It is difficult to explain to NONTRAVELLERS the onion-like nature of CULTURE SHOCK and DEEPER UNDERSTANDING which comes from prolonged contact with the ALIEN and UNKNOWN. I have always have BIG trouble with finding the RIGHT words. Fortunately there are in the world bloggers like Crossing Borders, who can capture the essence of this feeling, thus:
"Still, this deja vu has a freshness to it - everything feels more complex and connected for being familiar. If the first time to Vietnam I was so overwhelmed by the differences in culture that I simply drank it in quickly like a shot of strange and potent liquor, than this time I'm feeling comfortable enough to reconsider the smallest of details - to strech an awkward analogy, this time around experiencing Vietnam feels like sipping a glass of wine to consider its delicate and complex bouquet of flavors. These flavors are endless to list, but I hope to impart some of them in these blogs to come...
I revisited Vietnam in March this year (2007), and I hope to be back there in September, for another round. Since March's visit was really my 3rd (or 4th, if you counted my stay in Ho Chi Minh Airport with Chie in 2005 -- a little slice of life in Vietnam, but still possessing its own dynamics), this means I am becoming a novice expert at Vietnam and the nature of travelling there. But as Crossing Borders writes, there is no end to the cultural depth and excitement of an alien land -- due perhaps to the fractal nature of reality.
For more about bars and clubs in downtown Saigon, Khamtran has compiled a little guide here. Some of the places Kham recommends are:
Allez Boo: 197 Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1.
Comments: Always full of backpackers and local girls looking for a date for the night. Open until about 4:00-5:00am. Saigon Pho: 266 De Tham Street, Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1.
Comments: This is one of few bars in the city that remains open around the clock. Very reasonably priced food and booze. Also has a surprisingly large food menu selection. La Cantina: 175/3 Pham Ngu Lao St., Ward 1. Phone: 08 3920 7252, 3886 0369.
This restaurant is tucked into one of my favorite alleys in Ho Chi Minh City, off the busy Pham Ngu Lao Street. Despite the blandness of the food, it seems to be constantly busy. There is a motobike or Vespa or something hanging on the wall, adding to the decor. I had some kind of chicken platter there one night in 2010 which was okay, but not the most amazing dish I have ever eaten. You can also order pizza, barbeque dishes, and Vietnamese cuisine.
plenty of places in Ho Chi Minh City to eat Bun bo Huế, among them:
Kim Caf$B!&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;(Blt;/strong>: 270 De Tham, District 1.
Said Cooking With the Single Guy's Vietnam travel page: "I ate at this caf$B!&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;(Bbecause it also has a travel agency right next door where I arranged my tour of the Mekong Delta. This place was like a dive, but the food was clean, hearty and cheap. This noodle dish, of course, is not Vietnamese but a traditional Singaporean dish that I order often back home. The base is thin vermicelli rice noodles and it's often served with eggs and shrimp in a curry base. It was filling!"
There are fifteen tables in this shop; however, the food is delicious enough to satisfy all difficult customers.
The menu includes: bun bo Hue, banh canh.
HOTELS Kim Hotel: 40-18 Bui Vien Street, District 1. Phone: . Map/price details: click here.
This place has been serving native Cambodian Hutieu flavors ever since the 1970s.