Asia, Vietnam

Asia Day 10: Last day in HCMC

Photo of the day: Home-made fried noodles @ my cousin’s

After another restless night of alternating chills and fever, it was time to start another day! Both feeling pretty awful, we decided to go somewhere closer to pick up some breakfast. We went to a place just a few blocks away called ID cafe. It had coffee, smoothies and some main courses as well. Aaron got himself an Americano with a mixed berry smoothie and I finally got some Xoi Bap (sweet corn sticky rice) with grilled pork. The smoothie was overly sweet and cannot compare with the ones we got at Five Boy’s. (Oh how I missed their smoothies! Too bad it was too far away of a walk for us today). The Xoi Bap and grilled pork (more like chinese-style Char Siu) was very hard and dried. For the ambience I would give this place a 9/10 with their nice, comfortable seating and mood lighting. The food; however, I would only give it 5/10 – overpriced and underwhelming. 

Xoi Bap with grilled pork @ ID Cafe
Xoi Bap with grilled pork @ ID Cafe

We decided to get some rest and to catch up on trip planning and work/blogging back at the Airbnb. Aaron picked up some Pho from a restaurant downstairs. It wasn’t too bad. The broth was very tasty and the noodles again were really good. The only down side of ordering take out is there were no vegetables to accompany our meal and no chillies! 

Take out Pho @ Tan Lap
Take out Pho @ Tan Lap

For dinner, we headed to my cousin’s. They’ve prepared delicious fried noodles with all sorts of meats and vegetables. We also had some soy sauce with chillies on the side to add to the flavours, as needed. After our main course, we enjoyed some refreshing and sweet watermelon, as well as durian (which they believe is Aaron’s favourite as he mentioned it once.) They also offered us some pastries which was like jumbo-sized HK style bubble waffles with an egg yolk in the middle. 

To end the night, my cousin’s gave us a ride home, but first they wanted to show us around town one last time. I was prepared this time with my jeans and hoodies. I even donned my yellow cotton mask with cute pandas, that I bought the other day in preparation for the long motorcycle ride to my other cousin’s, which never happened. Based on the research I’ve done, motorcyclists here use these masks to: 1. Filter out the pollutants and exhaust. 2. Protect their skin from the sun so their skin can remain fair. 3. Protect themselves from germs. My observation is that 1. It does take away some of the smell of cigarettes and fumes from the environment. 2. It was night time so I cannot comment on the sun factor. 3. Hopefully this helped to protect the world from my germs. I can tell you that it got really stuffy and warm under the mask, though, so I don’t think I can do this long term. When asked if I’ve checked out Saigon yet, I was so confused. I thought this whole area is Saigon. My cousins replied, “No. You need to check out Saigon.” Apparently “Saigon” to the locals is the area around Nguyen Hue where there are beautiful lights, big malls and fancy hotels. We also took a drive into District 2 going through the underwater tunnel. This area is very nicely developed with new condo buildings going up, along with their accompanying largeandfancy sales centres. It was finally time for our farewells and best wishes. 

And this was how we spent our last day in HCMC. We did not end up going to eat Bun Thit Nuong again but we will be on the look out for good places during the rest of our journey through Vietnam. 

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