Right now I’m back in Tokyo after a week in Saigon. I didn’t visit one tourist attraction while I was there, instead choosing to spend my time as I usually do, wandering the backstreets and eating local food. I quickly found out that the most interesting daily life happens deep in the concentrated network of alleyways that exist away from the main tourist centre. By zooming in on Google Maps, you can clearly see areas in Ho Chi Minh where many small streets and lanes are squashed together in close proximity. And so if you want to get a feel for local life in the city, simply head towards these areas. One such collection of alleyways is called Tran Hung Dao, on the border of Districts 1 and 5. With street vendors selling amazing food, women in traditional dress and vibrant colours everywhere you look, this is local Vietnamese city life at its purist, and a glimpse into urban living in Saigon.
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All my posts from outside Japan and right across SE Asia can be found here.