Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Buaya Lair

It's been a month and a half since I landed in Saigon. (From now on, I'm referring to Ho Chi Minh City as Saigon, just like the locals). There's a drought going on right now with temperatures of 33 degrees celcius. Thankfully, Saigon is not as humid as Kuala Lumpur and much more windier.

About 2 weeks into my stay in Saigon, I found a pad that I liked. It's a 2 bedroom apartment, "fully" furnished, and cost me a "bargain" rental of USD1,000/month (Gulp!). It's not in an expat area like the kind that we find in Mont Kiara or Damansara Heights back in KL. This is a very local area, something like Sentul, and then you will find my apartment complex standing like a sore thumb just like YTL's Sentul West, hah!

My apartment is 30 minutes to the office but the distance is only about 3 km! Located in a non-expat area, most of the people here do not speak English. Just the place for me. Time to practice my Vietnamese, heh!

Taxis are a plenty here in Saigon and costs me around VND60,000 (USD3.15) for a one way trip. My preference is for Vinasun and Mai Linh taxis as I have been issued taxi cards for them. It looks like a credit card and the driver will make an imprint of the card's embossed letters on the ticket and write down the fare. Very convenient. And for KL night owls, beat this, there are no midnight taxi surcharges here. It's the same rate 24/7!

Of course, just like KL, there are certain taxis to avoid. Hop over to Vietnam Travel for a good write-up on this.

Over the past few weekends, I have been on procurement trips to equip the Buaya Lair with essentials such as kettle, ironing board, vacuum cleaner, microwave oven, pots, plates and etc etc and the all important DVD player. It's a hassle when I don't have a car, but guess what. Saigon home delivers! That's a fact of Saigon retail business as most customers do not have cars. Motorbikes rulez here. Don't be surprised to see a king-sized spring mattress being delivered by a cyclo-type cargo carrier.


Ok Ok, that's not my photo but you get the drift. Speaking of which, starting from today, I'm gonna take photos with my trusty compact Leica D-Lux 3. Apart from sceneries, I hope to capture some hotbabes too, muahahahahahar!

Buaya69 asks, "a PS3, XBox 360 or Wii? Decisions decisions..."


rainbow angeles said...

hello saigon buaya!

i can never understand why vinasun and mai linh's rates are diff... but i think vinasun could be a little little bit cheaper than mai linh altho' mai linh got more cabs... there was one time i took a cab and the cab driver got.... BO!!! UUURGGHHH!!!! pening all the way aitelyu!!

btw, i just went to cho lun (chinatown) during my last trip, and the stuff there are def. cheaper than ben thanh... although it's a bit far from town...

have fun!

mama23beas said...

Your recent comment in my blog brought me here, and while I read through I was wondering if the family would be following you. And I'm glad that they would, and knowing that mrs b is actually excited about the move makes it even better. And hooray for her for soon she will be a SAHM. All the best- eventhough this also means it may take a while for us to meet buaya's family again *sniff*.

Buaya69 said...

angeles: dang, I have been here for 2 months and yet to go to Cho Lun... really "buaya bawah tempurung" :P

Mama: Of course Mrs B must come here. If not, dangerous leh... banyak temptations, hah! :P :P :P

zbjernak said...

it has been so long since i catch up on your blog...

and now u r in saigon... nice :D

Tours to Vietnam said...

Apart from traffic, Hochiminh City is very much the same to KL, with central CBD and and China town and Indian quarter. Taxi is big surprised in Sai gon though ( aka Hochiminh City). Mailinh's is quite reliable with readable taxi-meter. Red taxi had the meter running even when the vehicle stopped, good enough to watch out.