...Next Stop is Viet Nam
Trip Start Apr 15, 2012
24Trip End Jun 06, 2012
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Where I stayed
Regionally renowned war criminal Henry Kissinger once said "Never get in between a Vietnamese and his sense of direction".
WM's friend Danny in Sudan (nee Saigon) recommended Chi's Cafe as a good place to stay in the guesthouse district of Pham Ngu Lao. Taxi never heard of it-got dropped off in Pham Ngu Lao. Walked all over PNL, could not find. Lonely Planet address was wrong. Started to rain.
Asked 4 different locals-sent in 4 different directions. Three ATM's did not work on Thailand" Bangkok Bank card. When a local travel agent was asked where one could find an ATM to W/D
she said "Bank holiday
"What is the exchange rate?", WM asks, assuming she is the exchange agent. "Don't know, must call friend with motorcycle", she responds. WM left.
Gave up on Chi's and got a nice room in a side alley at Kim's ($18, A/C, fast in-room internet, elevator). Nice women run it. Unlike the rest of Saigon, this place is QUIET.
Went out to eat, got turned around, and asked locals "Where is Kim's?". In a Cheech and Chong moment, they--every one of them-- said "Kim not here."
Lonely Planet recommends staying in Dong Khoi area if you don't like the noise, hustle, and bustle of PNL. WM stayed in Dong Khoi in his visit 8 years ago and it was more expensive and a lot noisier.
Saigon is a lot nicer than remembered. Air quality is good, no litter. May stay here a little longer than first planned.