho chain with bad service instead of a proper street stall.

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