Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Saigon to HCMC (3)

To go to the ferry by Saigon River, I chose a less “popular” route: Still walk from Pham Ngu Lao to the Tran Nguyen Han Square, then go through Ham Nghi all the way down to the river. From there, walk northward by the river, till the Tran Hung Dao Square (again there is a statue of this guy Tran Hung Dao in the middle of the square). This routine is closer to the daily life of normal Vietnamese ppl in HCMC, so you can see how they do business in the workshops, chat with their neighbors to kill some time in the sauna-like afternoons in HCMC, etc.

Buildings by the streets of HCMC are normally very “thin”, just like Vietnamese ppl.

There are some boats in Saigon River, mainly for the “dinner cruise”, which starts from 7:30pm and ends at roughly 9:30pm. The price various from US$15 to US$35, depending on what kind of meal you want.
Tran Hung Dao is a general who led Vietnamese troops against Yuan Dynasty of China (the Mongolian Empire, founded by Genghis Khan).
And if you got to the ferry during the AM or PM rush hour, you will see a quite speculate scene: Thousands of scooters are crowded at the entrance of a “passage” to the ferry, waiting to be transported across the river. The passage reminds me the one in the movie Australia where Nicole Kidman drove the kettles onboard the ship…
Walking around in HCMC requires some athlete skills and guts also. There is barely no traffic light @ the crossings. Most of the time, you have to depend on the “understanding” between you and the drivers to get across the road.

Vietnamese spring roll is another must-try. The real Vietnamese ones are “raw”, meaning just use “rice paper” to wrap the chicken meat, seafood, veg and then go with some sauce (normally the Vietnamese “fish sauce”).
And here is the traditional way to enjoy Vietnamese coffee:
Above the big coffee cup, put a steel filter board, and then put a small steel cup on top of that. Coffee power is put inside the small steel cup, and hot water is poured in slowly. The coffee liquid will then drip down to the coffee cup at the bottom. “Black” tastes a bit burn flavor, so I prefer the “milky” version, which contains a piece of condensed milk in the coffee cup.

Again, although there are many delicious adventures in Vietnam, do try them in reliable restaurants.

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