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Sunday, February 17, 2008

November 2007 visit

Upon arrival at HCMC in the evening there was little change to the usual routine of baggage claim, customs clearence and so on but the necessity for a metered taxi at the transportation desk was nullified because all the taxi's are metered now. The same old scams were being tried such as offering a ride to district #1 for $30 USD but I declined and ended up paying slightly less than $5USD. My new hotel which I had never stayed in was located on the same street but 2 doors down from the Ngoc Ha. The Xuan Loc was moderately priced with the usual amenities that a small mini hotel has to offer. Clean rooms, hot water and a breakfast buffet. The staff was wonderful as they usually are in these small family run establishments. Afterwards my Viet Kieu friend's sister "cousin" Hang agreeded to show me to a local bistro for my first night's dinner. Clams, clams and more clams. Seems I can't get my fill of steamed clams, with lemongrass, chillis and scallions when I'm in VietNam. For the whopping price of $1.50 for 2 dozen I tend to indulge myself. This restaurant is located just off Le Loi St. between the Ben Thanh Market and The Rex Hotel, it's the Bourban Street Bistro. Hang (pronounced Hung) worked there while attending the University. The resident piano man played her favorite tune for her in honor of her return.....the food was really good!

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