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Day Two - Exploring the City - Day

semi-overcast 28 °C

Day two was spent exploring the city. We had our 08:00am breakfast and then hopped the shuttle bus to the War museum. I fully recommend this to anyone interested in the Vietnam war. See pictures below of US artillery and vehicles left behind and restored. Inside the museum, there are 3 floors exploring the history of the Vietnam war through photographs and first-hand accounts.

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The photos below show torture equipment used. Guillotine and Tiger Cages used to house prisoners.

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After walking round the museum we decided to go looking for the Xin La Pagoda but struggled to locate it. We then went to Binh Tan market where I didn't get photos because we were hassled to buy things on a whole new level. I call it running the gauntlet. Walking past stands both Mel and I were grabbed repeatedly as stand owners tried to stop us to sell us TAT, so I kept my belongings tucked away safely. Haggling is a must. Whatever the price, you can get it down to at least half if not less with some bargaining skills. Work out in your mind what you think is fair eg: 25,000VND = 1GBP and stick to it.

We left the market to find food and shelter because at 3pm on the dot every day, you get a torrential downpour of rain.

We made our way to Bui Vien which seemed to be the backpacking area. Beers were generally double that of the local places we have tried.

So cost of things here as we found it

25,000VND = 1GBP rounghly

Beer = 26,000 a bottle but double that for tourist places. 18,000 for local Saigon (green and red) brew but 333 my favorite
Ciggies = 25,000 (Don't buy them from street sellers. Buy them from the Circle K+)
Pho = 20,000- 40,000
Cabs = most places you can get around for 25 - 40,000
Vietnamese Wine = 82,000 (bloody horrible stuff)
Lunch for two = see receipt below. Wonderful place called 145 Bui Vien

Don't eat in your hotel as you pay way over what you should be paying. We got breakfast included in our rate (Thanks for this Mel) which included a full buffet breakfast. (cost of this is 22USD per person normally)

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We left 145 Bui Vien and realized that 03:00pm was approaching so decided to take shelter in a bar close by. People watching with beers is a wonderful thing.

Words and phrases I've learned, I made an attempt at the local language that was appreciated. One place they gave me free beer, because I was attempting to use the local language.

Lam on cho toi hoa don - Can I have the bill, please
Xin Loi - Excuse me
Kam on - Thank you
Lam on - Please
Xin Chao - Hello
Tam biet - Goodbye
Yes - Vang
No - Kong (saying this one alot)
Mod - 1
Hai - 2
Ba - 3
Nha ve sinh - Toilet

Be careful of the locals trying to sell you things. (I bought fake Oakley sunglasses for 10usd and cool some lighters). The hawkers are like seagulls so beware. You buy off one guy and you'll have them all on top of you.

Note (common sense really, but you sometimes you need reminding): I've had locals tell me to be very careful with our bags, cameras, in fact, anything exposed as we walk around. Always be alert in Ho Chi Minh city.

See below photo's around Bui Vien before and after the rains came. I had to laugh at the guy with the McDonalds umbrella too. A great afternoon chilling...

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After the rain stopped we went in search for Fanny. Fanny, French Icecream. A bit posh but wanted to drop by to try as the flavours looked amazing and they were.

http://www.fanny.com.vn/

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After a long day, we found a cab and made our way back to the hotel to relax in the pool before heading out for dinner.

Stay tuned !!!

Posted by stuartcrooks72 03:26 Archived in Vietnam

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