Friday, October 26, 2007

Saigon 04

There is a park (photo below) along Pham Ngu Lao where, in the early morning, schools of dragonflies fly around (and there's no pond nearby). This is a cool place to relax and observe the locals go about their daily routine. People jog around; a good number of the seniors do their tai chis in the late afternoon. Young guys play our very own sipa takraw. This park stretches at a part of Pham Ngu Lao, Ben Thanh Market, and some upscale hotels like New World Hotel Saigon. Lovers cuddle on parked motorcycles.

Along Saigon River.

Tan Son Nhat International. Papuntang CR... hehe

On my last night in Saigon (my 3rd check in at
Phan Lan), I got lucky to have the last remaining room- at the 8th floor!!! And there's no elevator here. After depositing your shoes at the foot of the stairs (they won't allow you to bring them upstairs), you walk up a cramped winding stair. This is the view (photo above). Room rate - $12, with breakfast! Of course, there are cheaper rooms with no airconditioning and probably a shared bathroom, but this place is very safe, very clean, and very comfortable. Moreover, the owner took care of every travel transfers I wanted, including my bus ride to Cambodia, my taxi ride to Tan Son Nhat, and an assured reservation upon my every return. She was very hospitable to me, probably coz I am Asian. She would share her thoughts: "Hanoians don't like to smile the way Saigon locals do." - or "The road to Phnom Penh is good, although I hate getting a visa just to cross a nearby border." These were insights that I appreciated. There are only 4 countries which are visa-free in Vietnam - Singapore, Malaysia, Laos and good ole Philippines. Not even for their neighbor Cambodia!

So, Pinoys should take advantage of such privilege.


I've visited Saigon and Hanoi several times already since my "first visit" so you can check them out.

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