Lost in Saigon? Don’t panic! I am finding things a little different here in Saigon, and one of the things I am finding, is that finding things can be a little difficult. I needed to send a document home to England. It had to go by snail mail, not electronic, which would be oh so much easier. So I had to buy an envelope and then post it. I haven’t seen a mail box since I arrived and certainly haven’t found the Post Office. I went online last night and discovered that there is a rather important one here. So I will be downtown checking that out at the weekend. I hope they sell envelopes because hopes of finding a Home Depot or a B & Q, seem a little over optimistic.
(N.B. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I did find it, I’d walked past it a couple of times and thought it was either the City Hall or a Railway Station with no trains. It is an amazing building) Even major buildings can get lost in Saigon.
Walking round the city centre a couple of days ago I wanted to find a tourist map. The only “Tourist Information Office” we spotted is the one diagonally opposite from The Rex Hotel. But this turned out to be merely a travel shop trying to sell package tours to unsuspecting tourists who, seeing the big sign saying Tourist Information Office, for some weird reason expect it to be a Tourist Information Office. They simply don’t do maps.
Even Supermarkets get lost in Saigon
Supermarkets are another thing. They seem to hide them away. Drive through any town in the UK or the States and I guarantee you will see Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda/Walmart everywhere you go. Over here they hide them, like the one that’s on the first floor inside the Saigon Pearl Housing complex. The taxi driver was going round in circles trying to find that one, after we had tasked him with the job. Even when you find one, they still try and hide it. The Big C in Phu Nhuan has great big signs up. But when you walk in you could be forgiven for walking out without doing the shopping, as you have to have a first class degree in orienteering to find it. It’s right at the back hidden behind a bakery and those lovely people at Swensens.
Finding cheese was proving quite difficult as well. Even when you find it, it appears to be a guarded item. In Big C they have it all in security boxes, like the ones in which you would expect to find USB sticks or expensive watches. Eventually almost by accident I have stumbled across a cheese shop just round the corner from the Bitexco Tower. They seem to have lots at very reasonable prices. I have a feeling that is going to become a local haunt for the foreseeable future.
Hopefully I am simply still in that newbie state where everything looks strange and soon the places will start to be familiar. For now though, I’m lost in Saigon and it seems to be a bit of a struggle to buy the day to day stuff. Ah well, at least the bars are easy to find.