Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good morning, Vietnam!

07.01. 2011
Day 2

Saigon Café is strategically located near the beach. I can even hear the waves kissing the shore from my room, especially in the evening. So my cheap fan room was a good choice for a sweet sleep overnight.

room for 6 usd/night

 After I got myself ready, I ordered my breakfast. While waiting for my omelet meal, I took some time walking around the cozy guest house and headed towards the beach.

 It wasn’t a very pleasant view at all. Garbage all over the shore and the smell -  aaugghh!

Took several shots, and observed some fishermen on the shore, before heading back to my guesthouse, where my breakfast awaits me.

breakfast for 15,000 (Vnd)
the unctouchables
I just killed time  inside my room, taking advantage of the free wifi, thank God, Facebook wasn't blocked.

And just before noontime, I checked out and waited for my pick up service from Sinh Cafe.

Travel time from Mui Ne to Saigon is another 6 hours. We’re supposed to depart at 1pm, but there were some delays.

Sinh Tourist office, Muine
Again, I got another window seat (I purposely asked the receptionist to be book me one). But this time, I had this Vietnamese girl as a seatmate. I tried to start a conversation however, much as I wanted to chat with her during the loooong trip, we have this language gap between us. So after saying his and hellos, I started to mind my our business, and tried to find some sleep.

Already in the middle of my dreams when the bus alighted to somewhat a supermarket with a karenderia in it, much like a stopover I think. So I get off the bus, and went to the loo.

While checking some goods in the supermarket, this thing caught my attention. Obviously, that's a snake inside the bottle, it may be a common site for us, but to see it inside a supermarket, is a bit strange. As in normal na paninda lang sya.

After 6 gruelling hours in the bus, we arrived Saigon at around 730 in the evening. It stopped right in front the head office of Sinh Café. 

i think, it's now safe to cross the street
Only in Vietnam

I then hurriedly looked for my travel agency, Viet Vacation Travel. I have yet to purchase my bus tickets to Cambodia, for that night - and that’s another 6-8hours bus travel. They say that's the life of a backpacker, and travelling a sleeper bus is a good alternative to staying overnight in a hotel, only cheaper.

buti na lang, sanay akong tumawid ng kalsada..hahaha

Since it’s the busiest time of the night in District 1 area, I had a hard time looking for the travel agency. I’m tired. My back was complaining already due to my not-so-heavy backpack. So before I drain all the energy in me, I went inside this particular travel agency and asked for a bus ticket to Phnom Penh which I know will be leaving at around 11pm. Unfortunately, they have no available seats for that night. I think, three or four travel agencies more before I was able to secure my PP bus tickets. Much as I wanted to ask for Mekong Express or Sapaco bus, they’re all fully booked so I settled for the never-heard, never read bus service – Kampuchea-Angkor Express for 9usd. (Mekong express and Sapaco Bus are said to be the safest bus overland HCMC - Cambodia).

i don't know how to reload balance to my phone, so i asked to to do it for me...

some street foods
Bus will leave at 1am, so I still have few more hours to kill. Left my luggage in the travel agency, I started my first evening adventure in the backpacking haven of Saigon. First thing in mind is to look for my guesthouse  - Diep Anh Guesthouse.

I’m not checking in yet but I just have to locate them first so I won’t have a hard time looking for them again once I get back to Saigon, from Cambodia.

I was able to find the guest house in one of the many dark alleys along Pham Ngu Lao and Bui Vien, talked to the owner and checked the room. Now the bad thing was, they were offering me the 20USD double room, when I actually booked for a 13USD single room.  I insisted I’m travelling solo so there’s no need for a double room. Anyhow, I won’t be checking after three more days, so maybe they will have an available single room for me.

again, the untouchables
But just to expand my backpacking experience, I went  to some other guest houses if they have cheaper rooms than that of Diep Anh. Again, all were fully booked. So, I gave up and decided to look for a decent and cheap restaurant for my first official Vietnamese meal. Asian Cuisine.

While eating this one, a familiar song was playing in the background. It’s the ANAK song by Freddie Aguilar, only on it’s English version. Amazing!

While enjoying my nasi goreng, I saw this guesthouse just in front of the restaurant. I told myself to just try this one for the last time.

So after paying my bill, I crossed the alley and entered the place. Much to my surprise, the old man said they have available single room for July 4-7… and it’s just for 12USD. The cheapest among I’ve asked and have been researched through the internet. That’s a private single room, with TV and AC, free wifi and ensuite bathroom. The host asked for one night deposit to secure my reservation  but I paid him full for my three nights stay.  Just to make sure, I won’t be able to spend the money for something else.

Bus left Saigon at quarter past 1am. It’s a sleeper bus with comforter. Comfortable enough for a 6 hour bus ride to Phnom Penh.


  1. great entry! nice pics too, btw. how did you book the sleeper bus? what is the name of the company? thanks :)


  2. i love your pics.sana makapunta ako mui ne next year kasi mukhang myanmar ang balak ko.what's with the name of your blog?are you from surigao or bohol?my mom kasi is from surigao and we used to live in alegria

  3. Dear that is night bus to Cambodia , when you arrive Sai Gon - Viet Nam can contact to Us we are travel agency here our office be front of Airport - 268 Cong Hoa St , Dist Tan Binh , Email: