Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)'s Spoiling Through Coffee Shops and Pho's

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

Our last day in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) last March 22, 2010 was one devoted to understanding its culture and lifestyle through our taste buds and the stomach - eating and drinking.

Coffee Shop

My Vietnamese friend,Ha Ngo, said that we really should not miss coffee shop as it is an important part of Vietnamese lifestyle and culture and without visiting garden coffee shop of Vietnam, we might not be able to understand Vietnamese well. So she arranged for us to meet her friends Mr. Dat,Mr.Dung and V at the Trầm (at 100 Tran Huy Lieu street, Phu Nhuan district) which is not far from where we were staying. Since Vietnam is the world's second largest exporter of coffee,it is a paradise for coffee-loving visitors because coffee shops abound. But no worries for non-coffee drinker like me and my friends since although Vietnamese call them coffee shop, you can order many kinds of drinks there.

I really liked the ambiance of the coffee shop - a sanctuary filled with soothing sounds (from the pond and the sound of the night) and caressing aromas. It is a unique environment and one-of-a-kind facility that gives ample time to relax while engaging in a nice conversation over a cup (of coffee or other drinks) after a day's work.

Pho (Soup) Resto and Dining

We learned from the two Vietnamese we met on the plane that when it comes to food, you're spoiled for choice in Saigon, which offers the country's largest variety of Vietnamese and international food. Authentic local food at bargain prices is one of the glories of Vietnam so the 50,000vnd I brought with me can actually purchased 12 bowls of Pho, - a Vietnamese national dish that is amazingly tasty and nutritious noodle soup.

Of course, Vietnam isn’t just about noodles. We have enjoyed great dishes like soy and rice cakes at local budget resto during our stay. Then on our last day,we went to Rat Hue at the Ben Than market area which our host Mai Lei recommended. The food there are flavorful and satisfying.

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