Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 24 2015

Vietnam 4

We had breakfast at a steakhouse this morning. The steak was a little on the chewy side, but the French bread was good. After that we walked over to the bus station, where middle-aged men crowded around the opening doors of newly arrived buses in an effort to get some business. We boarded a bus and headed out to the Chinatown area, where we walked through a street market and then a more substantial goods market, and then through some alleys bordered by neat old two-story houses. Many of the residents spoke at least basic Mandarin, so we chatted with some of them about their families and how they’d come to Vietnam, etc.

We also visited a series of temples, some more like those of Taiwan, some different. They tend to use the central door here rather than leaving it only for the gods’ use as they do in Taiwan. Across the street from one of the temples was an emtpy ice cream place that turned out to be surprisingly tasty.

The last temple was a multi-story affair locked inside of a tuggle of other buildings; Chenbl got dizzy inside due to all the bad energy there. Even Prince Roy and I felt it; we didn’t at all feel welcome by the practicioners, who were upstairs chanting in front of giant statues. Of course, they might have been unhappy with the chatty Western tourists that came in behind us, but I suspect they weren’t a very happy bunch in any case. It felt good to leave.

But we were tired and hot by this time, and as I was on my last battery, we elected to take a taxi back, PR chatting with the driver in Vietnamese. I felt bad about dragging PR all over town during the hottest part of the day; Chenbl and I doggedly headed out by ourselves for another loop around the area while there was still light, but I think we should have followed PR’s example and just took a break in the A/C, because my feet were aching and my head swimming by the time we got back. We did see quite a few Western tourists around town, young men with beards and lenseless glasses (and one with a conical hat) and young women with ponytails and lenseless glasses. There are far more Western tourists here than in Taipei.

Dinner was a delicious affair at a rooftop restaurant called the Secret Garden, in an old building that someone stole the elevator from at some point. Tomorrow is our last day in Saigon, but we’re going to try and get some more sightseeing in before our flight up to Hanoi.

posted by Poagao at 11:19 pm  

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