Saigon/HCMC Vietnam: Pham Ngu Lao-cious

by Beej McKay The 23/9 Park across from Pham Ngu Lao street in Saigon’s backpacker district is swarming with activity from 6 am on. This being a large Vietnamese city where authority is centralized, most of the activity is pretty tightly regulated. The first day we’re there, dozens of organized groups are kicking the shuttlecock…

Vietnam: Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!

Originally posted on Gypsy. Tramp. Thief.:
Deceptively innocent coffee. Image (c) Stacy Libokmeto Back in Saigon from Dalat, we’re hanging out at Highlands Coffee, a major coffee shop chain in Vietnam. I’m sitting in front of the large windows on the second floor overlooking the backpacker district at Pham Ngu Lao. We come here for…

Saigon to Da Lat, Vietnam!

Fellow Misadventurists! Greetings from Da Lat, Vietnam. Why are we in Da Lat, an eight hour bus ride up into the mountains, so soon after arriving in Saigon? To quote Senor Inigo Montoya, let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. After our long flight from Hong Kong to Manila; the…

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Welcome to HCMC Part 2

And I never saw Beej again. Just kidding. I’m sitting at Highlands Coffee (a major chain in Vietnam), taking big gulps of my Vietnamese style iced coffee (syrupy and strong coffee, sweetened, and then sweetened some more with sweetened condensed milk). The big gulps serve two purposes. One, I’m thirsty and it’s freaking hot out…