Start a new search to find trip ideas
 

Planning a trip? Consider this idea from a fellow Boomerater

"Morning coffee "

lanhnguyen
Submitted by: lanhnguyen Length of trip: The weekend
Trip taken: January 2008 No. of people on trip: 1 person

Locations visited:

Far East and Asia: Vietnam

Trip Features:
Culture: Cityscapes

lanhnguyen took this trip with her Extended, large family and also recommends this trip for those traveling with their:
> Guy Friends
> Extended, large family
> Immediate Family
> Group of friends

The cost category of this trip was: budget

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Saigon now; Saigon then, Saigon street corners contrast with vivid colors—life unfolds with the animation of the young and meditation of the old. We wake each morning into this bustling city, but who wakes the city up?

It is not easy to ascertain who launches Saigon into the morning—the fixed of boundary between night and day is blurred. At 3 am, Saigon bars still serve quietly. At the same time, hawkers arrange their goods in the first hours of wholesale markets. In these are blue-collar workers starting their shifts beneath the glow of street lights. Saigon is waking up, but the city never fully went to sleep.

Who starts off the city’s day? The answer is elusive, perhaps hidden somewhere among the street sounds: vehicles, horns, and people selling newspapers in the street. “But today’s newspaper! Thanh Nien! Tuoi Tre! Come buy today’s paper! “

Today is the same as everyday—a cup of black coffee. The difference is only the place. I am at a western-style café on the corner of Pasteur and Le Loi streets. A Valentine’s ballad by Martina McBride and Jim Brickman sounds out, making the street life suddenly a shade more romantic.

At 7:30 am, employees walk into government offices. Vehicles pack half of the street every time the traffic light turns red. I watch the commuters, who have long faces and jutting chins—typical Saigon faces. They stop at the three-way crossroads when the traffic light turns yellow and then hurry forward when the red light changes to green after 45 seconds.

“Please buy a lottery ticket! “a 10 year-old girl cries. Her accent is from Quang province; her choice is pure, as if she never knew about life in the dusty streets. It is a tenor note in this morning’s ballad.

These are a foreign couple in white shirts and cream khaki trousers. The man holds the woman’s hand and they go to a nearby table, which has a good view of the street. The man has side-burns and puffs through a cigarette holder, gazing out at the street through the smoke. They call a street vendor and buy a colonial hat.

Three other men enter and choose a hidden corner in the coffee shop. They order coffee, tea and strawberry juice. They are about 60 years old. They start talking about Saigon in 1975—their accents sound like Vietnamese from overseas. They sit with a meditative look, chatting about Saigon streets and about the corner where they are now sitting.

The men talk about the city Saigon once was before the names of streets were changed. Whoever war born and grew up in Saigon before 1975 knows the old names of streets, such as Green Tamarind Leaf Street.

Bonard, which is now called Le Loi Street, is perpetually teeming with fashionable and wealthy young people walking and window shopping along the hot pavement.

Le Loi stretches towards the famous Ben Thanh Market to Catinat Road, which is now called Dong Khoi Street. The shops sell goods, such as Eagle batteries and Perlon toothpaste, aimed at middle class consumers.

People roam around these areas, especially on weekends. The intent is not so much to buy as it is to experience—to see street life and walk arm in arm, talking together. There are many ice cream shops and restaurants, enticing passersby and a voyeuristic gaze at the beautiful young girls walking by.

Entheralled at the detailed memory of the 60 year-old man’s story, a younger man invites the Vietnamese from overseas to Napoli Bar on Pham Ngoc Thach Street. This popular bat is a nighttime venue where audiences listen to famous songs of an era passed—enlivening the street sounds with every performance.

Also on Pham Ngoc Thach Street, these are many fashion shops, trade centers, and souvenir shops. The most famous commercial center is of course Ben Thanh Market, a highly frequented tourist destination and known as the true heart of Saigon.

Saigon now; Saigon then, Saigon streets stir in the morning and soon explode into a symphony of activity: noises, smells, colors. Who woke Saigon up this morning, tipping her into another lively day? The answer, of course: who really knows?

“I had a cup of black coffee” I say “The bill, please.”

The bill is handed over, folded into a fake leather black folder. The number is more than a few thousand VND, as usual. But when I notice that the bill is 36,000, I am happily surprised. This is a lucky number to start the day.

This article written by Lanh Nguyen from Vietnam Heritage Travel

For original article, please visit:

http://vietnamheritagetravel.com/news/1289-morning-coffee.html

http://hotel-in-saigon.com

http://vacationstovietnam.com


Was this information helpful? Yes No

0 out of 0 people found this information helpful

Write a Comment about this trip idea

Did this trip idea inspire you? Do you have additional insights to offer other Boomeraters?

Please take a moment to share your thoughts in a sentence or two.

Only registered Boomeraters can comment on a trip. Log in to your account or Sign up now (it's free)

Other trip ideas

Other trip ideas you might enjoy:

  • "Dream garden "

    Locations: Far East and Asia: Vietnam

    lanhnguyen
    Submitted by: lanhnguyen

    It took six years of hard work and the help of master craftsmen, historians and geomancers to build this spectacular garden. In 2006, I met Madame Tran Thi Tuyet and her husband while they were in Hue searching for skilled artisans to build their dream garden in Dong Nai province. This was a lucky...

    Trip Features: Culture: Ethnic/Religious, Cityscapes, Architecture

  • "Nha Trang - Sun City"

    Locations: Far East and Asia: Vietnam

    lanhnguyen
    Submitted by: lanhnguyen

    It’s been a long time since I’ve had change to return to Nha Trang. A city rimmed with a crescent moon of white sand that stretches for seven glorious kilometers. Thanks to its tropical climate and clear water Nha Trang draws visitor’s years round. With the sun glinting off the blue ocean, the whole town...

    Trip Features: Beach and Nature: Beach, Wildlife viewing

  • ""

    Locations: Far East and Asia: Vietnam

    lanhnguyen
    Submitted by: lanhnguyen

    Hoi An Trails Resort and Spa. The resort offers guests a combination of local culture and environmental treasures. The resort is just five minutes from Hoi an, a picturesque port town dating back to the 15th century. This cultural destination combines with a tropical landscape, making it an amazing p...

    Trip Features: Beach and Nature: Beach, Garden

Start a new search to find trip ideas.

SUBMIT A TRIP YOU'VE TAKEN

Go and Tell!

Have you traveled somewhere or planned a great trip you think other Boomers would enjoy?

Tell us about the best parts of your trip, your favorite restaurants and hotels and any other info that will help fellow Boomeraters get going.

Only registered Boomeraters can submit a trip. Log in to your account or Sign up now (it's free)

Submit your trip

Recent travel questions

"Furnished suites Toronto suggestions? "
If you're looking for furnished suites Toronto location, see The Rosemont Residences. They offer 1-2...
poetmars777
1 replies
"Transport to Johor Bahru from Singapore"
If you're traveling to Singapore, you should definitely cross the border to Malaysia as well, partic...
poetmars777
0 replies
"What should I bring on a school trip to Universal Studios?"
Hi! I am going to a school trip overnight this week on friday, I can't wait to go! I wonder and w...
connor_
0 replies
"What should I bring on a school trip to Universal Studios?"
Hi! I am going to a school trip overnight next week, I can't wait to go! I wonder and wanted to k...
connor_
0 replies


See other Travel questions

Go and Tell!

Have you traveled somewhere or planned a great trip you think other Boomers would enjoy?

Tell us about the best parts of your trip, your favorite restaurants and hotels and any other info that will help fellow Boomeraters get going.

Submit your trip