Day 2, Ho Chi Minh City
We decide to make our way to the Ben Thanh Markets to find some spare clothes and pick up a few souvenirs if possible. I can't begin to explain what it feels like the first time you need to cross a road or intersection in Ho Chi Minh. Pure terror. Dodging cars and scooters, we find our way to the markets. We manage to find a few good gifts right off the bat, trying to get used to the currency conversion. Picked up some great Vietnam caps, 5 for 200,000dong (15,000 dong to the $US1) and 2 t-shirts for 70,000dong.
Afterwards, we find ourselves outside the Highlands Cafe. We know it's not exactly local fare, but we're just after a good drink and meal. Turns out to be a good choice. Even though it's early in the day, Shan and I order Long Island Ice Teas. They are excellent! We fill up on a couple and after a hearty lunch, head back out into the streets. Turns out that is also the secret to crossing the road in Vietnam. From now on the plan is this - wake up, go directly to the mini bar, consume as much alcohol as possible and then hit the streets - voila. The alcohol relaxes you enough that you casually step out into the street, the scooters maneouvre around you and it's all good. Now when we cross the road, we put Feb in the middle and just go for it.
We arrive back at the hotel and have a bit of a nap before heading out again. Luckily our luggage also arrives during the afternoon and we enjoy a well deserved freshen up when it does. We hit the streets to look for some dinner, definitely local fare. We come across a restaurant called the Fire Restaurant which looks good, plus the hostess is extremely friendly, so we order up a hot pot. We wander around the streets a little and come across the New World Hotel. We decide to stop in for cocktails. There's a house band playing and we play the fool, pretending to dance in our chairs and singing our hearts out. The girls in the band think we are hilarious. The cocktails are good, and only cost about $4.