Saigon / Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (Ben Thanh District)
(2019-20, 2 MONTHS)
Air quality the worst of any city I’ve been to. It actually has a negative effect on my respiratory system and I consciously do not go outside. Measurements are routinely 150+ and as high as 172. A safe limit is below 50, US cities are around 30.
80% population says religion is not important to them. Instead, the worship their ancestors (now, that’s a religion I can get behind!)
Hardest city in the world to cross the street. You walk forward and the bikes and cars avoid you, if the other option is to hit you.
Bars close between 11pm–1am
Download Go-Viet for cheap scooter rides. The biggest difference was 10k vs 38k for Grab during rush hour.
You’ll see people (old and young) sniffing something small, almost like as if they were snorting cocaine. I’m not sure what it is, but it is used to make you more alert.
Scooters ride on the sidewalk, watch out! There are no rules of the road, only suggestions.
Many of the buildings are very skinny and tall
So many beeps! Everyone beeps constantly
No coins. I even saw a 300VND (1.3 cents in USD) bill. Ho Chi Minh is on all the money.
Mekong Delta Floating Market was just ok. Can Tho was a larger city than I thought and beautiful, less air pollution, a nice walkway next to the river, and things shut down at 10pm.
I choose the items below as they’re generally available everywhere. Thus, easy for comparison. The prices reflect the cheapest option given my standard. In any estination you can find slightly cheaper prices if you wanted to sacrifice convenience (ie going to local market or out-of-town grocery store).